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Chapter 15

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Derek Quinlan

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Psychology 1000
Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders
Historical Perspective
Demonological View: abnormal behavior = result of supernatural forces, possessed by a spirit
Treatment: trephination hole i the skull
Early biological views: mental illnesses areas diseases like physical illness that effect the brain.
Breakthrough: General paresis caused by syphilis. Psychological disorders can be linked to
physical causes. Current biological perspective emphasis on physiological and psychological.
Psychological Perspective
Psychoanalytic: inappropriate use of defence mechanisms = neurosis
- Withdrawal from reality = psychosis
Behavioural: learned responses
Cognitive: thought processes
Humanistic: frustrations of achieving self-actualization, negative self-concept
Vulnerability-stress model: incorporates biological, environmental, psychological levels
- Vulnerability = predisposition to disorders
- Biological basis; personality or environmental factors
- Predisposition -> creates disorder only when person is subject to a stressor
- Stressor -> event that requires person to cope
Defining and Classifying Disorders
Abnormality: social construction
4 D’s:
- Distressing to the individual -> is disproportionate; too long lasting
- Dysfunctional -> for individual or society
- Deviant -> especially if violate unstated norm
- Danger -> of hurting one self or others
Diagnosing Psychological Disorders:
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition DSMIV ->
detailed behaviour must be present for diagnoses
- 5 axes/dimensions assess both person and life situation
- over 350 diagnostic categories
o Axis 1: Clinical Symptoms diagnosis (ex: depression, schizophrenia, etc) -> most
acute and widely recognized
o Axis 2: Development and Personality Disorders (ex: autism, mental retardation,
personality disorders, paranoid, antisocial, borderline personality disorder) ->
usually life-long problems that first arise in childhood
o Axis 3: Physical Conditions (ex: brain injury or HIV/Aids that can result in
symptoms of mental illness)
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o Axis 4 (IV): Severity of Psychosocial Stressors (ex: death of a loved one, starting
a new job, college, etc)
o Axis 5 (V): Highest level of Functioning (level of functioning both at present time
and highest level within previous year)
Critical Issues in Diagnostic Labelling
Social and Personal:
- Becomes too easy to accept label as description of the individual
- May accept the new identity implied by the label
- May develop the expected role and outlook
Legal Consequences of Diagnostic Labelling:
- Involuntary commitment to mental institutions
- Loss of civil rights
- Indefinite detainment
Competency: defedats state of id at tie of a judiial hearig
Insanity: presumed state of mind of defendant at time crime was committed, legal term.
Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders: frequency and intensity of anxiety responses are out of proportion to
situations that triggers them. Anxiety interferes with daily life. (Ex: phobias, generalized anxiety
disorder, obsessive-compulsive)
Components of anxiety responses: subjective-emotional, cognitive, physiological, behavioural
Phobic Disorder: strong, irrational fears of objects or situations.
- Most develop during childhood, adolescence, young adulthood.
- Dot reall go aa o its o
- Degree of impairment aka it can impair someones life depending on how severe the
phobia is
Most common Western society fears:
Agoraphobia: fear of open spaces, public places
Social phobias: fears of certain situations
Specific phobias: fear of specific objects such an animals or situations
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: state of diffuse, free floating anxiety.
- Long duration
- Not tied to specific situation; condition (feeling of something is goig to happe; dot
know what -> physiological sweating, upset stomach, etc 5% of population 15-45
Panic Disorder:
- Occur suddenly, unpredictability; more intense, terrifying (dying)
- My occur with or without agoraphobia
- Fear of future attacks
- Late teens or early adulthood, 3.5% of the population
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
- Obsessions = cognitive component (repetitive and unwelcome thoughts)
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- Compulsions = behavioural component (repetitive behavioural responses)
- Obsessions cause anxiety which can then be reduced through compulsive behaviour
- 1-2% of the population, early 20s
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): severe anxiety disorder after exposure to traumatic life
- traumas caused by human action precipitate more symptoms than natural causes (wars,
terrorist attacks, rape, torture; women show high rate of developing depression and
other disorders)
4 major symptoms:
- anxiety, arousal, and distress not present before trauma
- reliving of trauma in flashbacks, dreams, and fantasy
- becoming numb to world
- survivor guilt
Recovery from PTSD:
- recovery depends on kind of trauma and onset of symptoms
- early onset = better recovery
Biological Factors in Anxiety Disorders:
Genetics: MZ twins more similar than DZ twins, even when adopted
GABA: low levels may cause highly reactive nervous systems
Gender differences:
- females more anxiety disorders
- sex-linked biological disposition
- less power and personal control for women
Psychological Factors:
Psychodynamic Explanations:
- Neurotic Anxiet: uaeptale ipulses threate to oerhel egos defeses
Cognitive Explanations: maladaptive thought patterns and beliefs influence development of
anxiety. Things are appraised catastrophically.
- Eliciting Stimuli -> physiological responses (increased heart rate and shit) -> catastrophic
appraisal (im going insane, im having a heart attack) -> panic attack
Leaning Explanations:
Classical conditioning: associating an object or situation with pain trauma
Modeling: learning by watching others
Sociocultural Factors:
Culture defines what is important; some disorders are culturally bound (fear of offending
someone; fear of being possessed; fear of being fat)
Mood (Affective) Disorders
- Clinical depression: frequency, intensity, duration of symptoms is out of proportion to
- Major depression: unable to function effectively
- Dysthymia: chronic disruption of mood
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