Perspectives on Psychological Disorders

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Perspectives on Psychological Disorders

  • Perspectives on Psychological Disorders

    • Defining Psychological Disorders
    • Understanding Psychological Disorders
    • Classifying Psychological Disorders
    • Labeling Psychological Disorders


Anxiety Disorders

  • Anxiety Disorders

    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder
    • Phobias
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
    • Anxiety Disorder Explanation


Mood Disorders

  • Mood Disorders

    • Major Depressive Disorders
    • Bipolar Disorder
    • Mood Disorder Explanation
  • Schizophrenia

    • Symptoms of Schizophrenia
    • Subtypes of Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia



I felt the need to clean my room … spent four to five hours at it … At the time I loved it but then didn't want to do it any more, but could not stop … The clothes hung … two fingers apart …I touched my bedroom wall before leaving the house … I had constant anxiety … I thought I might be nuts.

  • I felt the need to clean my room … spent four to five hours at it … At the time I loved it but then didn't want to do it any more, but could not stop … The clothes hung … two fingers apart …I touched my bedroom wall before leaving the house … I had constant anxiety … I thought I might be nuts.



People are fascinated by the exceptional, the unusual, and the abnormal. This fascination may be caused by two reasons:

  • People are fascinated by the exceptional, the unusual, and the abnormal. This fascination may be caused by two reasons:



To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.

  • To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.



Psychological Disorder

  • Psychological Disorder

    • a “harmful dysfunction” in which behavior is judged to be:
      • atypical--not normal
      • disturbing--varies with time and culture
      • maladaptive--harmful
      • unjustifiable--sometimes there’s a good reason


Definition (part A) - Mental health workers view psychological disorders as persistently harmful thoughts, feelings, and actions.

  • Definition (part A) - Mental health workers view psychological disorders as persistently harmful thoughts, feelings, and actions.



Deviant behavior (going naked) in one culture may be considered normal, while in others it may lead to arrest.

  • Deviant behavior (going naked) in one culture may be considered normal, while in others it may lead to arrest.

  • Deviant behavior must accompany distress.

  • If a behavior is dysfunctional it is clearly a disorder.





Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) from France, insisted that madness was not due to demonic possession, but an ailment of the mind.

    • Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) from France, insisted that madness was not due to demonic possession, but an ailment of the mind.


When physicians discovered that syphilis led to mental disorders, they started using medical models to review the physical causes of these disorders.

  • When physicians discovered that syphilis led to mental disorders, they started using medical models to review the physical causes of these disorders.



Assumes that biological, socio-cultural, and psychological factors combine and interact to produce psychological disorders.

  • Assumes that biological, socio-cultural, and psychological factors combine and interact to produce psychological disorders.





1. The American Psychiatric Association rendered a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to describe psychological disorders.

  • 1. The American Psychiatric Association rendered a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to describe psychological disorders.









Describe (400) disorders.

  • Describe (400) disorders.

  • Determine how prevalent the disorder is.



Critics of the DSM-IV argue that labels may stigmatize individuals.

  • Critics of the DSM-IV argue that labels may stigmatize individuals.



2. Labels may be helpful for healthcare professionals when communicating with one another and establishing therapy.

  • 2. Labels may be helpful for healthcare professionals when communicating with one another and establishing therapy.



Feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety.

  • Feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety.







Persistence of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions) that cause distress.

  • Persistence of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions) that cause distress.



A PET scan of the brain of a person with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). High metabolic activity (red) in the frontal lobe areas are involved with directing attention.

  • A PET scan of the brain of a person with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). High metabolic activity (red) in the frontal lobe areas are involved with directing attention.



Four or more weeks of the following symptoms constitute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

  • Four or more weeks of the following symptoms constitute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):



Only about 10% of women and 20% of men react to traumatic situations and develop PTSD.

  • Only about 10% of women and 20% of men react to traumatic situations and develop PTSD.













Conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings.

  • Conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings.



Is a disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities, formerly called multiple personality disorder.

  • Is a disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities, formerly called multiple personality disorder.



Critics argue that the diagnosis of DID increased in the late 20th century. DID has not been found in other countries.

  • Critics argue that the diagnosis of DID increased in the late 20th century. DID has not been found in other countries.



Emotional extremes of mood disorders come in two principal forms.

  • Emotional extremes of mood disorders come in two principal forms.



2. Bipolar Disorder - a mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania

  • 2. Bipolar Disorder - a mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania

        • formerly called manic-depressive disorder
        • Manic Episode


PET scans show that brain energy consumption rises and falls with manic and depressive episodes.

  • PET scans show that brain energy consumption rises and falls with manic and depressive episodes.

























If depression is the common cold of psychological disorders, schizophrenia is the cancer.

  • If depression is the common cold of psychological disorders, schizophrenia is the cancer.



The literal translation is “split mind.” A group of severe disorders characterized by the following:

  • The literal translation is “split mind.” A group of severe disorders characterized by the following:





Many psychologists believe disorganized thoughts occur because of selective attention failure (fragmented and bizarre thoughts).

  • Many psychologists believe disorganized thoughts occur because of selective attention failure (fragmented and bizarre thoughts).



A schizophrenic person may perceive things that are not there (hallucinations). Frequently such hallucinations are auditory and lesser visual, somatosensory, olfactory, or gustatory.

  • A schizophrenic person may perceive things that are not there (hallucinations). Frequently such hallucinations are auditory and lesser visual, somatosensory, olfactory, or gustatory.



A schizophrenic person may laugh at the news of someone dying or show no emotion at all (apathy).

  • A schizophrenic person may laugh at the news of someone dying or show no emotion at all (apathy).



positive symptoms: Schizophrenics have inappropriate symptoms (hallucinations, disorganized thinking, deluded ways) that are not present in normal individuals.

  • positive symptoms: Schizophrenics have inappropriate symptoms (hallucinations, disorganized thinking, deluded ways) that are not present in normal individuals.





**most dreaded psychological disorder => disease of the brain exhibited in symptoms of the mind!

  • **most dreaded psychological disorder => disease of the brain exhibited in symptoms of the mind!







Schizophrenia has also been observed in individuals who contracted a viral infection (flu) during the middle of their fetal development.

  • Schizophrenia has also been observed in individuals who contracted a viral infection (flu) during the middle of their fetal development.



The likelihood of an individual suffering from schizophrenia is 50% if their identical twin has the disease (Gottesman, 1991).

  • The likelihood of an individual suffering from schizophrenia is 50% if their identical twin has the disease (Gottesman, 1991).



The following shows the prevalence of schizophrenia in identical twins as seen in different countries.

  • The following shows the prevalence of schizophrenia in identical twins as seen in different countries.



Psychological and environmental factors can trigger schizophrenia if the individual is genetically predisposed (Nicols & Gottesman, 1983).

  • Psychological and environmental factors can trigger schizophrenia if the individual is genetically predisposed (Nicols & Gottesman, 1983).



Early warning signs of schizophrenia include:

  • Early warning signs of schizophrenia include:



Definition: Personality disorders are characterized by inflexible and enduring behavior patterns that impair social functioning.

  • Definition: Personality disorders are characterized by inflexible and enduring behavior patterns that impair social functioning.

  • *They are usually without anxiety, depression, or delusions.

  • *SOME CLUSTERS / TYPES:

      • Avoidant personality disorder
      • Schizoid personality disorder
      • Histrionic personality disorder
      • Narcissistic personality disorder
      • Borderline personality disorder


A disorder in which the person (usually men) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members.

  • A disorder in which the person (usually men) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members.

        • may be aggressive and ruthless or a clever con artist
  • Formerly, this person was called a sociopath or psychopath.



Like mood disorders and schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder has biological and psychological reasons. Youngsters, before committing a crime, respond with lower levels of stress hormones than others do at their age.

  • Like mood disorders and schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder has biological and psychological reasons. Youngsters, before committing a crime, respond with lower levels of stress hormones than others do at their age.



PET scans of 41 murderers revealed reduced activity in the murder’s frontal lobes, a brain area that helps brake impulsive, aggressive behavior. Frontal lobe damage can impair people’s discerning right from wrong.

  • PET scans of 41 murderers revealed reduced activity in the murder’s frontal lobes, a brain area that helps brake impulsive, aggressive behavior. Frontal lobe damage can impair people’s discerning right from wrong.

  • In a follow-up study repeat offenders had 11% less frontal lobe activity compared to normals (Raine et al., 1999; 2000).

















The Psychological Therapies

  • The Psychological Therapies

    • Psychoanalysis
    • Humanistic Therapies
    • Behavior Therapies
    • Cognitive Therapies
    • Group and Family Therapies








We will look at four major forms of psychotherapies based on different theories of human nature:

  • We will look at four major forms of psychotherapies based on different theories of human nature:





The first formal psychotherapy to emerge was psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud.

  • The first formal psychotherapy to emerge was psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud.



Evaluating Psychotherapies

  • Evaluating Psychotherapies

    • The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy
    • The Relative Effectiveness of Different Therapies
    • Alternative Therapies Evaluated
    • Commonalities Among Psychotherapies
    • Culture and Values in Psychotherapies


Since psychological problems originate from childhood repressed impulses and conflicts, the aim of psychoanalysis is to bring repressed feelings into conscious awareness where the patient can deal with them.

  • Since psychological problems originate from childhood repressed impulses and conflicts, the aim of psychoanalysis is to bring repressed feelings into conscious awareness where the patient can deal with them.



Dissatisfied with hypnosis, Freud developed the method of free association to unravel the unconscious mind and its conflicts.

  • Dissatisfied with hypnosis, Freud developed the method of free association to unravel the unconscious mind and its conflicts.



During free association, the patient edits his thoughts, resisting his or her feelings to express emotions. Such resistance becomes important in the analysis of conflict-driven anxiety.

  • During free association, the patient edits his thoughts, resisting his or her feelings to express emotions. Such resistance becomes important in the analysis of conflict-driven anxiety.



Psychoanalysis is hard to refute because it cannot be proven or disproven.

  • Psychoanalysis is hard to refute because it cannot be proven or disproven.

  • Psychoanalysis takes a long time and is very expensive.



Influenced by Freud, in a face-to-face setting, psychodynamic therapists understand symptoms and themes across important relationships in a patient’s life.

  • Influenced by Freud, in a face-to-face setting, psychodynamic therapists understand symptoms and themes across important relationships in a patient’s life.



Interpersonal psychotherapy, a variation of psychodynamic therapy, is effective in treating depression. It focuses on symptom relief here and now, not an overall personality change.

  • Interpersonal psychotherapy, a variation of psychodynamic therapy, is effective in treating depression. It focuses on symptom relief here and now, not an overall personality change.



Humanistic therapists aim to boost self-fulfillment by helping people grow in self-awareness and self-acceptance.

  • Humanistic therapists aim to boost self-fulfillment by helping people grow in self-awareness and self-acceptance.



Developed by Carl Rogers, person-centered therapy is a form of humanistic therapy.

  • Developed by Carl Rogers, person-centered therapy is a form of humanistic therapy.





Therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors.

  • Therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors.



Counterconditioning is a procedure that conditions new responses to stimuli that trigger unwanted behaviors.

  • Counterconditioning is a procedure that conditions new responses to stimuli that trigger unwanted behaviors.









Expose patients to things they fear and avoid. Through repeated exposures, anxiety lessens because they habituate to the things feared.

  • Expose patients to things they fear and avoid. Through repeated exposures, anxiety lessens because they habituate to the things feared.



Exposure therapy involves exposing people to fear-driving objects in real or virtual environments.

  • Exposure therapy involves exposing people to fear-driving objects in real or virtual environments.



Operant conditioning procedures enable therapists to use behavior modification, in which desired behaviors are rewarded and undesired behaviors are either unrewarded or punished.

  • Operant conditioning procedures enable therapists to use behavior modification, in which desired behaviors are rewarded and undesired behaviors are either unrewarded or punished.



In institutional settings therapists may create a token economy in which patients exchange a token of some sort, earned for exhibiting the desired behavior, for various privileges or treats.

  • In institutional settings therapists may create a token economy in which patients exchange a token of some sort, earned for exhibiting the desired behavior, for various privileges or treats.







Aaron Beck (1979) suggests that depressed patients believe that they can never be happy (thinking) and thus associate minor failings (e.g. failing a test [event]) in life as major causes for their depression.

  • Aaron Beck (1979) suggests that depressed patients believe that they can never be happy (thinking) and thus associate minor failings (e.g. failing a test [event]) in life as major causes for their depression.







Cognitive therapists often combine the reversal of self-defeated thinking with efforts to modify behavior.

  • Cognitive therapists often combine the reversal of self-defeated thinking with efforts to modify behavior.









However, many patients are left homeless on the streets due to their ill-preparedness to cope independently outside in society.

  • However, many patients are left homeless on the streets due to their ill-preparedness to cope independently outside in society.



Antidepressant drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that improve the mood by elevating levels of serotonin by inhibiting reuptake.

  • Antidepressant drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that improve the mood by elevating levels of serotonin by inhibiting reuptake.



Classical antipsychotics [Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)]: Remove a number of positive symptoms associated with schizophrenia such as agitation, delusions, and hallucinations.

  • Classical antipsychotics [Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)]: Remove a number of positive symptoms associated with schizophrenia such as agitation, delusions, and hallucinations.



Clozapine (Clozaril) blocks receptors for dopamine and serotonin to remove the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

  • Clozapine (Clozaril) blocks receptors for dopamine and serotonin to remove the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.



Antianxiety drugs (Xanax and Ativan) depress the central nervous system and reduce anxiety and tension by elevating the levels of the Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter.

  • Antianxiety drugs (Xanax and Ativan) depress the central nervous system and reduce anxiety and tension by elevating the levels of the Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter.



Lithium Carbonate, a common salt, has been used to stabilize manic episodes in bipolar disorders. It moderates the levels of norepinephrine and glutamate neurotransmitters.

  • Lithium Carbonate, a common salt, has been used to stabilize manic episodes in bipolar disorders. It moderates the levels of norepinephrine and glutamate neurotransmitters.









Who do people turn to for help with psychological difficulties?

  • Who do people turn to for help with psychological difficulties?



It is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of psychotherapy because there are different levels upon which its effectiveness can be measured.

  • It is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of psychotherapy because there are different levels upon which its effectiveness can be measured.



If you ask clients about their experiences of getting into therapy, they often overestimate its effectiveness. Critics however remain skeptical.

  • If you ask clients about their experiences of getting into therapy, they often overestimate its effectiveness. Critics however remain skeptical.



Like clients, clinicians believe in therapy’s success. They believe the client is better off after therapy than if the client had not taken part in therapy.

  • Like clients, clinicians believe in therapy’s success. They believe the client is better off after therapy than if the client had not taken part in therapy.



How can we objectively measure the effectiveness of psychotherapy?

  • How can we objectively measure the effectiveness of psychotherapy?



Research shows that treated patients were 80% better than untreated ones.

  • Research shows that treated patients were 80% better than untreated ones.



Which psychotherapy would be most effective for treating a particular problem?

  • Which psychotherapy would be most effective for treating a particular problem?





In EMDR therapy, the therapist attempts to unlock and reprocess previous frozen traumatic memories by waving a finger in front of the eyes of the client.

  • In EMDR therapy, the therapist attempts to unlock and reprocess previous frozen traumatic memories by waving a finger in front of the eyes of the client.

  • EMDR has not held up under scientific testing.



Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression, has been effectively treated by light exposure therapy. This form of therapy has been scientifically validated.

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression, has been effectively treated by light exposure therapy. This form of therapy has been scientifically validated.



Three commonalities shared by all forms of psychotherapies are the following:

  • Three commonalities shared by all forms of psychotherapies are the following:



Psychotherapists may differ from each other and from clients in their personal beliefs, values, and cultural backgrounds.

  • Psychotherapists may differ from each other and from clients in their personal beliefs, values, and cultural backgrounds.



Clinical psychologists: They have PhDs mostly. They are experts in research, assessment, and therapy, all of which is verified through a supervised internship.

  • Clinical psychologists: They have PhDs mostly. They are experts in research, assessment, and therapy, all of which is verified through a supervised internship.



Counselors: Pastoral counselors or abuse counselors work with problems arising from family relations, spouse and child abusers and their victims, and substance abusers.

  • Counselors: Pastoral counselors or abuse counselors work with problems arising from family relations, spouse and child abusers and their victims, and substance abusers.



These include physical, medicinal, and other forms of biological therapies.

  • These include physical, medicinal, and other forms of biological therapies.







Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

  • In TMS, a pulsating magnetic coil is placed over prefrontal regions of the brain to treat depression with minimal side effects.





Psychosurgery is used as a last resort in alleviating psychological disturbances. Psychosurgery is irreversible. Removal of brain tissue changes the mind.

  • Psychosurgery is used as a last resort in alleviating psychological disturbances. Psychosurgery is irreversible. Removal of brain tissue changes the mind.
















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