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Abnormal Psychology: psychological disorders


ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS Part II Fun Facts The phrase mad as a hatter became widely used because hatmakers suffered from tremors, slurred ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Abnormal Psychology: psychological disorders

Abnormal Psychologypsychological disorders
  • Part II

Fun Facts
  • The phrase mad as a hatter became widely used
    because hatmakers suffered from tremors, slurred
    speech, and confusion. Scientists discovered that
    this condition was caused by mercury-laden vapors
    inhaled by the hatmakers while they worked on
    felt hats.
  • In the United States, one person in seven will
    seek help for a psychological disorder at some
    time during his or her lifetime.

Fun Facts
  • In ancient times, Egyptians and Babylonians
    believed that mental illness was due primarily to
    evil spirits. Archaeologists frequently find
    evidence of a practice known as terphining, which
    involved drilling an opening in the skull to let
    evil spirits escape.

Anxiety Disorders post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of
    anxiety disorder. It can occur after you've seen
    or experienced a traumatic event that involved
    the threat of injury or death.

Anxiety Disorders post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur
    soon after a major trauma, or it can be delayed
    for more than 6 months after the event.
  • When it occurs soon after the trauma, it usually
    gets better after 3 months. However, some people
    have a longer-term form of PTSD, which can last
    for many years.

Anxiety Disorders post-traumatic stress disorder
  • PTSD can occur at any age and can follow a
    natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or
    events such as war, a prison stay, assault,
    domestic abuse, or rape.
  • The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in
    the United States may have caused PTSD in some
    people who were involved, in people who saw the
    disaster, and in people who lost relatives and
  • These kinds of events can produce stress in
    anyone, but not everyone develops PTSD.

Anxiety Disorders post-traumatic stress disorder
  • The cause of PTSD is unknown, but psychological,
    genetic, physical, and social factors are
  • PTSD changes the bodys response to stress. It
    affects the stress hormones and chemicals that
    carry information between the nerves
  • Having been exposed to trauma in the past may
    increase the risk of PTSD.
  • Having good social support helps to protect
    against PTSD.
  • In studies of Vietnam veterans, those with strong
    support systems were less likely to get PTSD than
    those without social support.

Anxiety Disorders post-traumatic stress disorder
  • People with PTSD re-experience the event again
    and again in at least one of several ways.
  • They may have frightening dreams and memories of
    the event, feel as though they are going through
    the experience again (flashbacks), or become
    upset during anniversaries of the event.

Symptoms of PTSD
  • Affective anhedonia (inability to feel positive
    emotions), emotional numbing
  • Behavioral hypervigilance, passivity,
    nightmares, flashbacks, exaggerated startled
  • Cognitive Intrusive memories, inability to
    concentrate, hyperarousal
  • Somatic lower back pain, headaches, stomach ache
    and digestion problems, insomnia, regression in
    some children, losing already acquired
    developmental skills, such as speech or toilet

PTSD in a post-genocidal societies the case of
  • In 1995, UNICEF conducted a survey of 3000
    Rwandan children, aged 8-19 years. Of these
  • 95 had witnessed violence
  • 80 had suffered a death in their immediate
  • 62 had been threatened with death
  • Des Forges (1999) has argued that eliminating
    Tutsi children was seen as a critical dimension
    in eliminating the Tutsi presence in Rwanda.
    Perhaps because of this direct assault on
    children, one of the key symptoms in Rwandan
    adolescents is diminished expectations.

PTSD in a post-genocidal societies the case of
  • Geltman and Stover (1997) have argued that trauma
    occurs when a child cannot give meaning to the
    dangerous experiences in the presence of
    overwhelming arousal.
  • UNICEF Survey (1999) 60 of children surveyed did
    not care if they grew up.
  • Dyregrov (2000) argues that the extent of loss
    and trauma which affected all levels of society
    throughout Rwanda may have rendered the
    traditional coping mechanisms and collective
    support less viable, and the whole adult
    community less receptive to childrens needs, as
    adults coped with their own traumas and grief.
  • According to UNICEF, in 1997 there were 65.000
    families headed by children aged 12 years or
    younger. Over 300,000 children were growing up in
    households without adults.

PTSD in a post-genocidal societies the case of
  • Dyregrov found that living in the community
    (rather than in centers) was associated with
    higher rates of intrusive memories. In addition
    to the fact that living in community where
    atrocities took place could expose children to
    stimuli which triggered memories of the genocide.

Etiology of PTSDBiological level of analysis
  • Hauff and Vaglum (1994) Twin research has shown a
    possible genetic predisposition for PTSD.
  • Most biological research focuses on the role of
    noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter which plays an
    important role in emotional arousal. High levels
    of noradrenaline cause people to express emotions
    more openly than is normal

Etiology of PTSDBiological level of analysis
  • Geracioti (2001) found that PTSD patients had
    higher levels of noradrenaline than the average.
    Also stimulating the adrenal system in PTSD
    patients induced a panic attack in 70 of
    patients, and flashbacks in 40 of patients. No
    control group members experienced these symptoms.

Etiology of PTSDCognitive level of analysis
  • Intrusive memories are memories that come to
    consciousness seemingly at random. Often they are
    triggered by sounds, sights, or smells related to
    the traumatic event.
  • Brewin et al. (1996) argue that the flashbacks
    occurs as a result of cue-dependent memory, where
    stimuli similar to the original traumatic event
    may trigger sensory and emotional aspects of the
    memory, thus causing panic.

Etiology of PTSDCognitive level of analysis
  • Albert Rizzo developed a therapeutic tool using
    virtual reality to treat PTSD in veterans. In
    Virtual Iraq the traumatized soldiers can
    reexperience the horrors of the war and the
    therapist can manipulate variables that are
    relevant for each individual. This therapy is
    based on the concept of flooding (over-exposure
    to stressful events), because the stress
    reactions will eventually fade out (habituation).
    In this way, the power of the cues that trigger
    traumatic memories gradually diminishes.

Etiology of PTSDCognitive level of analysis
  • Development of PTSD is associated with a tendency
    to take personal responsibility for failures and
    to cope with stress by focusing on the emotion,
    rather than the problem.
  • Sutker et at. (1995) found that Gulf War veterans
    who had a sense of purpose and commitment to the
    military had less chance of suffering from PTSD
    than other veterans.
  • Cognitive theorists have also found that victims
    of child abuse who are able to see that the abuse
    was not their fault, but a problem within the
    perpetrator, are able to overcome symptoms of

Etiology of PTSDSociocultural level of analysis
  • Research suggests that experiences with racism
    and oppression are predisposing factors for PTSD.
  • Roysircar (2000) cites research that among
    Vietnam War veterans, 20.6 of black and 27.6 of
    Hispanic veterans met the criteria for a current
    diagnosis of PTSD, compared to 13 of white
  • Silva (2000) children may develop PTSD by
    observing domestic violence.

Etiology of PTSDCultural considerations in PTSD
  • Often, non-western survivors exhibit what are
    called body memory symptoms.
  • Example Hanscom (2001) the dizziness experienced
    by a woman which was found to be a body memory of
    her repeated experience of being forced to drink
    large amounts of alcohol and then being raped.

Etiology of PTSDGender considerations in PTSD
  • Breslau et al. (1991) study of 1007 young adults
    who had been exposed to community violence and
    found a prevalence rate of 11.3 in women and 6
    in men.
  • Horowitz et al. (1995) reviewed a number of
    studies and found that women have a risk up to 5
    times greater than males to develop PTSD after a
    violent or traumatic event.

Etiology of PTSDGender considerations in PTSD
  • Symptoms of PTSD vary in gender.
  • Men are more likely to suffer form irritability
    and impulsiveness. They are also more likely to
    suffer from substance abuse disorders.
  • where women likely suffer from numbing and
    avoidance. They also more likely to suffer from
    anxiety and affective disorders.
  • Rape carries one of the highest risks for
    producing PTSD. Other forms of sexual abuse and
    interpersonal violence are also more often
    followed by PTSD than, for example, accidents or
    natural disasters.
  • Achencach (1991) Males are more likely to
    externalize symptoms (e.g. delinquency,
    aggression) and girls are more likely to
    internalize symptoms (e.g. depression, anxiety).
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