PSY1102 Chapter 15.docx

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18 Oct 2014

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PSY1102- Chapter 15- Psychological Disorders:
Perspectives on Psychological Disorders:
Defining Psychological Disorders:
- Psychological Disorders: Deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional patterns of
thoughts, feelings or behaviors
- Being deviant is only a part of what defines a psychological disorder
- Standards of deviance vary by culture, context, and time
- Deviant behavior usually causes distress in order to be considered disordered
- Deviant and distressful behaviors are likely to be considered disordered when
they’re judged to be a harmful dysfunction
- Dysfunction is key to defining a disorder
oIf it doesn’t impair your life in some way, then it is not a disorder
Understanding Psychological Disorders:
- Until recently, people with psychological disorders were thought to be possessed
and were given treatments or therapies that tortured them
- Philippe Pinel- THE MEDICAL MODEL
- In France the idea was coined that madness isn’t demon possession but a sickness
of the mind caused by stresses and inhumane conditions
- In the 1800’s they discovered that syphilis affects the mind which led to the
search for causes/treatments of mental disorders
- Medical Model: The concept that diseases, in this case, psychological disorders,
have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and cured, often through
treatment in a hospital
- A mental illness needs to be diagnosed on the basis of its symptoms and treated
through therapy, which may include time in a psychiatric hospital
- Today’s psychologists believe that all behavior arises from the interaction of
nature and nurture
- There are links between specific disorders and cultures
oCultures differ in stressors and produce different ways of coping, thus
some disorders are present in certain cultures and not in others
- Depression and schizophrenia occur worldwide
- The biopsychosocial model helps to assess the entire set of influences
oRecognizes that mind and body are inseparable
Classifying Psychological Disorders:
- Diagnostic classification aims to describe a disorder and predict its future course,
imply treatment, and stimulate research on the causes
- DSM-IV-TR: The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, w/ an updated ‘text revision’; a
widely used system for classifying psychological disorders
oPractical and helpful
oFinancially necessary- DSM diagnosis is necessary before health
insurance companies pay for therapy
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- The DSM defines a diagnostic process and 16 clinical syndromes
oDisorders diagnosed in infancy, childhood adolescence
oDelirium, dementia, amnesia, other cognitive disorders
oMental disorders due to a general medical condition
oSubstance-related disorders
oSchizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
oMood Disorders
oAnxiety disorders
oSomatoform Disorders
oFactitious disorders
oDissociative disorders
oEating disorders
oSexual disorders and gender identity disorder
oSleep disorders
oImpulse-control disorders not classified elsewhere
oAdjustment disorders
oOther conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention
- The DSM describes disorders including psychiatric ones
- The categories and diagnostic guidelines must be reliable
Labeling Psychological Disorders:
- DSM critics believe that the labs are arbitrary and value judgments masquerading
as science
- Labels create preconceptions that guide our perceptions and our interpretations
- Many studies have unmasked the stigmatizing power of labels
- Stereotypes come from media portrayals of psychological disorders
oOften people are portrayed as objects of humor or ridicule
- Labels can bias perceptions and change reality and serve as self-fulfilling
- The benefits of diagnostic labels: help health professionals communicate about
their cases, understand underlying causes, and determine effective treatments
- Diagnostic definitions inform patient understandings
Anxiety Disorders:
- Anxiety is a part of life that is not overwhelming for most people
- The tendency to notice and remember threats can put us at risk for anxiety
- Anxiety Disorders: Psychological disorders characterized by distressing,
persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: People are unexplainably and continually tense
and uneasy
- Panic Disorder: People experience sudden episodes of intense dread
- Phobias: Intense and irrational fears of a specific object or situation
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: People are troubled by repetitive thoughts or
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- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: People who have lingering memories,
nightmares, and other symptoms after a severely threatening, uncontrollable event
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
- An anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a
state of autonomic nervous system arousal
- Marked by pathological worry
- Persistent symptoms
- People w/ this worry continually and are often agitated and sleep-deprived
- Difficulty concentration and constantly switching attention from worry to worry
- Some people may not be able to identify the disorder and can’t deal with or avoid
it in this case
- Often accompanied by depressed mood but is disabling even w/o depression
- May lead to problems i.e., high blood pressure
Panic Disorder:
- An anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable, minutes-long episodes of intense
dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain,
choking, or other frightening sensations
- Anxiety escalates into panic when a person fears that something horrible is about
to happen
- An anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a
specific object, activity, or situation
- Some people are incapacitated by their efforts to avoid the feared situation
- Phobias may focus on animals, heights, blood, close spaces
- Not all phobias have specific triggers
- Social Phobia- shyness taken to an extreme
oIntense fear of being scrutinized by others and will sweat and tremble
when faced w/ a social situation
- Agoraphobia: Fear or avoidance of situations in which escape might be difficult
or help unavailable when panic strikes
Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder:
- An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions)
and/or actions (compulsions)
- Become disorderly when they persistently interfere w/ everyday living and cause
- Effective functioning become impossible
- More common among teens and young adults than among older people
- Common Obsessions:
oConcern w/ dirt, germs, or toxins
oSomething terrible happening
oSymmetry, order, exactness
- Common Compulsions:
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