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Konstantine Zakzanis

PSYB32- Abnormal Psychology Notes Chapter One:  Psychopathology: The field concerned with the nature and development of abnormal behavior, thoughts, and feelings.  In studying abnormal psychology one must remain objective. WHAT IS ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR  Abnormal Behaviour: Statistical infrequency, violation of norms, personal distress, disability or dysfunction, and unexpectedness. STATISTICAL INFREQUENCY:  Normal curve: or bell-shaped curve, places the majority of people in the middle as far as any particular characteristic is concerned. An assertion that a person is normal implies that he or she does not deviate much from the average in a particular trait or behavior pattern.  Statistical infrequency is used explicitly in diagnosing mental retardation.  Though a number of criteria are used to diagnose mental retardation, low intelligence is a principal one.  Having great athletic ability is infrequent, but few would regard it as part of the field of abnormal psychology. VIOLATION OF NORMS:  Violates social norms: threatens or makes anxious those observing it.  Violation of norms explicitly makes abnormality a relative concept; various forms of unusual behavior can be tolerated, depending on the prevailing cultural norms.  Cultural diversity plays a role in affecting how people view social norms. PERSONAL DISTRESS:  Personal Suffering: behavior is abnormal if it creates great distress and torment in the person experiencing it. DISABILITY OR DYSFUNCTION:  Disability or Dysfunction: that is, impairment in some important area of life. UNEXPECTEDNESS:  Distress and disability are considered abnormal when they are unexpected responses to environmental stressors. THE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONS:  Clinicians: the various professionals authorized to provide psychological services.  Clinical psychologist: requires a Ph.D. or Psy.D degree, which entails 4 to 7 years of graduate school.  To become a registered psychologist one must obtain five core competencies: 1) interpersonal relationship, 2) assessment and evaluation (including diagnosis), 3) Intervention and consultation, 4) research, 5) ethics and standards.  Candidates in clinical psychology learn skills in two additional areas, which distinguishes them from other Ph.D. candidates in psychology: 1) they learn assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders. Second, they learn how to practice psychotherapy: a primarily verbal means of helping troubled individuals change their thoughts, feelings, and behavior to reduce distress and to achieve greater life satisfaction.  A psychiatrist holds an MD has had a postgraduate training called a residency in which he or she has received supervision in the practice of diagnosis and psychotherapy.  Psychiatrists engage in prescribing psychoactive drugs: chemical compounds that can influence how people feel and think.  A psychoanalyst has received specialized training at a psychoanalytical institute.  A social worker obtains an M.S.W (Masters of Social Work) degree programs for counseling psychologists.  A psychiatric nurse specializes in the mental health field HISTORY OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY  Many early philosophers, theologians, and physicians who studied the troubled mind believed that deviancy reflected the displeasure of the gods or possession by demons. EARLY DEMONOLOGY:  Demonology: The doctrine that an evil being, as the devil, may dwell within a person and control his or her mind and body.  Exorcism: the casting out of evil spirits by ritualistic chanting or torture.  Trepanning: of skulls involves making a surgical opening in a living skull by some instrument. SOMATOGENESIS  Hippocrates (father of modern medicine) believed that mental disturbances have natural causes and hence should be treated like other, more common maladies, such as colds and constipation.  Somatogenesis: the notion that something wrong with the soma, or physical body, disturbs thought and action.  Psychogenesis: the belief that a disturbance has psychological origins.  Hippocrates classified mental disorders into three categories: mania, melancholia, and phrenitis (or brain fever)  For Melancholia he prescribed tranquility, sobriety, care in choosing food and drinks, and abstinence from sexual activity.  He believed that mental health depended on a delicate balance among four humors or fluids of the body: 1) Blood; 2) Black bile; 3) Yellow bile, 4) phlegm. An imbalance produced disorders.  A preponderance of black bile was the explanation for melancholia, too much yellow bile, explained irritability and anxiousness, and too much blood, changeable temperance. THE DARK AGES AND DEMONOLOGY:  Christian monasteries, through their missionary and educational work, replaced physicians as healers and as authorities on mental disorder. DEVELOPMENT OF ASYLUMS:  Leprosariums (institution were people with leprosy were isolated, which was believed during the time to be caused due to committing a sin, or being sexually promiscuous) were converted to asylums: refuges, established for the confinement and care of the mentally ill. BETHLEHEM AND OTHER EARLY ASYLUMS:  Bethlehem was a hospital built for the confinement of the mentally ill. The conditions were deplorable. Over the years the word bedlam: a contraction and popular name for the hospital became a descriptive term for a place or scene of wild uproar and confusion. It became a destination place for viewing the violent patients and their antics as many found it entertaining.  Benjamin Rush: (the father of American psychiatry) believed that an excess of blood in the brain caused mental disorders. Consequently, his favored treatment was to draw great quantities of blood. He furthered believed that many ‘lunatics’ could be cured by being frightened. MORAL TREATEMENT:  Philippe Pinel: Is considered a primary figure in the movement for humanitarian treatment of the mental ill in asylums, which was however reserved for the upper class.  Moral treatment: patients have
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