PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Personality Disorder, Intellectual Disability

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12 Dec 2010
Disorders of Mind and
Psychopathology sickness/disorder of the mind
oorigins in psychological turmoil and biological dysfunction (factors)
Plato + Aristotle mental illness conflict btw thought and emotion ……
Increased understanding of the effect of genes, neurotransmitters,
hormoneson brain and behavior resulted in remarkable advances in
understanding both normal and abnormal human behavior
Environmental aspects children with abusive parents more likely to develop
some form of psychopathology later in life
oEnv can trigger some mental disorders (e.g. combat leads to PTSD,
death of loved one leads to depression)
How are mental disorders
conceptualized and classified?
Can be quite challenging to decide if a given behavior is caused by
psychopathology, because behavior, especially unusual behavior, always
need to be reviewed according to the situation (diff among cultures. Rituals,
Some criteria are important to consider in determining whether behavior
represent psychopathology:
oBehavior.. deviates from cultural norms? Is maladaptive? Causing
individual personal distress?
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Line between normal and abnormal is hard to draw increasing trend toward
defining psychopathology as thoughts and behaviors that are maladaptive
rather than deviant
oE.g. excessive hand washing adaptive but cannot stop 
Diagnostic criteria for all major disorder categories include the stipulation
that the symptoms of the disorder must interfere with at least one aspect of
the persons life (such as work, social relations, self-care)
Mental disorders classified into categories
In order to investigate etiology (factors that contribute to development) and
possible treatments of mental disorders need way to group disorders into
meaningful categories
Kraepelin recognized not all patients with mental illness suffered from same
disorder identified mental disorders based on groups of symptoms that
occurred together
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders standard in fields
of psychology and psychiatry
oNow, 4th edition disorders described in terms of observable symptoms,
patients must meet specific criteria in order to be given a particular diagnosis
oMultiaxial system system used in DSM that provides assessment along
five axes describing important mental health factors
patients not given single label but rather are classified in terms of a
set of clinically important factors
based on growing realization that mental health is affected by variety
of factors
Axis 1
oClinical disorders + other conditions that may be
focus of a clinical attention (schizophrenia, mood/
anxiety/ gender/ sexual/ sleep/ eating disorders)
Axis 2
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oMental retardation and personality disorders
(antisocial personality/ paranoid personality/ borderline
personality disorders)
Axis 3
oGeneral medical conditions that may be relevant
to mental disorders (cancer, epilepsy, obesity,
Parkinsons, Alzheimers)
Axis 4
oPsychosocial and environmental problems that
might affect diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of
mental disorders (unemployment, divorce, legal probs,
homelessness, poverty, parental overprotection)
Axis 5
oGlobal Assessment of functioning (social,
psychological, and occupational). Rated on scale
from 1 to 100 with 1 representing danger of
hurting self and 100 meaning superior
functioning in a wide range of areas
Mental disorders must be assessed before diagnosis
Unlike physical tests often detected by medical tests mental disorders not
so straightforward
Clinical psychologists like detectives, tracking down info from variety of
sources self repots, observations, interviews
Assessment examination of a persons mental state in order to diagnose possible
mental illness
oGoal is to make diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be provided for
specific disorder
oPrognosis of diff mental disorders varies Correct diagnosis can help
patient and family understand what the future might bring
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