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Chapter 14 Notes Notes on chapter 14 in point form

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Eileen Wood

Psychology Study Notes: Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders By: Yen Hoang Abnormal Behaviour: Myths, Realities and Controversies: The Medical Model Applied to Abnormal Behaviour: o The medical model proposed that it is useful to think of abnormal behavior as a disease This point of view is the basis for many of the terms used to refer to abnormal behavior, including mental illness, psychological disorder and psychopathology (pathology refers to manifestations of disease) It gradually became thethominantthay of thinking about abnormal behavior during the 18 and 19 centuries and its influence remains strong today It clearly represented progress over earlier models of abnormal behavior th Prior to the 18 century, most conceptions of abnormal behavior were based on superstition o People who behave strangely were thought to be possessed by demons, to bewitches in league with the devil or the victims of Gods punishment Their disorders were treated with chants, rituals, exorcisms and such If peoples behavior was seen as threatening, they were candidates for chains, dungeons, torture and death The rise of the medical model brought improvements in the treatment of those who exhibited abnormal behavior As victims of an illness, they were viewed with more sympathy and less hatred and fear Although living conditions in asylums were typically deplorable, gradual progress was made toward more humane care of the mentally ill o It took time but ineffectual approaches to treatment was eventually gave way to scientific investigation of the causes and cures of psychological disorders It is only an analogy Medical concepts have proven valuable in the treatment and study of abnormality Diagnosis involves distinguishing one illness from another Etiology refers to the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness Prognosis is a forecast about the probable course of an illness Criteria of Abnormal Behaviour: o In making diagnosis, clinicians rely on a variety of criteria: Deviance: People are said to have a disorder because their behavior deviates from what their society considers acceptable o What constitutes normality varies somewhat from one culture to another but all culture have such norms When people violate these standards and expectations, they may be labeled mentally ill Maladaptive behavior: In many cases, people are judged to have a psychological disorder because their everyday adaptive behavior is impaired o This is the key criterion in the diagnosis of substance use disorders When the use of ie cocaine begins to interfere with a persons social or occupational functioning, a substance-use disorder exists In such cases, it is the maladaptive quality of the behavior that makes it disordered Personal distress: Frequently, the diagnosis of a psychological disorder is based on an individuals report of great personal distress o This is usually the criterion met by people who are troubled by depression or anxiety disorders Depressed people for instance may or may not exhibit deviant or maladaptive behavior Such people are usually labeled as having a disorder when they describe their subjective pain and suggesting to friends, relatives and mental health professionals o Although two or three criteria may apply in a particular case, people are often viewed as disordered when only one criterion is met o Diagnosis of psychological disorders involve value judgments about what represents normal or abnormal behavior o The criteria of mental illness are not nearly as value free as the criteria of physical illness In evaluating physical diseases, people can usually agree that a malfunctioning heart or kidney is pathological regardless of their personal values However, judgments about mental illness reflect prevailing cultural values, social trends and political forces as well as scientific knowledge o On occasion, everyone acts in deviant ways, they all display some maladaptive behavior and everyone experiences personal distress People are judged to have psychological disorders only when their behavior becomes extremely deviant, maladaptive or distressing Stereotypes of Psychological Disorders: o Three stereotypes about psychological disorders that are largely inaccurate: Psychological disorders are incurable: Admittedly, there are mentally ill people from whom treatment is largely a failure However, they are greatly outnumbered by people who do get better, either spontaneously or through formal treatment The vast majority of people who are diagnosed as mentally ill eventually improve and lead normal, productive lives Even the most severe psychological disorders can be treated successfully People with psychological disorders are often violent and dangerous: Only a modest association has been found between mental illness and violence prone tendencies This stereotype exists because incidents of violence involving the mentally ill tend to command media attention The strongest predictor of violence was past violence and that was no consistent evidence that psychological disorders uncomplicated by substance abuse are a significant risk factor for violence, once you control for past history of violence People with psychological disorders behave in bizarre ways and are very different from normal people: This is true only in a small minority of cases, usually involving relatively severe disorders At first glance, people with psychological disorders usually are indistinguishable from those without disorders o Even mental health professionals may have difficulty distinguishing normality from abnormality The Prevalence of Psychological Disorders: o Epidemiology: the study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population Prevalence refers to the percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specified time period Anxiety Disorders: Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, its a natural and common reaction to many of lifes difficulties o For some people however, anxiety becomes a chronic problem These people experience high levels of anxiety with disturbing regularity Anxiety disorders are a class of disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety Many people who develop one anxiety syndrome often suffer from another at some point in their lives Generalized Anxiety Disorder: o A generalized anxiety disorder is marked by a chronic, high level of anxiety that is not tied to any specific threat This anxiety is sometimes called free floating anxiety because it is nonspecific People with this disorder worry constantly about yesterdays mistakes and
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