Chapter 14 Summary – Psychological Disorders
Medical Model: Proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behaviour as a disease.
* Prior to the 18 century, most conceptions of abnormal behaviour were based on
superstition (victim’s of Gods punishment.) They were then treated with chants, rituals,
exorcisms, and such.
Thomas Szasz – behaviour that deviates from social norms
Diagnosis: involves distinguishing one illness from another.
Etiology: refers to the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness.
Criteria of Abnormal Behaviour
1. Deviance: people are often said to have a disorder because their behaviour
deviates from what their society considers. (Transvestic Fetishm deviated from
our cultures norms because it is not normal for a man to dress in women’s
2. Maladaptive Behaviour: people are judged to have a psychological disorder
because heir everyday adaptive behaviour is impaired. (Substance abuse, for
instance using cocaine interferes with a persons social and occupational
3. Personal Distress: Based on a report of great personal distress. (Ex. Describe their
subjective pain and suffering to friends, relatives, and professionals)
Stereotypes of Psychological Disorders
1. Psychological disorders are incurable.
2. People with psychological disorders are often violent and dangerous
3. People with psychological disorders behave in bizarre ways and are very different
from normal people.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: improved psycho diagnosis, over
100 disorders, 1952.
Epidemiology: The study of distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population.
Prevalence: the percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specific time
period. DSM Diagnostic System: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Axis I : Clinical Syndromes
- Disorders from infancy, childhood, adolescence (autism, stuttering)
- Organic mental disorders (delirium, dementia, amnesia)
- Substance related disorders (cocaine dependence)
- Schizophrenia and other (delusional, etc.)
- Mood disorders (depression, bipolar)
- Anxiety disorders (panic, anxiety)
- Somatoform disorders (hypochondriacs)
- Dissociative disorders: (identity disorders)
- Sexual and gender-identity disorders (paraphilias, dysfunctions)
- Eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia)
Axis II: Personality Disorders or Mental Retardation
- Personality: longstanding patterns of extreme, inflexible personality raits that are
- Mental Retardation: subnormal general mental ability originating before 18
Axis III: General Medical Conditions
- Physical disorders or conditions. (Diabetes, Arthritis, Hemophilia)
Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems
- Negative life event, inadequacy of personal resources. Divorce, not seeing children.
Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale
- Sorted on a 0 – 100 scale
- 100: superior functioning in a wide range of activities, minimal symptoms
- 50: serious symptoms or impairment in social, school, and occupational
- 10: Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: marked by a chronic, high level of anxiety that is not tied
to any specific threat. “free floating anxiety – trembling, diarhea, worry about problems”
Phobic Disorder: marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that
presents no realistic danger.
Panic Disorder: characterized by recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually
occurs suddenly and expectedly. Agoraphobia: fear of going out to public places
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: marked by persistant, uncontrollable intrusions of
unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions)
Concordence Rate: the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives who ehibit the
*Anxiety disorders may be acquired through classical conditioning and maintained
through operant conditioning
Twin Studies suggest that there is a weak genetic predisposition in anxiety