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Abnormal Psychology 2 KEY TERMS Hypochondriasis. An individual’s continual preoccupation with the notion that they have a serious physical disease. Generalised anxiety disorder. Continual feelings of worry, anxiety, physical tension and irritability across many areas of life functioning. Panic attack. Brief, intense episode of intense fear characterised by sweating, dizziness, light-headedness, racing heartbeat and feelings of impending death of going crazy. Panic disorder. Repeated and unexpected panic attacks, along with either persistent concerns about future attacks or a change in personal behaviour in an attempt to avoid them. Phobia. Intense fear of an object/situation that’s greatly out of proportion to its actual threat. Agoraphobia. Fear of being in a place/situation from which escape is difficult/embarrassing or in which help is unavailable in the event of a panic attack. Specific phobia. Intense fear of objects, places or situations that is greatly out of proportion to their actual threat. Social phobia. Marked fear of public appearances in which embarrassment/humiliation seems likely. OCD. Condition marked by repeated and lengthy (at least one hour a day) immersion in obsessions, compulsions, or both. Obsession. Persistent idea, thought or impulse that is unwanted and inappropriate, causing marked distress. Compulsion. Repetitive behavioural/mental act performed to reduce/prevent stress. Psychotherapy. Psychological intervention designed to help people resolve emotional, behavioural and interpersonal problems and improve the quality of their lives. Paraprofessional. Person with no professional training who provides mental health services. Insight therapies. Psychotherapies with the goal of expanding awareness/insight. Free association. Clients express themselves without censorship. Resistance. Attempts to avoid confrontation and anxiety associated with uncovering previously repressed thoughts, emotions and impulses. Transference. Projecting intense, unrealistic feelings and expectations from the past onto the therapist. Interpersonal therapy. Treatment that strengthens social skills and targets interpersonal problems, conflicts and life transitions. Humanistic therapies. Emphasises the development of human potential and the belief that human nature is basically positive. Person-centred therapy. Centred on client’s goals and ways of solving problems. Gestalt therapy. Aims to integrate different and sometimes opposing aspects of personality into a unified sense of self. Group therapy. Treats more than one person at a time. Strategic family intervention Aims to remove barriers to effective communication. therapy. Structural family therapy. Therapist deeply involves themselves in family activities to change how members arrange and organise interactions. Behaviour therapist. Focuses on specific problem behaviours and current variables that maintain problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Systematic desensitisation. Clients taught to relax as they are gradually exposed to what they fear in a stepwise manner. Exposure therapy. Confronts clients with what they fear with the goal of reducing it. Dismantling. Research procedure for examining the effectiveness of isolated components of a larger treatment. Response prevention. Technique which therapists prevent clients from performing their typical avoidance behaviours. Participant modelling. Technique which therapist first models a problematic situation and then guides the client through steps to cope with it unassisted. Token economy. Desirable behaviours are rewarded with tokens that can be exchanged for tangible rewards. Aversion therapy. Uses punishment to decrease frequency of undesirable events. CBT. Attempt to replace maladaptive/irrational cognitions with more adaptive/rational ones. Meta-analysis. Statistical method that helps researchers to interpret large bodies of psychological literature. Empirically supported Intervention for specific disorders by high quality treatment. scientific evidence. Psychopharmacotherapy. Use of medications to treat psychological problems. Electroconvulsive therapy. Patients receive brief electrical pulses to the brain that produce a seizure to treat serious psychological problems. Psychosurgery. Brain surgery to treat psychological problems. Posttraumatic stress disorder. Marked emotional disturbance after experiencing/witnessing a severely stressful event. Anxiety sensitivity. Fear of anxiety-related sensations. Anxiety disorders  Anxiety – a generalised feeling of fear and apprehension; may be related to a particular event or object and is often accompanied by increased physiological arousal. o Most prevalent of mental disorders; average onset is 11 years. o Anxiety is the most prevalent symptom. o Anxiety as a symptom is not only limited to anxiety disorders.  Explanations: o Anxiety responses as acquired habits.  Observing others engage in fearful behaviours.  From info or misinformation from others. o Catastrophising and anxiety sensitivity: o Interpret ambiguous situations in a negative light. Fear and anxiety disorders  Anxiety disorders share features of excessive fear and anxiety.  Fear is the emotional response to real or perceived threat, whereas anxiety is anticipation of future threat.  Both states overlap but differ – fear tends to be associated more with a fight/flight response. Anxiety responses  Components: o Subjective-emotional – tension and apprehension. o Cognitive – worrisome thoughts, inability to cope. o Physiological – increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, rapid breathing, nausea, dry mouth, etc. o Behavioural – avoidance of situations, impaired task performance.  Types of anxiety disorders: o Phobias – specific or social. o Panic disorder – with or without agoraphobia. o Obsessive-compulsive disorder. o Post-traumatic stress disorder – acute stress disorder. o Generalised anxiety disorder.  DSM-V changes: o Separates out the anxiety disorders as main category types.  Anxiety disorders (separation anxiety, selective mutism, specific phobia, social phobia, panic disorder, panic attack specifier, agoraphobia, generalised anxiety disorder, substance/medication-induced, anxiety disorder due to another media condition, other specified anxiety disorder, unspecified anxiety disorder).  Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders (obsessive compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, hoarding disorder, hair-pulling disorder, skin picking disorder, substance/medication-induced obsessive- compulsive and related disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder due to another medical condition, other specified obsessive –compulsive and related disorder, unspecified obsessive-compulsive and related disorder).  Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders (reactive attachment disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder, post- traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, other specified trauma- and stressor-related disorder). Phobias  Intense irrational fear related to a category of object or event. o Experience fight/flight response. o Agoraphobias – fear of open/public spaces where escape can be difficult. o Social phobias – fear of what people think of you (public speaking, eating in public, etc.). o Specific phobias – fear something specific (heights, snakes, etc.).  Watson – phobias are acquired by XX.  Other views: o We’re genetically prepared, by evolution, to fear certain classes of objects/events. o Phobias may exist differently in different cultures. o Phobias can occur at different times of life. o Most social phobias arise out of shyness. Panic disorder  Terror appearing at unpredictable times, unprovoked by threat.  Victim cannot avoid or relieve situation.  Attacks usually last for several minutes (i.e. they peak in less than 10 minutes).  Symptoms include sweating, heart palpitations, trembling, choking, etc.  With or without agoraphobia.  DSM-IV panic disorder should be diagnosed if there is an inordinate fear of having future attacks or other maladaptive behaviours (such as agoraphobia). Obsessive-compulsive disorder  Obsessions – disturbing thoughts that re-occur.  Compulsions – repetitive actions.  Specific irrational fear which can be reduced when some ritual is performed.  Behavioural theorists – compulsions are reinforced to reduce anxiety.  Cognitive theorists – people who tend to think about weird things expect the worst in new situations.  Biological theorists – brain abnormalities; treat with medication. Post-traumatic stress disorder  Linked to environmental incident (e.g. accidents) and symptoms were not present before trauma.  Manifests if person can’t make sense of trauma and trauma occurs recurrently in nightmares, dreams, fantasy.  Person becomes numb to the world and avoids stimuli that can remind them of incident.  Experience of guilt, where other were killed and not them for example.  Acute stress disorder: o Symptoms begin immediately following trauma (3 days – 1 month). o Dissociative symptoms manifest, including numbness, intrusive distressing memories, dissociative reactions e.g. flashbacks, o May predict later development of PTSD. Generalised anxiety disorder  Incorporates real and imagined threats about a number of events or activities.  Not linked to a specific thing.  Individual finds it difficult to control the worry and excessive anxiety (feel on edge and irritable, have trouble sleeping, considerable bodily tension and fatigue).  Unpredictable events during childhood may predispose a person to the disorder.  May manifest later in life after a major change. Causal factors for anxiety disorders  Biological: o Genetic factors – may increase susceptibility.  Autonomic NS overreacts when threat is perceived, causing high levels of physiological arousal.  OCD, panic and phobias are inherited i.e. genes can influence a person’s level of neuroticism (tendency to be highly strung and irritable). o People with OCD are 2x more likely to inherit a specific overactive gene relating to the transport of serotonin than people without it.  Results in problems inhibiting unwanted behaviours.  Psychological: o Psychodynamic theory – anxiet
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