PSYA02 March 4, 2013
Shamans – probably schizophrenic, due to speaking to „spirits‟. This made them
very popular in their culture because people wanted some help with the other
Witch trials – were these women actually talking to demons? There were some
that were actually mentally ill. Also, around Salem, there was a bacteria in the
bread that acted much like LSD. So that is a type of mental illness.
How to treat mental illness? Most people don‟t know how we‟re supposed to deal
o Stabbing on TTC – man had mental illness. His mother had tried to get
help for him but there was none available. The police aren‟t interested with
mental illness until a crime is caused. Hospitals can only provide
medication and treatment as long as the patient will follow them.
Bedlam – back in Victorian times, the mentally ill were all just placed in this sort
of psychiatric hospital. This was the only treatment for mental illness. Get them
away from society. Was an awful place where patients were tied down and
o Eventually, when one doctor began to allow the patients outside and they
began to improve. This began the idea that treatments were possible for
Abnormal means anything that deviates from the norm.
For psychological context, maladaptive: meaning a person is abnormal in a way
that causes social problems for them or others, problems that make it hard for
them to adapt to society. Can be associated with:
o Inability to hold a job
o Marital/Relationship issues
When psychic conflict is too strong for defence mechanisms to deal with in healthy
ways, they may actual distort one‟s perception of reality, or the person will function in
ways reflective of an early developmental stage
This can lead to psychological disorders that include: PSYA02 March 4, 2013
extreme anxiety, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour, depression,
disturbed perceptions and thought disturbances, paralysis or blindness without
Example: bedwetting – it‟s a cry for attention, child feels insecure in family. Get family to
help child and child will stop.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, people began to think about psychological disorders
as reflecting biological causes
This perspective of “mental illness” remains dominant, as represented in our own
“mental health” program
Three aspects of this perspective are very powerful in our world
The notion that many disorders reflect chemical imbalances
The notion that drugs can effectively be used to counter these
o This can be dangerous – if we start giving so many neurotransmitters to
help with chemical imbalances, the neurotransmitters can affect all
sections of the brain not just the targeted section. Also, the brain will stop
producing its own neurotransmitters and can cause a dependency on the
The quest to find genetic links to mental diseases
o People can have genetic markers for things such as alcoholism, that can
come into play during stressful periods of life.
This perspective assumes that many maladaptive behaviours are learned, and can thus
be best understood by focusing on potential relevant environmental factors and a
person‟s perception thereof.
Things that are learned can be unlearned, and doing so often requires a therapist to
Current reinforcement contingencies
The manner in which the patient thinks about things
o Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – this can get the patient to rethink
the way they believe/react to things. PSYA02 March 4, 2013
Bedwetting – alarm that goes off whenever child wets bed. Eventually, the child is
conditioned to go to washroom before they wet the bed, because they have learned to
predict the occurrence subconsciously.
This perspective assumes that maladaptive behaviours arise when people place too
much emphasis on gaining positive self-regard from others