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Chapter 15

Psychology 1000 Chapter 15: psych 1000 chapter 15

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Nick Skinner

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-Defining a disorder can be rather difficult because of the point of view. It all depends on whether we
are taking society's point of view or the view points of people who are affected by the troubled
individual, or the perspective on the troubles person.
1. Mental disorder as a violent of cultural standards - this emphasizes the roles and rules of the culture
2. Mental disorder as emotional distress - a persons suffering
3. Mental disorder as behavior that is self destructive or harmful to others - emphasizes the negative
consequences of a persons behavior
- Mental Disorder: any behavior or emotional state that causes an individual great suffering, is self-
destructive, seriously impairs the persons ability to work or get along with others or endangers others or
the community
Classifying Disorders
We classify disorders by DSM which is known as the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders. The DSM aims to be descriptive by providing clear diagnostic categories so that clinicians and
researchers can agree on which disorders they are talking about and then can study and treat these
In addition clinicians are encouraged to evaluate each client according to five axes or dimensions:
1. the primary clinical problem, such as depression
2. ingrained aspects of the clients personality that are likely to affect the persons ability to be
treated, such as negative emotionality (neuroticism), a disposition to be pessimistic and bitter
3. Medical conditions or medications that might contribute to the symptoms
4. Social and environmental stressors that can make the disorder worse. such as job and housing
troubles or having recently left a network of close friends
5. A global assessment of the clients overall level of functioning in work, relationships and leisure
time, including whether the problem is of recent origin or of long duration and how incapacitating it is
Problems with the DSM
Because of the DSM`s powerful influence, critics maintain that it is important to be aware of its
limitations and some inherent problems in the very effort to classify and label mental disorders:
1. the danger of over diagnosis
2. the power of diagnostic labels
3. the confusion of serious mental disorders with normal problems
4. the illusion of objectivity and universality
Advantaged of DSM
- recognize that many psychological symptoms fall along a continuum, ranging from mild to severe
- improved the reliability of diagnosis
- DSM categories help clinicians distinguish among disorders that share certain symptoms in order to
select the most appropriate treatment
Culture-bound syndromes: disorders that are specific to particular contexts
There are two types of measurements for psychological disorders:
1. projective tests: psychological tests used to infer a persons motives, conflicts and unconscious
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