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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

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PSYC 1010 REBECCA JUBIS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS MODULE 47 PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER: deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional patterns of thought, feelings, or behaviors - Standards for deviant behavior vary by 1) Context and Culture  In one context, wartime- mass killing may be viewed as normal and heroic; in another context people are presumed deviant if they hear voices 2) Time  Homosexuality was classified as an illness, and then it was not ATTENTION-DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD): a psychological disorder marked by the appearance by age 7 of one or more of three key symptoms: extreme inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity - There is more to a disorder than being deviant  Social deviance which some political regimes use to diagnose and isolate their opponents may bring dishonor o But to be considered a disorder, deviant behavior usually causes the person distress and as a harmful dysfunction THE MEDICAL MODEL - Philippe Pinel insisted that madness is not demon possession but a sickness of the mind caused by severe stresses and inhumane conditions  ‘Moral treatment’ MEDICAL MODEL: the concept that disease, in this case psychological disorders, have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated and in most cases, cured, often through treatment in a hospital THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL APPROACH - All behaviour arises from the interaction of nature and nurture - Cultures differ in their source of stress, and they produce different ways of coping  Eating disorders have mostly occurred in Western cultures  In Malaysia, amok describes a sudden outburst of violent behavior o Such disorders may share an underlying dynamic (anxiety) while differing in the symptoms (eating problem or type of fear) - Not all disorders are culture-bound; depression and schizophrenia occur worldwide - This approach recognizes that mind and body are inseparable; negative emotions contribute to physical illness, and physical abnormalities contribute to negative emotions - In psychiatry and psychology, diagnostic classification aims not only to describe a disorder but also to predict its future course, imply appropriate treatment, and stimulate research into its causes DSM-IV-TR: the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, within an updated ‘text revision’; a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders  Despite its medical terminology (diagnosing, symptoms, illness) most practitioners find it helpful; it is also financially necessary - The DSM-IV-TR defines a diagnostic process and 16 clinical syndromes; without presuming to explain their causes, it describes disorders including psychotic disorders - DSM has other critics, that say the labels are at best arbitrary and at worst value judgments masquerading as science  Once we label a person, we view that person differently; labels create preconceptions that guide out perceptions and our interpretations - We are coming to understand that many psychological disorders are diseases of the brain, not failures of character  People express greatest sympathy for people whose disorders are gender atypical (men suffer depression, or women with alcohol dependency - People with disorders are more likely to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators - Labels can serve as self-fulfilling prophecies - BUT Labels help mental health professionals communicate about their cases, comprehend underlying causes and to discern effective treatment programs - Immigrant paradox; compared with people who have recently immigrated to Mexico, Mexican-Americans born in the United States are at greater risk of mental disorder - The relationship between poverty and psychological disorders; poverty-related stresses can help trigger disorders, but disabling disorders, can also contribute to poverty- thus, poverty and disorder its hard to know what comes first MODULE 48 ANXIETY DISORDERS: psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviours that reduce anxiety 1) GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER: an anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal - Marked by pathological worry; the symptoms are commonplace, persistent, for 6 months or more - Two thirds of women suffer from this anxiety disorder  They worry continually, often jittery, agitated, sleep- deprived, concentration is difficult - The anxiety is free-floating; the person may not be able to identify and therefore deal with or avoid its cause 2) PANIC DISORDER: an anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable, minutes-long episodes of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chess pain, choking, or other frightening sensations 3) PHOBIA: an anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object, activity, or situation - Specific Phobias; animals, insects, heights, blood or close spaces  People avoid the stimulus that arouses the fear - Social Phobias; an intense fear of being scrutinized by others, avoid potentially embarrassing social situations (e.g. speaking up, eating out, or going to parties) - Agoraphobia; fear or avoidance of situations in which escape might be difficult or help unavailable when panic strikes 4) OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD): an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions) - Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours cross the fine line between normality and disorders when they persistently interfere with everyday living and cause distress  E.g. checking you locked the door is normal; checking 10 times is not 5) POST- TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD): an anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, and/or insomnia that lingers for four weeks or more after a traumatic experience - Research indicates that the greater one’s emotional distress during a trauma, the higher the risk for post-traumatic symptoms  The more frequent an assault experience, the more adverse the long- term outcomes tend to be - A sensitive limbic system seems to increase vulnerability, by flooding the body with stress hormones again and again as images of the traumatic event erupt into consciousness; persistent right temporal lobe activation - PTSD symptoms may be genetically predisposed - Some psychologists believe that PTSD has been over diagnosed, due to the broad definition of trauma; PTSD is actually infrequent - Researchers have notes survivor resiliency of those who do NOT develop PTSD POST- TRAUMATIC GROWTH: positive psychological changes as a result of struggling with extremely challenging circumstances and life crises (‘benefit finding’) - Beginning in childhood, people repress intolerable impulses, ideas, and feelings and that this submerged mental energy sometimes produces mystifying symptoms such as anxiety THE LEARNING PERSPECTIVE a) Fear Conditioning; when bad events happen unpredictably and uncontrollably, anxiety often develops o Using classical conditioning researchers have also created chronically anxious, ulcer prone rats by giving them unpredictable electric shocks o The link between conditioned fear and general anxiety helps explain why anxious people are hyperattentive to possible threats and how panic-prone people come to associate anxiety with certain cues i. Stimulus generalization; when a person who was attacked by a dog later develops a fear of ALL dogs ii. Reinforcement; helps maintain our phobias and compulsions after they arise  Avoiding or escaping the feared situation reduces anxiety b) Observational Learning; by observing other’s fears c) Cognition; our interpretations and irrational beliefs also make for anxiety o People with anxiety disorder tend to be hypervigilant  E.g. a pounding heart becomes a sign of a heart attack, an everyday disagreement with a mate or boss spells possible doom for the relationship THE BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE a) Natural Selection; we humans seem biologically prepared to fear threats faced by our ancestors o Those fearless about occasional threats (e.g. spiders, snakes, close spaces, heights, storms, darkness) were less likely to survive and leave descendants o Just as our phobias focus on dangers faced by our ancestors, our compulsive acts typically exaggerate behaviours that contributed to our species’ survival  Grooming gone wild becomes hair pulling; washing up becomes ritual hand washing etc. b) Genes o In humans, vulnerability to anxiety disorders rises when an afflicted relative is an identical twin  Identical twins may also develop similar phobias, even if raised separately o Genes influence disorders by regulating neurotransmitters  Affects of brain levels of serotonin; a neurotransmitter that influences sleep and mood  Other studies implicate genes that regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate c) The Brain o Generalized anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, and even obsessions and compulsions are manifested biologically as an over arousal of brain areas involved in impulse control and habitual behaviours  Anterior cingulate cortex a brain region that monitors our actions and checks for errors, seem likely to be hyperactive in those with OCD  Fear- learning experiences that traumatize the brain can also create fear circuits within the amygdala MODULE 49 - Depression has been called the ‘common cold’ of psychological disorders; an expression that effectively describes its pervasiveness but not its seriousness - Depression is the #1 reason people seek mental health services - Depressed mood is often a response to past and current loss  Biologically, life’s purpose is not happiness but survival and reproduction o Depression is like a psychic hibernation: it slows us down, defuses aggression, helps us let go of unattainable goals, and restrains risk taking MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: a mood disorder in which a person experiences, in the absences of drugs or another medical condition, two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods or diminished interest or pleasure in most activities, along with at least four other symptoms MANIA: a mood disorder marked by a hyperactive, wildly optimistic state BIPOLAR DISORDER: a mood disorder in which a person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania - Those who rely on precision and logic (architects, designers, and journalists) suffer bipolar disorder less often than do those who rely on emotional expression and vivid imagery (composers, artists, poets) - Summary of facts in which the theory of depression can explain: 1) Many Behavioral & Cognitive Changes Accompany Depression 2) Depression is Widespread 3) Women’s risk of major depression is nearly double men’s 4) Most Major Depressive Episodes Self- Terminate 5)
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