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Abnormal Psych Ch 12

Course Code
PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

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Personality: ABC’s that make us unique; personality traits: our complex patterns of ABC
that is stable across time and situations
12.1 defining and diagnosing personality disorders
Personality disorder: pattern of maladaptive ABC’s; to be diagnosed, the person must
have shown symptoms since adolescent or early adulthood
It is found in Axis II of the DSM, and is treated differently than acute disorders, but can be
comorbid with depression or substance abuse (which is what brings attn to them)
The criteria for diagnosis are more vague than that of acute disorders, and can lead to mis-
Problems with the dSM categories
Disorders are treated as categories (they should be just extreme versions of normal per-
sonality traits)
There is overlapping criteria for the different personality disorders (diagnosis of one,
tends to meet the diagnosis of another - hard to get reliable diagnosis)
Diagnosis required information that is hard to obtain from the clinician (hard to get accu-
rate info)
Symptoms and severity of them, may change over time, but the disorders of personality are
conceptualized as stable; similarly, ppl may look like they are suffering an Axis II disorder,
when in fact they are actually suffering an Axis I
Overall, bc of the complications, research of personality disorders is done less than any
other, and the confidence of diagnoses are not high at times as well
Gender and ethnic biases in construction and application
When constructing the disorders, can lead to different bias applied diagnoses of ethnic
and gender groups (differences may not actually occur, but clinicians will be more hesitant, to
diagnosis based on gender/ethnic stereotype)

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The disorders that are characterized as being violent and hostile are more bias towards
men, the disorders of emotionality and dependence from others are bias towards females
Different genders or ethnicities may in fact have the same disorder, however it maybe ex-
pressed differently based on their certain roles
12.2 odd-Eccentric Personality Disorders
People w/ this type, show signs of psychotic disorders, however have a better grasp on re-
“schizophrenia spectrum”: these disorders maybe a precursor to schizo disorders
Paranoid personality disorder
Includes an unwarranted and persuasive mistrust of others
They are overly sensitive to criticism, and try to come up w/ ppls “true intention”
Ppl can become w/drawn or can become aggressive and arrogant (always thinking their
thoughts are correct)
Prevalence and prognosis
More likely to appear in males - prognosis is poor and symptoms intensify under stress
They are at risk for other acute disorders; depression, anxiety, substance and psychotic
Theories and treatment
More common in families w/ schizophrenia (twin/adoption studies have not been done)
Lack of self-confidence + thoughts of others always being deceptive could be the result
(cognitive theory)

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Difficult to treat, since they may feel deception among the therapist (of being paid to say
certain things about the wife not having an affair)
Therapist must always be professional, not creating a warm and caring r/s w/ the patient,
they must be straightforward and not directly confront the persons thoughts - don’t expect the
person be fully cured, but instead to trust others a bit more
Schizoid personality disorder
Are emotionally cold, and lack the desire to form interpersonal r/s; aloof and humorless
Higher in males, but is a very rare disorder; they can function in society, especially in occu-
pations that don’t require interpersonal interaction
Theories and treatment
Does not have a clear link w/ families of schizophrenia and has indirect evidence of being
heritable - ppl have a compulsive self-reliance
Treatment: raises persons awareness of their feelings, and increases social skills
Therapist may use modelling, social skills training (w/ homework) and group therapy to
practice their social skills on each other
Schizotypal personality disorder
Tend to be socially isolated, but also includes oddness in cognition (4 categories):
Paranoia: social anxiety emerges from thinking other others as hostile/deceitful
Ideas of reference: tend to believe random events/circumstances are related to them
Odd beliefs/magical thinking: think others know what they are thinking
Illusions: just short of hallucinations i.e think they see ppl in patterns of wallpaper
People will often have overelaborate speech and have inappropriate responses to others
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