PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Mental Disorder, Learned Helplessness, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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29 Nov 2017
Psychopathology Theory & Diagnosis
Myths and Misconceptions These is no single definition of psychological
There is no single definition of psychological normality
Psychological disorders are NOT: Obvious; something the individual can just “not
do”; something a lay person can diagnose; always debilitating
Psychological disorders DO: Represent a classifiable, recognizable constellation
of symptoms; require expertise to accurately recognize and diagnose
Abnormal No universal agreement re: abnormal behavior, just as there is no
consensus re: normal behavior
Subjective distress experiencing pain
Impairment normal life routines and relationships are interrupted; interferes with
Statistical Rarity not common to most people
Societal Disapproval Fails to adhere to culture bound rules and norms
Biological Dysfunction Breakdowns or failures of physiological systems
Abnormal vs. Mentally Ill Judgement of mental illness requires careful assessment
and use of sound social judgment
Culture bound what is “abnormal” in one culture is not necessarily “abnormal”
in another culture (talking to the dead in some cultures is totally normal; unusual to
some cultures, but does not make them abnormal)
Time sensitive what is “abnormal” at one time in a given culture may not be
considered “abnormal” in the same culture a generation later (having sex or children
outside of marriage used to not be acceptable, but now it is more common and
Abnormal does not equal mentally ill
May be abnormal but not meet criteria for a mental disorder
May meet criteria for mental disorder, but not display the characteristics
What is a Psychological Disorder?
Psychological dysfunction breakdown in someone’s emotional, cognitive, or
behavioral functioning
Personal Distress You might not see it as problematic, but that individual fews
distressed about it anyway
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