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PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes -Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder, Acute Stress Reaction

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Konstantine Zakzanis

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Chapter 3 – Classification & Diagnosis
Brief History of Classification
In earlier times, (19th – early 20th century), there was great inconsistency in the
classification of abnormal psychology; different systems were used in different parts
of the world
The DSM (Diagnosis Statistic Manuel) was first published in 1959, then updated in
68’ (DSM-II), and again in 87’ (DSM-III), and finally in 94’ (DSM-IV)
The Diagnostic system of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR)
‘Mental Disorder’ is defined as “a clinically significant behavioural or psychological
syndrome or pattern that occurs in and individual and that is associated with
present distress (i.e. painful symptoms) or disability (impairment in one or more
areas of functioning) or with significantly increased risked of death, pain, disability,
or an important loss of freedom.
In addition, the syndrome can’t be an expected response or culturally sanctioned
response, must be a manifestation of a behaviour, psychological, or biological
Five Dimensions of Classification
With the introduction of the DSM-III, came the mulitaxial classification where people
are rated on 5 separate dimensions:
Axis I: All diagnostic categories except for mental retardation and personality
Axis II: Personality disorders and mental retardation
Axis III: General Medical Condition
Axis IV: Psychosocial & Environmental problem
Axis V: Current level of Functioning
These five axes are for a diagnostician to consider a broad range of information
Although there are 5 axes, all abnormal behaviour is placed within the first 2 axes,
the rest are to provide additional information for the psychiatrist
Most people come to be treated for Axis I disorders, however sometimes they
previously had Axis II disorders, which is why they are separated from each other
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Disorders Diagnosed During Childhood
Separation Anxiety (anxiety from being away from home/parents)
Conduct Disorder (repeatedly violating social norms/rules)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Mental Retardation
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (including autism)
Learning Disorders (delays in acquisition of speech, grammar, reading ect.)
Mood Disorders
Major Depressive Disorder (person is deeply sad and discouraged and is likely
to lose weight/energy and have suicidal thoughts)
Mania (exceedingly euphoric, irrationally happy)
Bipolar Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Panic Disorder (sudden intense attacks of apprehension, likely to tremble and
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (fear & apprehension are pervasive, persistent
n’ uncontrollable)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (obsessions: thoughts; compulsions: actions)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder (Similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but
symptoms don’t last as long
Somatoform Disorders
Somatisation disorder (long history of multiple psychical complaints for which
they have taken medicine or consulted a doctor)
Conversion Disorder (report a loss of motor or sensory function i.e. paralysis,
blindness, loss of sensation
Pain Disorder (suffer from severe and prolonged pain)
Hypochondrias (misinterpretation of minor injuries for serious illnesses)
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (preoccupied with an imagined defect with their
Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative Amnesia (may forget their entire past or a particular period of
Dissociative Fugue (suddenly and unexpectedly travels to a new location,
starts a new life, and cannot remember his/her past identity)
Depersonalization Disorder (sever and disruptive feeling of self estrangement
or unreality)
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