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Chapter 15:
Psychological Disorders
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Defining Abnormality
• Abnormality
–
–
–
–
–
Deviation from the average
Deviation from the ideal
A sense of personal discomfort
The inability to function effectively
A legal concept
• Abnormal behavior
– Causes people to experience distress and prevents
them from functioning in their daily lives
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Terrorist Suicide Bombers:
Normal or Abnormal?
• Suicide bombers are not psychologically
disordered
• Motivated by commitment to a particular
group or cause
– Political
– Religious
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Perspectives on Abnormality
• Medical perspective
– Suggests symptoms of abnormal behavior are
rooted in physiological causes
• Psychoanalytic perspective
– Views abnormal behavior as stemming from
childhood conflicts over opposing wishes regarding
sex and aggression
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Perspectives on Abnormality
• Behavioral perspective
– View abnormal behavior as
a learned response
• Humanistic perspective
– Emphasize the
responsibility that people
have for their own
behavior, even when such
behavior is seen as
abnormal
• Sociocultural perspective
– Makes the assumption that
people’s behavior – both
normal and abnormal – is
shaped by the kind of
family group, society, and
culture
• Cognitive perspective
– Assumes that cognitions
(people’s thoughts and
beliefs) are central to a
person’s abnormal
behavior
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Perspectives on Abnormality
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Classifying Abnormal Behavior
• Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders,
Fourth Edition Text
Revision
(DSM-IV-TR)
– System devised by the
American Psychiatric
Association, used by
most professionals to
diagnose and classify
abnormal behavior
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Anxiety Disorders
– Phobic disorder
• Intense, irrational fears of specific objects or situations
– Panic disorder
• Anxiety that is not triggered by any identifiable stimulus and
last from a few seconds to several hours
– Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
• Experience long term persistent anxiety
– Anxiety disorder
• Anxiety occurs without external justification and begins to
affect a person’s daily functioning
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Phobic disorders
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Frequency of
symptoms in GAD
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
– Obsession
• A persistent, unwanted thought or idea that keeps
recurring
– Compulsion
• Urge to repeatedly carry out some act that seems
strange and unreasonable, even to the individual
who experiences them
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Somatoform Disorders
– Psychological difficulties that take on a
physical (somatic) form, but for which there is
no medical cause
• Hypochondriasis
– Constant fear of illness and a preoccupation with their
health
• Conversion disorder
– Involves an actual physical disturbance, such as the
inability to see or hear, or to move an arm or leg whose
cause is purely psychological
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Conversion disorders
sometimes cause
numbness in
particular isolated
areas of the body
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Dissociative disorders
– Psychological dysfunctions characterized by the
separation of critical personality facets that are
normally integrated, allowing stress avoidance
through escape
• Dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality)
– Individual displays characteristics of two or more distinct
personalities
• Amnesia
– Disorder in which a significant selective memory loss occurs
• Fugue
– An amnesiac condition where people take sudden, impulsive
trips, sometimes assuming a new identity
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Emotional disturbance that is strong
enough to intrude on everyday living
• Major depression
– Severe form of depression that may last
months or years in which the person
experiences characteristic symptoms
•
•
•
•
•
Worthless feelings
Loneliness
Crying
Sleep disturbance
Suicide
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Across different places and cultures,
women are diagnosed more frequently
with depression than men
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Bipolar disorder
– Condition in which a person sequentially
experiences periods of mania and depression
– Mania
• Extended state of intense, wild elation
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Schizophrenia
– Class of disorders in which severe distortion
of reality occurs
•
•
•
•
•
•
Decline from a previous level of functioning
Disturbances of thought and language
Delusions
Hallucinations and perceptual disorders
Emotional disturbances
Withdrawal
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Schizophrenia
– Process schizophrenia
• Symptoms develop relatively early in life, slowly
and subtly
– Reactive schizophrenia
• Onset of symptoms is sudden and conspicuous
– Positive-symptom schizophrenia
– Negative-symptom schizophrenia
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Schizophrenia
– Type I schizophrenia
• Positive symptoms are dominant
– Type II schizophrenia
• Negative symptoms are more prominent
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Causes of schizophrenia
– Biological
•
•
•
•
Heredity
Dopamine hypothesis
Glutamate hypothesis
Schizophrenia occurs when there is excess activity
in those areas of the brain that use dopamine as a
neurotransmitter
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Psychological Disorders
• Causes of schizophrenia
– Environmental perspectives
• Expressed emotion
– Interaction style characterized by criticism, hostility, and
emotional intrusiveness by family members
– Cognitive perspective
• Overattention
• Underattention
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Major Types of Schizophrenia
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personality Disorders
• Disorders characterized by a set of
inflexible, maladaptive behavior patterns
that keep a person from functioning
appropriately in society
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Personality Disorders
• Narcissistic personality disorder
– Exaggerated sense of self-importance
• Antisocial personality disorder (sociopath)
– Characterized by no regard for the moral and
ethical rules of society or the rights of others
• Borderline personality disorder
– Characterized by their difficulty in developing
a secure sense of who they are
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Childhood Disorders
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD)
– Marked by inattention, impulsiveness, a low
tolerance fro frustration, and generally a
great deal of inappropriate activity
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Other Disorders
•
•
•
•
Psychoactive substance-use disorder
Eating disorders
Sexual disorders
Organic mental disorders
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Prevalence of Psychological
Disorders
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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