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Lecture 3

PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Mania, Psychopathology, Dsm-5

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Betty Onyura

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Lecture 2
Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context
- What is a Psychological Disorder?
o a pshologial dsfutio ithi a idiidual assoiated ith distress or
impairment in functioning and a response that is not typical or culturally
- Dysfunction: breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning
- Distress: (not needed for some disorders i.e. manic episode in bipolar)
- Impairment: Difficulty performing appropriate and expected roles
- Atypical or unexpected cultural response
- The diagnostic and statistical Manual (DSM-5)
- Widely accepted system for classifying psychological problems and disorders
- DSM contains diagnostic criteria for behaviors that
o Fit a pattern (prototype)
o Cause dysfunction or subjective distress
o Are present for a specific duration
- Psychopathology and Mental Health Professionals
- Def: scientific study of psychological disorders
- Many types of mental health professionals
- How to Understand Abnormal Behavior (3 parts)
- Clinical Description:
o Begins with the presenting problem
o Description aims to distinguish clinically significant dysfunction from common
human experience
o Describe prevalence (number of people in the whole population who have the
disorder) and incidence (number of new cases of a disorder occurring in a
specific period of time)
o Describe the onset of the disorders and Acute (sudden) vs. insidious (gradual
over time) onset
o Describe course of disorders (pattern of disorder over time (episodic, time
limited, or chronic course) and prognosis)
- Causation, treatment, and outcomes
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o What factors contribute to development of psychopathology? = etiology
o How can we help (treatment development, pharmacologic, psychosocial, and/or
o Did the help work?
Study treatment outcome
But just eause ou fid a effet, does’t ea that the aipulated/
treated factor was the cause
Limited in specifying actual causes of disorders -> may be more about
maintaining factors
Abnormal Behavior: Historical Ideas
- Major psychological disorders have existed
o Across cultures
o Across periods
- Hypothesized causes and resulting treatment of abnormal behavior varied widely
o Across cultures
o Across time periods
o Due to prevailing paradigms or world views
- Three Dominant Traditions include
o Supernatural, biological, and psychological
The supernatural Tradition
- Deviant behavior: a battle between good and evil
o Tumultuous period chronicled by historians of the 14th c
- Demons and witches
o Predominant thoughts during 14th and 15th c
o Madness and evils cause by witches and sorcery
- Unexplainable behavior attributed to evil
- Treatments for Possession
o abnormality considered a divine punishment for abhorrent behavior
o treatable: hanging person over snake pits, cold water baths
- The moon and stars
o Psychological functioning affected by movements of moon and stars
o No scientific evidence
- Stress and Melancholy
o 14th and 15th c
o insanity is a natural phenomenon
o treatable: rest, sleep, happiness, potions, baths
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