PSY100Y5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Personality Disorder, Root Mean Square, Social Rejection

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Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders
Introduction
What is the basis for judging behaviour as normal vs. abnormal?
Who makes the judgment?
Abnormal Behaviour: Myths, Realities and Controversies
The Medical Model Applied to Abnormal Behaviour
Defn: medical model proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behaviour as a disease
Explains why it is called mental “illness”, mental “disorder” or psychopathology (pathology refers
to the manifestations of a disease)
Became the dominant way of thinking about abnormal behaviour during 18th and 19th century and
its influence remains strong today
Before the 18th century, conceptions of abnormal behaviour were based on superstition
oPatients thought to be possessed by demons, witches or to be victims of God’s
punishment
oTreated using chants, rituals and exorcisms
Rise of medical model brought improvement in treatment of patients
Ineffectual approaches to treatment eventually gave way to scientific investigation of causes and
cures of psychological disorders
Thomas Szasz- asserts that disease/illness can only affect the body…minds can’t really be sick
oArgues that abnormal behaviour usually involves deviation from social norms rather than
an illness
oAccording to Szasz, medical model’s disease analogy coverts moral and social questions
about what is acceptable behaviour into medical questions
Diagnosis: distinguishing one illness from another
Etiology: apparent causation and developmental history of an illness
Prognosis: forecast about probable course of an illness
Criteria of Abnormal Behaviour
in making diagnoses, clinicians rely on variety of criteria, the foremost of which are the following:
deviance, maladaptive behaviour and personal distress
people are often viewed as disordered when only one criterion is met
judgments about mental illness reflect prevailing cultural values, social trends, and political forces and
scientific knowledge; Diagnoses involves value judgments of what is normal or abnormal
people are judged to have psychological disorders only when their behaviour becomes extremely
deviant, maladaptive or distressing
normality and abnormality exist on a continuum
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Psychodiagnosis: Classification of Disorders
defn: systematic classification of psychological disorders
sound system for classifying psychological disorders can facilitate empirical research and
enhance communication among scientists and clinicians
American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Classification scheme of about 100 disorders in DSMI
Each revision of DSM system expanded list of disorders covered
Current version has about 300
Judgments about individuals on five separate dimensions of “axes”
Axis I and Axis II- diagnoses of disorders
-record most types of disorders on Axis I
-use Axis II to list long-running personality disorders/ mental retardations
-people may receive diagnoses on both Axes I and II
Remaining axes used to record supplemental information
Axis III- patient’s physical disorders (General Medical Conditions)
Axis IV-Psychosocial and Environmental Problems; clinician makes notes regarding types of
stress experienced by individual in previous year
Axis V- Global Assessment of Functioning; estimate made of individual’s current level of adaptive
functioning (in social and occupational behaviour)
The Prevalence of Psychological Disorders
How common are psychological disorders?
Epidemiology: study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population
Prevalence: percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during specified time period
Lifetime prevalence: percentage of people who endure specific disorder at any time in their lives
Estimates of lifetime prevalence suggest that psychological disorders are more common that
most people realize
Increases often because new criteria of psychological disorders are added frequently (ex.
Alcohol/drug-related disorders)
Most recent large-scale epidemiological study estimates lifetime risk of psychiatric disorder to be
51%
These figures are estimates that depend to some extent on sampling methods and assessment
techniques used
Overview of DSM Diagnostic System:

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