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Abnormal Psychology A.K.A. Psychological Disorders


Abnormal Psychology A.K.A. Psychological Disorders Psychological Disorder unusual (deviant from typical behavior in that culture) causes distress in the person ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Abnormal Psychology A.K.A. Psychological Disorders

Abnormal PsychologyA.K.A. Psychological Disorders
  • Psychological Disorder
  • unusual (deviant from typical behavior in that
  • causes distress in the person experiencing the
  • harmful dysfunction interferes with life

Early Theories
  • Abnormal behavior was evil spirits trying to get
  • Beatings, burnings, castration, pulling teeth,
    removing parts of intestines, caged like animals,
    animal blood transfusions, trephining were
    often used

Medical Model
  • 1800s medical model emerges, replaces evil
    cause of mental illness
  • Medical Model A mental illness needs to be
    diagnosed on the basis of its symptoms and can be
  • Biopsychosocial approach todays psychologists
    say that all behavior (normal or disordered)
    arises from interaction of nature nurture
  • Nature depression schizophrenia
  • Nurture eating disorders, phobias

Perspectives and Disorders
Psychological School/Perspective Cause of the Disorder
Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Internal, unconscious drives, root in childhood
Humanistic Failure to strive to ones potential or being out of touch with ones feelings, being too sensitive to others criticisms/judgments, lack of positive regard as a child
Behavioral Reinforcement history, the environment. At some point the abnormal behavior has been rewarded or reinforced is now an established pattern of behavior
Cognitive Irrational, illogical, dysfunctional thoughts or ways of thinking lead us to misperceive the world (leading to abnormal behavior)
Sociocultural Society culture help define what is acceptable behavior
Biological/Neuroscience Organic problems, biochemical imbalances, genetic predispositions (very popular in US right now)
DSM IV (V is coming)
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
    Disorders the big book of disorders
  • DSM will classify disorders and describe the
  • DSM will NOT explain the causes or possible cures

  • Axis I
  • major disorders (schizophrenia, depression,
    dementia, mood, eating, sleep)
  • Axis II
  • Developmental Personality disorders
    (antisocial, narcissism, autism, mental
  • Axis III
  • Physical disorders (brain injury, HIV/AIDS)
  • Axis IV
  • Assesses the level of psychosocial
    environmental stress the person is experiencing
  • Axis V
  • Overall assessment of the persons level of

Two Major Classifications in the DSM
  • Neurotic Disorders
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Distressing but one can still function in society
    and act rationally.
  • Person loses contact with reality, experiences
    distorted perceptions.

John Wayne Gacy
Anxiety Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders characterized by distressing,
    persistent anxiety or dysfunctional behaviors to
    reduce anxiety
  • the patient fears something awful will happen to
  • They are in a state of intense apprehension,
    uneasiness, uncertainty, or fear

Generalized Anxiety DisorderGAD
  • An anxiety disorder in which a person is
    continuously tense, apprehensive, in a state of
    autonomic nervous system arousal
  • The patient is constantly tense and worried,
    cant concentrate, switch from worry to worry and
    sleep deprived
  • Cannot identify a cause
  • 2/3 are women

  • An anxiety disorder marked by a persistent,
    irrational fear and avoidance of a specific
    object, activity, or situation
  • Social phobia intense fear of being scrutinized
    by others, avoid potentially embarrassing
    situations (speaking up, going to parties)
  • Agoraphobia fear of situations/places where
    escape is difficult when panic strikes
  • Phobia List

  • What are the following phobias?
  • Uxoriphobia
  • Mikrophobia
  • Xenophobia
  • Trichophobia
  • Nyctophobia
  • Triskadekaphobia
  • Top 10 phobias
  • Fear of snakes
  • Fear of being buried alive
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of being bound/tied up
  • Fear of drowning
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fear of hell
  • Fear of cancer
  • Fear of tornadoes/hurricanes
  • Fear of fire

Panic Disorder
  • 1 in 75 people
  • An anxiety disorder marked by a minutes-long
    episode of intense dread in which a person
    experiences terror
  • Will have chest pain, heart palpitations,
    dizziness, choking and other frightening
  • Those who smoke have double risk of panic

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Persistent unwanted thoughts (obsessions, ex
    germs, death) cause someone to feel the need
    (compulsion, ex checking locks, in/out of a
    door) to engage in a particular action
  • Obsessive thoughts, compulsive behavior/rituals
  • Ex Obsession about dirt and germs may lead to
    compulsive hand washing
  • 2-3, often in late teens/early twenties

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks/nightmares following a persons
    involvement in or observation of an extremely
    stressful event (accident, disaster, sexual
    assault, violence)
  • Memories of the event cause anxiety
  • Half of adults will experience at least 1
    traumatic event, only 1 in 10 women ptsd, 1 in 20
  • After 9/11, 8 ptsd, 19 of Vietnam vets
  • 1 in 6 Iraq vets have symptoms (1 in 4 some psych
  • Post-traumatic growth positive psychological
    changes that come from challenging circumstances
  • Greater appreciation for life, priorities
  • Good can come from our worst experiences

Explaining Anxiety/Fears
  • 2 major perspectives to explain anxiety/fear
  • Biological, learning (behaviorism)
  • Learning (classical operant conditioning)
  • Reinforcement (getting away from the dog reduces
    your anxietyreinforcement)
  • Easy to condition fear, hard to extinguish
  • Observational Learning (parents transmit fears to
  • Biological
  • Ancestors passed on fears of spiders, snakes,
    heights, etc. (fearless people likely died)
  • Some studies suggests serotonin glutamate might
    influence anxiety
  • Brain scans detect elevated activity in certain
    brain areas

Somatoform Disorders
  • Occur when a person manifests a psychological
    problem through a physiological symptoms
  • Two types

Conversion Disorder
  • Anxiety/stressful experience is converted into a
    physical problem
  • Often related to the stress they are under
  • -Ex blindness, loss of sensation...
  • -Ex you fall off a horse you become paralyzed
    even though you are not physically injured

  • A person interprets normal physical sensations as
    symptoms of a disease
  • They usually believe that the minor issues
    (headache, upset stomach) are indicative are more
    severe illnesses

Dissociative Disorders
  • These disorders involve someone experiencing a
    sudden loss of memory or change in identity
  • Often in response to overwhelming stressful event
  • Three types.

Psychogenic (Dissociative) Amnesia
  • Mentally blocks out personal information
  • Lose memories of distant recent past
  • Lose personal identity
  • Usually occurs after a traumatic or stressful
  • Usually temporary
  • Not physical!

Dissociative Fugue
  • Dissociative Amnesia creating a physical
    distance from your real life
  • Last usually only a few hours or days, rarely

Click above to watch a real life example
Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder
  • A rare disorder in which a person has 2 or more
    distinct, alternating personalities
  • People with DID commonly have a history of
    childhood abuse or trauma
  • Very controversial

Click above to see an explanation of DID
Mood Disorders
  • Mood Disorders Characterized by emotional
  • Affects 10 of Americans in a given year

Major Depressive Disorder
  • When at least 5 signs last 2 weeks or more (not
    caused by drugs or medical condition)
  • Lethargic/fatigue/lack of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • loss of pleasure/interest in activities
  • Loss of appetite/overeat
  • Lack of sleep/too much sleep
  • Survey 29 hs students, 44 college students
  • 13 of adults at some point, 15 million year
  • World Health Org- affects 5.8 of men 9.5
    women in any yr
  • 1 in 4 w/ depression is struggling w/ a
    significant loss (death, job, relationship)
  • 1 reason people seek mental health services

Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Experience symptoms of depression usually during
    the winter months
  • Places with long winter nights
  • Often occurs at the same time each year
  • Treatment light therapy, psychotherapy,

Bipolar Disorder
  • Person alternates b/w hopelessness of depression
    overexcited states of mania (formally manic
  • Mania hyperactive, wildly optimistic state
  • Overactive, overtalkative, little sleep, find
    advice irritating, exhibit poor judgment (unsafe
    sex, reckless spending)
  • 5.7 million Americans
  • Many Creatives Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf,
    Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson,
    Vincent Van Gogh, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jane

Understanding Mood Disorders
  • Women twice as likely to suffer depression
  • Bipolar equal among men women
  • Disorders run in families
  • More likely if parent or sibling has
  • Identical twins 1 in 2 depression, 7 in 10
  • MRI scans found frontal lobes 7 smaller in
    people w/ severe depression
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Norepinephrine (increases arousal boosts mood)
  • Scarce during depression
  • Overabundant during mania
  • Serotonin
  • Scarce during depression

Social-Cognitive Perspective
  • Explanatory Style
  • Our way of thinking- how we explain the events in
    our lives
  • Depressed people tend to blame themselves,
    feeding the negative feelings
  • Remember if you feel down, you think negatively
    remember bad experiences

  • Whites twice as likely as African Americans
  • Women more likely to attempt, men 4xs more likely
    to succeed
  • 3 out of 5 suicides in US are shootings
  • More likely among rich, nonreligious,
  • 5x greater risk for those who been depressed
  • Alcoholics 100x more likely
  • Teen suicides often linked w/ drug and alcohol
  • Gay youth elderly more likely
  • 33,000 Americans/year
  • 90 have diagnosable mental disorder

If someone confides in you, they are crying out
for help
Personality Disorders
  • Inflexible continuous behavior patterns that
    negatively affect peoples ability to function
  • Dominates their personality
  • Lets Group Them
  • The Dramatic Ones
  • The Fearful Ones
  • The Odd Ones

Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Lack of conscience empathy
  • Little regard for others feelings
  • No remorse
  • View the world as hostile and look out only for
  • Formerly called sociopath
  • 3 males, 1 females

Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Tries to avoid abandonment (real or imagined)
  • Pattern of unstable intense relationships
  • Idealize or devalue
  • Unstable self-image, feelings of emptiness
  • Impulsive
  • Spending, sex, substance abuse
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior (threats, cutting)
  • Emotional instability
  • Intense anger trouble controlling it (fights,
  • Paranoid thoughts
  • 75 are female, 2 of population

Histrionic Personality Disorder
  • Needs to be the center of attention feels
    uncomfortable when not
  • Inappropriate sexual or provocative behavior
  • Uses physical appearance to draw attention
  • Thinks relationships are closer than they
    actually are
  • Dramatic, theatrical, exaggerated emotions
  • 2-3 of population

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Think only other super important people can
    understand them
  • Overwhelming need for admiration
  • Patronizing, snobby
  • Preoccupied w/ fantasies of unlimited, success,
    power, beauty
  • Lacks empathy
  • Arrogant behaviors attitudes
  • Exploits others
  • 1 population (more male)

Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Overwhelming feelings of inadequacy
  • hypersensitive to what others think about them
  • Avoids socializing/interacting with others
  • 0.5-1 of population

Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Fear of being separated from important people in
    their lives, become clingy
  • Difficulty making everyday decisions
  • Feels helpless when alone
  • Excessive lengths to get support from others
  • Difficulty disagreeing with others
  • Need others to take charge in most areas of life

Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • Distrustful suspicious of others
  • Thinks others motives are always bad
  • Affects every relationship they have
  • Preoccupied w/ doubts about loyalty of friends
  • Reluctant to confide in others bc think it will
    be used against
  • Holds grudges
  • 0.5-2.5 of population

Schizoid Personality Disorder
  • Detached from social relationships
  • Doesnt enjoy close relationships (even family)
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Uninterested in sex, activities, relationships
  • Seems emotionally cold detached
  • More common in males

Schizotypal Personality Disorder
  • Odd beliefs that differ from cultural norms
  • Telepathy, bizarre fantasies
  • Unusual perceptual experiences
  • Suspicious or paranoid
  • Odd, eccentric, strange behavior/appearance
  • Lack of close friends
  • Social anxiety (often associated w/ paranoia)
  • Less that 3

Schizophrenic Disorders
  • About 1 in every 100 people are diagnosed with
    schizophrenia (24 million worldwide)
  • Symptoms of Schizophrenia
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Disturbed Perceptions
  • Inappropriate Emotions and Actions

Disorganized Thinking
  • The thinking of a person with Schizophrenia is
    fragmented and bizarre and distorted with false
  • Delusions false beliefs
  • Persecution people are trying to kill me,
    watching me, etc.
  • Common for those w/ paranoid tendencies
  • Grandeur I am the Wizard of Oz, Jesus, etc.
  • Disorganized thinking may come from a breakdown
    in selective attention- they cannot filter out
    information focus on one stimulus

Disturbed Perceptions
  • Hallucinations- sensory experiences without
    sensory stimulation
  • They see, hear, smell, feel things that arent
  • Most often auditory hallucinations (horrible
    insults, giving orders)
  • They seem real!

Inappropriate Emotions Actions
  • Laugh at inappropriate times, angry for no
    apparent reason
  • Flat Affect (emotionless state)
  • Senseless, compulsive acts.
  • Catatonia (catatonic state)
  • motionless for hours then agitated

Onset of Schizophrenia
  • Usually as moving into adulthood
  • Men late teens-early 20s
  • Women early-mid 20s
  • Positive symptoms
  • Hallucinations, exhibit inappropriate emotions,
    disorganized talking
  • Presence of inappropriate behaviors
  • Negative symptoms
  • Toneless voices, expressionless faces, catatonic
  • Absence of appropriate behaviors

Subtypes of Schizophrenia
Disorganized Schizophrenia
  • disorganized speech or behavior
  • flat or inappropriate emotion

Paranoid Schizophrenia
  • preoccupation with delusions or hallucinations
  • Somebody is out to get me!!!!

Catatonic Schizophrenia
  • Immobility
  • Extreme negativism
  • parrot like repeating of anothers speech and

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia
  • Many and varied Symptoms

Understanding Schizophrenia
  • Excess of dopamine receptors (6x)
  • Drugs to treat block, cocaine amphetamines
  • Glutamate research
  • Brain area activity (several areas, not just 1)
  • Low activity in frontal lobes (reasoning,
    planning, problem solving)
  • PET scans while hallucinating
  • very active small thalamus (sensory relay
    center), maybe difficult to filter sensory info
    focus attention
  • very active amygdala (fear) for paranoid
  • Pregnancy risk factors
  • Low birth weight, deprived of oxygen during
    delivery, famine
  • Flu

Treatment of Psychological Disorders
  • History of treating mental illness was barbaric
  • Crusaders like Dorothea Dix changed treatment
    (mental hospitals)
  • 2 main categories of mental health therapies
  • Psychotherapy (overcome difficulties achieve
    personal growth)
  • Biomedical therapy (medication or medical
  • Many psychotherapists say they take an
  • eclectic approach
  • blending different types of therapy depending on
    the clients problem

  • Psychotherapy treatment w/ interaction between
    therapist someone seeking to overcome
    psychological difficulties or achieve personal
  • Freuds psychoanalysis (repressed childhood
    trauma, hypnosis, free association, dream
  • Not practiced like Freud anymore but
  • Resistance blocking memories, experiences that
    cause anxiety
  • The analyst will interpret behaviors, dreams,
    eventsin order to promote insight
  • Transference patient transfers emotions linked
    with other relationships on the analyst ( or -)

Evaluating Psychotherapy
  • Clients and therapists say yes! but that in
    itself cannot prove its effectiveness
  • Meta-analysis procedure for statistically
    combining results of different studies
  • The verdict those not undergoing therapy often
    improve, but those undergoing therapy are more
    likely to improve

Humanistic Therapy
  • Psychoanalytic Humanistic therapies are both
    insight therapies
  • providing new insights to help better understand
    motives, boost self-fulfillment
  • Focuses on present future (not past), conscious
    motives (not unconscious), taking responsibility
    for feelings actions, promoting growth instead
    of curing illness (clients not patients)
  • Therapists exhibit genuineness, acceptance,
    empathy b/c clients already have the potential
    for growth

  • Client-Centered Therapy (Carl Rogers)
  • non-directive therapy and listens w/o judging or
    interpreting client is to find own insights
  • Active Listening
  • Paraphrase (summarize in your own words to check
  • Invites clarification (What might be an example
    of that?)
  • Reflect feelings (acknowledge their feelings
    mirror what you are sensing)
  • Self-actualization, free-will and unconditional
    positive regard
  • Gestalt Therapy by Fritz Perls encourage clients
    to get in touch with whole self.

Behavioral Therapies
  • Behavior therapy applies learning principles to
    eliminate unwanted behaviors
  • Believe can replace learned behaviors w/
    constructive behaviors
  • Counterconditioning uses classical conditioning
    to generate new responses to stimuli
  • Exposure Therapy expose people to what they
    normally avoid

Behavior Exposure Therapies
  • Systematic Desensitization (negative to positive)
  • -associate a nice, relaxed state by exposing
    people to things they fear avoid
  • -common in treating phobias
  • Aversive Conditioning (positive to negative)
  • -associates an unpleasant state w/ unwanted
  • -ex nausea w/ drinking alcohol, bitter taste
    w/ nail biting
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Behavior modification
  • Token Economy get token for desired behavior
    can trade in for privilege or treat

Cognitive Therapy
  • Aaron Beck
  • Goal teach people new, more constructive ways of
  • Negative, self-defeating thinking
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (Albert Ellis)
  • The way people feel is largely influenced by how
    they think
  • Change their irrational thinking

Group Therapy
  • Helps people discover that other have similar
  • Can be very reassuring
  • Family Therapy
  • Problem stressful relationships
  • Focused on healing relationships, not 1 person
  • Resolving conflicts

Biomedical Therapies
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Antipsychotics treats schizophrenia
  • Reduce dopamine activity in brain
  • Haldol, thorazine
  • Anti-anxiety Increases GABA to decrease brain
    activity in areas that relate to anxiety
  • Valium, xanax
  • Antidepressants Mood Elevators increase
    serotonin norepinephrine activity levels
  • Prozac, MAOIs, SSRIs

Brain Stimulation
  • ECT (electroconvulsive therapy)
  • Extremely effective for those w/ severe
    depression (80) drugs have not worked
  • Given anesthetic muscle relaxer, some memory
    loss during treatment period (3 weeks)
  • No one really knows why
  • Psychosurgery
  • Most drastic, least used
  • Parkinsons, Epilepsy, OCD
  • Lobotomy
  • Very common in 50s 60s
  • not used anymore
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