Psychological disorders
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Psychological Disorders. Chapter 12 Pages 483-521. Psychopathology. In other words mental disorder or mental illness According to the National Institutes of Mental Health 15.4% of the population suffers from a diagnosable mental health problems

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Psychological Disorders

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Psychological disorders

Psychological Disorders

Chapter 12

Pages 483-521



  • In other words mental disorder or mental illness

  • According to the National Institutes of Mental Health 15.4% of the population suffers from a diagnosable mental health problems

  • Another study found that the behaviors of over 56 million Americans meet the criteria for a diagnosable psychological disorder

Changing concepts of psychological disorder

Changing Concepts of Psychological Disorder

Different perspectives demonological

Different Perspectives: Demonological

  • The view that abnormal behavior reflect invasion by evil spirits or demons.

  • Stone Age humans developed trephining- the practice of putting holes in the skull to provide a passage for demons to get out of the head



  • Trephining actually worked- today most would agree b/c people were so afraid they conformed to society.

  • Ancient Greeks believed gods punished people by causing confusion and madness except Hippocrates (said Abnormal Behavior caused by something in brain)



  • Massachusetts- Many believed ab. Behavior was caused by possession of devil-called these people witches( held responsible for many things ranging from a neighbor’s infertility to a poor yield of crops).



  • An exorcist would pray for you and wave a cross over you at night to send the devil elsewhere…if that didn’t work you were beaten, killed

  • In Europe over 200,000 “witches” were killed due to a publishing of manual of how to recognize a witch.

  • Salem witch trials

Witch testing

Witch testing

  • Water-float test

  • (pure metals sink to the bottom, impurities float to surface) suspects who sank were considered pure, those who kept their heads above water were impure.

Historical roots

Historical Roots

  • 400 B.C.- Hippocrates declared abnormal behavior had physical causes.

  • He taught symptoms of mental disorders were a result of an imbalance among bodily fluids (called humors)

The four humors

The Four Humors

Middle ages

Middle Ages

  • Superstition eclipsed Hippocrates ideas

  • Under the influence of the church, physicians and clergy reverted back to blaming abnormal behavior on demons, witches, and the devil.

  • The cure: torture, trephining, execution

The medical model

The Medical Model

  • Ab. Behavior is symptomatic of an underlying illness.

  • 2 version of model



The medical model1

The medical model

  • Reemerged (from Hippocrates ideas) in the late 18th century

  • Diseases of the mind are like any other disease

  • Mental diseases have specific causes and therefore must have specific treatments

How did this change view of mental illnesses

How did this change view of mental illnesses?

  • Torture, executions, etc.. No longer made sense

  • Implemented asylums for the insane-initially very therapeutic, later became overcrowded and used as human storehouses

Biological version

Biological Version

  • Ab. behavior reflects biological or biochemical problems

  • Term- mental illness

  • Today- abnormalities in neurotransmitters, the chemical that “conduct’ messages from one cell in the nervous system to another.



  • Syndrome- a cluster or group of symptoms suggestive of a particular order.

  • Each mental illness presumably has specific outcome and response to appropriate therapy.

  • DNA



  • Major advance over demonological perspective—compassion over hatred

  • Problem- mental hospital not always best “cure”

  • Today- receive treatment while staying in society

Psychodynamic freud version

Psychodynamic (Freud)Version

  • Neuroses(neurotic behavior)- groups of disorders theorized to stem from unconscious conflict

  • Abnormal behavior is a symptom of unconscious childhood conflict



  • Psychosis- major disorder in which a person lacks insight and has difficulty meeting the demands of daily life and maintaining contact with reality.

  • Cure- resolve unconscious conflicts

Criticism of the medical approach

Criticism of the medical approach

  • Too much reliance on doctor

  • Patients became too passive/dependent on doctor and/or drug treatments

  • Little encouragement for the patient to take part in ‘getting better”

Learning perspectives

Learning Perspectives

  • Ab. Behavior may be caused by the fact that one never got the chance to observe “normal” behaviors and interactions.

  • Inconsistent punishments

  • Subculture reinforces behavior that is not accepted by majority of population.

The cognitive perspective

The Cognitive Perspective

  • Ab. behavior caused by disturbances in how one inputs, stores,manipulates, and retrieves info.

  • Disturbances caused by blocking input, faulty storage, retrieval, or manipulation

Social cognitive behavioral perspective

Social-Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective

  • The alternative to the medical model that view psychological disorders as a combination of the social, cognitive, and behavioral perspective.

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