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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Notes

Course Code
Konstantine Zakzanis

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Brief History of classification
-By end of 19th century, when medicine was becoming very civilized, as other sciences
obtained classifications it was clear that classifications in abnormal psychology would be
hard to obtain.
-Early classification schemes failed due to lack of consistency among different
psychological organizations
Development of WHO and DSM systems
-WHO tried to incorporate abnormal psychology into their international list of causes of
-WHO had a listing of the diagnostic categories but the actual behaviour or symptoms
were not specified.
-DSM was first made in 1952 and in following years different versions came out. By 1980
DSM-III was released. In 1994 DSM-IV.
The Diagnostic System of the American Psychiatric Association
Five Dimensions of Classification
Axis I – All diagnostic categories except personality disorders and mental retardation.
Axis II – Personality disorders and mental retardation.
Axis III – General medical conditions.
Axis IV – Psychological and environmental problems.
Axis V – Current level of functioning.
-This system forces the diagnostician to consider a wide range of information.
-Most ppl consult a health professional for an axis I disorder, but prior to their onset may
have had axis II disorder such as dependant personality disorder
Diagnostic Categories
Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence
-Separation Anxiety Disorder: excessive anxiety about being away from parents or home
-Conduct Disorder: repeatedly violate social norms and rules
-ADHD: difficulty sustaining attention and unable to control their activity when the
situation calls for it.
-Mental Retardation (Axis II): subnormal intellect functioning and defecits in adaptive
-Pervaise developmental disorders: Includes Autistic disorder; individual has problems in
acquiring communication skills and deficits in relating to other people.

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-Learning Disorder: delays in acquisition of speech, reading, arithmetic, and writing skills
Substance Related Disorders
-When a persons social or occupational functions is suffering due to change of behaviour
caused by ingesting something like alcohol, opiates, cocaine etc.
-Stopping usage of these drugs can lead to axis I disorders such as mood/anxiety disorders
-contact with reality is faulty
-Language/communication disordered and may shift from 1 subject to next
-Experience delusions like implanted thoughts and plagued by hallucinations such as
hearing voices
-Emotions are blunted, flattened or inappropriate, relationships and work ability show
marked deterioration
Mood Disorders
-Diagnosis applied to those whose moods are extremely high or low
-Major Depressive disorder: deeply sad or discouraged. Likey to lose weight/energy and
have suicidal thoughts
-Mania: euphoric, irritable, more active than usual, very high self esteem
-Bipolar Disorder: episodes of mania or both mania and depression
Anxiety Disorders
-These disorders have some sort of irrational fear as their main disturbance
-Phobias: fear of an object so large that it is avoided, disrupting lives.
-Panic Disorder: person is subject to sudden but brief attacks of intense apprehension. So
upsetting person may shake, feel dizzy or have trouble breathing. May also be
accompanied by Agoraphobia.
-Generalized Anxiety Disorder: fear/worry is pervasive, constant and uncontrollable.
Worry constantly, feel on edge and are easily tired.
-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Subject to persistant obsessions (thought or idea) or
compulsions (urge to perform stereotyped act). Attempts to resist compulsions create so
much tension that the person yields.
-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: anxiety and emotional numbness after traumatic
experience. Dreams at night, find it hard to concentrate and feel detatched from others.
-Acute Stress Disorder: Similar to PTSD but symptoms do not last long.
Somatoform Disorders
-These physical symptoms seem to have no physiological cause, but have a psychological
-Somatization Disorder: these people have history of physical complaints for which they
seek medication or a doctor
-Conversion Disorder: report loss of motor/sensory function, loss of sensation or
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