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Chapter 15-16

PSYCH101 Chapter 15-16: Disorders and Therapy Combined

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Disorders and Therapy Combined
Psychopathology: Unipolar Depression
Mood disorders
Major depression: prolonged periods of sadness, feelings of worthlessness, social
Neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine appear to be
involved in depression
Also at a genetic level - e.g. people who inherit short copies of a gene
responsible for serotonin activity are predisposed to depressive episodes
Identical twins have a greater chance of both developing major depression
compared to fraternal twins
Highest combination is female identical twins
Bipolar disorder: extreme highs and lows in mood, motivation, and energy
Models of Abnormality
1. Medical: Behaviour is symptomatic of physiological abnormality
a. Take notion of checklist of symptoms to diagnose mental illness
2. Psychodynamic: Behaviour is symptomatic of unresolved intrapsychic conflicts
a. Insight therapy
3. Humanistic: Behaviour is symptomatic of inability to fulfill human needs and capabilities
a. Insight therapy works well for people with high level of self-reflection
4. Cognitive: Behaviour is symptomatic of faulty thinking or beliefs about self and the
5. Behavioural: Behaviour is maladaptive responding due to faulty learning; not
symptomatic of underlying pathology
6. Sociocultural: Behaviour is symptomatic of dysfunctional environments such as family,
society, or culture
a. E.g. social workers
Majority of psychologists use cognitive-behavioural method
1-5 assume patient has a problem and takes them out of environment to treat them
E.g. take depressed patient out of world but puts them back into a toxic family
6 predicts its the environment that contributes
Classifying Psychological Disorders with the DSM
Created because every psychology has different diagnosis
Reliable method of diagnosis
Criteria for diagnosis
Etiology (causes)

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Prognosis (predictions)
Statistics (e.g. prevalence, risk factors)
Guide treatment choices
Criticisms to the DSM
Biased to medical model - more important to be equals
Carl Rogers’ “nugging method”
Promotes labelling
E.g. Prof’s friend Billy, cars salesman, has to be loved by everyone
Plays prank on Billy and stranger - strangers think he’s crazy
Some Major DSM Classifications
Goals of Therapy
Cure disorder
Alleviate symptoms / suffering
Shorten duration of episode
Prevent future episodes
Criteria of Major Depressive Disorder
At least 5 of the following: one or both of the first two, PLUS three or more of the rest
Must be present for at least 2 weeks
Depressed mood most of the day, and/or
Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities
Significant increase or decrease in appetite or weight
Insomnia, sleeping too much, or disrupted sleep
Lethargy, or physical agitation
Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
Worthlessness, or excessive/inappropriate guilt

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Daily problems in thinking, concentrating, and/or making decisions
Recurring thoughts of death and suicide
Emotional symptoms
Inability to enjoy
Cognitive symptoms (Cognitive Triad)
Negative cognitions about self, world, and future
Motivational symptoms
Loss of interest
Lack of drive
Difficulty starting anything
Somatic symptoms
Loss of appetite
Lack of energy
Sleep difficulties
Weight loss/gain
E.g. Patient Peter hospitalized during time of Gulf War and thought it was his fault
The “Common Cold” of Psychological Disorders
Depression appears worldwide and across all social strata
Per year, depressive episodes happen to about 6 percent of men and about 9 percent of
Over the course of a lifetime, 12 percent of Canadians and 17 percent of Americans
experience depression
Self-serving bias: align ourselves with positive attributes and make excuses for negative
Depression Patterns
People who suffer major depression
50% Depression will recur
40% Depression will never recur after recovery
10% no recovery, chronic depression
The Medical Model
Mental “illness”
4 possible causes:
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