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Module 1 Lesson 4.docx

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Queen's University
PSYC 100
Meredith Chivers

Module 1 Lesson 4 Notes The Nature and Causes of Psychological Disorders (a) Mental Disorders - what is a mental disorder?  the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) outlines types of mental disorders and specific criteria for each one  to ensure a patient has a certain mental disorder they must 1) their symptoms must either cause distress and/or impair their ability to function in daily life and this impairment or distress must be clinically significant (substantial enough to be worthy of professional treatment) 2) an individual cannot receive a diagnosis of a mental disorder if the sole cause of their distress or impairment is external to them (ex. they would not have a mental disorder if they experience symptoms of grief and sadness due to death of family member) 3) individuals cannot receive a diagnosis of a mental disorder if behaviour is voluntary (ex. if someone stops eating in protest this is not a mental disorder) - Mental disorders, physical disorders and dualism  a traditional approach in medicine and phil. was to see mental events (thoughts and emotions) were seen as distinct from physiological events (firing of neurotransmitters or the coding of proteins). this led to the consequence of thinking of some disorders as disorders of the mind and others as disorders of the brain  it is now known that thoughts and emotions are brain events, all psychological disorders involve changes in cognitive and emotional processes - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  Carlson discusses multiple causes for mental disorders including: predisposing, precipating, and perpetuating causes  women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders and depression; men are more likely to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorders, intermittent explosive disorder, and substance- use disorders Anxiety Disorders - Relationship between anxiety and avoidance  many people choose to avoid certain stressful or anxiety-filled situations (ex. boy with fear of dogs avoids seeing dogs)  in people with anxiety disorders, avoidance perpetuates fear rather than actually helping the individual. avoidance can become generalized in people with anxiety disorders, to the point at which they avoid any situation in which they might encounter the thing they fear. - Panic Disorder  panic attacks involve the sudden onset of intense fear and various physiological symptoms related to anxiety, often last not long and very intense  panic disorder is diagnosed when the panic reaction occurs without being precipitated by a particular fear-arousing situation. The person is not able to identify a particular trigger for his or her panic attacks  many with panic attacks have agoraphobia- when people experience intense anxiety about being in situations where they might not be able to escape if they need to - Phobic disorder  three types 1) agoraphobia, 2) social phobia, 3) specific phobia - Specific phobia  an excessive and irrational fear of a specific object or situation  a person crosses the line from fear to phobia if the fear is significantly impairing and/or causes significant distress, the fear must interfere with normal daily functioning - Social phobia (social anxiety disorder)  a fear of being evaluated by others or performing in public situations  can be general or specific - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  obsessions are recurrent, unwanted thoughts or images that the individual recognizes as being irrational, yet they are uncontrollable  compulsions are specific rituals or acts completed with the goal of reducing anxiety (hand washing, counting a certain pattern)  many compulsions are not directly related to obsessions that they are designed to counteract (person who obsesses that they migh
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