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Chapter 16

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Western University
Psychology 1000

Psychology Notes Chapter 16 (Psychology Disorders) The Scope and Nature of Psychological Disorders  Abnormal behaviour is defined as behaviour that is personally distressing, personally, dysfunctional, and/or so culturally deviant that other people judge it to be inappropriate or maladaptive. Historical Perspectives on Deviant Behaviour  The vulnerability-stress model is a model that explains behaviour disorders as resulting from predisposing biological or psychological vulnerability that are triggered by a stressor. Diagnosing Psychological Disorders  Reliability refers to, in psychological testing, the consistency with which a measure assesses a given characteristic, or different observers agree on a given score; the degree to which clinicians show high levels of agreement in their diagnostic decision.  Validity refers to the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to do; the degree to which a diagnostic system’s categories contain the core features of the behaviour disorders and permit differentiation among the disorders.  Competency refers to a defendant’s state of mind at the time of a judicial hearing.  Insanity is a legal decision that a defendant was so severely impaired at the time a crime was committed that s/he was incapable of appreciating the wrongfulness of the act or of controlling his/her behaviour. Anxiety Disorders  Anxiety disorders are a group of disorders that involve behaviour that is interpersonally destructive and emotionally harmful and exhibits a lack of conscience  Phobias are strong irrational fears to certain objects or situations. o An example is agoraphobia, the fear of open spaces. o There are subtypes of phobias, such as social phobias and specific phobias.  Generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic state of diffuse or ‘free-floating’ anxiety that is not attached to specific situations or objects.  Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by unpredictable panic attacks and a pervasive fear that another will occur; may also include a resulting agoraphobia.  Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviours o Obsessions are repetitive and unwanted thoughts, images or impulses that invade consciousness, are abhorrent to the person and are very difficult to control or dismiss. o Compulsions are repetitive behavioural responses that can be resisted only with great difficulty.  Neurotic anxiety is, in psychoanalytic theory, a state of anxiety that arises when impulses from the id threaten to break through into behaviour  Cultural-bound disorders are behaviour disorders whose specific forms are restricted to one particular cultural context  Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder involving a severe and sometimes fatal restriction of food  Bulimia nervosa is a disorder involving the binging and purging of food, usually by vomiting or laxative use, because of the concern with becoming fat Mood (Affective) Disorders  Mood disorders are psychological disorders whose core conditions invoke maladaptive mood state, such as depression or mania. o A ‘high’ mood is mania, whereas a ‘low’ mood is depression  Major depression is a mood disorder characterized by intense depression that interferes markedly with functioning. o Polar opposite of mania o The patient appears utterly dejected, hopeless, worthless o Hallucinations and delusion may appear in severe cases o Symptoms may include:  Loss of apatite  There may be a disturbance in sleep  Fatigue  The patient has little, if any, interest in sex o Suicide:  The WHO reports that a suicide occurs every 40 seconds  In North America, 1 person commits suicide every 16.5 minutes  Estimated 100,000 people per year  Risk of suicide low while patient is in the worst depression, due to apathy  Risk increases as patient comes out of depression and the rates are highest on weekend leaves and shortly after discharge o Causes?  Genetic  As for bipolar disorder, there is concordance for identical twins; the rate is 4 times higher than that of fraternal twins  Biological parents are 3 times more likely to have the disorder than adoptive parents  Biochemical  The switch in bipolar disorder is not related to external circumstances, probably internal  In the 1950s, a drug names Reserpine induced depression in patients taking it for high blood pressure  The monoamine theory is that NE, serotonin and dopamine are key monoamines used in regulating mood o NE drops during depression and increases during mania o Some drugs, named tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, increased the number of NTs in a variety of ways; MAOI inhibits the protein that neutralizes NE, and leaves more NE in the synapse  Psychogenic  The psychodynamic perspective states feelings of anger towards a parent that abandoned the patient, and the anger is directed inwards resulting in guilt and self-loathing  The cognitive perspective states that the patient has a negative triad of beliefs towards self, the future and the external world o The interpretations of schema follow to maximize bad things and minimize good things o Schemas are derived from unfortunate experiences in early life; perhaps by harsh home life, loss of parents, rejection by peers, etc.  Schemas become self-fulfilling o Stressful experiences cause a negative explanatory style, which causes a depressed mood, that in turn causes negative behavioural and cognitive changes which loops back to cause a stressful experience  Attribution style explains that what really matters is how the individual attributes negative events o A style of internal global and stable causes lead to depression  Dsythymia is 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  Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which the intermittent mania appears against a background of depression o Mania is a state of highly excited mood and behaviour that is quite the opposite of depression o Only 1% of people characterized with a mood disorder has bipolar disorder o A patient has on average 10 episodes of each state that last during their lifetime o If left untreated, phases can last for months o A rapid cycler, 20% of all bipolar cases, has 4 or more swings per year, but some people shift daily  Mania may or may not be a problem; if mild, the person seems to be in a mental high gear o However  Depressive cognitive triad are negative thoughts concerning the world, oneself and the future that people with depression cannot control or supress  Depressive attributional pattern is the tendency of depressed people to attribute negative outcomes to their own inadequacies and positive ones to factors outside themselves  Learned helplessness theory is a theory of depression that states if people are unable to control life events, they develop a state of helplessness that leads to depressive symptoms Somatoform Disorders  Hypochondriasis is a somatoform disorder characterized by an overreaction to physical symptoms and a conviction that one has or is on the verge of a serious illness.  Pain disorder is a somatoform disorder in which the person’s complaints of pain cannot be accounted for in terms of physical damage  Conversion disorder is a disorder in which serious neurological symptoms, such as paralysis, loss of sensation, or blindness suddenly occur Dissociative Dis
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