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Psychological Disorders & Schizophrenia.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Anneke Olthof

Psychological Disorders & Schizophrenia What is Abnormal? • A lot of grey area between what is normal and abnormal exists • Varies across individuals and cultures • No single definition is agreed upon by everyone ➡ Deviance • Thoughts or emotions that fall outside cultural norms ➡ Distress • Intense negative emotional reaction that doesn't match the situation ➡ Dysfunction • Behaviour interferes with individual’s daily functioning Diagnosing Psychological Disorders • One reason to diagnose a disorder is to make decisions about the treatment ➡ It helps to understand the cause of the symptoms of a disorder in order to treat it • The Medical Model: Psychological disorders can be seen as psychopathology (an illness of the mind) ➡ ➡ Disorders can be diagnosed (labeled as a collection of symptoms that go together) ➡ People with disorders can be treated with a goal of restoring mental health • The Biopsychosocial Approach ➡ Biological Influences • Evolution • Individual genes • Brain structure and chemistry ➡ Psychological Influences • Stress • Trauma • Learned helplessness • Mood-related perceptions and memories Social-Cultural Influences ➡ • Roles • Expectations • Definitions of normality and disorder • Cultural Influences on Disorders ➡ Culture-bound syndromes are disorders which only seem to exist within certain cultures ➡ They show culture can play a role in both causing and defining a disorder Classifying Psychological Disorders • ➡ The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) • The most complete description of nearly 400 mental disorders and criteria for diagnosing each • Assumes psychological disorders are no different from a physical illness • Diagnostic information is represented along 5 dimensions or axis ➡ Clinical symptoms • Initial diagnosis (depression, schizophrenia, phobia) ➡Developmental and personality disorders • Developmental disorder ➡ First evident in childhood ➡ Autism, mental retardation • Personality disorder Enduring and consistent ways of interaction with the world ➡ Paranoid, antisocial, borderline personality disorders ➡ ➡ Physical conditions •Brain injury or HIV/AIDS that can result in symptoms of mental illness ➡ Severity or psychosocial stressors •Death of a loved, starting a new job, college, unemployment, marriage ➡ Highest level of functioning •Level of function both at present time and highest level within previous year • Critiques of Diagnosing with the DSM ➡ The DSM calls too many people ‘disordered’ The border between diagnoses or between disorder and normal, seems arbitrary ➡ ➡ Decisions about what is a disorders seem to include value judgments ➡ Diagnostics labels directs how we view and interpret the world, telling us which beha
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