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Psychological Disorders


Psychological Disorders – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders
  • Psychological disorders are behavior patterns or
    mental processes that cause serious personal
    suffering or interfere with a persons ability to
    cope with everyday life.
  • Estimates suggest that almost one third of adults
    in the U.S. have experienced some type of
    psychological disorder.

  • People with psychological disorders do not differ
    very much from people who are normal. The
    primary difference is the simple exaggeration of
    certain behaviors or mental process.
  • Psychologists generally use several criteria to
    determine whether a persons behavior indicates
    the presence of a psychological disorder

  • 1. Typicality how normal is this behavior in
  • 2. Maladaptivity does the behavior impair an
    individuals ability to function adequately in
    everyday life or is it hazardous to ones health?

  • 3. Emotional Discomfort are there feelings such
    as hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, extreme
  • 4. Socially Unacceptable Behavior does the
    behavior violate societys accepted norms?

  • The importance of culture is demonstrated by
    culture-bound syndromes, clusters of symptoms
    that describe an illness.
  • It is important to classify psychological
    disorders so that individuals can be correctly
    diagnosed and treated.

  • The most widely used classification system for
    psychological disorders is the DSM, or Diagnostic
    and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
    published by the American Psychiatric
    Association. The DSM-IV, published in 1994,
    recognized 18 different categories of
    psychological disorders.

  • Until 1980, psychological disorders were
    classified on the basis of their presumed causes.
    (Most suggested by Freuds psychoanalytic
    theory.) Many were grouped together under the
    labels neuroses and psychoses.

  • Since 1980, they are categorized on the basis of
    observable signs and symptoms rather than
    presumed causes.
  • Anxiety refers to a general state of dread or
    uneasiness that occurs in response to a vague or
    imagined danger.

  • It is typically characterized by nervousness,
    inability to relax, and concern about losing
  • Physical signs may include trembling, sweating,
    rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, increased
    blood pressure, flushed face, and feelings of
    faintness and light-headedness.

  • Some people feel anxious all the time, or anxiety
    is out of proportion with what is causing it.
  • When it interferes with effective living, the
    achievement of desired goals, life satisfaction,
    and emotional comfort, it is considered a sign of
    a psychological disorder.

  • Types of Anxiety Disorders
  • 1. Phobic Disorder
  • a. simple phobia refers to a persistent,
    excessive or irrational fear of a particular
    object or situation.

  • b. social phobia characterized by persistent
    fear of social situations in which one might be
    exposed to the close scrutiny of others and thus
    be observed doing something embarrassing or
  • 2. Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia People with
    panic disorders have recurring and unexpected
    panic attacks that may last from a few minutes to
    a few hours.

  • Many who suffer from panic attacks also have
    agoraphobia and may be especially afraid of
    crowded public places such as movie theaters,
    shopping malls, buses, or trains.
  • One or both of these disorders make up about 50
    to 80 percent of the phobic individuals seen in
    clinical practice.

  • 3. Generalized Anxiety Disorder This is an
    excessive or unrealistic worry about life
    circumstances that lasts for at least six months.
    Typically, the worries focus on finances, work,
    interpersonal problems, accidents, or illness.

  • GAD is one of most common disorders, but few
    people seek treatment because it does not differ,
    except in intensity and duration, from the
    normal anxiety of everyday life. Many people
    with GAD have other disorders as well, often

  • 4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Obsessions are
    often senseless or repulsive, and most people
    with obsessions try to ignore or suppress them.
  • People who experience obsessions are usually
    aware that the obsessions are unjustified.
    (Thus, they are not delusions.)

  • Obsessions can make people feel extremely
    anxious, and they can seriously interfere with
    daily life.
  • Compulsions may alleviate anxiety, but the
    compulsions themselves are time-consuming and
    usually create additional interference with daily

  • 5. Stress Disorders include post-traumatic
    stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder
  • They have similar symptoms, but differ in how
    quickly they occur after the traumatic event that
    triggers the disorder and in how long they last.

  • PTSD refers to intense, persistent feelings of
    anxiety that are caused by an experience so
    traumatic that it would produce stress in almost
  • Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares,
    avoidance of stimuli associated w/trauma, sleep
    disturbances, irritability. They can occur six
    months or more after the traumatic event, and
    they last for years or even decades.

  • Acute stress disorder is a short-term disorder
    with symptoms similar to those of PTSD. It also
    follows a traumatic event, but the symptoms occur
    immediately or at most, within a month of the
    event. The anxiety lasts a shorter time.
  • Not everyone who experiences a trauma will
    develop one of these disorders.

  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Dissociative Amnesia characterized by sudden
    loss of memory, usually following a particularly
    stressful or traumatic event. The person usually
    forgets any events that occurred for a certain
    period of time surrounding the traumatic event.

  • Less commonly, the person may forget all prior
    experiences, even their name and family
    friends. May persist for hours or years. Memory
    is likely to return just as suddenly as it was
    lost and it rarely recurs.

  • Dissociative Fugue characterized by not only
    forgetting personal information and past events,
    but also by suddenly relocating from home or work
    and taking on a new identity.
  • It usually follows a traumatic event and when the
    fugue comes to an end, the person no longer
    remembers what happened during the fugue state.

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder involves the
    existence of two or more personalities within a
    single individual, usually due to severe
    childhood abuse or other types of trauma.
  • The various personalities may or may not be aware
    of the others, and at least two of the
    personalities take turns controlling the
    individuals behavior.

  • Each personality is likely to be different from
    the others, including voice, facial expressions,
    and handedness, as well as self-perceived age,
    gender, and physical characteristics. The
    personalities may even have different allergies
    and eyeglass prescriptions.

  • Depersonalization Disorder refers to feelings
    of detachment from ones mental processes or
    body. People feel outside of their bodies. It
    is a common symptom of other psychological
    disorders as well as being a disorder in its own

  • Somatoform comes from the Greek word, soma,
    meaning body. Somatization is the expression of
    psychological distress through physical symptoms.

  • People with somatoform disorders have
    psychological problems but experience
    inexplicable physical symptoms.
  • They do not intentionally fake an illness
    (malingering), but honestly feel pain or believe
    they cannot move their limbs.

  • 1. Conversion Disorder People experience a
    change in or loss of physical functioning in a
    major part of the body for which there is no
    medical explanation.
  • It is further complicated in many cases by the
    persons little concern about the symptoms.

  • 2. Hypochondriasis Also called hypochondria,
    this is defined as a persons unrealistic
    preoccupation with the fear that he or she has a
    serious disease.
  • They become absorbed by minor physical symptoms
    and sensations, convinced that there is a serious
    medical illness.

  • Major Depression Major depression is diagnosed
    when an individual experiences at least five of
    the following nine symptoms (at least one has to
    be from the first two on the list)

  • Persistent depressed mood for most of the day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in all, or almost
    all activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain due to changes in
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Speeding up or slowing down of physical and
    emotional reactions

  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or unfounded guilt
  • Reduced ability to concentrate or make meaningful
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

  • Bipolar Disorder characterized by ups and downs
    in mood. (manic depression) Periods of mania
    can change into depression very quickly and for
    no apparent reason.

  • Manic moods can be characterized by elation or
    irritation. They can also have at least some of
    the following traits
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Inability to sit still or sleep restfully
  • Pressure to keep talking and switching from topic
    to topic
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating

  • People in the manic phase can experience
    delusions or hallucinations and can also engage
    in impulsive behaviors.
  • This is usually considered the most serious
    psychological disorder and is characterized by a
    loss of contact with reality.

  • It usually appears in early adulthood, but can be
    brought on at any age and becomes worse over
  • The most obvious symptoms are hallucinations,
    delusions, and thought disorders. Most
    hallucinations are auditory.

  • There may be delusions of grandeur or of
    persecution. Thought disorders involve problems
    in the organization or the content of mental
  • Thoughts can skip from topic to topic. People
    may repeat the same word over and over again, or
    invent new words. Some people may even go into a
    catatonic stupor.

  • These are patterns of inflexible traits that
    disrupt social life or work and/or distress the
    affected individual. They usually show up late
    in adolescence and affect all aspects of the
    individuals personality, including thought
    processes, emotions, and behavior.

  • 1. Paranoid Personality Disorder People with
    this tend to be distrustful and suspicious of
    others and to interpret others motives as
    harmful or evil. They are difficult to get along
    with and are usually considered argumentative,
    cold, and aloof. Their view of reality is
    distorted and they are unlikely to see their
    mistrust and suspicions as abnormal.

  • 2. Schizoid Personality Disorder People who
    suffer from this have no interest in
    relationships with other people and lack normal
    emotional responses. They stay in touch with
    reality (unlike schizophrenics), but do not
    develop attachments for other people.

  • 3. Antisocial Personality Disorder People with
    this show a persistent behavior pattern of
    disregarding and violating the rights of others.
    They do not feel guilt or remorse for their
    behaviors and continue despite the threat of

  • 4. Avoidant Personality Disorder These people
    desire relationships with others, but are
    hindered by tremendous fear of the disapproval of
    others. They are shy and withdrawn.