Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders 11/19/2013
World health organizationworldwide, 450 million people (15%) suffer from mental or behavioral disorders.
Schizophrenia$60+ billion annually.
Defining Psychological Disorders
Statistically unusual behavior vs. psychopathology.
Psychological disordersongoing patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions that are abnormal, distressful,
and harmful to the individual or to others.
Standards for deviant behavior vary by culture and time.
Understanding Psychological Disorders
Yesterday’s “Therapy”in the middle ages, it was assumed that psychological disordered people were
possessed by demons. Accordingly, a common treatment was trephination which is drilling a hole in the
Early 1800sPhilippe Pinel, inspired by advances in medicine, argued that madness is not demon
possession, but a sickness of the mind caused by stress and inhumane conditions. The aim of his
treatments was thus to relieve stress and improve conditions.
The medical modelthe concept that diseases, including those of a psychological nature, have physical
causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and cured through treatment, often in a hospital.
Basic assumptionwhether normal or disordered, all behavior arises form the interaction of nature and
nurture, and is shaped by culture.
Classifying Psychological Disorders
DSMIVa widely used system for classifying psychological disorders.
From mental disorders to brain disordersearly detection equals improved prognosis.
Labeling Psychological Disorders
Labelsaffect perception, and can cause bias. However, they also enable mental health professionals to
communicate about their cases, to comprehend underlying causes of psychological disorders, and to
develop treatments for them.
Anxiety Disorderspsychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent worry, and/or
maladaptive behaviors that reduce worry.
Generalized Anxiety Disorderan anxiety disorder in which a person in continually tense, apprehensive, and
in a state of autonomic system arousal, with both cognitive and physical symptoms.
Panic Disorderan anxiety disorder marked by brief, unpredictable episodes of intense dread, with terror
and chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations.
Phobiasan anxiety disorder marked by persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or
ObsessiveCompulsive Disordersmarked by unwanted repetitive thoughts and/or actions.
Trichotillomaniaexcessive hair pulling. Compulsive Hoardingexcessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quanti