PSY 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Behaviour Therapy, Anxiety Disorder, Mental Disorder

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30 Nov 2016
Clinical Psych
CH 15
Abnormal Behavior and Therapy:
Defining Abnormality
What is a mental disorder?
A variety of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that:
Deviate from the norm
EX: someone has died, and you feel that you talk/see them sometimes. Is
this person hallucinating, or is this culturally normal for them to report
seeing, hearing the dead.
OR… the APA’s (american psychiatric association) definition
Distress: bother the individual to feel this way
Disability: negatively affects your ability to function every day
Danger: depression, thoughts of suicide,
EX: imagine you see a man raising his hands to the sky, shaking his fists and shouting. He
claims that beings from outer space speak to him and that he can talk to them.
walking into church this is common
EX: a person you know begins crying excessively, withdraws socially, and is not acting like
him/herself at all. For two weeks, this person does not leave the house except to go to work and
stops talking to friends
A death of a loved one
EX: imagine you see a person in the grocery store. In the middle of the aisle, this child drops his
pants, takes off his shirt, and begins running around laughing hysterically
normal, young child being silly
It’s all about CONTEXT
“Individuals with mental disorders are different than others in degree, not in kind”
EX: Depression: people are sad and moody for very long periods of time….. But an
average person still feels the same feelings as depression. Depressed people have the
same feelings as a normal person, just have a more extreme version of it.
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What causes mental disorder
Demonic model: evil spirits in the body
Possessed by demons
Medical model: mental illness is a purely physical disorder requiring medical treatment
Insane asylums, surgeries, drugs
Challenges: there is not a single mental illness where we have pinpointed a
biological marker
Diathesis-stress model
Broad view of psychopathology: in order to develop a mental health problem
Must have both a biological predisposition to a certain disorder (diathesis) and
significant environmental stressors
Biopsychosocial Model
Abnormal Behavior has 3 Major Aspects:
Biological (genes, anatomy, neurotransmitters)
Psychological (learning history stress)
Social (cultural context society)
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.)
Age, Gender, Developmental Characteristics
Psychosocial and Contextual Conditions
Designates lists of observable symptoms needed to warrant a particular disorder
Prevalence, course, onset
Construct: can’t see it but can do tests to describe it
Must have 5/9 symptoms
“You either have it or you don’t”
Atheoretical document: doesn’t take a stance on WHY the person has it
1 acception: PTSD
Adopts a categorical (present/ absent) model
Does not explain causes of disorders
Criticized for many reasons
The more disordered there are ,the more drugs needed aka the more profit from
the pharmacies
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Presence of more than one psychological disorder in the same person
Why does this occur??
Criteria for some disorders overlap
Being very irritable, trouble sleeping, trouble at work (Could be two things)
One disorder increases vulnerability for another
Having qualities for a certain disorder could put you at risk for another
EX: being depressed therefore they drink to cope
Common diathesis for different disorders
Having low levels of serotonin: could have anxiety and depression
Common stressors for different disorders
EX: mugged in an alley: may develop PTSD for alleyways, couple become
****Most people come in thinking they have one disorder, but actually have multiple***
Intensive Exposure Therapy:
Overcoming Agoraphobia: putting individual in elevator and having panic attack
History of Treatment in America
1700/1800s: Patients wandered streets, jailed
Many people who were schizophrenia's ended up homeless
Mental asylums (1773): 2 diagnostics
Mania: showing extremes forms of behavior
Melancholy: depression
Patients “chose to be irritated”
Poor living conditions, confinement, little activity
sedating drugs, bloodletting, restraining devices, ECT
Bloodletting: heat up rim of cup to place on patient and drain out blood to get
blood levels even
Mid 1800’s: “Moral Management” and “Custodial Care”
Hospitals= custodians of people who could not be cured
Other Developments
Brain shape= personality
Lobotomies: defective nerves would reform as normal nerves after being cut (Mid
Dr. Walter Freeman’s lobotomobile
50,000 people
Today..treatments have improved considerable
They are more humane and based on scientific research
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