PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Canadian Mental Health Association, Franz Mesmer, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Chapter One
Clifford Beers: suffered from paranoia, fear and depression; suffered in terrible hospital
conditions in early twentieth century; inspired to start mental hygiene movement; wrote a
book that changed how physicians and the public viewed mental patients and hospitals;
all psychological disorders are medical diseases
Worked with Clarence Hincks to “humanize” mental health problems – both suffered
from severe depression
Formed Canadian National Committee for Mental Health Hygiene (later Canadian
Mental Health Association)
Abnormal psychology: study of people who suffer mental, emotional and often physical
pain as a result of some form of psychological or mental disorder; often referred to as
psychopathology
Context influences whether a behaviour is viewed as abnormal
Some argue that behaviours become defined as abnormal if they violate a culture’s
gender roles, which are expectations for an individual’s behaviour based on their gender
Cultural relativism: no universal standards or rules for labelling a behaviour as
abnormal; can only be abnormal relative to cultural norms; different definitions across
different cultures
oEx: bereavement practices across the globe
Opponents: dangers arise when societal norms are allowed to dictate normality and
abnormality; justification for control (Jews, slaves)
oDrapetomania: “sickness” attributed to slaves who desired to leave their master;
justification for capture
How can we define abnormality?
Unusualness: behaviours that are unusual or rare are abnormal while behaviours tat are
typical are normal; ties to relativist criterion
oWho decides how rare an action is in order to call it abnormal? How can we have
an objective cut-off?
oWhat do we do in cases where rare behaviours are positive for society? Ex: child
prodigies, eccentrics (rare but harmless hobbies/activities)
Discomfort: behaviours should be considered abnormal only if the individual suffers
discomfort and wishes to be rid of the behaviours; doesn’t consider societal norms; ex:
changing views on homosexuality
oWhat about people who are not aware of problems their behaviours create for
themselves or others? Ex: people who have lost touch with reality
oWhat about people who enjoy behaviour that is discomforting to others? Ex:
psychopaths or sadists
Mental illness: behaviour that results from disease; clear, identifiable physical process
that differs from “health” and leads to specific behaviours or symptoms
oNo biological tests for abnormalities yet, possibly as due to number of biological
AND psychosocial factors, not just abnormal genes
oDiagnosis just as a label for a set of symptoms NOT an identifiable physical
process found in all people who exhibit these symptoms
Maladaptiveness: behaviours cause people to suffer distress and prevent them from
functioning in daily life; dysfunction, distress and deviance; supported by most clinicians
in the field
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How much pain should a person suffer? How much should the behaviours interfere with
daily functioning? What is adequate functioning?
Culture and gender influence expression, admittance, likelihood and treatments for
maladaptive behaviours
Historical perspectives on abnormality
Theories of causes of abnormal behaviours through history
oBiological: breakdown of body systems; must restore body to good health
oSupernatural: divine intervention, curses, demonic possession and personal sin;
prescribed exorcisms, atonement and religious rituals
oPsychological: traumas (stress or bereavement); prescribed rest, relaxation,
herbal medicines, change of environment
Ancient theories
Prehistoric people believed demons and ghosts were cause of abnormal behaviour so the
treatment was exorcism (sometimes extreme measures like starvation)
Trephination: drilling of holes in skulls to allow spirits to depart; done in Stone Age;
tool used called a trephine; typically used on people who were hallucinating; might also
have been used to remove blood clots
Other standards: unusualness, discomfort of person experiencing behaviour, mental
illness and maladaptiveness
Yin and yang: positive (yang) and negative (yin) forces in body which had to
complement each other; imbalance resulted in insanity; excited insanity result of too
much positive force
Human emotions also believed to have been controlled by internal organs; encouraged to
live harmoniously
Some religious theories of abnormality (Taoism, Buddhism)
Egypt and Mesopotamia: believed disorders in women caused by a “wandering uterus”
which would interfere with other organs (Greeks would call this hysteria)
Belief in both physiological interventions and incantations to gods
Greeks and Romans believed madness was an affliction from the gods; madness could
also be the source of prophetic and literary gifts
But physician Hippocrates believed imbalances in humours to be root of abnormal
behaviour; classified mania, brain fever, epilepsy, etc
Treatments to restore balance: bleeding patients, emotional control, change of scenery
State claimed no responsibility for the insane but could take away rights from people
declared mad
Medieval views
Severe emotional shock and physical illness/injury as roots witchcraft and
supernatural forces
Breakdown of feudalism and political rebellions threatened stability of church, who chose
to interpret threats in terms of heresy and Satanism
Witches may have been experiencing delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (unreal
perceptual experiences); likely cause was ill health and poor nutrition
Accusations of witchcraft used as social punishment/control
Eventually Teresa of Avila attributed mass hysteria as effect of infirmities/sickness, not
witchcraft
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Use of cultural beliefs to explain own feelings and behaviour
Psychic epidemics: phenomenon in which large numbers of people begin to engage in
unusual behaviours that appear to have a psychological origin; dance frenzies and manias
Tarantism: acute pain followed by wild dancing and odd behaviour
Frenzies and epidemics often found in religious services for the economically and
socially deprived – Methodist movements, mystical Russian sects
Social psychology and influence of others on self-perceptions
The spread of asylums during the Renaissance
11th or 12th century: general hospitals include special rooms or facilities for abnormal
behaviour; far from humane treatment; ex: Bedlam in London (patients had to beg for
money and live in filth)
Laws regarding confinement of mentally ill concerned with protection of public and
individual’s relatives
Act for Regulating Madhouses: England; 1774; wanted to clean up deplorable conditions
in hospitals and madhouses and protect people from being unjustly jailed for insanity;
licensing and inspection and approval from medical professional before admitting a
patient – only applied to paying patients in private madhouses
Public Hospital in Virginia first hospital exclusively for mentally ill with treatments like
electric shock, starvation and restraints
Moral treatment in the 18 th
century
New psychological view that people became mad because they were separated from
nature and succumbed to the stresses imposed by the rapid social changes of the period –
advocated rest and relaxation
Moral treatment: mild system of treatment designed to restore patients’ self-restraint by
treating them with respect and dignity and encouraging them to exercise self-control;
Quaker William Turke founder
Dorothea Dix a crusader for moral treatment of the insane in the US; efforts led to the
passage of laws and appropriations to fund the clean-up of mental hospitals and the
training of professionals; established institutions
Philippe Pinel rejected supernatural theories and treated patients with dignity and
tranquility (social activities, sunny rooms, good food)
Movement grew too fast and capacity of asylums declined; not enough time to dedicate to
individual patients; lots of patients had problems unrelated to loss of tranquility and these
failures stood out
Asylums in Canada were overcrowded, pestilent, segregated and underdeveloped until
well into 20th century, until effective biological treatments were developed
Patients warehoused if they could not afford private care and isolated from cities, which
contributed to slow progress in application of medical advances
The emergence of modern perspectives
Basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, neurology and chemistry increases in late 19th
century which contributes to awareness of biological causes of insanity
Wilhelm Griesinger: brain pathology explains psychological disorders; wrote The
Pathology and Therapy of Psychic Disorders
Emile Kraepelin: supported brain pathology argument; developed scheme of classifying
symptoms into discrete disorders
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Document Summary

Formed canadian national committee for mental health hygiene (later canadian. What is adequate functioning: culture and gender influence expression, admittance, likelihood and treatments for maladaptive behaviours. State claimed no responsibility for the insane but could take away rights from people declared mad. Frenzies and epidemics often found in religious services for the economically and socially deprived methodist movements, mystical russian sects. Social psychology and influence of others on self-perceptions. Public hospital in virginia first hospital exclusively for mentally ill with treatments like electric shock, starvation and restraints. Patients warehoused if they could not afford private care and isolated from cities, which contributed to slow progress in application of medical advances. The emergence of modern perspectives: basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, neurology and chemistry increases in late 19th century which contributes to awareness of biological causes of insanity, wilhelm griesinger: brain pathology explains psychological disorders; wrote the. Sigmund freud: mental life of an individual is hidden from consciousness; worked with.

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