PS280 Lecture 1: Abnormal Psychology

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3 Jul 2017
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Abnormal Psychology: Introduction
Psychopathology:
Field oered ith the ature ad deelopet of aoral…
Behaviour
Thoughts or cognition
Feelings or emotions
Abnormality usually determined by the presence of several characteristics at one time such as:
Statistical infrequency
Violation of norms
Personal distress
Disability or dysfunction
Unexpectedness
Statistical Infrequency:
A behaviour that occurs rarely or infrequently
A 14-year old boy wetting his bed and Mental retardation (IQ < 70) occur infrequently, as do most mental disorders
Consider elite athletic ability
Consider the flip side of mental retardation--
intellectual giftedness (IQ >130)
The normal curve, or bell-shaped curve. Places the majority of people in the middle as far as any particular characteristic is considered;
very few people fall at either extreme.
Violation of Norms:
A behaviour that defies or goes against social norms; it either threatens or makes anxious those observing it
Anti-social behaviour of the psychopath violates social norms and is threatening to others
But, iolatio of ors eeds to e osidered i referee to preailig ultural ors
What is the norm in one culture may be abnormal in another
DSM: Diagnostically statistical manual, violation of norms
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Personal Distress:
A behaviour that creates personal suffering, distress or torment in the person
This criterion fits many of the forms of abnormality such as depression but some disorders do not necessarily involve distress
Psychopaths are often not distressed by their behaviour although these behaviour clearly impact others in a negative way
Hunger and childbirth cause distress, but is this abnormal?
People with OCD do these things in order to be in no distress
Narcissistic personality disorder
Disability or Dysfunction:
Disability: A behaviour that causes impairment in some important area of life, e.g., work, personal relationships, recreational activities
Examples of exceptions:
Being short if you want to be a professional basketball player
Transvestism is not necessarily a disability although it is currently diagnosed as a mental disorder if it distresses the person
They usually cross-dress in private, and lead very conventional lives
Schizophrenia, personality disorder
Unexpectedness:
A surprising or out-of-proportion response to environmental stressors can be considered abnormal
For example, we would expect a person to be sad if they lost a love one to cancer. We would not expect a person to laugh after being
sexually assaulted.
Other example: An anxiety disorder is diagnosed when the anxiety is unexpected and out of proportion to the situation.
The study and treatment of mental disorders in Canada:
There are approximately:
3,600 practicing psychiatrists
13,000 psychologists and psychological associates
11,000 nurses specialize in the mental health area
Non-medical practitioners usually work within hospital or agency settings on a salary or in private practice
Public health plan reimbursement of fees-for-service is limited to medical doctors
Most of the primary mental health care is delivered by general practitioners
Bartenders, hairstylists, etc., may be considered non-medical practitioners
Psychiatrist vs Psychologist
Clinical psychologists typically have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree, which entails four to seven years of graduate studies. In Arizona and New
Mexico, they are allowed. They practice psychotherapy
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Clinicians: the various professionals authorized to provide psychological services, takes different forms.
Psychiatrist hold an MD degree and have had postgraduate training, in which they receive supervision in the practice of diagnosing and
psychotherapy
Because psychiatrists have an MD degree, they can prescribe psychoactive drugs, whereas psychologists can not
For ore details: FOCU“ ON DI“COVE‘Y .: THE MENTAL HEALTH P‘OFE““ION“
Pre-scientific inquiry:
Mental disorders were believed to be caused by:
Events beyond the control of humankind, such as eclipses, earthquakes, storms, fire, diseases were regarded as supernatural
Behaviour that seemed outside individual control was subject to similar interpretation
Thus, many early philosophers, theologians, and physicians believed that deviant behaviour reflected the displeasure of the gods or
possession by demons
A Year Without “uer i 85, sigifiat ipat o huakid; arts, ad etal
Demonology: The doctrine that an evil being, such as the devil, may dwell within a person and control his or her mind and body
Found in the records of the early Chinese, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks
Given that abnormal behaviour was caused by possession, treatment often involved exorcism
Ranged from elaborate rites of prayer to flogging and starvation as a way of rendering the body uninhabitable to devils
Trepanning:
Involved the making of a surgical opening in a living skull by some instrument
Treatment used by Stone Age or Neolithic cave dwellers
Used to treat epilepsy, headaches, and psychological disorders attributed to demons
Thought to be introduced into the Americas
from Siberia
Practice was most common in Peru and Bolivia,
3 British-Columbia Aboriginal specimens found
Hippocrates (ca. 460-377 B.C)
- Separated medicine from religion, magic and superstition
- Known as the father of modern medicine
- Rejected belief that the gods sent physical diseases and mental disturbances as punishment
- Insisted that illnesses had natural causes thus should be treated like other illnesses
Somatogenesis vs. Psychogenesis
- Hippocrates is one of the earliest proponents of somatogenesis
- Somatogenesis (Genesis = origin)
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