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Psychology Chapter 17 - Mental Disorders

Psychology - Mental Disorders

Cecelia Foster

on 13 February 2013

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Transcript of Psychology Chapter 17 - Mental Disorders

Chapter 17 Mental Disorders The Nature of Mental Disorders Three Criteria for Abnormal Behavior 1. The person may suffer from discomfort more or less continuously. Extreme anxiety
Endless worry
Long periods of depression 2. The person may behave in a bizarre way. He/she constantly misinterprets what is going on and what others are doing or saying. People who constantly see a threatening environment. They see danger, rejection and failure around
every corner. Come completely apart over minor things or sinks into a depression about them. 3. People who need help may be very inefficient, unable to do the simplest of tasks. Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD Children with ADHD Have a great deal of trouble focusing on the task at hand.
May be easily
distracted and frustrated. Affects approximately 3 to 5 percent of the population of children. 3. Far more boys than girls suffer from this disorder. About 80 percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD are males. 4. Average age of diagnosis:
8 - 10 years of age. 5. Cause at this time is unknown. 6. Most common treatment –
(when the book was written)
prescription drug called Ritalin. Ritalin – a stimulant – even though it is a stimulant, people with this disorder react differently than those without this disorder – they become calmer and better able to focus. Researchers estimate that about half the cases diagnosed in childhood continue into adolescence – of those cases around one-third continue into adulthood. The effects of this disorder can be VERY HARD on a child’s self-esteem. Autism – the symptoms center on a failure to develop normal communication patterns, social interactions and emotional responses. The problems are usually quite severe, are present from birth and appear very early in life. Fairly rare disorder – affects 2 to 5 of every
10,000 children.
(When book was written - now statistics say
1 out of every 15.)
What changed? Approximately three times as many males as females suffer from autism. 5. Symptoms: As infants those with autism are difficult to feed.
Exhibit no social smiling.
Do not respond well to being held or cuddled. Frequently have tantrums
May spin or rock themselves or stare off into space for long periods of time.
Little sensitivity to pain. May seriously injure themselves by repeatedly banging their heads or biting themselves.
Rarely maintain eye contact with others.
Have difficulty forming attachments to people. – They do become quite attached
to objects. About one third of the people with schizophrenia have one episode and get better, never to have it happen again. A third have very severe symptoms and do not respond to treatment very much at all. The final third are in and out of institutions most of their lives. (Restak, 1984). Brain chemistry also plays a part. Thought disorder: –
a serious distortion in the ability to think or speak in a lucid and coherent way. Dopamine – a brain chemical. It is present in excess in schizophrenics, which causes nerve cells to fire too rapidly and leads to confusion in thought and speech. Hallucinating: –
the act of seeing or hearing something that is not present. B. Three types of anxiety disorders It is as if all the joy has gone out of their lives – underneath it all, though, there is frequently a great deal of anger,
sometimes directed at the self,
sometimes broad and unfocused.
May last for a couple of weeks to a matter of months. A haunted, confused personality
A history of very upsetting traumatic experiences or childhood abuse.
A long-term habit of escaping from almost every problem. IX. Characteristics of Psychotic Disorders VI. Mood Disorders – disorders characterized by emotional states; including depression and mania Finally, psychotics have a great deal of trouble with emotional responses. The emotions shown are quite inappropriate. They might show no response at all when something interesting happens, for example, or they might laugh at a tragic event. We seriously doubt that they really think it is funny. Instead, we think that they are quite confused and dominated by a malfunctioning brain. It is known that heredity plays some role in schizophrenia. Although, for the population as a whole, the suggestion is strong that heredity is not the key factor. Schizophrenia: – a psychosis involving disorganized thoughts and garbled speech as well as hallucinations and delusions;
the most serious mental disorder. Does not last very long – when a person ‘comes out of it’ he or she cannot remember what happened during the fugue state. They are very smooth and agreeable on the outside and will go along with almost any treatment that is suggested. They will cooperate, tell you they are getting better, thank you and seem to be well. However, as soon as they are released, they go right back to whatever their favorite crime happens to be. Officially referred to as manic depression. Bi: – two
pole: – one of the two most extreme possibilities. Suffering a significant loss or extreme stress. Catatonic schizophrenia – usually do not speak, or they say very little. They appear to be in a stupor much of the time. They may rigidly hold a peculiar posture or simply stand or sit, unmoving, for hours. Catatonics are so rigid at times that you can actually raise their hands or arms, and they will stay where you put them. Catatonic schizophrenia relatively rare. Sense of hopelessness
Extreme feelings of worthlessness
Frequent thoughts of
death or suicide
Have trouble carrying
out simple daily tasks Have a powerful need to maintain sameness in their environment. – They have a strong and negative reaction to change.
Most are incapable of normal speech – many remain mute. 6. Cause – unknown

7. Cure – none III. Anxiety Disorders Anxiety: – a generalized feeling of apprehension and dread that includes many bodily upsets. Palms sweat, throat closes up, breathing is erratic, the heart pounds, hands tremble, heavy perspiration People with anxiety attacks experience these symptoms a few times each day. In between they are restless, sleep poorly, don’t eat well and are NOT capable of calming down. Panic Disorder A type of anxiety disorder characterized by frequent and overwhelming attacks of anxiety that are NOT associated with specific objects or events. Experience frequent and overwhelming attacks of anxiety. The anxiety experienced is not really connected to anything specific. – It is a physical occurrence. Treatment – prescription drugs and psychotherapy Phobic disorder A type of anxiety disorder in which a person becomes disabled and overwhelmed by fear in the presence of certain objects or events. Specific phobia: – a phobia disorder associated with a specific object or situation, such as snakes, dogs, elevators and heights. This differs from panic attacks because phobias are connected to something specific, while panic attacks are not. Most common explanation for phobias is that they result from association or learning. Agoraphobia – a type of phobia – meaning the fear of leaving a familiar environment. Literally means fear of open places. Agoraphobics are so fearful of the world outside that they never leave their home. Obsession – a symptom characterized by an endless preoccupation with a certain urge or thought. Example: – recall a time when you heard a specific song and for a period of time ‘couldn’t get it out of your head’. Eventually, the tune disappears. Magnify this by a hundred fold and you have the experience of a person suffering from an obsession. The person simply cannot control or get rid of the obsessive thoughts. Compulsion: – a symptom involving repeated symbolic, ritualized behavior that a person repeatedly acts out.
Acting out this behavior decreases the anxiety the person experiences; thus the behavior becomes self-rewarding and is repeated. Unlike minor compulsions – genuine compulsions are different because the person must carry out the act or they get increasingly anxious.
Example: – check dozens of times to be certain the front door is locked before going to bed each and every night. Obsessive – compulsive:
Most compulsive people are obsessed with their compulsion. Recent research has found a defect in the amount of some brain chemicals in many people with this problem. Certain drugs can help people begin to get the behaviors under control. IV. Somatoform Disorders – a condition in which psychological issues are expressed in bodily symptoms in the absence of any real physical problem. Conversion Disorder
A Somatoform disorder in which a serious psychological trauma is changed into a symbolic physical dysfunction. A serious psychological trauma is unconsciously changed (converted) into a symbolic physical dysfunction. People who witness terrible human torture or slaughter may be overwhelmed by the horror, so the mind shuts the visual system down. The person can no
longer see. Examples: hysterical blindness or
hysterical paralysis This dysfunction is real. –
The symptoms are real, there simply is no physical basis for it. Hypochondriasis
A Somatoform disorder characterized by feeling excessive concern
about one’s health and exaggerating the seriousness of minor
physical complaints. Fugue – (FYOOG) – a dissociative disorder in which a person forgets his or her current life and starts a new one somewhere else. Caused by serious and unresolved conflicts. Dissociative Identity Disorder –
a dissociative disorder in which a person divides himself or herself into separate personalities that can act independently. Formerly referred to as multiple personality disorder. They are often called schizophrenics – but they are NOT. Extremely rare: – many conditions must align themselves in just the right way. In dissociative identity disorder, one person has two or more sides that tend to live independently. Dysthymic Disorder: – a moderate depression – between 4 and 12 percent of the population are affected; thus it is fairly common Referred to as the common cold of mental health. (Weissman, 1985) Symptoms Lack of energy
Loss of interest in activities and people. Loss of sense of humor
Rock-bottom feelings of self-worth Major Depression Symptoms Very slow speech
Deep ongoing depression
Disturbances in appetite and sleep patterns
Lack of energy Mania – a mood disorder involving:
extreme agitation,
rapid speech and
trouble concentrating. Mood: – a word that refers to any kind of emotion. Thoughts are moving so quickly through the person’s mind that they literally collide with one another into a mass of confused speech – referred to as flight of ideas. People with mania get so excited that they begin to have delusions that they have special powers or great influence. Bipolar Disorders Bipolar disorders – a mood disorder involving high and low moods.
Both depression and mania. Some Causes of mood disorders: Females are twice as likely to be moderately depressed, –to suffer from dysthymic disorder as males.
Females are four times as likely as males to suffer from major depression. Bipolar disorder – rates of occurrence is the same for both females and males. Differences and changes in the levels of sex hormones have been suggested to account for the findings regarding mood disorders. However, these are not the only factor. Learned helplessness: – a condition in which a person has accepted the generalized idea that he or she can do nothing to help himself or herself. Frequently associated with becoming depressed. Females are under greater pressure to conceal their intelligence in order to be accepted and they are also under more pressure to be physically attractive. Self-image is a related issue. People who are prone to depression usually have very poor self-images. A deficiency in the hormone thyroxin – produced by the thyroid gland can cause depression. Studies of mood disorders show a pretty clear relationship in the brain between serotonin level and mood. Serotonin is a brain chemical or neurotransmitter. The serotonin level is very high in many manics; the level is very low in depressives (Snyder, 1984). Suicide The type of mental disorder most often associated with suicide is depression. Statistics: About 12 people per 100,000 kill themselves every year. The suicide rate for teenagers between 15 and 19 of age is about 10 per 100,000. Among people aged 25 to 64 years, the rate is about 15 per 100,000. For ages 65 – 74 about 18 per 100,000. For ages-75 – 84, the figure jumps to 22 per 100,000. (Center for Disease Control, 1996) Risk Factors: Depression is a serious factor. Loss of an important person. Substance abuse Serious conflicts within the family Severe trouble at school or work Can be associated with having few intimate relationships; little satisfaction with those relationships; and not much social support. Feelings that everything is meaningless and hopeless and that there is no point in trying to make things better. Psychosis: – a severe mental disorder that may involve disorganized thought processes, hallucinations, delusions and major problems with emotional responses. Delusion: – a belief in something that is clearly not true. In psychotic disorders, there is a loss of contact with and difficulty in recognizing reality. Four major symptoms can appear in psychosis.
All four may not be present in one individual, but typically at least two are: The first symptom is a serious distortion of mental processes. Often it is hard to understand exactly what psychotic people are trying to say or to grasp what they are thinking. This behavior comes and goes so that they are lucid for a while, then very confused.
This symptom is called thought disorder. The second symptom involves seeing or hearing things that are not there. Again, this comes and goes. It is not unusual for psychotics to hear voices or see objects that are not present.
This behavior is called hallucinating. Next, many psychotics hold grossly inaccurate beliefs, such as thinking of themselves as avenging angels, or as victims of persecution by some secret organization.
Such a belief is called a delusion. X. Schizophrenic Disorders Schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the population. Symptoms:
disorganized thoughts and garbled speech as well as hallucinations and delusions. It is suspected that schizophrenia results mostly from some physical or chemical problem because it appears in late adolescence or early adulthood, almost never earlier. Types of schizophrenia Paranoid schizophrenia – marked by strong feelings of persecution and suspiciousness. A paranoid schizophrenic might believe that he or she has some kind of special or superhuman power.
Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common form of schizophrenia. Undifferentiated schizophrenia
there is nothing special to differentiate or distinguish it. Many professionals consider this a catchall category. This category is used when a schizophrenic
does not fit into the other subtype. Schizophrenics are not necessarily out of touch with reality all the time. Their unusual behavior called psychotic episodes, often come in cycles and in between, they are reasonably lucid. Causes Environment may play a small part in this disorder. Chemical dopamine – schizophrenics have abnormally high levels of dopamine in the brain. Schizophrenics speak and act as if they are exhausted from too much thought. XI. Personality Disorders They are not out of touch with reality – so they are not psychotic. They also do not show the guilt or anxiety so common in other disorders. Antisocial Personality Disorder Originally, people with this disorder were called psychopaths or sociopaths. Central to this disorder is a lack of conscience. These people repeatedly come into conflict with the law and show little or no concern, guilty or anxiety. Nothing in the way of drug or psychological treatment works to help them. Borderline Personality Disorder Only been around since 1980. Intense and unstable relationships with other people are a major characteristic. Borderline personalities are very dependent people, but they cannot admit this to themselves. They constantly test other people’s concern and often sabotage their own relationships. They appear to be clingy and emotionally needy. As soon as something fails to go their way, they become extremely angry with the other person, often insulting and belittling him or her. Use self-destructive behavior to manipulate others. May make suicide threats and attempts, or deliberately cut themselves, or purposely have accidents. It is as if they are so afraid of being abandoned that they are almost daring other people to do just that. Their emotions are unstable and they have trouble controlling their impulses. Insanity Defense A person may be judged insane if, because of some mental problem, he or she was unable at the time the crime was committed: To know the difference between right and wrong or To conform his or her behavior to the requirements of the law. The overall concept is termed diminished capacity. May be impulsive.
May be constantly moving and restless. Great deal of difficulty paying attention to what another is saying. V. Dissociative Disorders

Disorders in which memory of a part of one’s life becomes disconnected from other parts;
amnesia, fugue, and dissociative identity disorder are examples. People with these disorders can disconnect or disassociate certain events or behaviors from one another. Types of Dissociative Disorders: Amnesia: – a dissociative disorder in which traumatic events seem to disappear from memory. These events are cut off from consciousness. Some can be caused by a high fever or a blow to the head. These are referred to as organic amnesia. Psychogenic amnesia

This is psychologically caused. Examples: a soldier’s loss of memory of nightmarish events that happened in battle. Selective forgetting is involved. Only the traumatic portions of the memories disappear. ♦ Person is UNABLE to perform his/her life roles properly. This part won’t disappear, for these people it grows and grows until eventually they form a separate personality that can do these acts and not be responsible and guilty for them when they return to their ‘good’ personality. These persons have an aspect of themselves that causes such guilt that they cannot face this aspect of their life and thus block it off. Again, the dissociative identity disorder is NOT schizophrenia. However, the basic core personality is the same, and this core is well aware of general reality, as we know it, does not have trouble thinking or communicating, and does not believe things that don’t exist. The opposite is true in schizophrenia. Study after study shows that the typical adolescent girl’s dissatisfaction with her body and general appearance is much greater than the typical adolescent boys.
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