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Psychology 110 - March 18 2010.docx

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University of Saskatchewan
PSY 120
Donna Darbellay

Chapter Sixteen – Psychological disorders Defining and diagnosing disorders  Mental disorder: any behaviour or emotional state that caused individual great suffering, is self-destructive, seriously impairs the person’s ability to work or get along with others or endangers others or the community.  varying definitions of mental disorders mental disorder as a violation of cultural standards  mental disorders as emotional distress  mental disorder as behaviour that is self-destructive or harmful to others  in Canada, mental disorders that leading cause of disability in those aged 15-44  Insanity:legal term only involving mental illness and whether person is aware of consequences and can control their behaviour.  Dilemmas of diagnosis  Disorders typically classified using the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM)  Primary goal of DSM is to be descriptive to provide clear diagnostic categories  List systems, onset predisposing factors, course of disorder, prevalence, sex ration, and cultural issues in diagnosis  DSM categories – five dimensions (axes) clients are evaluated on:  Axis I: primary clinical problem  Axis II: personality factors/disorders  Axis III: general medical conditions  Axis IV: social and environmental stressors  Axis V: global assessment of functioning  Increasing DSM disorders?  Supporters of new categories answer that is important to distinguish disorders precisely  Critics point to economic reasons: diagnoses are needed for insurance reasons so therapists will be compensated  Problems with the DSM  It is important to be aware of limitations and problems present in attempts to classify mental disorders: i. The danger of over-diagnosis [ADHD]  Usually boys of single mothers ii. The power of diagnostic labels  Mental categories used as labels; retard, stupid, idiot … iii. The confusion of serious mental disorders with normal problems – misdiagnosis  Given a misdiagnosis – wrongly diagnosed iv. The illusion of objective and universally [drapetomania, reflect culture and social prejudices]  Interpretation problem, an objective diagnosis  Advantages of DSM  When DSM is used correctly, in conjunction with valid objective tests, improves reliability of diagnosis Dilemmas of Measurement  Diagnosis usually made by combination of clinical interview and psychological tests  Projective tests:test used to infer a person’s motives, conflicts, and unconscious dynamics on the basis of the person’s interpretations of ambiguous stimuli  Individual does not get to think of an answer, draw a picture, finish a picture – not true of false  Rorschach inkblot test  Can help establish rapport with a clinic  Provide information  Test lack reliability and validity [although some have developed comprehensive scoring system for responses  Sometimes used inappropriately  Objective test: standardized objective questionnaires required written responses; typically scales that people rate themselves on – self reports  popular personality assessments is the Minnesota Multiphas
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