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Chapter Overview
Understanding Psychological Disorders
Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Chapter Overview
Personality Disorders
Case Study
During the case study please read the
passage and answer the questions that
This will give you an idea of how insanity
is used in the courtroom
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Psychological Disorders  behavior
patterns or mental processes that cause
serious personal suffering or interfere with
a person’s ability to cope with everyday life
Psychological Disorders are relatively
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Psychological Disorders cause suffering to
millions of people
These disorders interfere with their
everyday life (inability to cope with
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
The majority of people with Psychological
Disorders are never admitted to mental
Most people never ask or seek help from
trained professionals (ex: psychologist,
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
1 in 4 American adults (25%) have
suffered from a Psychological Disorder at
some point in their life
Psychological Disorders are the leading
cause of disability in the United States for
people in the age range of 15-44
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
It is imperative that people who have a
psychological disorder can identify it
People who have a PD usually do not
differ all that much from “normal” people
Certain behaviors and mental processes
are what identify a person having a PD
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Psychologists use several different
techniques to determine whether or not a
person has a PD or not
Typicality or Normality come into play
when determining whether someone has a
– Psychologists will try to justify whether a
person’s behavior is considered “normal,
average, etc.”
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
There are 4 major features that may
indicate someone has a PD
Emotional Discomfort
Socially Unacceptable Behavior
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Typicality Examples:
– Scientific and artistic geniuses are not typical,
but are not abnormal
– People who are quite normal may have
lifestyles that differ widely from the rest of the
– Additional measurements must also be taken
into account (experiences, etc.)
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
– Behavior that impairs an individual’s
ability to function adequately in
everyday life
Behavior that causes misery and distress
rather than happiness and fulfillment, or
that is dangerous
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Emotional Discomfort
– Depression and anxiety cause extreme
emotional discomfort
Helplessness, hopelessness,
worthlessness, guilt, extreme sadness, and
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Socially Unacceptable Behavior 
Behavior displayed that is not considered
“normal”, “acceptable”, etc.
– Cultural context of a behavior must be taken
into account
– Where you live, what generation you are born
into, etc.
Culture-bound syndromes: clusters of symptoms
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Classifying Psychological Disorders:
Classification helps determine the
– How many people have a given disorder
– What factors may be associated with a
– Diagnosis and treatment
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
Psychological disorders are classified in the
“Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders”, also known as the DSM
– This is the APA’s (American Psychological
Assoc.) classification system
– Used to communicate needs and treatment
– Modern categories based on observable
signs and symptoms
I. Understanding Psychological Disorders
The major types of Psychological
Disorders are:
– Anxiety
– Mood
– Dissociative
– Somatoform
– Schizophrenic
– Personality
The following sections will provide detail for each
type of PD
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Anxiety: refers to a generalized state of
dread or uneasiness that occurs in
response to a vague or imagined danger
– Anxiety disorders cause people to experience
irrational or excessive fear
Mood disorders: are characterized by
mood changes that are inappropriate for
the situation to which they are responding
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Anxiety is characterized by:
Inability to relax
Concern about losing control
Rapid heart rate
Shortness of breath
Increased blood pressure
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Types of Anxiety Disorders include
Phobic Disorder  Phobia means fear
Specific phobia is the most common of
all anxiety disorders and refers to a
persistent excessive fear of a particular
object or situation
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Most common types of Phobias include:
Zoophobia: fear of animals
Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces
Acrophobia: fear of heights
Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
Social phobia is characterized by
persistent fear of social situations in which
one might be exposed to the scrutiny of
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Panic Disorders  People with panic
disorder have recurring and unexpected
panic attacks
Panic attacks: short periods of intense
fear or discomfort characterized by
shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heart
rate, trembling, choking, etc
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
The fear of being in places or situations in
which escape may be difficult or
impossible such as crowded public places
– Many people with agoraphobia develop panic attacks
when in public
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
An excessive or unrealistic worry about life
circumstances that lasts for at least six
– Few people seek treatment because it does not differ,
except in intensity and duration, from the normal
worries of everyday life
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
– Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, ideas, or mental
images that occur over and over again, and most
people try to ignore or suppress them
– Compulsions are repetitive ritual behaviors, often
involving checking or cleaning something
– People are usually aware that the obsessions are
unjustified, which distinguishes obsessions from
– YouTube - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Stress Disorders
Include post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) and acute stress disorder
– Similar symptoms, but PTSD is more severe and
– PTSD occurs after abuse, severe accident, natural
disasters, and war.
– YouTube - Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Explaining Anxiety Disorders
– Psychological Views
Psychoanalytic views are no longer widely
accepted, but have affected the
classification of psychological disorders
Learning theorists believe that phobias are
learned in childhood
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Biological Views
– Heredity may play a role
– Studies of twins indicate that having a parent
or sibling with a disorder increases the
chance an individual will have a disorder
– Some psychologists believe that people who
rapidly acquired strong fears of real dangers
would be more likely to live and reproduce
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Types of Moods Disorders
– Most people have mood changes that reflect
the normal ups and downs of life, but mood
changes that are inappropriate to a situation
can signal a mood disorder
 There are two types of mood disorders:
Depression and Bipolar disorder
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
– A cycle of mood changes from
depression to wild elation and back
– Period of mania, or extreme excitement
characterized by hyperactivity and
chaotic behavior
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Major Depression
– Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness,
worthlessness, guilt, and great sadness
– The DSM – IV contains a list of
symptoms to help diagnose depression
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Postpartum Depression
– Some women suffer symptoms of
depression after giving birth
– Can harm both the mother and child
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Explaining Mood Disorders  using
psychological and biological views
Psychological View
– The psychoanalytical view of depression
connects the past to the present (what
– Learning theorists: “learned helplessness”
makes people prone to depression
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Psychological View (cont.)
Cognitive theorists: habitual style of
explaining life events
– Attribution theory: people assign different types of
explanations to events which affect self – esteem and
self – efficacy
– Beck (psychologist) suggests that people who are
depressed have a negative view of themselves, their
experiences, and their future
II. Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Biological View
– Mood disorders occur more often in the close
relatives of affected people than they do in the
general population
– Two neurotransmitters in the brain – serotonin
and noradrenaline – may partly explain the
connection between genes and mood
– Bipolar Disorder
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Dissociative disorders: cause people to
lose their memory or identity
– Characterized by the separation of certain
personality components
Somatoform disorders: cause people to
express psychological distress through
physical symptoms
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Dissociation – the separation of certain
personality components or mental
processes from conscious thought
– In some situations, it is normal (becoming
engrossed in a book)
If dissociation occurs as a way to avoid
stressful events or feelings, it can signal a
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Dissociative Amnesia
– Characterized by a sudden loss of memory,
usually following a particularly stressful or
traumatic event
– It cannot be explained biologically
– The incidence of dissociative amnesia rises
tremendously during wartime and natural
disasters (Hurricane Katrina)
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
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
– Individuals may appear healthy until the fugue
ends, when they will not remember anything
that happened during the fugue
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Dissociative Identity Disorder
– Involves the existence of two or more personalities
within a single individual. The various personalities
may or may not be aware of each other
Depersonalization Disorder
– Depersonalization: feelings of detachment
from one’s mental processes or body
– People describe being outside their bodies
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Explaining Dissociative Disorders
Psychoanalytical theory suggests people dissociate
in order to repress unacceptable urges
Learning theorists claim individuals have learned not
to think about disturbing events in order to avoid
feelings of guilt, shame or pain
Cognitive and biological theorists have not offered a
complete explanation of dissociative disorders
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Somatoform Disorders
Somatization  the expression of
psychological distress through physical
– People with somatoform disorders have
psychological problems (such as depression)
but experience inexplicable physical
symptoms (such as paralysis)
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Conversion Disorder
– Patients experience a change in or loss of
physical functioning in a major part of the
body for which there is no known medical
– Patients often show a lack of concern for their
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
– A person’s unrealistic preoccupation with
thoughts that he or she has a serious disease
– Patients may become absorbed by minor
physical symptoms and sensations
– YouTube - Hypochondria: Diagnosis
– YouTube - Hypochondria: Treatment Tactics
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Explaining Somatoform Disorders 
explanations are primarily psychological
– Psychoanalytical theory suggests disorders
occur when individuals repress emotions
associated with forbidden urges and instead
express them symbolically in physical
III. Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
Explaining Somatoform Disorders (cont)
– Behavioral theorists have suggested that
somatoform symptoms can serve as a
reinforcer if they successfully allow a person
to escape from anxiety
– There is some evidence that biological or
genetic factors may play a role
IV. Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is the most serious
psychological disorder
Schizophrenia causes thought disruption
and a decreased ability to function
There are three types of Schizophrenia
1. Paranoid
2. Disorganized
3. Catatonic Schizophrenia
IV. Schizophrenia
Characterized by a loss of contact with
First appears in young adulthood
Usually develops gradually but can also
appear suddenly
Symptoms include: hallucinations,
delusions, thought disorders
IV. Schizophrenia
Some other symptoms may include:
– Social withdrawal
– Impaired social skills
– Loss of normal emotional responses
Sometimes people may go into a catatonic
stupor: an immobile, expressionless,
comalike state
IV. Schizophrenia
Types of Schizophrenia:
Paranoid Schizophrenia
– Delusions or frequent auditory hallucinations
that center on one theme, often a theme of
IV. Schizophrenia
Types of Schizophrenia (cont)
Disorganized Schizophrenia
– Incoherent in their thought and speech and
disorganized in their behavior; delusions and
hallucinations are unconnected
– Emotionless or show inappropriate emotions
IV. Schizophrenia
Types of Schizophrenia (cont)
Catatonic Schizophrenia
– Activity may slow to a stupor and then
suddenly switch to agitation
– May hold unusual, uncomfortable body
positions for long periods of time, even after
their arms and legs swell and stiffen
IV. Schizophrenia
Explaining Schizophrenia
Psychological Views
– Result of overwhelming of the ego by urges
from the ID
– Fantasies become confused with reality
– Family environment may spur disease, but
does not cause it
IV. Schizophrenia
Explaining Schizophrenia (cont)
Biological Views
– Studies try to link abnormal brain functioning
and structure with specific symptoms
– Heredity, complications during pregnancy and
birth, and birth during winter were all shown to
affect rates of schizophrenia
IV. Schizophrenia
Explaining Schizophrenia (cont)
Multifactorial Model
– Biological and psychological factors may interact in
– The model suggests that even severely dysfunctional
environmental factors are not enough to lead to the
– Schizophrenia ABC 20-20 Documentary Part 1
– Schizophrenia ABC 20-20 Documentary Part 2
V. Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are characterized by
patterns of unchanging personality traits
that disrupt people’s social lives and work
Four common personality disorders are
paranoid, schizoid, antisocial, and avoidant
V. Personality Disorders
An enduring pattern of inner experience
and behavior that deviates markedly from
the expectations of the culture of the
individual who exhibits it
Usually show up by late adolescence
V. Personality Disorders
Psychological disorders are illnesses that
an individual experiences as episodes
In contrast, personality disorders are
enduring traits that are major components
of the individual’s personality
YouTube - Personality Disorders
V. Personality Disorders
Explaining Personality Disorders
Psychological Views
– Psychoanalytical theory suggests a lack of
guilt underlies the antisocial personality
– Learning theorists suggest children who are
not reinforced for good behavior learn
antisocial behavior
– Cognitive theorists argue antisocial teens use
a faulty view of others’ actions
V. Personality Disorders
Biological Views
– Antisocial personality disorder appears to run
in families
– Some evidence suggests that antisocial
people have less developed emotional centers
in their brains
– Biological factor by itself is unlikely to cause
the development of antisocial personality
– YouTube - Multiple Personality Disorder: