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Chapter 17

PSYA02 chapter 17 notes

17 pages90 viewsSummer 2011

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
John Bassili
Chapter
17

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Chapter 17 The Nature and Cause of Psychological Disorders
Classification and Diagnosis of Psychological Disorders
Emil Kraepelin comprehensive system of psychological disorders
Etiology: the causes or origins of a disorder
What is Abnormal?
Abnormal any departure from the norm
oCommonly used to refer to characteristics we dislike or fear
Psychological disorders cause distress or discomfort and interfere with peoples
ability to lead satisfying, productive lives
Perspectives on the Causes of Psychological Disorders
Caused by the interaction of hereditary, cognitive, and environmental factors
Genetic component can be strong in some cases
The Psychodynamic Perspective
oFreuds early work
oPsychological disorders originate in intrapsychic conflict produced by the 3
components of the mind: id, ego, and superego
oConflicts may centre on attempts to control potentially harmful expressions
of sexual or aggressive impulses
oConflicts can become severe and minds defense mechanisms cant produce a
resolution
oDefense mechanisms distort reality or the individual begins to function in
some areas of life in a manner characteristic of an earlier developmental
stage
oSymptoms can include extreme anxiety, obsessive thoughts and compulsive
behavior, depression, distorted perceptions and patters on thinking, and
paralysis or blindness for which there is no physical cause
The Medical Perspective
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oOrigins from ancient Greek physician Hippocrates
oExcess of 4 humors (black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm) led to
emotional problems
oDeveloped concept of mental illness illness of the mind
oEarly asylums were poorly run and the patients problems were poorly
understood and often mistreated
Conditions were so poor that they may have contributed to the
illnesses
oMany people with psychological disorders are treated on an outpatient basis
with drugs that help decrease, and in some cases eliminate, the symptoms of
psychological disorders
oOnly those with very severe and intractable psychological problems are
institutionalized for long periods of time
oMedical model is based on the ideas that psychological disorders are caused
by specific abnormalities of the brain and nervous system, and that they
should be approached for treatment in the same way as physical illnesses
oExamples of psychological disorders with biological factors: schizophrenia and
bipolar disorder
The Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective
oHolds that psychological disorders are learned maladaptive behavior patterns
that can best be understood by focusing on environmental factors and a
persons perception of those factors
oDisorder is caused by the persons interaction with their environment
oIt is not merely the environment that matters; a persons ongoing subjective
interpretation of the events taking place in his or her environment
oTherapists encourage their clients to replace or substitute maladaptive
thoughts and behaviors with more adaptive ones
The Humanistic Perspective
oProper and natural personality development occurs when people experience
unconditional positive regard
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oPsychological disorders arise when people perceive that they must earn the
positive regard of others
Become overly sensitive to the demands and criticisms of others and
come to define their personal value primarily in terms of others
reactions to them
oGoal of humanistic therapy is to persuade people that they do have intrinsic
value and to help them achieve their own unique, positive potential as human
beings
The Sociocultural Perspective
oProper treatment requires an understanding of cultural issues
oCultural variables influence the nature and extent to which people interpret
their own behaviors as normal or abnormal
oCulture-bound syndromes psychological disorders exist that appear only in
certain cultures
The Biopsychosocial Perspective
oDiathesis-stress model: a causal account of psychological disorders based
on the idea that psychological disorders develop when a person possesses a
predisposition for a disorder and faces stressors that exceed his or her
abilities to cope with them
Combination of a persons genes and early learning experiences may
produce dispositions (diathesis) for a variety of psychological disorders
oThe genes that are involved are not necessarily specific to particular
disorders but may constitute a more general predisposition
oSymptoms of a specific disorder will emerge only if that person is confronted
with stressors that exceed is or her coping abilities
oDiathesis-stress model represents the biopsychosocial perspective
oBiopsychosocial perspective: a view that the causes of psychological
disorders can be best understood in terms of the interaction of biological,
psychological, and social factors
The DSM-IV-TR Classification Scheme
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