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United States (204,198)
Psychology (17)
PSYC 001 (15)
Greg Feist (13)


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San Jose State University
PSYC 001
Greg Feist

Mental illnesses ● culturally influenced ○ some disorders found in only certain cultures ■ i.e. koro: SoutheasternAsian belief one’s genitals are retracting into one’s body ● universal ones are main psychological focus ● some are spontaneous when you wake up. Normal vs.Abnormal ● Is 7 ft. tall NBAplayer abnormal? ○ yes, b/c he’s professional athlete ● Is cult member abnormal ○ yes, b/c not many people are ○ i.e. Jim Jones - 1970s mass suicide ● Is homosexual abnormal? ● creative artist abnormal? ○ all of them are statistically abnormal ■ understand difference b/t this and psychologically abnormal ● Criteria: The 3 D’s ○ Deviant - “different from norm” ■ abnormal ○ Dysfunctional (Maladaptive) ■ has to interfere with everyday functioning ■ Can be risk to oneself or others ○ Distressing to self or others - “real discomfort” ■ i.e.Anorexia ● distressing to others (out of concern) but not to self ○ note danger is not criteria Modern conceptualization of mental illness ● Result of biological & environmental interplay ● Diagnostic & statistical Manual (DSM-5) - U.S. / West culture major tool for diagnosis ○ published byAPA ○ 2 diagnostic classifications/axises ■ Axis I disorders ● 250+ disorders ● major clinical syndromes ○ clusters of related symptoms that cause significant impairment to life functioning ■ tend to develop after adolescence, not always permanent ● victims view as inconsistent w/ personality ○ causes degree of subjective stress ○ disorders simply part of person ■ Axis II disorders ● 100+ ● personality disorders & mental retardation ○ appears in childhood/adolescence and usually last for lifetime ● viewed as part of personality ○ don’t cause as much subjective stress ■ Disorders not uncommon (26% population at any given moment, 46% when entire lifetimes taken into consideration) ○ comorbidity: 2 disorders simultaneously existing ● First proposed in 1952 & now the standard Anxiety disorders ● GeneralizedAnxiety Disorder(GAD): common anxiety disorder ○ persuasive & excessive state of anxiety of at least 6 months ○ tendency towards women ○ lifetime anxiety ■ can’t recall when they began to feel this way ○ some can work with it, some are debilitated from working ● Nature & nurture ○ fear mechanisms > determine safety > fight/flight ○ genetic disposition towards anxiety ■ diathesis-stress model: biological predispositions/vulnerabilities + stress/abusive environments = psychological disorders ● Etiology/causes of schizophrenia can be depicted by model ● diathesis = predisposition ● Neurochemical ○ dopamine (excess) ○ neuroleptic drugs (to inhibit dopamine activity): tranquilizer that calms them ● genetic ○ higher concordance rate for MZ twins than for DZ twins ● Epigenetic-prenatal ○ if mother gets virus while pregnant ■ increases 1% to 4% chance for schizophrenia ■ 3 biological factors to vulnerability of contracting anxiety disorders: ● deficiencies in neurotransmitter GABA ○ GABA = major inhibitory neurotransmitter ○ > excessive activation in certain brain regions ■ especially limbic structures ● associated w/ fear ■ medication focuses on GABAreceptors ● genetic heritage ○ generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia ■ range from 30-40% ● personality ○ high neuroticism > more likely to develop anxiety disorders than people low in this ■ prone to worry, anxiety, nervousness ○ degree of extraversion > plays role in anxiety disorder ○ introversion > more likely to avoid public situations ○ ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study changing the way psychologists view biological & environmental interaction in development of psychological disorders ■ 17k+ participants interviewed about 8ACEs ● includes abuse, domestic violence, serious household dysfunction ● had extensive medical histories on file ○ mental health outcomes in adulthood can be correlated by researchers ■ Dramatic results: Direct proportionality ofACEs and worse psychological outcomes ● child needs regular environmental stimulation by 4 yrs. old Anxious-Fearful personality disorders ● each characterized by high anxiety, nervousness, and fear levels ● avoidant personality disorder: so afraid of criticism > avoid interaction > social isolation ○ feel inadequate and low self-esteem ○ tend to choose profession where they are alone ● dependent personality disorder: fear of rejection ○ strong need to be cared for ■ form clingy, dependent relationships w/ others ● feels safe only in relationships ● tend to drive others away because of demands ● obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: very rigid in habits and extremely perfectionistic Personality disorder ● General definition: stable, ingrained, inflexible & maladaptive ways of thinking, feeling & behaving ● more part of person’s personality ● 3 examples: ○ schizoid personality disorder ■ doesn’t want close relationships ■ emotionally aloof, reclusive, humorless ● wants solitary life ○ schizotypal personality disorder ■ kind of creepy, twisted ■ peculiar patterns of thinking & behavior ■ In England = eccentric ■ perceptual & cognitive disturbances ■ Magical thinking ■ not psychotic ● distant “cousin” of schizophrenia ○ Paranoid personality disorder ■ extremely suspicious and mistrustful of others ■ both unwarranted and adaptive ● often test loyalty of friends and lovers ○ belief they may try to cause harm Dramatic-Emotional personality disorders ● Axis II disorders involves dramatic and emotional disorders ○ histrionic personality disorder: want to be center of attention and behave in dramatic, seductive, flamboyant, and exaggerant ways ■ also emotional, self-centered, shallow emotionally and in relationships ○ borderline personality disorder: out-of-control emotions, very afraid of abandonment, vacillate b/t idealizing and despising ○ narcissistic personality disorder: extremely positive and arrogant self-image ■ most of time and attention = self-focused ■ exaggerated sense of self-importance and grandiose ● make unrealistic and unreasonable demands of others ○ ignores others’wishes/needs ○ anti-social personality disorder ■ conduct disorder = anti-social personality disorder early in life ■ aka sociopaths, psychopaths, 3x more males ● someone with wide-eyed look = murderer’s face expression ● b/t 40-75% prison population is anti-social ■ Manipulative, exploitative, dishonest, no guilt or fear, punishment doesn’t deter them, lack of attachment or feelings for other ● extreme impulsion, deception, ruthless, callous behavior ■ not intentional apathy, but a lack of brain chemistry Panic disorder w/ or w/o agoraphobia ● Panic attacks: overwhelming sense of impending doom ○ heart palpitations, trembling, dizziness, intense dread, and fear of dying ○ associated w/ perceptions of threat and can occur out of fear ○ lasts 10 minutes ■ can go over period of hour+ ○ 10% of U.S. population has experienced one in the past year ○ associated w/ agoraphobia in 1/3 cases ■ intense anxiety & panic > being in places from which escape is difficult or where help might not be available in case of a panic attack ■ most severe of phobias ■ primary fear: being in inescapable situation ● keeps people home ○ where they feel safe ■ begins when panic attack occurs in public place & feels trapped, unable to escape ● panic disorder: experience panic attacks, persistent worry, embarrassment, and concern about more attacks ○ preoccupation and anxiety over having another attack ■ increases likelihood of more worrisome thoughts > more panic attacks ○ positive feedback cycle: anxiety about future attacks hijack body’s emergency response system ■ catapults out of control ○ occasional panic attacks don’t qualify for this disorder ○ 2-5% U.S. pop. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ● anxiety disorder triggered > exposure to catastrophe causing serious harm or posing serious threat ● 3 categories of symptoms: ○ re-experiencing trauma ○ avoiding thoughts,feeling, activities associated w/ trauma ○ Increased arousal: irritability, sleeping, exaggerate startle response ● War veterans at risk of this and for depression, drug abuse, suicide ○ 24% Iraq veterans developed PTSD ● all ages ○ including children experiencing serious trauma like extreme domestic abuse ■ reduced hippocampal activity during verbal memory task ● suggests learning interference Phobic disorders ● are real ● not afraid all the time - not anxious 100% of the time ○ extreme anxiety only when encountering phobia subject ● Social Phobia ● Phobia: persistent and unreasonable fear of particular object, situation, or activity ● social phobia/social anxiety disorder: pronounced fear of humiliation in others’ presence ○ severe self-consciousness about appearance/behavior ○ most afraid of ■ embarrassing or humiliating themselves ■ being evaluated negatively by others ■ having faults continually observed ● can be paralyzing > difficult to go into public situations ○ even though people recognize this as irrational ○ high degree of anxious arousal > person acts nervously > exhibits attention-getting behaviors ■ self-fulfilling prophecy of embarrassment ● Specific Phobias ● 1/8 people develop specific phobias (beyond mild fear) ● intense and immediate fear, panic ○ when confronted by particular situations/objects ○ thinking about them > set off fear reaction ● not generally anxious people ○ do almost anything to avoid coming into contact w/ feared object ○ Public speaking ■ #1 fear
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