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Chapter 1

Abnormal Psychology Chapter 1.docx

Course Code
PSYC 3390
Mary Manson

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Abnormal Psychology Chapter 1 9/14/2012 12:54:00 PM
- Family aggregation is when a disorder runs in the family
- 20% of Canadians will suffer from a mental disorder at some point,
anxiety disorders are the most common
What do we mean by Abnormal Behaviour?
- A lot of agreement about which conditions are disorderes and which
are not
- We adopt a prototype kind of model of abnormality and assess the
degree to which a given person resembles it
- every definition of abnormal or disorder has so far proved problematic
- repetitive-stress injury might be treatable with the use of magnets
- elements of abnormality include: suffering (not sufficient or
necessary), maladaptiveness (not necessary or sufficient), deviancy
(something that is not normal but not desirable), violation of the
standards of society (depends on the magnitude of the violation and how
common it is), social discomfort and irrationality and unpredictability
- a classification system provides us with a nomenclature (naming
system) and helps us to structure information
- however, using any form of shorthand leads to a loss of information
- there can be a negative stigma attached to receiving a psychiatric
- there is a problem of stereotyping with a disorder and labeling
- a symptom is a single indicator of a problem whereas a syndrome is a
group or cluster of symptoms that all occur together
- DSM-IV Defition of Mental Disorders: a clinically significant behavioural
or psychological syndrome or pattern, associated with distress or
disability, not simply a predictable and culturally sanctioned response to a
particular event, considered to reflect behavioural, psychological, or
biological disfunction in the individual
- Wakefields Definition of Mental Disorders: causes significant distress or
disability, is not merely an expectable response to a particular event and
is a manifestation of a mental dysfunction
- Certain forms of psychopathology seem to be culture specific, for
example, taijin kyofusho is an anxiety disorder prevalent in Japan that
involves a marked fear that ones body, body parts or body functions may

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offend or embarrass others or make them feel uncomfortable, ataque de
mervios in the latino-caribbean and latin Mediterranean is triggered by a
stressful event includes crying, trembling, uncontrollable screaming and a
general feeling of being out of control, but once it is over they may
quickly return to normal and have no memory of the event
- Abnormal behavior is behavior that deviates from the norms of the
society in which it is enacted’
How Common are Mental Disorders?
- women with depression outnumber men with depression but 2:1 ratio
meaning gender is important in understanding depression, but among the
Jews, gender is affected equally
- epidemiology is the study of the distribution of diseases, disorders or
health related behaviours in a population
- prevalence refers to the number of active cases in a population during
any given period of timetypically expressed as percentages
- point prevalence refers to the estimated proportion of actual, active
cases of the disorder in a given population at any instant in time
- a one year prevalence figure would count everyone who suffered of
said disorder at any time during the whole year
- lifetime prevalence covers anyone who suffered a certain disorder at
anytime in their life, including both currently ill people and those who
have recovered
- incidence refers to the number of new cases that occur over a given
period of time (usually a year)only new cases though
- NCS-R study showed a widespread occurrence of comorbidity among
diagnosed disorderspresence of two or more disorders in the same
person, especially high in people who have severe forms of mental
- Only 25% of those with mental health problems seek helpsometimes
people deny or minimize their problems
- Those in Ontario who receive treatment within a year of developing a
problem were 52.6% for panic disorder, 6.5% for phobias and 4.2% for
addictive disorders
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