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Chapter 15

PSYC 1002 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Transvestic Fetishism, Developmental Disorder, Social Stigma

Course Code
PSYC 1002
Danay Novoa

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PSYC 1002
Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders
One in five Canadians experiences mental illness or problems
Almost 7 million Canadians are currently living with mental health problems and illness
In 2010, 17 000 Canadians were admitted to hospital for suicide and self-injury attempts
The Medical Model Applied to Abnormal Behaviour:
Medical Model: proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behaviour as a disease
Prior to 18th century, conceptions of abnormal behaviour were based on superstition
People who behaved strangely were thought to be possessed by demons, disorders
ee teated with chants, dungeons, torture, and death
Medical model brought improvements in the treatment, they were viewed with more
sympathy and less hatred and fear
in recent decades, some critics have suggested that the medical model may have
outlived its usefulness
Medical diagnose of abnormal behavior pin labels on people, being labeled as psychotic,
schizophrenic, or mentally ill carries a social stigma that can be difficult to shake
Even after a full recovery, someone who has been labelled mentally ill may have
difficulty finding a place to live, getting a job, or making friends
Diagnosis: involves distinguishing one illness from another
Etiology: refers to the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness
Prognosis: a forecast about the probable course of an illness
Psychological approaches to disordered behavior:
Psychodynamic perspective
Behavioural perspective
Cognitive perspective
Social-cognitive perspective
Interpersonal perspective
Sociocultural perspective
Neuroscience perspective
Interactionist approach
Criteria of Abnormal Behavior:
1. Deviance: behavior deviates from what their society considers acceptable, what
constitutes normality varies from one culture to another, when people violate standards
and expectations, they may be labelled mentally ill Ex. transvestic fetishism is a sexual
disorder where a man achieves sexual arousal by dessig i oe’s lothig, this
behavior is regarded as disordered because it is deiatig fo ou ultue’s os
2. Maladaptive behavior: their everyday adaptive behavior is impaired, key criterion in the
diagnosis of substance-use disorders, alcohol and drug use is not unusual or deviant, but
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when the use, interferes ith a peso’s soial o oupatioal futioig, a sustae-
use disorder exists, the maladaptive quality of the behavior makes it disordered
3. Personal distress: ased o a idiidual’s eport of great personal distress, this is
usually the criterion met by people who are troubled by depression or anxiety disorders,
depressed people, may or may not exhibit deviant or maladaptive behavior, usually
labelled as having a disorder when they describe their subjective pain and suffering to
friends, relatives, and mental health professionals
2 - 3 criteria may apply in a case, people often viewed as disordered when only 1 is met
People are judged to have psychological disorders only when their behavior becomes
extremely deviant, maladaptive, or distressing
Thee is’t a shap ouda etee oal ad aoal ehaio
Stereotypes of Psychological Disorders:
1. Psychological disorders are incurable: there are mentally ill people where treatment is a
failure, they are greatly outnumbered by people who get better, spontaneously or
through formal treatment, most people who are diagnosed as mentally ill eventually
improve and lead normal, productive lives
2. People with psychological disorders are often violent and dangerous: only a modest
association has been found between mental illness and violence-prone tendencies
3. People with psychological disorders behave in bizarre ways and are very different from
normal people: true only in a minority of cases, the line between normal and abnormal
behavior can be difficult to draw, at first glance people with psychological disorders
usually are indistinguishable from those without disorders.
Psychodiagnosis: The classification of Disorders:
DSM-5 is the only official psychodiagnosis classification system
The DSM-5 made changes, in the structure of the diagnostic system, categories were
deleted, new ones added, others were reorganized and dimensional ratings added
The term mental retardation is no longer used, replaced by the term intellectual
disability and the names of other categories were changed (ex. Hypochondriasis was
changed to illness anxiety disorder)
Comorbidity: the coexistence of two or more disorders
The Prevalence of Psychological Disorders:
Epidemiology: study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population
Prevalence: percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a time period
Lifetime prevalence: percentage of people who endure a specific disorder in their lives
Research suggested that about 44% of the adults will struggle with some sort of
psychological disorder at some point in their lives, the most recent large-scale
epidemiological study estimated the lifetime risk of a psychiatric disorder to be 51%
Some experts believe that recent estimates are implausibly high and that they may
trivialize psychiatric diagnoses
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Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders:
In the DSM-IV-TR anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and post-traumatic stress
disorders were considered together, in the DSM-5, they are now separated into
Anxiety Disorders:
Anxiety disorders: a class of disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and
Everyone experiences anxiety, it is a natural and common reaction to a of life’s
difficulties, for some people, anxiety becomes a chronic problem, these people
experience high levels of anxiety with disturbing regularity
Anxiety disorders are quite common, they occur in roughly 19% of the population
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Generalized anxiety disorder: is marked by a chronic, high level or anxiety that is not
tied to any specific threat
Symptoms: anxiety, worry, restless or feeling on edge, irritability
They worry about minor matters related to family, finances, work, and personal illness
Physical symptoms: trembling, muscle tension, diarrhea, dizziness, faintness, sweating,
heart palpitations, sleep disturbance
Tends to have a gradual onset and is seen more frequently in females than males
Specific Phobias:
Phobia: a persistent, irrational fear of an object or situation that is not dangerous
Mild phobias are extremely common, phobic disorder only when their fears seriously
interfere with their everyday behavior, phobic reactions tend to be accompanied by
physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling and palpitations
People can develop phobic responses to anything, even everyday things like driving
Certain types of phobias are more common than others, acrophobia (fear of heights),
claustrophobia (fear of small, enclosed places), brontophobia (fear of storms),
hydrophobia (fear of water) and various animal and insect phobias
People troubled by phobias typically realize that their fears are irrational, but they still
are unable to calm themselves when confronted by a phobic object
Panic Disorder:
Panic disorder: recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety usually occur suddenly and
Physical symptoms of anxiety, after a number of panic attacks, victims often become
apprehensive, wondering when their next panic attack will occur
Their concern about exhibiting panic in public may get to the point where they are
afraid to leave home
Agoraphobia: a fear of going out to public places
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