HLTHAGE 2G03 Lecture Notes - Psychological Testing, Health Professional, Existential Therapy

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HLTH AGE 2G03 Monday, June 24, 2013 Dr. Mat Savelli
Patient, survivor, consumer, client, person -> can be a person with mental illness
Mental disorders are characterised by their effect on: thought, behaviour, mood
Ways of Thinking About Mental Illness
A problem between an individual and God (spiritual problem)
Balance problem (Ying/Yang, bodily humours, neurochemicals)
Somatic problem (genetics) - problem of the brain
Personal problem (if you are happy, you won't have problems, it's your fault) - no such thing as
mental illness at all
A problem of consciousness (become aware of what conflicts are and then you're in better shape)
Social problem (more social illness in poor communities than rich, it's a consequence of people
who have more struggles in life
The Medical Model
Sees mental illness as a physiological disease like any other, with viruses, lesions, and genetics
causing malfunctions in the brain
Is like a physical order - has symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Focuses on individual
Some believe the medical model is an attempt on part of medical professionals to cut others out
of the equation (clinical, etc.)
Psychological Model
Focuses on the mind as a construct
Brain is physical, while mind is nebulous concept
Mental disorder arises from internal mental processes
Disorder in the mind, rather than brain
Behavioural Model
Mental disorder is primarily learned behaviour rather than physiological illness or a psychological
conflict, people are conditioned positively or negatively
A matter of unlearning those deviant behaviours
Sociological Model (Social Stress Model)
People have different resources and roles in life
If you have lots of resources and lots of roles, you will be mentally healthy
If you have few resources and not important/rewarding roles, you willl be more apt to be mentally
ill
Age, ethnicity, class influences people's aptitude for mental illness
Why so many models?
Part of problem is that different explanations of mental illness work better with different types of
disorders
Also highly personal subject -> you look for a model that makes sense to you
o Some people find models offensive
Some people advocate the biopsychosocial model - there are all sort of things that are involved
o The way you interact with the environment
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o How your parents support you or not
o Both nature and nurture
The mind/Body Dualism
Someone who is depressed may feel exhausted -> there is a mental and physical aspect
The only real division between physical and mental illness is not cause by rather symptom
Not something wrong with brain, but express from something else
o For example, runny nose means cold, not necessarily something wrong with nose
Mental Disorders are Different
Stigma - someone with severe mental illness will be associated with that for the rest of their life
Agency and blame - My mother got cancer -> she didn’t go get it
o But with mental illness, it's as if they have an extra role to play (it's their own fault)
o It's their fault for not going out, doing drugs, etc
Affects the whole of the self
o Those suffering from mental illness as the entirety of the organ
The entirety of the person instead of separating from their illness like other diseases
Mental disorders aren't always seen as entirely negative
o Bipolar person can work really well, etc
The power of psychiatry
o Only psychiatrists had power to confine someone
They can declare someone unfit for work
Can testify trials and say if someone is guilty or not
More mysteries - what separates illness from regular behaviour? How is normality defined?
o Your arm is broken or not broken -> it's obvious, but it's hard to figure with mental disorders
They rarely examine the organ that they treat
o They don’t get the brain scan
o Don’t have the technology to use anything in an efficient way
DSM
Early editions psychodynamic in nature, now focuses on symptoms
o Someone with this had abuse as a child and etc (cause)
o Now they do not talk about cause - DSM does not mention cause, no one agrees with it
Rosenhan experiment - he sent people to were sane to mental hospitals and they were diagnosed
as insane - doctors cannot tell if they were normal or not
o The hospital diagnosed 41 fakes but Rosenhan sent no one
o Happened to 1970s
DSM III (1980s Revisions)
ICD: international classification of disease
Focuses on symptoms
Disruptive mood dysregulation
DSM Criticisms - As a Whole
No hard objective science
o We need to create something based on verifying science, rather than people agreeing on a
definition
Ignores the context of the person (cultural, environmental)
o Something could be okay in a different culture
o Focuses on symptoms rather than actually explaining the experience of illness
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