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Abnormal Psychology

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rebecca spinks

on 8 April 2015

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Transcript of Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology – Unit 12
Normal, adjective:
1. Conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected.
Typical, adjective:
2. Having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person, or thing.
: representative, classic, model, stereotypical
Abnormal, adjective:
3. Deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way undesirable or worrying.
: unusual, atypical, untypical, unrepresentative, deviant, rare

Mental health workers
label thoughts, feelings, and actions disordered when they are
deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional.
-The definition emphasizes that standards of acceptability for behavior are

Early Therapy
Early Reformers
Philippe Pinel
Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Dix
Born in Hampden, Maine, in 1802, Dorothea Dix was a social reformer whose devotion to the welfare of the mentally ill led to widespread international reforms. After seeing horrific conditions in a Massachusetts prison, she spent the next 40 years lobbying U.S. and Canadian legislators to establish state hospitals for the mentally ill. Her efforts directly affected the building of 32 institutions in the United States.
The religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or an area they are believed to have possessed. Several psychological disorders, including Tourette syndrome and schizophrenia, can produce the types of effects seen in "possessed" people. People with epilepsy can suddenly go into convulsions when having a seizure; Tourette syndrome causes involuntary movements and vocal outbursts; schizophrenia involves auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, delusions and sometimes violent behavior.
Abnormal Psychology
Hippocrates believed that existence was represented by the four basic elements—earth, air, fire, and water—which in humans were related to the four basic humors: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Each humor was centered in a particular organ—brain, lung, spleen, and gall bladder. Being ill meant having an imbalance of the four humors. Therefore treatment consisted of removing an amount of the excessive humor by various means such as bloodletting, purging, catharsis, diuresis, and so on.
First appearing in the Neolithic period, it was often performed on adult males- however example skulls of woman and children have also been found. One theory of trephination is it might have been used for the exit and entrance of the spirits causing illness. It has also been suggested that another reason for trephination was the collection of skull disks for charms and amulets.
In some skulls the trephining is incomplete, as if the procedure was abandoned mid-operation.

Trephination: (also known as trepanning or burr holing) is a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled, incised or scraped into the skull using simple surgical tools.
Leeches used for bloodletting usually involved the medicinal leech. At each feeding a leech can ingest about 5 to 10 ml of blood, almost 10 times its own weight. a Parisian physician who claimed that all fevers were due to specific organ inflammation believed in placing leeches over the organ of the body that was deemed to be inflamed.
Philippe Pinel
Pinel was appointed chief physician and director of the Bicêtre asylum, where he was able to put into practice his ideas on treatment of the mentally ill, who were commonly kept chained in dungeons at the time. Pinel petitioned to the Revolutionary Committee for permission to remove the chains from some of the patients as an experiment and to allow them to exercise in the open air. When these steps proved to be effective, he was able to change the conditions at the hospital and discontinue the customary methods of treatment, which included bloodletting, purging, and physical abuse.
The Medical Model
In opposition to the brutal treatments, reformers insisted that madness is not demonic possession but a sickness of the mind caused by severe stresses and inhuman conditions.
"moral treatment" includes boosting patients' morale by unchaining them and talking with them, and by replacing brutality with gentleness, isolation with activity, and filth with clean air and sunshine.
The Biopsychosocial Approach
Today's psychologist contend that
behavior, whether called normal or disordered, arises from interaction of nature (genetic and physiological factors) and nurture (past and present experiences).
Cultures differ in their sources of stress, and they produce different ways of coping.
Latin America
lays claim to susto, a condition marked by severe anxiety, restlessness, and a fear of black magic.
A social anxiety about one's appearance combined with a readiness to blush and a fear of eye contact, appears in
Anorexia nervosa & Bulimia nervosa
Culture-bound disorders such as these may share an underlying dynamic, such as anxiety, yet differ in their symptoms.
One of the reported explanations for the development of eating disorders is the social pressure resulting from the standards of female beauty imposed by modern industrial society or Western culture. The increasing globalization and exposure to Western media have been suggested to increase the rate of eating disorders in non-Western countries.
Susto, a Latin-American syndrome related to acute fright, is viewed as a disease of adaptation as defined by Selye. The physiological, psychological, cultural, and social aspects of this disease are examined, as are the interactions of these various dimensions.
TKS can be understood as a pathological amplification of culture-specific concerns about the social presentation of self and the impact of improper conduct on the well-being of others. Both social interaction and constitutional vulnerability may contribute to the cognitive processes that underlie TKS.
The Exceptions
Rates and symptoms of psychological disorders vary by culture, but no known society is free from two terrible maladies: depression and schizophrenia.
Depression and schizophrenia occur worldwide, From Asia to Africa and across the Americas, schizophrenia's symptoms often include irrationality and incoherent speech.
The American Psychiatric Association's
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
, Fourth Edition. The DSM-IV-TR defines a diagnostic process and 16 clinical syndromes.
To be helpful and useful, these categories and diagnostic guidelines must be reliable , and to a reasonable extent they are.
Following these guidelines, clinicians answer a series of objective questions about observable behaviors.

Axis I: Is a clinical syndrome present?
Examples of syndromes clinicians may select from a list based on specifically defined criteria.
Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Mood Disorders
Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
Anxiety disorders
Somatoform disorders
Dissociative disorders
Eating disorders
Sleep disorders
Adjustment disorders
Impulse-control disorders not classified elsewhere
Axis II
: Is a Personality Disorder or Mental Retardation present? (Clinicians may or may not also select one of these two conditions).
Axis III
: Is a General Medical Condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, or arthritis, also present?
Axis IV
: Are Psychosocial or Environment Problems, such as school or housing issues, also present?
Axis V
: is the Global Assessment of this person's functioning? (Clinicians assign a code from 0 -100).
Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are psychological disorders characterized by persistent anxiety of apprehension, or danger.

Five anxiety disorders discussed in this text:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder
Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
When a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and physiologically aroused for no apparent reason, he or she is diagnosed as suffering from a
generalized anxiety disorder
. In Freud's term, the anxiety is "free-floating".
GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors cross the fine line between normality and disorder when they persistently interfere with everyday living and cause the person distress.
Washing your hands is normal; washing so often that your skin becomes raw is not.
Often during their late teens or twenties, 2 to 3 percent of people will cross that line from normal preoccupations and fussiness to deliberating disorder.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel the need to check things repeatedly, or have certain thoughts or perform routines and rituals over
and over.
Are anxiety disorders in which an irrational fear causes the person to avoid some object, activity, or situation.
Understanding Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is both a feeling and a cognition, a doubt-laden appraisal for one's safety or social skill. How do these anxious feelings and cognitions arise? Freud's psychoanalytic theory proposed that, beginning in childhood preople regress intolerable impulses, ideas, and feelings and that this submerged mental energy sometimes produces mystifying symptoms, such as anxiety. Today's psychologists have turned to two contemporary perspectives - learning and biological.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events.
Most people who experience such events recover from them, but people with PTSD continue to be severely depressed and anxious for months or even years following the event.
PTSD can also affect children and members of the military.
Generalized anxiety disorder can lead to physical problems, such as high blood pressure. In some instances, anxiety may intensify dramatically and unpredictably and be accompanied by heart palpitations or choking, for example; people with these symptoms are to have
panic disorder
. This anxiety may escalate into a minutes-long episode of intense fear, or a panic attack.

Specific phobias
may focus on animals, insects, heights, blood, or close spaces. People avoid the stimulus that arouses the fear, Ex. hiding during thunderstorms or avoiding high places.

Social phobia
is shyness taken to an extreme, and much harder to avoid. Those with social phobia, an intense fear of being scrutinized by others, avoid potentially embarrassing social situation, such as speaking up, eating out, or going to parties.

, fear or avoidance of situation in which escape might be difficult or help unavailable when panic strikes. Given such fear, people
may avoid being outside the home, in a crowd, on a bus, or on an
Arachnophobia - Fear of spiders
Ophidiophobia - Fear of Snakes
Acrophobia - Fear of heights
Cynophobia - Fear of Dogs
Astraphobia - Fear of thunder
and lightning
Trypanophobia - Fear of injections
Mysophobia - Fear of Germs & Dirt
The Learning Perspective
Through conditioning, the short list of naturally painful and frightening events can multiply into a long list of human fears.
Two specific learning processes can contribute to such anxiety.
Stimulus generalization

occurs, for example, when a person attacked by a fierce dog later develops a fear of
helps maintain our phobias and compulsions after they arise. Avoiding or escaping the feared situation reduces anxiety, thus reinforcing the phobic behavior.
The Biological Perspective
The biological perspective can help us understand why few people develop lasting phobias after suffering traumas, why we learn some fears more readily, and why some individuals are more vulnerable.
We may also learn fear though observation learning - by observing others' fears. Human parents transmit fear to their children. Moreover, just observing someone receiving a mild electric shock after a conditioned stimulus produces fear learning similar to that produced by direct experience.
Natural Selection
We humans seem biologically prepared to fear threats faced by our ancestors. Our phobias focus on such specific fears: spiders, snakes, and other animals; close spaces and heights; storms and darkness.
Our modern fears can also have an evolutionary explanation. For example, a fear of flying may come from the biological predisposition to fear confinement and heights.
Just as our phobias focus on dangers faced by our ancestors, our compulsive acts typically
exaggerate behaviors that contributed to our
species survival.
With the genetic contribution to anxiety disorders established, researchers are now sleuthing specific genes that put people at risk. One research team has identified 17 genes that appear to be expressed with typical anxiety disorder symptoms.
Genes influence disorders by regulating neurotransmitters. Some studies point to an anxiety gene that affects brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences sleep and mood.
Other studies implicate genes that regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate. With too much
glutamate, the brain's alarm centers
become overactive.
The Brain
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 behaviors. When the disordered brain detects that something is amiss, it seems to generate a mental
of repeating thoughts or actions. Brain scans of people with OCD reveal elevated activity in specific brain areas during behaviors such as compulsive hand washing, checking, ordering, or
Somatoform Disorders
In somatoform disorders , the distressing symptoms take a bodily form without apparent physical cause. One person may have a variety of complaints-vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty swallowing. Another may experience severe and prolonged pain.
Culture has a big effect on people's physical complaints and how they explain them.
Conversion Disorder
So called because anxiety presumably is converted into a physical symptom. A patient with a conversion disorder might, for example, lose sensation in a way that makes no neurological sense.
Conversion disorder symptoms might be unexplained paralysis, blindness, or an inability to swallow.
In this relatively common somatoform disorder, people interpret normal sensations as symptoms of a dreaded disease.
No amount of reassurance by any physician convinces the patient that the trivial symptoms do not reflect a serious illness. So the patient moves on to another physician, seeking and receiving more medical attention - but failing to confront the disorder's psychological root.
Dissociative Disorders
Among the most bewildering disorders, these are disorders of consciousness in which a person appears to experience a sudden loss of memory or change in identity.
A persons conscious awareness is said to become separated from painful memories, thoughts and feelings. That this explanation presumes the existence of repressed memories.
Dissociation itself is not so rare. Now and then, many people may have a sense of being
unreal, of being separated from their body.
Dissociative Identity Disorder
In which two or more distinct identities are said to alternately control the person's behavior. Thus the person may be prim and proper one moment, loud and flirtatious the next.
People diagnosed with DID are usually not violent, but cases have been reported of dissociation's into a "good" and a "bad" personality.
(formerly called multiple personality disorder)
Understanding Dissociative Identity Disorder
Skeptics question whether DID is a genuine disorder or an extension of our normal capacity for personality shifts.
Skeptics also find it suspicious that the disorder is so localized in time and space. Outside North America, the disorder is much less prevalent, although in other culture some people are said to be "possessed" by an alien spirit.
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