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Lecture 11

PSYB30H3 Lecture 11: PSYB30 LEC 11 - CHAP 19

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Lisa Fiksenbaum

PSYB30 LEC 11 Chapter 19: Disorders of Personality Building Blocks of Personality Disorders ● Traits of personality describe consistencies in behaviour, thought, or action ○ Represents meaningful differences among ppl ● Personality disorders → maladaptive variations or combinations of normal personality traits ● Extremes on either end of specific trait dimensions can be associated with personality disorders ● Motivation → another basic building block of personality ○ Describe what ppl want and why they behave in particular ways ○ Common theme in several personality disorders concerns maladaptive variations especially on the need for power and intimacy ○ Extreme need to be superior and receive praise of others → narcissistic personality disorder ● Cognition ○ Cognition consists of mental activity involved in perceiving, interpreting, and planning ■ Processes can become distorted in personality disorders ○ Disorders typically involve impairment of social judgement ○ In various ways each personality disorder involves some distortion in the perception of other ppl and altered social cognition ● Emotion ○ Extreme variation in experienced emotions ○ Some disorders involve extreme volatility in emotions → eg: borderline ○ Some involve extremes of specific emotions → eg: anxiety, fear, rage ○ Most disorders have an emotional core ● Self-Concept ○ One’s understanding of oneself ○ w/ disorders there is some distortion in self-concept ○ Person may feel she or he has no “core” → trouble making decisions; needs constant reassurance from others ○ Some disorders associated w/ extremely high (narcissism) or extremely low (dependent personality disorder) levels of self esteem ● Social Relationships ○ Disturbed or maladaptive in personality disorders ○ Problems with intimacy ■ Staying too distant from others ■ Becoming too intimate too quickly ○ Post personality disorders have deficit in empathy ■ Disordered person either misinterprets others or does not care about the feelings of others ○ Poor social skills ● Biology ○ Some PD have been found to have genetic component The Concept of Disorder ● Psychological disorder → pattern of behaviour or experience that is distressing and painful to a person ○ Leads to disability or impairment in important life domains (work, marriage, relationship difficulties) ● Philippe Pinel → manie sans delire (madness without loss of reason) ○ Applied to individuals who demonstrated disordered behaviour and emotions BUT who didn’t lose contact w/ reality ● Kurt Schneider → psychopathic personality ○ Behaviour patterns that caused the person and the community to suffer ○ Person was rather impaired in terms of feelings, temperament, or habits ○ Emphasized behaviours that have an adverse impact on the person and the community in which that person lives ■ Supports notion that all forms of PD involve impaired social relationships ■ Other ppl suffer as much as or more than the person with the disorder ● Abnormal psychology → study of the various mental disorders → What is Abnormal? ● Simple definition : that whatever is different from normal - abnormal ● Social definition: behaviours that society deems unacceptable are labeled as abnormal ○ Example: incest and child abuse ● Both these definitions of abnormality suffer from changing social or cultural norms ○ Behaviours deemed offensive or socially inappropriate 20 years ago might be acceptable today ■ Example: homosexuality ● Psychologists have look to other ways of identifying what is normal and abnormal ○ Looked within persons at subjective feelings → anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction, and feelings of loneliness ○ Found some ppl have disorganized thought, disruptive perceptions, or unusual beliefs and attitudes that don't match their circumstances ○ ways in which ppl fail to get along with one another ○ Analyzed patterns of behaviour that put ppl at higher risk for other problems → behaviours that harm more than help ● Psychopathology → study of mental disorders → The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ● Published by American Psychiatric Association ● Currently in its 5th edition (DSM-5) ● Sets the standards for diagnoses → taught by almost all psychiatry and psychology doctoral training programs ● Previous edition based on categorical view of PD → you either had the disorder or did not ● Dimensional view of PD → each disorder seen as a continuum ○ Ranging from normality at one end to severe disability/ disturbance at other end ○ Only at the extreme ends of the dimensions that the person becomes a problem to themselves and to others → What is a Personality Disorder (PD)? ● Enduring pattern of experience and behaviour that differs greatly from the expectations of the individual’s culture ● Traits observed in wide range of social and personal situations ○ If a trait becomes maladaptive and inflexible and causes significant impairment or distress → considered a PD ● Usually manifest in: ○ How ppl think ○ How ppl feel ○ How ppl get along with others ○ Their ability to control their own behaviour ● Pattern in rigid and displayed across a variety of situations → leads to problems in important areas of life ○ Work or relationships ● Pattern of behaviour that defines the PD usually has long history in the person’s life ○ Can be traced back to manifestations in person’s childhood ● Pattern must not result from drug abuse, medication, or medical condition ● Culture, Age, and Gender: The Effect of Context ○ Person’s social, cultural, and ethnic background must be taken into account ■ Ppl who originate i a diff culture have trouble fitting into new culture ● Have customs, habits, expressions, values that may cause social problems within a new culture ● Example: young male immigrants exhibited antisocial behaviours ○ Diminished as the immigrants got accustomed to their new social environment ○ Age ■ Adolescent so through periods of instability → identity crisis ● Associated w/ certain PD ■ caution against diagnosing PDs in persons under age 18 ■ Caution also for adults who undergo loss→ may undergo periods of instability or impulsive behaviour that may look like a PD ○ Gender ■ Certain disorders (eg: antisocial PD) diagnosed more frequently in men than women ■ May underlie gender differences in how ppl cope Specific Personality Disorders → The Erratic Cluster: Ways of Being Unpredictable, Violent, or Emotional ● Trouble w/ emotional control ● Specific difficulties getting along with others ● Often appear dramatic/emotional; unpredictable ● Antisocial PD ○ General disregard for others ○ Cares very little about the rights, feelings, or happiness of other ppl ○ Referred to as sociopath or psychopath ○ Adults with this PD typically had a childhood w/ : ■ Violating rights of others (minor thefts) ■ Breaking age-related social norms ■ Cruelty toward animals ■ Threatening or intimidating younger children ○ Problems tend to worsen as child develops physical strength, cognitive power, and sexual maturity ○ Minor problems evolve into more serious ones ○ Children earlier-onset conduct problems are much more likely to grow into antisocial PD as an adult ○ “Cold hearted” ○ Repeated lying → starts off as minor deceptions and grows into pattern of deceitfulness ○ Impulsivity → manifested as a failure to plan ahead ■ Start a chain of behaviour w/o clear plan in mind ■ Change jobs, relationships, and move often ○ Easily irritated → respond w/ aggression ○ Assaultive → particularly to spouse or children ○ Recklessness → showing little regard for their own safety and safety of others ○ Irresponsibility → get bored easily and find routine to be stressful ○ Lack of remorse ○ Psychopathy: ppl who are superficially charming and intelligent but are also deceitful, unable to feel remorse, impulsive, lacking in shame, guilt, or fear ● Borderline PD ○ Marked by instability → relationships, behaviour, emotions, and their images of themselves are unstable ○ Relationships ■ Intense, emotional, potentially violent ■ Suffer from strong fears of abandonment → sometimes become aggressive ■ In their efforts to manipulate ppl back into their relationships, they self-mutilate ■ Behaving in a caring manner at one time and in a punishing/cruel manner at another time ○ Shifting views of themselves ■ Values and goals are shallow and change e
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