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Lecture

PSY240 Lecture 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY240H1
Professor
M.Mc Kay
Semester
Summer

Description
PSY240 Lecture 1 May 14 2012 Intro Abnormal Psychology Chapters 12T Study of abnormal psychology is study of people who suffer mental emotional physical pain as result of some form of psychologicalmental disorder referred to as psychopathology Mental illness in Canada accounts for more than 50 of physician billings and results in more hospital beddays than cancer Standards for what is normal and abnormalthe context or circumstances surrounding abehaviour influences whether the behaviour is seen as abnormal1 Cultural relativismNo universal standardsrules for labeling behaviour as abnormal behaviours can only be abnormal relative to cultural normsOpponents of this argue that dangers arise when social norms are allowed to dictate what is normalabnormalsome label groups as abnormal to silence themExample Gender Role Expectationsbehaviour of individual based on hisher gender o Gender is a particularly powerful instance of culture o How are menwomen expected to act What types of behaviours are discouraged2 Unusualness of behaviourIs the behaviour rare depends in part on the norms for that behaviour in a cultureBehaviours that are unusualrare are considered abnormal vs typicalusual onesnormalConsider a rare behaviour the person demonstrating it and the situation context in which it occurs o Do you consider the person special Weird Unique Eccentric How did you decideTwo problems first still has to decide how rare behaviour must be to call it abnormal choosing a cut off is subjectiveSecond many rare behaviours are positive for the individualfor society and most people would object labeling such behaviours as abnormal eg gifted people eccentrics3 Discomfort of the person exhibiting the behaviourBehaviour is only abnormal if the individual suffers and wishes to be rid of the behaviour Eg individual with depression or anxietySome clinicians object to this criterionpeople not always aware of problems that their behaviour createsOr they may not care about what causes great discomfort in othersExamples o Individual with antisocial personality disorder criminally victimize others but feel no guilt or pangs of conscience o Individual in manic phase of bipolar disorder4 Mental illnessIs the behaviour caused by an identifiable diseaseImplies that a physical process clearly different from a healthy one underscores a specific pattern of behaviours and symptoms eg schizophreniaMany theorists believe that most mentlal health problems are due to number of complex biologicalpsychosocial factors rather than to single abnormal genesdisease processesProblem there is no medical test that identifies this process if it does existPathophysiology of a disorder the underlying symptoms of a disease however there is the problem that we have no medical tests that identify these symptoms5 Maladaptiveness The 3Ds All 3 of these together looks at the maladaptiveness of the traits and this is how many clinicians identify abnormalityDysfunction does the behaviour prevent normal daily functioning This is really important clinicians investigate whether it is really harmingimpair the patients functioningDistress does the person suffer distressDeviance is the behaviour highly unusualStill maladaptiveness criteria calls for subjective judgments1 Culturegender can still influence how likely given maladaptive behaviour will be shown Second culturegender can influence ways people express distresslose touch with reality Third culturegender can influence peoples willingness to admit to certain types of maladaptive behavioursFourth culturegender can influence types of treatments deemed acceptablehelpful for maladaptive behavioursAbnormality as a harmful dysfunctionWhen there is a harmful dysfunction of the internal mechanisms to perform naturally selected functions Dysfunction is a mental disorder only when it causes some harn to person as determined by standards of that persons culture Eg a depressive disorder exists when there is a dysfunction in the normal adaptive functioning of the emotional regulation systemA dysfunctional system in isolation is an insufficient criterion to be labeled abnormal it must cause harmEg subjective distress or impairmentCategorical vs DimensionalCategoricalDoes it fit into one or the other category o APAs Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSMIVTR represents the categorical perspectives that disorders are qualitatively distinct syndromes o Eg pregnant or BMI categoryoverweight YES OR NODimensionalalong a continuum with opposite extremes at either end o Classifies clinical presenttions based on quantification of attributes rather than assignment to categorieso Eg underweightobeseCategorical versus dimensional classification of mental illnessDimensional question How depressed are youDimensional answer I am depressed X amountCategorical question Are you depressed Categorical answer Either Yes or NoThe current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders uses a categorical approach to diagnosis but the next revision will allow for more dimensional considerationDiathesisstress modelsDiathesis a vulnerability or predisposition to developing a disorder and is thought toe necessary component in development of disorder Various factors play role in diathesisgenetic neurobiological psychological sociological aspects but disorder needs trigger Stress a life event that acts as a trigger for the emergence of a disorderThe amount of stress that triggers a disorder depends upon the diathesis or predispositionHistorical perspectivesBiological theories similar to physical disease breakdown of some systems of the bodySupernatural theories divine intervention curses demonic possession personal sinPsychological theories mental disorders as the result of traumasAncient Stone Age theoriesSpirit possession treated with exorcisms or trephination drilling holes in skullHippocrates4 types of bile blood phlegm black bile yellow bilePeople were also accused of witchcraftThe growth of asylums during the renaissanceAs early as the Twelfth Century hospitals began to include special rooms for people with mental disorders but treatment was often inhumanEg Saint Mary of BethlehemBedlamthMortal treatment of the 18 centuryMovement toward a more humane treatment of the mentally ill 2
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