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PSY100.Lecture (10).docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY100: Psychopathology Psychopathology: Something to Keep in Mind -the process of diagnosing someone with a specific disorder is an inexact science, and struggles with precision in diagnosis and treatment, for many reasons -the perceptions, biases, and errors of psychologists doing the diagnosing (does X meet the criteria? how severely?) and the treatment (ex. drugs vs. therapy? what kind of therapy? how effective is the practitioner themselves?) -the multi-faceted nature of disorders (people can be considered to have a disorder by meeting a certain ratio of the behavioural indicators; meaning there can be very little overlap in two people’s experience, and yet they have the same disorder? and should receive the same treatment?) -ex. rates of DID (Multiple Personality Disorder) have risen from about 70 cases 30 years ago, to tens of thousands of cases today; also 1-2 identities  dozens to hundreds -ex. depression vs. the blues; anxiety disorder vs. being worried; OCD vs. being cautious and detail-oriented -ex. ADHD  can be incredibly debilitating  three key symptoms: o inattention: distractibility, forgetfulness, disorganization, failure to follow instructions, excessive procrastination, frequently losing items o hyperactivity: fidgeting, restlessness, inability to remain seated, excessive talking o impulsivity: difficulty taking turns, interrupting, impulsive spending  what is the difference between a kid just being a kid/a kid with ADHD  gifted kids show the same set of symptoms, often misdiagnosed The Self-fulfilling Prophecy of Labels -once someone has been labeled with a disorder, that label carries a great deal of weight, affecting both how they see themselves, how they behave, and how others will see them -1970s: on being sane and insane places  eight people, no obvious psychological disorder  go into a doctor’s office, tell the doctor they’re having problems and are hearing voices, the voices said empty, hollow and thud  get diagnosed with schizophrenic, all admitted to hospital  try to see how long they can convince the doctors they are normal and see how long it takes them to be released  took between 7 to 52 days  during that time they were prescribed 2100 different pills  reported that the doctors and nurses had a very hard time telling they weren’t schizophrenic but the other patients knew right away Evaluating Psychopathology: Three Macro-Criteria 1. deviance: is the person’s behaviour or experience outside of social norms? 2. maladaptive: is it interfering with other, “normal” aspects of life, responsibilities, etc.? 3. personal distress: is the person greatly distressed? A Continuum, Not A Dichotomy -clearly functional/normal: socially normative, no distress, adaptive -clearly dysfunctional/abnormal: socially deviant, personal distress, maladaptive Rates of Psychopathology -psychological disorders are extremely common -~10% of the population suffers from a disorder each year -estimates of lifetime prevalence  ~20-44+% (there’s a wide range of such estimates) Understanding Disorders at Multiple Levels of Analysis -disorder involve a multifaceted system of factors:  neurochemical (neurotransmitter problems)  physiological (illness, exhaustion)  cognitive (explanatory style)  affective (mood, positive emotions in response to reward)  behavioural (goal striving, interpersonal engagement/withdrawal, hygiene, work)  environmental (pollutants, crime, home/community disorganization)  interpersonal (family conflict, social isolation) Treating Psychological Disorders – Multiple Approaches -‘talk therapy’ – ex. psychodynamic approaches  the importance of common factors: insight and understanding, empathy, accepting and trusting relationship with therapist -the importance of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings: Pennebaker’s work on writing about personal trauma  get people to write about a trauma  function better at the end of the process -therapy works in some cases, not because of the therapy itself, but because of the process of confronting your issues and forming a bond with someone -drugs (especially short term and in certain cases; ex. bipolar, schizophrenia, extreme dysfunction) -behaviour modification (ex. ABA; token economies) and specific behavioural interventions (ex. play therapy, social skills training; exercise and nutrition) -cognitive behavioural therapy (thought restruct
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