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PSYC1000 - Module 51

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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Harvey Marmurek

Course: PSYC*1000 (DE) Professor: Harvey Marmurek Schedule: Summer, 2012 Textbook: Psychology – Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615 Module 51: Dissociative, Personality, and Eating Disorders Dissociative Disorders What are dissociative disorders, and why are they controversial? Rare; disorders of consciousness, experiencing a sudden loss of memory or change in identity; dissociation itself is not so rare Dissociative Identity Disorder: a massive dissociation of self from ordinary consciousness characterized those with DID, in which two or more distinct identities are said to alternately control the person’s behaviour. Each personality has its own voice and mannerisms. This, the person may be prim and proper one moment, loud and flirtatious the next. Typically, the original personality denies any awareness of the others. Formerly called multiple personality disorder; not usually violent, can be good/bad like Jekyll and Hyde Understanding DID: Spanos, hypnotic treatment. Most DID patients are highly hypnotizable, whatever explains one condition – dissociation or role playing – may help explain the other. Between 1930 and 1960, number of DID diagnoses in North America was two per decade. In 1980s (DSM) – 20,000+. Average from 3-12 per patient. Rather than being provoked by trauma, dissociative symptoms tend to be exhibited by suggestible, fantasy-pron e people. Other researchers believe DID is a real disorder. They find support for this view in the distinct brain and body states associated with differing personalities (handedness, shifting visual acuity, eye-muscle balance). Dissociative disorder patients also have exhibited heightened activity in brain areas associated with the control and inhibition of traumatic memories. Interpreted DID symptoms from psychodynamic and learning perspectives. Both views agree that the symptoms are ways of dealing with anxiety. Psychodynamic theorists see them as defences against the anxiety caused bythe eruption of unacceptable impulses; a wanton second personality enables the discharge of forbidden impulses. Learning theorists see dissociative disorders as behaviours reinforced by anxiety reduction. Other clinicians include dissociative disorders under the umbrella of PTSD – a natural, protective response to ‘histories of childhood trauma’. On one side are those who believe multiple personalities are the desperate efforts of the traumatized to detach from a horrific existence. On the other tare the sceptics who think DID is a condition contrived by fantasy-prone, emotionally vulnerable people, and constructed out of the therapist-patient interaction. The psychodynamic and learning perspectives agree that dissociative identity disorder symptoms are ways of dealing with anxiety. How do their explanations differ? The psychodynamic explanation of DID symptoms is that they are defences against anxiety generated by unacceptable urges. The learning perspective attempts to explain these symptoms as behaviours that have been reinforced by relieving anxiety in the past. Personality Disorders What are the three clusters of personality disorders? What behaviours and brain activity characterize the antisocial personality? Personality disorders are disruptive, inflexible, and enduring behaviour patterns that impair one’s social functioning. Anxiety is a feature of one cluster of these disorders, such as a fearful sensitivity to rejection that predisposes the withdrawn avoidant personality disorder. A second cluster expresses eccentric or odd behaviours, such as the emotionless disengagement of the schizoid personality disorder. A third cluster exhibits dramatic or impulsive behaviours, such as the attention-getting histrionic personality disorder and the self-focused and self-inflating narcissistic personality disorder. Antisocial Personality Disorder: the person (sometimes called a sociopath or a psychopath) is typically a male whose lack of conscience becomes plain before age 15, as he begins to lie, steal, fight, or display unrestrained sexual behaviour. About half of such children become antisocial adults – unable to keep a job, irresponsible as a spouse and parent, an assaultive or otherwise criminal. Henry Lee Lucas, killed when he was 13, confessed 32 years of crime – 360 people. Understanding Antisocial Personality Disorder: woven of both biological and psychological strands. No single gene codes. Molecular geneticists have identified some specific genes that are more in common with antisocial personality disorder. Awaiting aversive events, such as electric shocks or loud noises, they show little autonomic nervous system arousal. 3-year-olds who are slow to develop conditioned fears are later more likely to commit a crime. Preschool boys who later became aggressive or antisocial teens tended to be impulsive, uninhibited and unconcerned with social rewards, and low in anxiety. Raine compared PET scans of murder’s brains – reduced activity in the frontal lobes; some had 11% less frontal lobe tissue than normal. Biosocial group whose lives were marked by boh the biological and social risk factors. Two combined factors – childhood maltreatment and a gene that altered neurotransmitter balance – predicted antisocial problems. Shown emotionally evocative photos such as a a man holding a knife to a woman’s throat, they display blunted heart rate and perspiration responses, and less activity in brain areas that typically respond to emotional stimuli, also display a hyper-reactive dop
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