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Chapter 17The Nature and Causes of Mental DisordersClassification and Diagnosis of Mental Disordersthe need for a comprehensive classification system of psychological disorders was first recognized by Emil KraepelinWhat is Abnormalmental disorders are characterized by abnormal behaviour thoughts and feelingsabnormalrefers to any departure from the normthe distinction between normal and abnormal behaviour can be very subjectivemental disorders cause distress or discomfort and interefere with ppls ability to lead satisfying productive livesPerspectives on the Causes of Mental Disordersno single causethey are caused by the interaction of hereditary cognitive and environmental factorsoonce genetic factors are identified the scientist determine the physiological effects of the relevant genes and the consequences of these effects on the persons susceptibility to a mental disorderounderstanding cognitive factors involved in mental disorders requires identification of the origins of distorted perceptions and maladaptive thought patternsoenvironmental factors include a wide range of factors from persons family history to their diet exposure to drugs and alcohol etcThe Psychodynamic PerspectiveoBased on Freuds early workoMental disorders originate in intrapsychic conflict produced by 3 components of the mindThe id ego and superegooattempt to control potentially harmful expressions of sexual or aggressive impulses or they may also arise from attempts to cope with external dangers and traumatic experienceosometimes so severe minds defense mechanisms cannot produce a resolution that is adequate for the mental healthodefense mechanism themselves distort reality osymptoms includeextreme anxietyobsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviourdepressiondistorted perceptions and patterns of thinkingparalysis or blindnesspsychodynamic therapists attempt to make their clients aware of their intrapsychic conflicts and defense mechanism failures as part oaf the process of regaining mental healthThe Medical PerspectiveoWork of Hippocrates1oFormulated the idea that excesses of the 4 humours black bile yellow bile blood and phlegm let to emotional problemsoToday many persons with severe mental disorders are no longer confined to mental institutionsoThey are treated on an outpatient basis with drugs that help decreaseeliminate symptoms of mental disordersoMedical model is based on the ideas that mental disorders are caused by specific abnormalities of the brain and nervous system and that in principle should be approached b for treatment in the same way as physical illnessesThe CognitiveBehavioural PerspectiveoHolds that mental disorders are learned maladaptive behaviour patterns that can be understood by focusing on environmental factors and a persons perception of those factorsoCaused by a persons interaction with the envt ex excessive use of alcoholoAlso a persons ongoing subjective interpretation of the events taking place in their envt also contributes to the causesoTherapists operating from the this perspective will tell their clients to replace maladaptive thoughts and behaviours with more adaptive onesThe Humanistic ApproachoMental disorders arise when ppl perceive that they must earn the positive regard of othersoThey become overly sensitive to the demands and criticisms of others and come to define their personal value primarily in terms of others reactions to themoLack confidence in abilities and feel as thought they have no stable internal value as personsoFeel no control over life and such feelings often accompany depressionoGoal of this approach is to persuade ppl that they do have intrinsic value and to help them achieve their own unique positive potential as human beingThe Sociocultural PerspectiveoCultures in which ppl live play significant role in the development of mental disordersoProper treatment requires an understanding of cultural issuesoCultural variables influence the nature and extent to which ppl interpret their own behaviours as normal or abnormal what is normal in 1 culture may be not in anotheroCulturebound syndromesmental orders exist that appear to occur in certain culturesThe DiathesisStress Model of Mental DisordersoNo single perspective is completely accurate in accounting for the origins of mental disorders all perspective is important elements are combined to form a different perspectiveDiathesisstress modela causal account of mental disorders based on the idea that mental disorder develop when a person possesses a predisposition for a disorder and faces stressors that exceed their abilities to cope with themin other words person may be predisposed to a mental disorder but havent encountered sufficient stressors to trigger its development2
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