PSYB32 – Lecture 3 – September 25 2012
Classification and Diagnosis
Nothing statistical about the DSM
Text used to formulate or render a diagnosis
Importance of DSM – (1) in order to prescribe the right treatment. (2) It allows us to
communicate efficiently and increases reliability of the diagnosis (inter rater reliability) (3)
Differential diagnosis. (4) Allows researchers to find out more about these disorders.
Syndrome – constellation of symptoms that typically occur together. No one specific symptom
constitutes a psychological disorder.
Psychological impairment – anxiety
Behavioural impairment – visible behaviour
Important – conduct disorder – e.g. child violating social norms, getting in trouble with the law
at a young age -- needs to be present in order to diagnose something like anti-social personality
Substance Related Disorders – it only becomes a formal diagnosis when the substance abuse or
dependence results in behaviour that is severe enough to interfere with their daily living and
functioning e.g. no longer able to meet the demands of their job, has got them in trouble with
the law, marital problems.
Schizophrenia – important term to remember – these are people who have lost touch with
reality, particularly when their positive symptoms are present.
Positive symptom – added behaviour e.g. delusion or hallucination
Negative symptom – removed behaviour e.g. lack of motivation, lack of being able to find
pleasure, lack of the ability to speak and generate words, lack of emotion (flat affect)
Mood disorders – know major ones
Major depressive disorder – suicidal tendencies, lack of motivation, loss of appetite,
hopelessness, panic attacks, sadness
Co-morbidity – presence of more than one disorder
Commonly, patients may have co-morbid disorders
Mania – unrealistic expectations, impossible goals/ambitions, still grounded in reality though
Bi-Polar disorder – lows of depression and highs of mania
Anxiety disorders – most common
Phobia – irrational, debilitating
Panic disorder – like having a heart attack, feel like you have no control over the environment,
tremors, heart racing, perspiration
Agoraphobia – fear of leaving your home because you fear you’re going to have a panic attack
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – a constant worry that is all encompassing – worried and stressed
about everything, typically grounded in irrational thoughts, always worried that something bad
is going to happen to you or someone you care for, constant state of stress
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – an obsession is a recurrent thought or idea or image that
continuously dominates a person’s consciousness, anxiety,
Compulsion – urge to perform a stereotyped act with the impossible purpose of distinguishing
the anxiety from the obsession.
Stress – something we worry about
PTSD – feeling a constellation of symptoms after a traumatic event, depression, flashbacks, fear
of recurrence of the event, anxiety The psychologist, or therapist or clinician is not allowed to place a value judgement on the
traumatic event (even if the event would seem trivial)
Chronic – recurring
Somatoform disorders – no known physiological cause
Somatization – patient with a lot of physical complaints, has visited doctor numerous times with
different complaints, no physiological cause
Conversion disorder – neurological complaints with no physiological cause
Person may also have anxiety and depression
Hypochondriasis – reading symptoms and thinking you have that disorder or disease etc.
Dissociative Disorders – least common disorders, we don’t know a lot about them. Only have
case studies. It is a psychological dissociation or a sudden alteration in consciousness that
affects memory or identity.
Dissociative amnesia – Temporarily or transiently has no memory for an event. No physiological