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Lecture

Week_2_Lecture_Jan_15_2013_Theoretical_Approaches.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 2310A/B
Professor
Rod Martin

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Lecture Week 2 Historical Views of Abnormal Psychology (Ch. 1) Supernatural / Spiritual Biological / Medical Sociocultural / Environmental Psychological / Cognitive Integrative approaches – Biopsychosocial NB – for a study guide to this section of chapter 1, see the course website Contemporary Emphases Emphasis on biomedical approach in the general culture, media – drugs, genetics, medical science - “mental illness” Biopsychosocial model in psychology Pharmaceutical industry – profit motive Quick and easy solutions Cost savings Deinstitutionalization – Community care Theoretical Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology (Ch. 2) Major Theoretical Models Biological-medical (Biomedical) - Focuses on the biology of the brain - Approach taken by medicine and psychiatrists - Focus is on abnormalities in the brain; psychological disorders ultimately have to do with some kind of disease or problem that is going on in the brain - Ultimate solution is biological intervention - drugs, surgery, etc Psychological - Focuses more on the mine (the way people think, their cognitions, schemas, feelings, relationships, etc) - Different level of analysis - Intervention will be psychological therapies Psychodynamic Behavioural Cognitive Humanistic / Existential Environmental - Taken primarily by sociologists and anthropologists - Focuses on the culture and broader things going on in the culture that attributes to psychological disorders Sociocultural Integrative theories - Biopsychosocial perspective (taking all factors into account) - Taking this kind of approach, the assumption is that no one explanation is enough for understanding these psychological disorders because there are a lot of different factors that contribute to the development to these disorders Diathesis-stress model Systems theory: Biopsychosocial The Biomedical Approach - Making the assumption that these abnormalities are biological abnormalities in the brain - Psychological disorders are medical conditions and medical illnesses Computer analogy: Hardware vs. Software - If we think of our mind being a complex computer, we can think of hardware or software - If the computer is crashing, the person repairing the computer must determine if it is a hardware problem, or a software problem - Hardware = electronic components of the computer (hard drive, wires, etc) - Software = the programs that are running on the computer (apps, etc) - So, when we think about the human mind, we can think about hardware and software - The hardware is the actual brain (neurons, neurotransmitters, hormones, physiological stuff, etc) - Software = the programs running in the brain; our thoughts, memories, lifelong experiences, what we have learned over the course over a lifetime, feelings, attitudes, beliefs - From the biological perspective, we are looking at the hardware whereas from a psychological perspective we are looking at the software 3 steps to go through to identify an illness: 1. Identify a syndrome - Group of symptoms that fall together in a pattern in individuals - This led to how we diagnose symptoms (DSM) DSM - Diagnostic Manual we use for psychological disorders 2. Determine the cause(s) e.g., infection, genetic abnormalities, hormone imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances Multifactorial causes – eg, cancer, heart disease 3. Develop treatments e.g., Antibiotics, vaccines, drugs, surgery, etc. Lifestyle changes – diet, smoking, exercise Prevention – awareness, social attitudes Example: General Paresis - Psychological disorder that really follows this 3 step process in the ideal way - Identified back in the 1800‟s (insane asylums) - A lot of patients seen as having this syndrome who were delirious, hallucinating, often have really bizarre delusions, and then often would simply deteriorate more and more until they had dementia, and gradually become completely paralyzed and ultimately die - At one time, ¼ of the patients in mental hospitals had this disorder - Eventually, they discovered it was due to syphilis (the bacteria that causes syphilis) - When people contracted syphilis, there is a certain bacteria that gets into the body and brain and gradually causes the brain to deteriorate and ultimately leads to death - Once they had identified this bacteria, then they could start looking for a cure to get rid of it - Ultimately, in the 1930‟s they discovered penicillin (the first anti-biotic discovered) - killing the bacteria in the body, and becoming a cure for syphilis - We never see people with this „general paresis‟ anymore Central Nervous System - Focus on the nervous system (particularly central nervous system, and the brain) - Most focus has been on neurotransmitters (where the „action‟ is when we are trying to understand psychological disorders) The Neuron - Neuron is a cell; many, many neurons in our brain - Dendrites receive signals from other neurons, and axons transmit signals onto other neurons Neurotransmission at the Synapse - The synapse is the little gap between one neuron and the next - The way one neuron sends a signal to another neuron is by releasing neurotransmitters (tiny molecules that drift across the synapse and enter receptors in the post-synaptic neuron) - 2 effects - either increasing or decreasing the likelihood of the next neuron being activating (either excitatory or inhibitory neurons) - After the neurotransmitters have done their work and there are extra neurotransmitters floating in the synapse, the presynaptic neuron can either suck the neurotransmitters back up into the neuron (vacuum for neurotransmitters to go back up) or the enzymes that break down (metabolize) the neurotransmitters so that they don‟t work anymore (they become neutralized) How Neurotransmitters Might Contribute to Psychopathology Too much of a neurotransmitter Eg, Mania – norepinephrine (excitatory neuron) Too little of a neurotransmitter Eg, Anxiety – GABA (an inhibitory neuron that calms down the brain) Too few or too many receptors Eg, Schizophrenia – excess dopamine receptors? Too much or too little of the enzymes that deactivate Reuptake may be too fast or too slow Neurotransmitters involved in Psychological Disorders Dopamine – movement, attention, reward ↑ Schizophrenia; ↓ Depression, Parkinsons Norepinephrine – alertness, energy, appetite ↓ Depression; ↑ Mania Serotonin (5HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine) – mood, sleep, appetite, aggression ↓ *Depression, OCD - Most anti-depressant medication increase serotonin levels in the brain GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid) – inhibits excitation and anxiety ↓ Anxiety disorders Effects of Psychoactive Medications - Most either increase or decrease the amount of neurotransmitters - But how do they do this? Inhibit reuptake eg, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa - Leaves more neurotransmitters in the synapse - Anti-depressant medication Inhibit enzymes eg, Monoamine Oxydaze Inhibitors (MAOIs) Nardil, Parnate, Marplan Block receptors eg, Antipsychotics (Chlorpromazine, Clozapine, Risperidone) - Decrease neurotransmitters - If we block receptors, we are not allowing the neurotransmitters to enter the new neuron Increase receptor sensitivity eg, Benzodiazepines (Paxal, Xanax) - Act on receptors and make them more sen
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