CHAPTER 1: Intro, Definitional and Historical Considerations
- went to therapist- bad sex life, bad childhood; became in secured
- Father diagnosed with maniac depressive psychosis
What is Abnormal Behaviour?
- It is usually determined by the presence of several characteristics at one time such as
statistical infrequency, violation of norms, personal distress, disability or dysfunction
- abnormal behaviour is infrequent
- Normal curve or bell shaped curve: measurable trait that depicts most people in the
middle and few at the extremes.
- statistical infrequency is used explicitly in diagnosing mental retardation
- a principle one of criteria to diagnose mental retardation is IQ
- Ex; Brett experience occurs only about 1% of the population
Violation of Norms
- Does the behaviour violates social norms or threatens or makes anxious those observing
it? Ex; Bretts verbal and physical attack on his wife.
- Various forms of unusual behaviour can be tolerated, depending on the prevailing
cultural norms ex; criminal and prostitutes
- Behaviour becomes abnormal if it creates great distress and torment in the person
experiencing it. Ex; Bretts self consciousness and distress about being evaluated
- People experiencing anxiety disorders and depression suffer from personal distress but
some disorders like psychopaths doesnt necessarily involve it.
Disability or Dysfunction
- Disability is impairment in some important area of life. Ex; Brett- Substance use
disorder- social and occupational disability created by substance abuse and addiction.
- Transvestism(cross dressing for sexual pleasure) is not a disability or height to become a
professional basketball doesnt fall into the domain of abnormal psychology
- Distress and disability are considered abnormal when they are unexpected responses to
environmental stressors. Ex; anxiety disorder- occurs unexpected and out of proportion
but hunger is an expected response to not eating. Focus on Discoveries (F.O.D) 1.1: The mental health professions [Goering, Wasylenki and
- Clinicians: various professionals authorized to prove psychological services
- Clinical psychologist: requires a Ph.D or Psy.D degree which entails 4-7 years of
- The 1995 agreement on internal trade that mobility had to be developed to work across
the nation for professional psychologists; hence a mutual recognition agreement was
signed in June 2001. there are 5 core competencies in order to become a registered
psychologist 1) interpersonal relationships 2) assessment and evaluation (incl. diagnosis)
3_ intervention and consultation 4) research 5) ethics and standards
- Ph.D degree is like a research degree.
- 2 skills for clinical psychologists 1) learn techniques of assessment and diagnosis of
mental disorders 2) learn how to practise psychotherapy, helping troubled individuals
change their thoughts, feelings and behaviour to reduce distress and achieve greater life
- Psychiatrist: holds an MD degree + post grad training called residency and can also be
physicians. Primary aspect of med practice is prescribing psychoactive drugs which are
chemical compounds that can influence how people feel and think.
- Psychoanalyst: received special training at a psychoanalytic institute and takes about 10
years. Specialized postdoctoral training in psychoanalysis after earning an MD or a Ph.D
- Social Worker: obtains a M.S.W
- Counselling psychologists: similar training to clinical psychologists but more severe form
- Psychiatric Nurse: specializes in mental health field.
- National Population Health Survey indicated that 21.5% of the respondents had
consulted with a psychologist one or more times in the preceding 12 months
equivalent to almost 515k people in the Canadian population aged 12 and older.
History of Psychopathology
- Demonology: the doctrine that an evil being such as the devil may dwell within a person
and control his or her mind and body. This type of thinking was found in early Chinese,
Egyptians, Babylonians and Greeks.
- Possession of bad spirits treatment involved exorcism, when you cast out evil spirits by
ritualistic chanting or torture(drink brews, starve, flogging, etc)
- Trepanning: the making of a surgical opening in a living skull by some instrument by
Stone Age and Neolithic cave dwellers to make the evil spirits escape from the persons
head. A popular theory is that it was a way of treating conditions such as epilepsy,
headaches, and psychological disorders attributed to demons within the cranium. It was
most common in Peru and Bolivia.
Somatogenesis- Hippocrates (father of modern medicine) separated medicine from religion, magic, and
- Somatogenesis: 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 3 categories: Mania, Melancholia and
Phrenitis (brain fever).
- Melancholia treatment: tranquility, sobriety, care in choosing food and drink, and
abstinence from sexual activity.
- He has detailed records describing many of the symptoms now recognized in epilepsy,
alcoholic delusion, stroke and paranoia. According to him, normal brain functioning
involves balance among four humours or fluids of the body, namely, blood, black bile,
yellow bile and phlegm otherwise it would produce disorders. Ex: a person sluggish and
dull- body contained a preponderance of phlegm; preponderance of black bile produced
melancholia; too much yellow bile caused irritability and anxiousness and too much
blood caused changeable temperament.
The Dark Ages and Demonology
- Galens death, the second century Greek who is regarded as the last major physician of
the classic era marked the beginning of the Dark ages for western European medicine
and for the treatment and investigati