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Psychology Chapter 14.docx

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PSY 504
Jenna Lee

Psychology Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders Abnormal Behaviour: Myths, Realities, and Controversies: The Medical Model Applied to Abnormal Behaviour - Proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behaviour as a disease - This point of view is what many medical terms are based for abnormal behaviour are based on Ex: mental illness, psychological disorder, etc. - Before this model, most concepts of abnormal behaviour were based on superstition People who behaved differently were thought to be possessed by demons, or thought to be victims of Gods punishment - This model brought improvements for the treatment of victims, and allowed them to be viewed with sympathy rather than hatred - Medical concepts such as diagnosis, etiology, and prognosis are valuable in the treatment and study of abnormality - Diagnosis distinguishing one illness from another - Etiology the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness - Prognosis a forecast about the probable course of an illness Criteria of Abnormal Behaviour 1. Deviance: their behaviour deviates from what the society considers as acceptable behaviour. What is considered normal varies from one culture and society to another, but all cultures have norms. Ex: transvestic fetishism man achieves sexual arousal by dressing in female clothes. This is seen as a disorder because he is deviating from our cultural norms, where it is okay for a woman to wear mens clothes, but it is wrong for a man to wear a females. 2. Maladaptive Behaviour: peoples everyday adaptive behaviour is impaired. This is the key criteria in the diagnosis of substance-use (drug) disorders. Ex: the use of cocaine interferes with a persons social or occupational functioning thus, a substance-use disorder exists and it is the maladaptive quality of the behaviour that makes it disordered. 3. Personal distress: the diagnosis of psychological disorder is also frequently based on a persons report of great personal distress. This is usually the criteria met by people diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders. These people may or may not exhibit deviant or maladaptive behaviour, but they have high personal distress. - Although two or three criteria may be met by certain people, people are often viewed as disordered even if only one criteria is met - Judgements of mental illness involve value judgements about what is normal and abnormal, and reflects cultural values, social trends, and scientific knowledge Stereotypes of Psychological Disorders: myths about abnormal behaviour 1. Psychological disorders are incurable. Treatment may fail for some people, but a large number of individuals do get better either spontaneously or with formal treatment. Even the most severe psychological disorders can be treated successfully. 2. People with psychological disorders are often violent and dangerous. This common stereotype is the result of media often focusing on incidents involving the mentally ill. Psychological disorders are not always accompanied by violence and rage. 3. People with psychological disorders behave in bizarre ways and are very different from normal people. This is only true for a small number of cases involving severe disorders. Psycho-diagnosis: The Classification of Disorders - Guidelines start out extremely vague and were very sketchy in the first addition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. - Originally the book described about 100 disorders, but further additions expanded to describe more and psycho-diagnosis procedures slowly improved - DSM Addition 3 introduced a new multiaxial system of classification Judgements about individuals are based on give separate dimensions, or axes Axis I : clinicians record most types of disorders on Axis I Axis II: clinicians use Axis II to list long-running personality disorders or mental retardation Axis III: clinicians list a persons physical disorders on Axis III Axis IV: clinicians makes notations regarding the types of stress experienced by the individual in the previous year on Axis IV Axis V: clinicians make estimates on the individuals current level of adaptive functioning, and their highest level of functioning in the previous year on Axis V - Work is underway to formulate the next edition of the DSM (DSM-V) of the diagnostic system schedules for publication in 2011 The Prevalence of Psychological Disorders - Epidemiology the study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population - Prevalence refers to the percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specified time period - Most interesting data are the data of lifetime prevalence the percentage of people who endure a specific disorder at any time in their lives - Studies published in the 1980s and early 90s (using DSM-III) found psychological disorders in roughly one-third of the population - About 44% of the adult population will struggle with some sort of psychological disorder at some point in their life - Overall, 1 in 10 Canadians over 15 years of age reported symptoms consistent with one of the categories of disorder listed - There is gender variation across categories of disorder - 68% of people who reported symptoms of a disorder did not seek assistance because the costs of these disorders are ENORMOUS Anxiety Disorders: - Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time through life`s difficulties but for some people anxiety becomes a chronic problem - Anxiety disorders are a class of disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety Generalized Anxiety Disorder: marked by a chronic high level of anxiety that is not tied to any specific threat. - This anxiety is free-floating because it is non-specific - They worry about minor matters related to family, finances, work, and personal illness - They think that worrying will help negative things stay away, but at the same time they worry about how much they worry - Anxiety is accompanied with physical symptoms such as trembling, muscle tension, diarrhea, dizziness, faintness, sweating, heart palpitations, etc Phobic Disorder: marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no realistic danger. - Mild phobias are common, people are said to have a phobic disorder when their fears interfere with their everyday behaviour - Accompanied by physical symptoms of anxiety such as trembling and palpitations - People can develop phobic responses to almost anything, but certain types of phobias are more common than others Ex: Acrophobia (fear of heights), hydrophobia (fear of water) Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia: characterized by recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually occur suddenly and unexpectedly. - Panic attacks are also accompanied by physical symptoms of anxiety - People often start to wonder when their next attack will be, and their concern about having a panic attack in public may escalate to the point where they dont leave home - This is a condition known as agoraphobia a fear of going out to public places Due to this fear many people remain confined to their homes, although some may go out if accompanied by a person they trust Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: marked by persistent, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions). - Common examples of compulsions include constant hand-washing, repetitive cleaning of things that are already clean, endless rechecking of locks, etc anything that helps to temporarily relieve anxiety - Specific obsession tend to be associated with specific types of compulsions Ex: obsession about contamination are paired with cleaning compulsions Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) *discussed in chapter 13 notes Etiology of Anxiety Disorders anxiety disorders develop out of complicated interactions among a variety of biological and psychological factors 1. Biological Factors - Concordance rates indicate the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives who exhibit the same disorder - The results of both twin studies and family studies suggest that there is a moderate genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders - Anxiety sensitivity may also make people vulnerable to anxiety disorders - Recent evidence also suggests there is a link between anxiety disorders and neurochemical activity in the brain 2. Conditioning and Learning - Anxiety responses can be acquired through classical conditioning and maintained through operant conditioning - Neutral stimulus is paired with an anxiety-arousing stimulus once acquired, a phobia may be maintained through operant conditioning avoidance of the phobic stimulus reduces anxiety, resulting in negative reinforcement - Preparedness people are biologically prepared by their evolutionary history to acquire some fears much more easily than others - Evolved module for fear learning activated by stimuli related to survival threats in evolution history and relative resistant to intentional efforts to suppress the resulting fears - Cond
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