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Chapter 14

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Neuroglia, Binge Eating, Anxiety Disorder

Course Code
Ashley Waggoner Denton

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Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders
Capgras syndrome involves an otherwise perfectly lucid person believing that a family
member or friend has been replaced by an identical looking imposter
Psychopathology: a disorder of the mind causing the individual personal
How Are Psychological Disorders Conceptualized and Classified
It is important to consider certain criteria in determining whether behaviour
represents psychopathology
o 1. Does the behaviour deviate from cultural norms
o 2. Is the behaviour maladaptive
o 3. Is the behaviour causing the individual personal distress
Psychological Disorders are classified into categories
Etiology: factors that contribute to the development of a disorder
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
Multiaxial system: the system used in the DSM that provides assessment along five axes
describing important mental health factors
Diagnoses include evaluations on five dimensions, or axes: pg. 632
o 1. Clinical disorders
o 2. Mental retardation or personality disorder
o 3. Medical conditions
o 4. Psychosocial problems
o 5. Global or overall assessment of how well the person is functioning
Psychological Disorders Must be Assessed
Assessment: in psychology, examination of a person’s mental state to diagnose possible
psychological disorders
The first goal of assessment is make a diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be
Because the course and probably outcome, or prognosis, of different mental disorders can
A patient in this condition may be given a mental status exam to provide a snapshot of
his or psychological functioning
In this clinical interview, the interviewer’s skills determine the quantity and value of
information obtained. A good interviewer expresses empathy, builds rapport quickly, is
nonjudgmental and trusting, and supports the clients efforts to find out what is wrong and
how it might be addressed

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Structured vs. Unstructured Interviews
Most interviews are unstructured
In structured interviews, standardized questions are asked in the same order each time
o Most common is Structured Clinical Interview for DSM, through which
diagnoses are made according to DSM criteria
Types of Testing
Gain valuable info from client’s behaviour
Another source of info regarding psychopathology is psychological testing
The most widely used questionnaire for psychological assessment is the Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
Neuropsychological testing: the client performs actions such as copying a picture,
drawing a design from memory, sorting cards that show various stimuli into categories
based on size, shape, or colour, placing block into slots on a board while blindfolded and
tapping fingers rapidly
o Each task requires an ability such as planning, coordinating, or remembering
o By highlighting actions that the client performs poorly, the assessment might
indicate problems with a particular brain region
Evidence-Based Assessment
Evidence-based assessment is an approach to clinical evaluation in which research
guides the evaluation of mental disorders, the selection of appropriate psychological tests
and neuropsychological methods, and the use of critical thinking in making a diagnosis
Scientific research indicates that many mental disorders occur together, a state known as
comorbidity; mental disorders commonly overlap
People who are depressed often have substance abuse disorders, so an evidence-based
assessment approach would indicate that people found to be depressed should also be
assessed for comorbid conditions such as substance abuse
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a Controversial Diagnosis
Dissociate identity disorder (DID): (multiple personality disorder) the occurrence of
two or more distinct identities in the same individual
o Involves disruptions of identity, of memory, and of conscious awareness
o Most ppl diagnosed with DID are women who report being severely abused as
o Different identities develop to deal with different traumas

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Psychological Disorders Have Many Causes
Diathesis-stress model: a diagnostic model that proposes that a disorder may develop
when an underlying vulnerability is coupled with a precipitating event
o an individual can have an underlying vulnerability or predisposition (known as
diathesis) to a mental disorder; this diathesis can be biological, such as a genetic
predisposition to a specific disorder, or environmental, such as childhood trauma
Biological Factors
biological factors often reflect vulnerabilities, and situational factors often play
prominent roles in the expression of mental disorders
as the diathesis-stress model reminds us, single explanations (nature or nurture) are
seldom sufficient for understanding mental disorders
Psychological Factors
family systems model: a diagnostic model that considers symptoms within an individual
as indicating problems within the family
socio-cultural model: a diagnostic model that views psychopathology as the result of the
interaction between individuals and their cultures
o differences in occurrences of disorders are due to differences in lifestyles, in
expectations and in opportunities among classes
Cognitive-Behavioual factors
cognitive-behavioural approach: a diagnostic model that views psychopathology as the
result of learned maladaptive cognitions
Sex-Differences in Mental Disorders
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are equally likely in both sexes
one way of categorizing mental disorders is to divide them into 2 major groups:
internalizing disorders, those characterized by negative emotions such as distress and
fear, and externalizing disorders, those characterized by disinhibition, such as
alcoholism, conduct disorders, and anti-social behaviour (pg.640)
Cultural and Mental Disorders
mental disorders may be very similar around the world but still reflect cultural
disorders with a strong biological component are more similar across cultures, whereas
those heavily influenced by learning and by context will more likely differ across cultures
culture-bound syndromes: disorders mainly found in specific cultures and regions
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