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Psychology notes - psychopathology (Dolderman)

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

Psychopathology December-01-11 11:13 AM Psychopathology - The process of diagnosing someone with a specific disorders fraught with uncertainty and subjectivity. This is an inexact science, and the perceptionsand judgements of therapistscan play a major role in whether someone is seen as sick, what diagnosis is made, what treatmentis prescribed and how subsequentbehaviours are interpreted - The perception of the therapist plays a huge role - We don't know where to draw the line between OCD and being cautions… ADHD - 3 key symptoms ○ Inattention:distractibility,forgetfulness,disorganization,failure to follow instructions,excessive procrastination,frequentlylosing items ○ Hyperactivity: fidgeting,restlessness, inability to remain seated, excessive talking ○ Impulsivity: difficulty taking turns, interrupting,impulsive spending - How different is this from the average kid?? i.e. Me?? - 400% increase in diagnosis from 1987 to 1997 - He variability in the frequencyof different teachers referring kids for assessment - Rates of ADHD vary up to a factor of 10 in the same areas of US - Doctors have biases!! ○ It doesn't hurt to go see a couple of different doctors - multiple perspectives The self-fulfillingprophecy of labels - The good labels serves good functions,but if the diagnosis is off, everything goes bad… - Once someone has been labeled with a disorder, it changes how they see themselves, how they behave, and how others see them - This tendency to categorize ourselves and others can sometimes be dysfunctional, because after all, you are more than category x, it's just a partial, temporary descriptor, not who you really are… - Ex. Rosenhan: on being sane in insane places ○ 8 normal people volunteeredto go the doctor ○ Complained of hearing voices that said empty, hollow, thud ○ All admitted to hospital, 7 diagnosed as schizophrenic ○ How long before they got out??  7 to 52 days!! And 2100 pills later…, but of course they didn't really take any of the pills  And they found that the other patients also don't take the pills  Doctors don't respond to normal, polite questions in normal way, because the good docs don't believe that they are dealing with normal people  Doctors are supposed to use multiple criteria to make a diagnosis and write a prescription Evaluating psychopathology: three macro-criteria 1. Deviance: is the person's behaviour or experience outside of social norms? 2. Maladaptive: is it interferingwith other, normal aspects of life, responsibilities? 3. Personal distress: is the person greatly distressed? - None of these criterion are perfect - A continuum, not a dichotomy, most people are often in the middle Rates of psychopathology Rates of psychopathology - Psychological disorders are extremely common - Ab
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