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Chapter 16

Psych 1000 Chapter 16 Review Notes.docx

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Psychology 1000
Wolfe/ Quinlan

Chapter 16 – Psychological Disorders Historical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders  The Demonological View o Abnormal behaviour was claimed to be work of the devil o Procedure called trephination drilled hole in skull to release evil spirits  Early Biological Views o Hippocrates suggested that mental illnesses are diseases just like physical disorders o Believed that site of illness was the brain o Biological emphasis increased after discovery that general paresis (mental deterioration disorder) resulted from brain deterioration (which was caused by the STD syphilis)  Psychological Perspectives o Vulnerability-stress model – everyone has some degree of vulnerability to developing a disorder  Vulnerability can have biological basis, brain malfunction, or hormonal factor  Can also arise from personality factors such as low self-esteem  Vulnerability often only causes disorder when a stressor combines with it to trigger the appearance of the disorder Defining and Classifying Psychological Disorders  What is “Abnormal”? o Three criteria seem to govern decisions about abnormality:  Distressing – we are likely to label behaviours abnormal if they intensely distress an individual  Dysfunctional – most behaviours that are abnormal are dysfunctional for the individual or society  Deviance – abnormality of a behaviour is based on society’s judgments of the deviance of it o Abnormal behaviour – behaviour that is personally distressful, personally dysfunctional, and/or culturally deviant  Diagnosing Psychological Disorders o Classification must be set up that meets standards of reliability (high levels of agreement in decisions among clinicians) and validity (diagnostic categories accurately capture the essential features of disorders) o Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) most widely used diagnostic system  Allows diagnostic information to be represented along five dimensions:  Axis I – person’s primary clinical symptoms  Axis II – long-standing personality or developmental disorders that could influence behaviour and response to treatment  Axis III – physical conditions that might be relevant  Axis IV – intensity of environmental stressors  Axis V – person’s coping resources o Categorical system – people are placed into specific diagnostic categories o Dimensional system – relative behaviours are rated along a severity measure  Critical Issues in Diagnostic Labeling o Diagnoses can have important personal, social and legal consequences o Law tries to take into account the mental status of individuals accused of crimes  Competency – defendant’s state of mind at time of a judicial hearing (not during committing of crime)  Insanity – presumed state of mind of defendant at time of crime Anxiety Disorders  Anxiety disorders – group of disorders in which the frequency and intensity of anxiety responses are out of proportion to situation that triggered them  Have four components: o Subjective-emotional component (feelings of tension and apprehension) o Cognitive component (feeling of inability to cope, sense of impending danger) o Physiological responses (increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension) o Behavioural responses (avoidance of certain situations and impaired task performance)  Phobic Disorder o Phobias – strong and irrational fears of certain situations or objects  Most common include agoraphobia (fear of open and public spaces), social phobias (fear of situations with the possibility of embarrassment/evaluation), and specific phobias (dogs, snakes, spiders, etc.)  Generalized Anxiety Disorder o Generalized anxiety disorder – a chronic state of diffuse, or “free-floating”, anxiety that is not attached to specific situations or objects  Panic Disorder o Panic disorders – anxiety disorder characterized by unpredictable panic attacks and a fear that another will occur  Much more intense than generalized anxiety disorder o Many people develop agoraphobia because of fear that they will have an attack in public  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder o Anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviours o Obsessions – repetitive and unwelcome thoughts, images, or impulses that invade consciousness o Compulsions – repetitive behavioural responses that are difficult to resist  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder o A pattern of distressing systems and anxiety responses that recur after a traumatic experience o Four major symptoms:  Person experiences severe symptoms of anxiety, arousal, and distress  Person relives the trauma in recurrent flashbacks, dreams, and fantasies  Person becomes numb to world and avoids stimuli that serves as reminder of the trauma  May experience survivor guilt (wondering why they survived and others did not)  Causal Factors in Anxiety Disorders o Genetic factors may create a vulnerability to anxiety disorders  Abnormally low levels of GABA activity may cause people to have highly reactive nervous systems that quickly produce anxiety responses in response to stressors  Biological preparedness makes it easier to learn to fear certain stimuli, and may explain why phobias seem to centre on certain classes of primal stimuli and not on more dangerous modern ones, such as guns  Women experience more anxiety disorders than men o Anxiety is central feature of psychoanalytic conceptions of abnormal behaviour  Neurotic anxiety – state of anxiety that arises when impulses from the id threaten to break through into behaviour  Form of anxiety disorder determined by how ego’s defense mechanisms deal with neurotic anxiety o Cognitive theorists stress role of maladaptive thought patterns and beliefs in anxiety disorders  o Behavioural perspective believes anxiety disorders result from emotional conditioning o Culture-bound disorders – behaviour disorders whose specific forms are restricted to one particular cultural context Eating Disorders  Anorexia nervosa – intense fear of being fat that causes people to severely restrict food intake o Can stop menstruation, strain heart, produce bone loss and increase risk of death  Bulimia nervosa - overly concerned of becoming fat, so they binge and then purge Can stop menstruation, strain heart, produce bone loss and increase risk of death o Can cause gastric problems and badly eroded teeth  Caused by the culture/environment, personality, stress and biological Mood (Affective) Disorders  Mood disorders – psychological disorders whose core conditions involve maladaptive mood states  Depression o Major depression – mood disorder characterized by intense depression that interferes markedly with functioning o 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 o Depression involves emotional, cognitive, motivational, and somatic (physical) symptoms  Bipolar Disorder o Bipolar disorder – depression alternates with periods of mania  Mania – state of highly excited mood and behaviour that is quite the opposite of depression  Prevalence and Course of Mood Disorders o People born after 1960 are ten times more likely to experience depression than are their grandparents o Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression o After depression, one of three patterns may follow:  Half of all cases, depression will never recur  Many people show recovery with recurrence some years later (recurring episode is shorter)  About ten percent will not recover  Causal Factors in Mood Disorders o Genetic and neurochemical factors are linked to depression o Depression may stem from underactivity in reward/pleasure neurotransmitters and manic disorders may stem from overproduction of these neurotransmitters o Psychoanalysts believe that early traumatic experiences create vulnerability for depression o Lewinsohn believes depression is usually triggered by a
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