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Psychology 3325 Lecture Notes - Bipolar Disorder, Personal Distress, Psych

Course Code
Psychology 3325
John Usher

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Bretts Childhood
His recent inability to maintain an erection when making love to his wife was the
immediate reason for his seeking therapy
Brett didn’t have a happy childhood. His mother died suddenly when he was only 6 and
for the next 10 yrs he lived either with his father or with a maternal aunt. His father
drank heavily and the mans moods were extremely variable; he had even been
hospitalized with a diagnosis of manic depressive psychosis
Brett often became depressed for no apparent reason and sometimes this was followed
by periods of manic
He felt self conscious with ppl who he felt had authority over him and he was esp
sensitive about his clothes which were old compared to his peers
He entered the police academy and he had hopes that his badge and uniform would
give him the instant respect that he seemed incapable of earning on his own
He wondered if he was actually avoiding the responsibility of having a child
He attacked her both verbally and physically about her alleged infidelity and then got
Psychopathology- the field concerned with the nature and development of abnormal
beh thoughts and feelings
Challenge in studying abnormal psych is the need to remain objective
Abnormal psysh is most popular but it has one distinct disadvantage which is that all of
us bring to your study preconceived notions of what the subject matter is
Challenge is how to define it
Abnormal beh- patterns of emotion, thought and action deemed pathological for one or
more of the following reasons: infrequent occurrence, violation of norms, personal
distress, disability or dysfunction and unexpectedness
Statistical infrequency
One aspect of abnormal beh is that its infrequent
Normal curve or bell shaped curve- places majority of ppl in the middle as far as any
particular characteristic is concerned; very few ppl fall at either extreme.
An assertion that a person is normal implies that he or she does not deviate much from
the average in a particular trait or beh patterns
Statistical infrequency is used explicitly in diagnosing mental retardation
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