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Chapter 15 summary.docx

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Lawrence Murphy

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Psychology Disorders - Chapter 15 Mental Disorder: - Any behavior or emotional state that causes an individual suffering self-destructive, impairs the person’s ability to work or get along with others, or endangers others or the community Insanity - Legal term only involved mental illness - Whether person is aware of consequences and can control their behavior - Mental health is not the same as insanity Varying definitions of mental disorders: - Mental disorder as a violation of cultural standards - Mental disorder in emotional distress - Mental disorder of behavior that is self-destructive or harmful of others Dilemmas of Diagnosis - Disorders are classified using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) - Lists: o Symptoms o Descriptions o Etc. DSM Categories - 5 dimensions (axes) clients are evaluated on o Axis 1: Primary Clinical Problem o Axis 2: Personality Factors/Disorders o Axis 3: General Medical Conditions (come in, say they are depressed and were just put in a wheel chair 6 months ago, therefore have medical conditions affecting their mental health) o Axis 4: Social and Environmental Stressors (poverty, etc.) o Axis 5: Global Assessment of Functioning (scale) Increasing number of Disorders - The DSN must have the disorder in the book or you will not get insurance and you it won’t be considered a disorder - Supporters of new categories answer that it is important to distinguish disorders precisely - Critics point to economic reasons: diagnoses are needed for insurance reasons so therapists will be compensated Problems with the DSM - It is important to be aware of limitations and problems present in attempts to classify mental disorders: 1. The danger of over diagnosis (e.g. ADHD) 2. The power of diagnostic labels (you are labeled with your mental disorder and mental disorder has a bad stigma – can be hard to live with) 3. The confusion of serious mental disorders with normal problems – when it becomes considered a mental illness, insurance covers drugs, etc. 4. The illusion of objectivity and universality (e.g. drapetomania (slaves who ran away), reflect cultural and social prejudices) Advantages of the DSM - Defenders agree that boundaries between “normal problems” and “mental disorders” are fuzzy and difficult to determine A good system to draw the line of what is and isn’t a mental disorder - Many psychological systems fall along a continuum ranging from mild to severe Culture and Mental Illness - Recent illusion of culture-bound syndromes: disorders that are specific to a particular culture context (table 15.2) o E.g. ghost sickness - Comparing mental and emotional symptoms allows researchers to distinguish between universal disorders and culture-bound syndromes DSM – doesn’t look at cultures specifically to determine if that is normal for a culture or if other cultures don’t have mental disorders and it is just cultural influences Dilemmas of Measurement - Diagnosis usually made by combination of clinical interview and psychological tests o Projective tests: tests used to infer a person’s motives, conflicts, and unconscious
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