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Psychology Day 17.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Lawrence Murphy

Psychology Day 17 Lecture: Monday, November 19 Chapter 15  Defining mental disorder o Mental disorder  Any behaviour or emotional state that causes an individual great suffering; is self destructive and seriously impairs the person’s ability to work and get along with others  Marriage, job, children issues  Alcoholism is a mental disorder  Depression  Drapetomia- the racist disorder from the mid 1800’s that was designed to explain slave running away  Homosexuality also used to be considered a mental disorder because they fit the criteria  Social and cultural beliefs and attitudes allow them to be classified as a mental disorder  Mental health is determined by society o Mental disorders are not the same as insanity  Insanity is a legal term that determines if a person can control their behaviour and whether they know right from wrong, unaware of the consequences of their actions  Dilemmas of Definition o Varying definitions of mental disorders:  Mental disorder as a violation of cultural standards  Transvestites  Mental disorders as emotional distress  Resulting from recent tragedy  Mental disorder as behaviour that is self-destructive or harmful to others  Scarring, tattooing, piercing, cutting your self could all be considered disorders in certain areas at certain times  Could also be if you refuse to o In Canada mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in those aged 15-44 o Disorders typically classified using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)  Primary goal of DSM is to be descriptive and to provide clear diagnostic categories  Describes symptoms of major disorders such as ADHD  DSM categories o Five dimensions (axes) clients are evaluated on  Axis I: primary clinical problem  Depression etc.  Axis II: personality factors or disorders  Axis III: general medical conditions  Medication, recent medical trauma, accidents  Axis IV: social and environmental stressors  Family life, poverty, new citizens who have recently emigrated,  Axis V: global assessment of functioning (GAF)  Assesses the effectiveness of treatment by scoring from 0-100 before and after treatment  Increasing number of DSM disorders o Supporters will argue that precision in differentiating disorders is important o Critics point to economic reasons, diagnoses are needed for insurance reasons so therapists can get paid  Problems with DSM o Important to be aware od limitations of DSM  The danger of over diagnosis  ADHD is being diagnosed through the roof when sometimes the symptoms are just young boy behaviour  Power of a diagnostic label  Labelled as a schizophrenic can stick with you for life, can impact future life  Can and has been used against people o Diagnosis locates the problem inside the person, we see natives as addictive and suicidal so we do not look at the reasons we just see them as having something wrong with them as a group o Takes attention off of social/political issues  The confusion of serious mental disorders with normal problems  Shyness, may be included in next DSM because there are drugs to cure it even though it is not really a mental disorder  The illusion of objectivity and universality (drapetomia, reflect cultural and social prejudices)  No actual evidence it is society’s view  In 50 years our grand kids will think we were retarded for believing this shit  What we believe is right and wrong changes with societal values  Advantages of the DSM o Defenders agree that boundaries between “normal problems” and “mental disorders” are fuzzy and difficult to determine  How do you know where normal problems end and mental disorders begin  Aims to help determine these boundaries using cultural and societal opinion o When DSM is used correctly, in conjunction with valid objective tests, improves reliability of diagnosis  Culture and Mental Illness o Illnesses limited to certain areas or people o Known as culture-bound syndromes disorders that are specific to a particular culture and context o Included in DSM  Example: ghost sickness- preoccupation with death and the dead, bad dreams, fainting o Comparing mental and emotional symptoms allows researchers to distinguish between universal disorders and culture-bound syndromes  Dilemmas of measurement o Diagnosis usually made by combination of clinical interview and psychological tests  Projective tests- tests used to infer a person’s motives, conflicts, and unconscious dynamics on the basis of the person’s interpretations of ambiguous stimuli  Objective tests- standardized objective tests requiring written responses; typically include scales that people rate themselves on  Gives you a score to compare against norms  Depression test o Projective Tests  Ink blot test  Often used to determine relationships and at one point sexual orientation  Not reliable, people would give completely different answers a second time around  Not valid- didn’t measure what they were meant to  Were used inappropriately o Objective Tests  MMPI- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory  10 clinical scales for problems such as depression, paranoia, schizophrenia  4 validity scales to indicate whether respondent is defensive and/or lying  Has been revised but some cultural differences in scores of certain subscales o Cultural differences may result in different answers  Anxiety disorders o Anxiety  A general state of apprehension and/or psychological tension  Can be adaptive as they energize us to cope with danger  Can be positive people with moderate anxiety tend to do much better than people with no anxiety or too much on tests  Certain amount of anxiety is good o Anxiety disorders  When fear and anxiety become detached from actual danger  Chronic anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, OCD  Generalized Anxiety Disorder  A continuous state of anxiety marked by feelings of worry and dread, apprehension, difficulties in concentrations, and signs of motor tension  Symptoms experienced in situations that are perceived as uncontrollable or challenging  No specific anxiety-producing event o Not related to exam or everyday life o Minor incidents  People develop habits that foster their worry o OCD have ritualistic habits  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  Person who has experienced a traumatic or life-threatening event has symptoms such as psychic numbing, reliving trauma and increased physiological arousal o Common in soldiers o Often “check the perimeter” so partner will find them walking around at night locking all the doors o Are put into an attack mode when loud noises are around o Recently the “People Trying to Screw the Department” as it has been coined has resulted in people not getting help and staying in positions of authority and eventually killing someone or having a violent outburst because they are humiliated to get help  Not all people who experience trauma get PTSD o May involve genetic predisposition, history of prior physiological problems, poor emotional adjustment  Panic Disorders  An anxiety disorder in which a person experiences recurring panic attacks, feelings of impending doom or death, accompanied by physiological symptoms such as rapid breathing and dizziness o People feel like their ding or having a heart attack  How one interprets their body’s reactions can ha
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