SOCI 4445- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 29 pages long!)

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5 Oct 2017
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SOCI 4445
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Week 1: The Problem of Mental Disorder
a. Introduction
i. WHO estimates that 450 million people (1 in 4 people) will have a mental
disorder in their life and 10% of people are experiencing a mental disorder
ii. Anywhere from 1/3 to ½ of the US adult population between ages 18-54 meet
diagnostic criteria for at least 1 mental disorder in their life
iii. 11 million people (4.2% of the population) have a serious mental disorder
iv. Sociology approaches mental disorder from the standpoint of its collective
nature by investigating the consequences of social structures and
relationships on mental health
v. Mental disorder is a significant deviation from the standards of normal
behavior
b. Defining mental disorder
i. Any significant deviation from some ideal standard of positive mental health
1. Criticism: this means that any kind of human experience of behavior
(e.g. divorce, bachelorhood, childlessness) as mental illness if mental
suffering could be detected
ii. Only those behaviors that are clearly highly undesirable
iii. Issues with defining mental disorder
1. Concepts change
a. Before early 1970s, homosexuality was a mental disorder
b. Terms like melancholia (depression), amentia (mental
retardation), hysteria (conversation disorder), and moral
insanity not insanity, but perverted no longer used
i. Also neurosis characterized by chronic anxiety
2. First and second Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM) did not define mental disorder
iv. According to DSM III (developed by Spitzer and Wilson) mental disorder:
1. Is a condition that is primarily psychological and alters behavior
including changes in physiological functioning if such changes can be
explained by psychological concepts (e.g. personality)
2. Is a condition that in its full blown state is regularly and intrinsically
associated with subjective stress, generalized impairment in social
functioning, or behavior that one would like to stop b/c of threats to
physical health
3. Is a condition distinct from other conditions and that responds to
treatment
v. First of the 3 conditions separates psychiatric conditions from non-psychiatric
conditions
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vi. Second condition that disorder may only be recognizable in its later stage
with consistent symptomatology
1. Also includes behavior that one would wish to stop, such as
compulsive eating
vii. Third makes mental illness medical by limiting it to treatable conditions
viii. This definition stayed the same through the DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR, but is
simplified in DSM-V
1. In DSM-V, it is a significant deviation from a person’s past behaviors,
thought processes, and emotions that result from an abnormal
disturbance in his or her past mental state
c. Madness through the ages
i. Witch Doctors
1. Illness defined as a problem brought on by those who were sick had
lost a vital substance from their body (e.g. their soul), had a foreign
substance introduced in their body (e.g.) an evil spirit), had violated a
taboo and were being punished, or were victims of witchcraft
a. Taboos such as murder and incest caused people to go insane;
insanity is a form of punishment by whatever deities they
believe in
b. E.g Haiti
i. Sorcerer from a victim’s head through the use of magic
and replace it with the soul of an animal or an insane
person who has died, which causes them to go insane
ii. Also believe that a curse can cause death
1. Result of believing a curse is real can cause
extreme anxiety for the person cursed, causing
them to die from shock
2. If black magic can cause death and illness, white magic can cure it
a. Created the need for healers, aka witch doctors and shamans
i. Sexual deviance, advanced age, high intellect, physical
disability, being an orphan, mental illness, all common
characteristics of shamans
ii. Shaman must have strong imagination, as he or she gains
strength by mentally drawing upon a higher power,
accomplishing this through chants, prayers, drugs,
drinking, dancing, or sex
iii. May be viewed as deviant and odd
iv. Sympathetic magic: two thins at a distance can produce
an effect upon each other through a secret relationship
(e.g. voodoo)
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