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PSY240H5 (135)
Chapter 1

PSY240 - Chapter 1 Notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY240H5
Professor
Ayesha Khan
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER 1: ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY: AN OVERVIEW Case studies - female drinks a lot, but not in the morning; doesn’t think she has a drinking prob b/c she doesn’t drink in the morn.; she also smokes marijuana and can’t stop - Family aggregation: whether a disorder runs in families - male hears voices with malicious intent; was normal before – experiencing schizophrenia - WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR? - Box 1.1 – Developments in Research – Do magnets help with repetitive-stress injury? - magnets marketed to ppl who have chronic hand/wrist pain – know as repetitive-stress injury - double blind experiment – 3 groups – 1) wore the bracelet with magnet 2) wore an identical bracelet w/o the magnet (placebo) 3) no treatment - results showed that ppl typed more words with the magnet due to placebo effect - Box 1.2 – The World Around Us – The Elements of Abnormality - Elements of Abnormality  the more of these one has, the more likely he/she has some form of mental disorder - 1. Suffering - psychological suffering - neither a sufficient condition (all that is needed) nor even a necessary condition (that all cases of abnormality must show) for us to consider something as abnormal - 2. Maladaptiveness - maladaptive behaviour - not all disorders involve it - ex. con artists don’t consider their behaviour maladaptive b/c it is how they make their living, but it is maladaptive for society so we consider them abnormal - 3. Deviancy - statistically rare and undesirable  considered abnormal - 4. Violation of the Standards of Society - whether it is abnormal depends on magnitude of the violation and how commonly it is violated by others - 5. Social Discomfort - when someone violates a social rule - 6. Irrationality and Unpredictability - imp whether person can control his or her behaviour  in general, what society considers abnormal changes over time – ex. homosexuality was thought to be a mental disorder before WHY DO WE NEED TO CLASSIFY MENTAL DISORDERS? - provides us with nomenclature: naming system - also allows us to structure info in a more helpful manner o allows one to study diff. disorders, learn more and determine how best to treat someone - Social and political implications o establishes range of probs that mental health profession can address o delineates which types of probs should get reimbursement - Box 1.3 – Extreme Generosity or Pathological Behaviour - a man gave away his fortunes, proceeded to donate his kidney and wanted to give his whole body away to help others - WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF CLASSIFICATION? - loss of info - Stigma: disgrace attached to receiving a psychiatric diagnosis - Case study - a man lived with bipolar disorder for many years, he was hospitalized for a suicide attempt; contacted mental health authorities about dealing with mental illness and was told that ppl like him don’t go back to work - this case study shows Stereotyping: automatic beliefs that ppl have about others based on knowing one thing about them - Labelling: a person’s self-concept may be directly affected by being given a diagnosis o may still remain the same after a full recovery - Table 1.1 - Symptom: single indicator of a prob; can involve affect, behaviour or cognition - Syndrome: group or cluster of symptoms that all occur together o ex. depression can be a symptom when about affect, but a syndrome when it has all the symptoms - THE DSM-IV DEF’N OF MENTAL DISORDER - America Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM-IV-TR (text revision) - def’n by DSM does not refer to causes of mental disorder; attempts to be “atheoretical” - Limitations of the def’n - What is meant by “clinically significant” and how should this be measured? - how much distress or disability should be experienced by someone before she or she can be said to be suffering from a mental disorder - who determines what is “ulturally sanctioned”? - what constitutes a “behavioural, psychological or biological dysfunction”? - problematic behaviour cannot itself be the dysfunction because that would be like saying mental disorders are due to mental disorders (circular reasoning) - Wakefield’s def’n of mental disorder: - proposed that mental disorder is “harmful dysfunction” - harm is based on social values (ex. suffering, being unable to work, etc.) - dysfunction refers to underlying mechanism that fails to perform according to its (presumably evolutionary) design - limitation – evolutionary theory does not provide us with list of what is functional and what is not - HOW DOES CULTURE AFFECT WHAT IS CONSIDERED ABNORMAL? - cultural factors affect presentation of disorders found all over the globe osome cultures don’t have a word for mental disorder, but have words for the symptoms and syndromes related to them - culture can also shape clinical representation of disorders o ex. depression is china refers to the physical aspects and not the emotional - CULTURE-SPECIFIC DISORDERS - Kyofusho: prevalent in Japan; anxiety disorder; fear that one’s body, body parts of body functions may offend/embarrass others or make them feel uncomfortable – often afraid of blushing, fear upsetting others with facial expression, gaze or body odour - Ataque de nervios: found in some Latino-Caribbean and Latin Mediterraneans; symptoms (include crying, trembling, uncontrollable screaming, general feeling of being out of control; sometimes aggressive physically or verbally; may faint or experience something like seizure) triggered often by stressful event (ex. loss of loved one); once ataque is over, no memory of what happened - Abnormal behaviour: deviates from the norms of the society in which it is enacted o universally considered abnormal - ex. defecating, urinating in public - HOW COMMON ARE MENTAL DISORDERS? - imp to know because allows one to determine how funds should be allocated - ex. depression in women is 2:1 of men generally; not the case in Jews – both affected almost equally; Jewish males more likely to have depression than non Jewish males - Prevalence and Incidence - Point prevalence: estimated proportion of actual
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