- 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…
- 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
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