Psychological disorders
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Psychological Disorders. Chapter 15. Psychological Disorders. Mental processes or behavior patterns that cause emotional distress and/or substantial impairment in functioning. What is abnormal?. Human behavior lies along a continuum, from well adjusted to mal-adjusted

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Psychological disorders1
Psychological Disorders

  • Mental processes or behavior patterns that cause emotional distress and/or substantial impairment in functioning

What is abnormal
What is abnormal?

  • Human behavior lies along a continuum, from well adjusted to mal-adjusted

  • Where along the continuum does behavior become abnormal?


  • Is the behavior considered strange within the person’s own culture?

  • Does the behavior cause personal distress?

  • Is the behavior maladaptive?

  • Is the person a danger to himself or to herself?

  • Is the person legally responsible for his or her acts?

Prevalence of psychological disorders
Prevalence of psychological Disorders

  • 22% of Americans are diagnosed with a psychological disorder annually in the US

  • The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with a psychological disorder is 50%


  • A legal, not psychological term

  • Means an individual is not legally responsible for his/her behavior due to a psychiatric illness or some other temporary or permanent mental condition

Dsm iv tr diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
DSM-IV/TRDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

  • Lists the criteria for assigning various diagnoses

  • All psychological disorders are organized into various categories

Generalized anxiety disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Characterized by chronic worry that is so severe that it interferes with daily functioning

Panic disorder
Panic Disorder

  • Characterized by recurrent, unpredictable panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety, fear, or terror

  • During these attacks people experience palpitations, trembling, shaking, choking or smothering sensations, and the feeling that they are going to die or lose their sanity


  • There are three categories of phobias

    • Agoraphobia

    • Social phobia

    • Specific phobia


  • Fear of being in situations where escape is impossible or help is not available in case of incapacitating anxiety

Social phobia
Social Phobia

  • Fear of social situations where one might be embarrassed or humiliated by appearing clumsy or incompetent

Specific phobia
Specific Phobia

  • A marked fear of a specific object or situation and a catchall for all other phobias

Obsessive compulsive disorders
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

  • Characterized by obsessions (persistent, recurring, involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that cause great distress) and/or compulsions (persistent, irresistible, irrational urges to perform an act or ritual repeatedly)

Bipolar disorder
Bipolar Disorder another

  • Mood disorder in which a person suffers from manic episodes (periods of extreme elation, euphoria, and hyperactivity) alternating with major depression

Proposed causes of mood disorders
Proposed causes of mood disorders another

  • 1. genetic predisposition

  • 2. imbalance in neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin

  • 3. tendency to turn hostility and resentment inward rather than expressing it

  • 4. distorted and negative views of oneself, the world, the future

  • 5. stress

Suicide another

  • Depression is linked to suicide along with other disorders.

  • Elderly, white males highest rate of suicide- perhaps due to poor health or loneliness

  • Women more likely to attempt, men more likely to be successful

  • Asian Americans have the lowest rate of all US ethnic groups


  • Positive symptoms: abnormal behaviors and characteristics- hallucinations, disorganized thinking, delusions, disorganized speech, bizarre behavior, inappropriate affect

  • Negative symptoms: social withdrawal, apathy, loss of motivation, very limited speech, slowed movements, flat affect, poor hygiene and grooming

4 types of schizophrenia
4 types of schizophrenia another

  • Paranoid

  • Disorganized

  • Catatonic

  • Undifferentiated

Risk factors
Risk factors another

  • Genetic predisposition

  • Stress in people who are predisposed

  • Excessive dopamine activity in the brain

Somatoform and dissociative disorders

  • Involve bodily symptoms that cannot be identified as any of the known medical conditions

Hypochondriasis another

  • Persistent fear that bodily symptoms are the signs of some serious disease

Conversion disorder
Conversion disorder another

  • Loss of motor or sensory functioning in some part of the body, such as paralysis or blindness

Dissociative amnesia
Dissociative amnesia another

  • Loss of memory for limited periods of their life or for their entire personal identity

Dissociative fugue disorder
Dissociative fugue disorder another

  • People forget their entire identity, travel away form home, may assume new identity somewhere else

Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder another

  • Multiple personality

  • Two or more distinct, unique personalities occur in the same person, each taking over at different times

  • Most patients are female and victims of early, severe physical and/or sexual abuse

Other psychological disorders
Other Psychological Disorders another

  • Gender identity disorder: people feel their psychological gender identity is different form that which is typically associated with their biological sex

  • Paraphilias:sufferers have recurrent sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviors that involve children, other non-consenting partner, or non-human objects

  • Sexual dysfunction: a problem with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm

3 clusters of personality disorders
3 Clusters of Personality Disorders another

  • People with personality disorders have long-standing, inflexible, maladaptive patterns of behavior that cause problems in social relationships at work

  • Often cause personal distress

  • Many are unable to change and always blame others for their problems

continued another

  • Cluster A: characterized by odd behavior

  • Cluster B: erratic emotions and overly dramatic behavior

  • Cluster C: disorders associated with extreme levels of fearfulness and anxiety