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Psych 257 Chap 1 Psych 257 Psychopathology Barlow et Al: Abnormal Psychology 2nd CDN edition Chapter 1

Course Code
Uzma Rehman

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What is a Psychological Disorder?
-Psychological Disorder: Dysfunction within an individual;
-associated with distress /impaired functioning and atypical/culturally unexpected response
Psychological Dysfunction
-dysfunction: breakdown in cognitive, emotional or behavioural functioning (eg. Fainting at sight of
-some people experience mild breakdown w/o being dysfunctional,
-hence, dysfunction is on a continuum (line) not as on/off categories
Personal Distress
-part of criteria: to be sad; but not the only criteria
-hence, dysfunction is usually extreme expressions of normal emotion
Atypical or Not Culturally Expected
-abnormal behaviour: acting differently from the norm, violating social norms
-but: this criteria has exceptions; eg. Eccentric people, celebrities, different cultures
-hence abnormal: if out of person’s control
-Szasz: Mental illness diagnosed by psychologists has fundamental difference
-uses subjective judgements (by the patient); doesn’t focus on objective (eg. Blood tests)
The Science of Psychopathology
-Psychopathology: the scientific study of psychological disorders
-usu. clinical/counseling psychologists w/ Ph.D. or PsyD;
-“psychologists” are regulated by psych boards; “psychotherapists” are not
-psychiatrists: need MD + 3-4 year residency; usual focus on biological treatments (not just drugs)
-psychiatric social workers/nurses: gain masters; deal with people with disorders
The Scientist-Practitioner
-adopted scientific methods to learn more about the nature of psychological disorders, causes, treating
-scientist-practioner: take a scientific approach to clinical work
-via staying up to date on new developments, evaluating own assessments, and own research
Clinical Description
-presenting problem: problem(s) that a patient first shows signs of.
-clinical description: combination of behaviours, thoughts, and feelings that make up a specific disorder
-prevalence: how disorder is different from normal behaviour
-incidence: stats on how many new cases occur at a certain time
-course: somewhat individual pattern that most disorders follow
-prognosis: anticipated course of disorder (long-term or time limited) and onset (time before symptoms)
Causation, Treatment, and Outcomes
-etiology: study of origins (of disorder); helps understand nature of disorder-> treatment
The Past: Historical Conceptions of Abnormal Behaviour
-3 models of thought for abnormal behaviour. Supernatural (old idea), biological, and psychological
The Supernatural Tradition
-idea: deviant behaviour perceived as evil, work of the devil etc.
Demons and Witches
-eg. 14th century; Treatments such as exorcism; 17th century; Salem Witch trials
Stress and Melancholy
-Insanity=natural phenomenon, caused via (curable) mental/emotional stress; rest,sleep, type treatment
Charles VI: The Mad King
-heavy mental stress due to running the kingdom; went mad; treatment via rest, relaxation
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