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Chapter 13

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Dissociative Identity Disorder, Somatic Symptom Disorder, Fugue State

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

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Chapter 13
"Psychological Disorders"
Historical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders
- the demonological view
- belief that abnormal behaviour is caused by supernatural forces
- trephination - procedure to "release" spirit
- early biological view
- believed that people with disordered behaviour were sick
- emphasis given force by discovery general paresis (disorder characterized in
advanced stages by mental deterioration and bizarre behaviour)
- psychological perspective
- neuroses - disorders that do not involve a loss of contact with reality (ex: obsessions,
phobias, depression)
- psychoses - anxiety that is so severe caused by unresolved conflicts makes person
unable to deal with reality and withdraw from it (ex: schizophrenia)
- behavioural perspective views disorder behaviour as a learned response - not a reflection
of internal psychodynamics and unconscious conflicts
- profoundly influenced understanding of how environmental factors help shape
abnormal behaviour
- avoidance responses in phobias and compulsive disorders seen as operant responses
that are negatively reinforced through anxiety reduction
- cognitive theorists emphasize important role of people's thoughts and perceptions about
themselves and environment
- key to understanding many maladaptive behaviours is to isolate specific thought
patterns, beliefs, attitudes underlying them
- humanistic perspective views abnormality as result of environmental forces that frustrate
one's inherent self-actualization tendencies and search for meaning in life
- socio-cultural perspective takes into account cultural context and cultural factors that may
influence the situation
- vulnerability-stress model - a model that explains behaviour disorders as resulting from
predisposing biological or psychological vulnerability factors that are triggered by a stressor
Defining and Classifying Psychological Disorders
- judgement of abnormality (the 3 D's) = distressing to self or others + deviant: violates
social norms + dysfunctional for person or society
- DIagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) allows
diagnostic information to be represented along 5 axes (or dimensions)
- Axis I - primary diagnosis - represents the person's primary clinical symptoms
- Axix II - reflects long-standing personality or developmental disorders that could
influence one's behaviour and response to treatment
- Axis III - notes any physical conditions that might be relevant (ex: high blood
- Axis IV - reflecting vulnerability-stress model, one is rated based on intensity of
environmental stressors in one's recent life
- Axis V - one's coping resources as reflected in recent adaptive functioning
- legal consequences
- competency - refers to defendant's state of mind at time of judicial hearing (may be
declared "not competent to stand trial)
- insanity - relates to the presumed state of mind of defendant at the time crime was
Anxiety Disorders
- frequency and intensity of anxiety responses are out of proportion to situations that trigger
them - anxiety interferes with daily life

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- anxiety responses have four components
(1) subjective-emotional - feelings of tension and apprehension
(2) cognitive - subjective feelings of apprehension, a sense of impending danger, a
feeling of inability to cope
(3) physiological responses - increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension,
rapid breathing, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, frequent urination
(4) behavioural responses - avoidance of certain situations, impaired task
- agoraphobia - fear of open and public places
- generalized anxiety disorder - chronic state of diffuse or "free-floating" anxiety that is
not attached to specific situations or objects
- panic disorders - occur suddenly and unpredictably, very intense
- victims develop agoraphobia (a fear of public places)
- OCD consists of 2 components...
(A) obsession - repetitive and unwelcome thoughts, images, or impulses that invade
consciousness after often abhorrent to the person but very hard to dismiss
(B) compulsions - repetitive behavioural responses that can be resisted only with
great difficultly
- biological factors
- GABA - inhibitory transmitter that reduces neural activity in amygdala and other brain
structures that stimulate physiological arousal
- some believe abnormally low levels of GABA activity in arousal areas may cause
some individuals to have highly reactive nervous systems that quickly produces
anxiety responses
- psychological factors
- neurotic anxiety - occurs when unacceptable impulses threaten to overwhelm ego's
defenses and explode into action
- learned response - emotional conditioning
- sociocultural factors
- culture-bound disorders - behaviour disorders whose specific forms are restricted
to one particular cultural context
Mood (Affective) Disorders
- dysthymia - a depressive mood disorder of moderate intensity that occurs over a long
period of time but does not disrupt functioning as a major depression does
- depressive disorders similar across socio-economic and ethnic groups
- men and women do not differ in prevalence of bipolar disorder
- women twice as likely as men to suffer unipolar depression
- biological factors - depression is a disorder of motivation caused by under activity in family
of neurotransmitters (that includes norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin)
- manic disorders stem from over-production of same neurotransmitters that are
under-active in depression
- psychological factors - depressed people victimize themselves through their own beliefs
- depressive cognitive triad of negative thoughts concern...
(i) the world
(ii) oneself
(iii) future seems to pop into consciousness automatically
- depressive attributional pattern - the tendency of depressed people to attribute
negative outcomes to their own inadequacies and positive ones to factors outside
- learned helplessness theory - a theory of depression that states that if people are
unable to control life events, they develop a state of helplessness that leads to depressive
- socio-cultural factors - less prevalent in Hong Kong and Taiwan where strong connections
with family are visible
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