PSYC 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Postpartum Depression, Self-Harm, Personality Disorder

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PSYC100 LECTURE 26 (Thursday, 29th November)
Psychological Disorders
- Mental problems are not straightforward as medical problems
- Ex: if leg is broken, there isn’t much dispute about it, can be easily treated
- Mental disorders show a failure of adapting to the environment
- Somehow you and world surrounding aren’t very well in sync
- Most humans in pubescent stage experience this – felt out of place
- But if adult has the same symptoms, there is a mental disorder
Defining mental disorder:
- Perhaps your sufferance can be low – ex: if someone is especially violent but enjoys that and has
no regret- do we treat it?
- Is it harmful to society? Ex: in a fascist regime, you rebelling against fascism means you are
crazy so they treat you for that
- But if you look at this from the outside perspective – causing harm to others is actually highly
adaptive because that society itself was sick
- Observe idea of harmful dysfunction:
Ø A disorder exists when failure of a person’s internal mechanisms to perform their functions
as designed by nature impinges harm on persons well being as defined by social values and
Ø Leaves room for culture defining what is a disorder
- Mothers who experience post partum depression aren’t expressing a disorder
- Problem is where do we define that this is a sickness and needs treatment?
Historic views:
- People who expressed odd behaviours are demonically possessed:
Ø Catholic churches actually have a full ritual
Ø Voodoo culture believes lot of things we find psychotic are normal
- Medical model for perception of mental illness:
Ø Still quite prominent in certain field of psychology
Ø Actually physical disorder in brain and that needs to be fixed for mental disorder to be
Ø We do that for anxiety: young people who deal lots of stress are on anxiety medication
(cause of anxiety is organic – pill doesn’t always heel problem)
Ø Mental problem causes brain to be different – reverse causation
Ø Institutionalisation movement: people who were considered mentally ill were sent to
Ø Strong stigma associated with the asylum – like you lost citizenship rights
- New developments:
Ø Quebec example: Lot of homeless people are mentally ill
Ø Large population that is urgently in need of treatment who are ending up homeless now
(they are drinking all the time as self medication – if their mind is going haywire alcohol is
a depressant so calms it down)
- Cultural Difference:
Ø Koro (Asian countries): condition where men with this condition are falsely believing their
penis and testes are disappearing and receded into their abdomen
Ø Korea example: people feel ashamed when others are embarrassed
Ø Bulimia
Ø Depression: not found in certain cultures, ex: Navajo
Criterion used to determine mental illness:
- Deviance:
Ø Thoughts and feelings are out of line that the societal norm
Ø Deviating from the norm
- Distress:
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