Psychology March 25, 2014
DSM is how disorders are classified. Manuel we use to provide the symptoms of
Advantages/ disadvantages in diagnosing psychological disorders:
Pro’s – over diagnosis, some symptoms match with other things,
Anxiety Disorders – 4
• An anxiety disorder in which a person experiences recurring panic, feelings of
impending doom or death, accompanied by physiological symptoms such as rapid
breathing and dizziness. Interpretation of bodily reactions key in development of
disorder (diagram – cloud)
Obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD):
• An anxiety disorder in which a person feels trapped in repetitive, persistent
thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive, ritualized behaviours (compulsions)
designed to reduce anxiety.
• May involve depletion of serotonin from prefrontal cortex (may create cognitive
Fears and Phobias
• Phobia: An exaggerated, unrealistic fear of a specific situation, activity, or object
• Social phobia: Irrational fear where sufferers become extremely anxious in
situations in which hey will be observed by others, worrying that they will do or
say something that will be excruciatingly humiliating or embarrassing.
• Agoraphobia: Set of phobias, often set off by a panic attach, involving the basic
fear of being away from a safe place or person.
• Disturbances in mood ranging from extreme depression to extreme mania
• Major depression: mood disorder involving disturbances in emotion, behavior,
cognition, and body function
• Bipolar disorder: mood disorder in which episodes of both depression and mania
(excessive euphoria) occur.
• Approaches that emphasize how individual vulnerabilities interact with external
stresses or circumstances to produce mental disorders.
• Not just related to depression
Origins of Depression 1. Genetic factors: Adoptiong studies, 5HTT gene, levels of serotonin and cortisol.
2. Life experience and circumstances: Experience of violence/ domestic violence.
3. Losses of important relationships
4. Cognitive habits: Permanent and uncontrollable attributions, rumination.
• A pattern in the personality that involves unchanging, maladaptive traits that
cause great distress or inability to get along with others.
• Not caused by medical conditions, stress, or situations that involve temporary
changes in behavior.
Paranoid personality disorder:
• characterized by unreasonable, excessive suspiciousness and mistrust, and
irrational feelings of being persecutes by others.
Narcissistic personality disorder:
• characterized by an exaggerated sense of selfimportance and selfabsorption.
Criminals and Psychopaths
• Psychopathy: Characterized by lack of remorse, empathy, anxiety, and other
social emotions, the use of deceit and manipulation, and impulsive thrill seeking.
– Robert Hare (leading researcher in psychopathy) – sound clip
Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy Factors
• A number of factors may be involved in these disorders:
1) Abnormalities in the central nervous system
2) Impaired frontal lobe functioning
3) Genetic influences
Drug Abuse and Addiction
• A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant
impairment or distress
• Symptoms of impairment include failure to hold a job, care for children, complete
schoolwork, use of drug in hazardous situations
Various models of addiction have been proposed to explain how patterns develop.
Learning, Culture, and Addiction
Learning model of addiction:
• Examines the role of the environment, learning, and culture in encouraging or
discouraging drug abuse and addiction
Treatment programs for alcoholics geared towards teaching people how to drink in
moderation and keep it under control
• E.g., Harm Reduction, Rational Recovery, Moderation Management,
DrinkWise Learning Model of Addiction
Four Major Findings:
1. Addiction patterns vary according to cultural practices and the social
2. Policies of total abstinence tend to increase rates of addiction rather than reduce
3. Not all addicts have withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking a drug
4. Addiction depends not on properties of the drug alone but also the reasons for
Mental Disorder and Responsibility
• Large debate surrounding mental disorders and personal responsibility
o Insanity and diminishedcapacity defenses
o Law recognizes that mentally disturbed individuals should not be held
to same standards of accountability
o Society has obligation to protect citizens and reject excuses for legal
Ch 16: Approaches to Treatment and Therapy
• Contemporary view alternates between mental disorders as diseases (medical
treatment) and emotional problems (psychological treatment) • Drug treatments on the rise with growing recognition of biological and genetic
components to disorders
o Medications that alter the production of or response to
neurotransmitters in the brain
Antipsychotic Drugs (neuroleptics)
• Drugs used primarily in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic
• Most designed to block or reduce the sensitivity of brain receptors that respond to
• Reduce agitation, delusions, and hallucinations
• Side effects such as muscular rigidity, tremors, and involuntary muscle
movements (tardive dyskinesia)
Tranquilizers and Lithium
Antianxiety Drugs (Tranquilizers)
• Drugs commonly but often inappropriately prescribed for patients who complain
of unhappiness, anxiety, or worry)
• Useful as shortterm treatment of panic disorder
• Drug frequently given to people suffering from bipolar disorder (moderates
norepinephrine and stops overstimulation from glutamate)
Cautions About Drug Treatments1
• Limitations to drug treatments:
1. The placebo effect
The apparent success of a medication or treatment due to the
patient’s expectations or hope rather than to the drug itself
2. High relapse and dropout rates
3. Dosage problems Therapeutic window: The amount that is enough but not too
4. Disregard for effective, possibly better, nonmedical treatments
5. Unknown longterm risks
6. Untested offlabel uses – Drugs are sometimes prescribed for conditions outside
their intended use
Direct Brain Intervention
• Any surgical procedure that destroys selected areas of the brain believed to be
involved in emotional disorders or violent, impulsive behvaiour (e.g., prefrontal
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
• A procedure used in cases of prolonged and severe major depression, in which a
brief brain seizure is induced • Newer alternatives like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) used for milder
Kinds of Psychotherapy
1. Major schools of psychotherapy:
1) Psychodynamic therapy
2) Behavioural therapy
3) Cognitive therapy
4) Humanist therapy
5) Existential therapy
6) Family and couples therapy – most use all aspects of these different
• Therapy that applies principles of classical and operant conditioning to help
people change selfdefeating or problematic behaviours
Use a variety of methods depending on the problem or situations
• Exposure, systematic desensitization, behavioural selfmonitoring, skills training
Chapter 16 continued April 1, 2014
How are psychological disorders treated? – tranquillizers for anxiety.
Psychosurgery – did this without consent yrs ago and ppl died.
Antipsychotics – us