Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders (Textbook Notes)
Symptoms – behaviours, thoughts, and emotions suggestive of an underlying abnormal syndrome – a
coherent cluster of symptoms usually due to a single cause.
DSM = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – a classification system
Homosexuality dropped from the list of psychological disorders in 1974
Categories of Mental Disorders:
1. Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or early adolescence. Eg. Bed-wetting
2. Delirium, dementia, amnesic, and other cognitive disorders.
3. Mental disorders due to a general medical condition not elsewhere classified. Eg. Deterioration of the
brain from prolonged drug abuse.
4. Substance-related disorders
5. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
6. Mood disorders
7. Anxiety disorders
8. Somatoform disorders – preoccupation with physical health with no cause. Eg. Hypochondriac
9. Factitious disorders – adopted to satisfy some psychological need
10. Dissociative disorders
11. Sexual and gender identity disorders
12. Eating disorders. Eg. Furious Pete
13. Sleep disorders
14. Impulse control disorder not elsewhere classified. Eg. Pathological gambling
15. Adjustment disorders
16. Personality disorders
17. Other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention
Comorbidity is relatively common in patients within the DSM diagnostic system.
Table 14.2 GAF Scale – I don’t think we will have to know this...
Etiology – a specific pattern of causes.
Prognosis – a typical course over time and susceptibility to treatment and cure.
The complexity of causation suggests that different individuals can experience a similar psychological
disorder (e.g., depression) for different reasons.
Diathesis = internal predisposition and Stress = external trigger.
Intervention-causation fallacy – Assumption that if a treatment is effective, it must address the cause of
70% of people with diagnosable psychological disorders do not seek treatment.
Important to avoid labelling: eg. a person with schizophrenia vs. a schizophrenic. Significant comorbidity between anxiety and depression.
GAD occurs more frequently in lower socioeconomic groups than in middle and upper class.
Compared with fraternal twins, identical twins have moderately higher concordance rates (% of pairs
that share the characteristic) for GAD
Benzodiazepines (Valium, librium) stimulate neurotransmitter GABA and can sometimes reduce
symptoms of GAD.
5 categories of specific phobia:
II) natural environments
IV) blood, injections, and death
V) other phobias, including illness and death
Specific phobias are much more common in women than men (4:1 ratio) and have a genetic component.
Preparedness theory - people are instinctively predisposed towards certain fears.
Panic disorder especially prevalent among women.
People with panic disorder were found to be more sensitive to sodium lactate
Most common obsessions: contami