Mental disorders
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Mental Disorders. What are our perceptions as a society of mental illnesses? Types of mental illnesses, how is it projected by the media (and how does this influence our societal interpretation)? How do we treat or react to those with a mental illness?. MENTAL disorders.

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Mental Disorders

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Mental disorders

Mental Disorders

What are our perceptions as a society of mental illnesses?

Types of mental illnesses, how is it projected by the media (and how does this influence our societal interpretation)?

How do we treat or react to those with a mental illness?


Mental disorders1

MENTAL disorders

  • Psychologically unable to cope realistically and effectively with the ordinary challenges and tasks of the real world.

    • Suffer discomfort more or less continuously – extreme anxiety, endless worry, or long periods of depression (something wrong with their life more than the average person)

    • May behave in a bizarre fashion – continuously misinterprets what is going on and what others are doing or saying (cannot do the day-to-day things and comes completely apart over minor things or sinks into a depression about them).

    • May be very inefficient – unable to perform their life roles properly.

  • Anyone of those symptoms or a combination can indicate trouble – degree of disturbance varies and so does the number of symptoms.

  • People with mental disorders tend to be inflexible – can’t go with the flow of life but plow ahead with a fixed set of responses to almost everything and they establish self-defeating boundaries and won’t budge.


Causes of mental disorders

Causes of Mental Disorders

  • Psychological

    • Ex: learned not to trust people so they view the world as a threatening place (frequently feel anxious)

    • Stress – general anxiety, phobias, and depression

  • Sociocultural Background – something in the culture makes these problems more likely

    • Ex: bulimia and anorexia in American society.

    • http://www.aetv.com/intervention/episode-guide/season-12/

  • Biological - inherited

  • In many instances the causes are one of the above factors or a combination.

    • More severe disorders – the causes tend to be more clear-cut, and tend to be biological.


Diagnosis stigma

“Diagnosis”/Stigma

  • Based on very subjective judgments - what is considered bizarre or irrational depends on the standards of the culture, of the subculture, and of the individual observer.

  • The people affected may expend immense energy in trying to preserve a façade of happiness and normality despite their underlying tension.

  • Those labeled mentally disordered tend to be viewed with suspicion by others – a stigma (mark of shame or discredit) that makes many people reluctant to seek treatment.

  • Television depictions of those with severe problems are almost always inaccurate (over-exaggerate)

    • Ax murderer who goes from house to house chopping people up because of some early childhood experience shows little grasp of reality.

    • Ahandful of those with mental disorders are dangerous while the average mental patient tends to be withdrawn or confused, bothering no one.

  • The stigma attached to a person with a mental disorder is not as bad as it used to be, but people still tend to fear what they don’t understand.

    • Avoided or treated unfairly (sad because usually the most helpful thing for them is emotional support of friends and family)


Neuroses vs psychoses

Neuroses vs. psychoses

  • Neuroses: personality disturbance, its chief characteristic being anxiety (origins in childhood experiences), but they still have a firm grip on reality and able on the whole to function in life.

    • Impairment is often limited to one area

    • Neurotic people often know they have a problem and wish to overcome it.

  • Psychoses: sharp break from reality – out of touch with their own situation and do not attempt to adapt to the world.

    • Organic – identifiable physical basis (damage to the brain tissue)

      • http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-diary-i-have-a-traumatic-brain-injury/1635813/playlist.jhtml#series=2212&seriesId=5232&channelId=1

    • Functional – no obvious physical basis and whose origin is presumed to be partly or wholly psychological.


Disorders of childhood

Disorders of Childhood

  • Those diagnosed during childhood – remember all children tend to act “abnormally” on occasion, but only when problems are continuous or extensive should we be concerned.

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – great deal of trouble focusing on the task at hand, easily distracted and frustrated, impulsive, constant moving and restlessness.

  • Autistic Disorder (Autism) – failure to develop normal communication patterns, social interactions, and emotional responses.

    • Echolalia: repeating what has just been said (“echoes”)

    • Rain Man (highly functioning – savant: detailed knowledge in some specialized field)

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqbXPfaN_VM

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVaT-VkCs0k

    • http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-have-autism/1554937/playlist.jhtml#series=2211&seriesId=5232&channelId=1


Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders

  • General feeling of apprehension and dread that includes many bodily upsets – attacks a few times a day and in between are restless, sleep poorly, don’t eat well, and not capable of calming down.

  • Panic Disorder – frequent and overwhelming attacks of anxiety – the anxiety spreads to more objects, events, or people after the original or first panic attack.

  • Phobic Disorder – disabled and overwhelmed by fear in the presence of certain objects or events.

    • Specific vs. agoraphobia (fear of leaving a familiar environment, especially home).

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – endless preoccupation with some type of urge or thought combined with a symbolic, ritualized behavior that a person must repeatedly act out.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrRqb5cvM5E


Somatoform disorders

Somatoform Disorders

  • Psychological issues are expressed in bodily symptoms, but there is no actual physical problem.

  • Conversion Disorder: a serious psychological trauma is unconsciously changed into a symbolic physical dysfunction.

    • Ex: a person who has witnessed terrible human torture and slaughter may be overwhelmed by the horror, so the mind shuts the visual system down (“hysterical blindness”)

  • Hypochondriasis: feeling excessive concern about one’s health and exaggerating the seriousness of minor physical complaints.

    • Ex: a slight headache is interpreted as a symptom of brain cancer.


Dissociative disorders

Dissociative Disorders

  • Disorders in which the memory of a part of one’s life becomes disconnected from other parts.

  • Amnesia: memories related to a terrible trauma “disappear” – they are cut from their consciousness

    • Psychogenic (psychologically caused) – soldier’s loss of memory of a nightmarish event (PTSD) – selective forgetting (only the traumatic portions are forgotten)

    • http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-have-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/1601333/playlist.jhtml#series=2211&seriesId=5232&channelId=1

  • Fugue: an extensive and complicated type of amnesia – the person disconnects all of his or her current life from awareness, moves somewhere else, and starts all over.

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality): individuals “forget” a portion of themselves, and that portion begins to live a life of its own

    • Behaviors are exaggerated to the point of becoming at least partly independent of each other.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weLvkZGr9Tw


Mood disorders

Mood Disorders

  • Disorders characterized by emotional states

    • Dysthymic Disorder: moderate depression – lack of energy, unhappiness, loss of interest in activities and people, loss of sense of humor, sadness, and rock-bottom feelings of self-worth.

    • Major Depression: severe depression – involves loss of appetite, lack of energy, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts

    • Mania: extreme agitation, restlessness, rapid speech, and trouble concentrating – thoughts move so quickly through a person’s mind they begin to collide into mass confusion (flight of ideas)

    • Bipolar (Manic-depression): extreme high and low moods

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEv1Lh_gJeo

  • Causes – significant loss or extreme stress, however the cause is not 100% clear

  • Suicide


Personality disorders

Personality Disorders

  • A disorder in which a person has formed a peculiar or unpleasant personality (secretive, self-centered and selfish)

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder: person seems to have no conscience and is in constant conflict with the law (“psychopaths”) – little or no guilt, concern, or anxiety.

    • Sociopath – behavior of these people toward society is clearly abnormal). Sociopaths don’t even abide by the rules usually followed by criminals.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qyCR9tPDgM

  • Borderline Personality Disorder: unstable emotions and relationships, dependency, and manipulative, self-destructive behavior.

    • Very dependent people, but they cannot admit this to themselves. So they constantly test other people’s concern and often sabotage their own relationships.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liBJhHDw3o8


Psychotic disorders schizophrenia

Psychotic disorders/schizophrenia

  • Major disorganization of thought processes, confused and extreme emotional responses, and distorted perceptions of the world.

    • Thought disorder, hallucinating, delusion, trouble with emotional responses (ex: laugh at a funeral)

  • Schizophrenia: psychosis involving disorganized thoughts and garbled speech as well as hallucinations, and delusions (most serious mental disorder).

    • Catatonic – characterized by disturbances of movement

    • Paranoid – characterized by strong feelings of suspiciousness and persecution

    • Undifferentiated – lacks distinguishing symptoms

    • http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-have-schizophrenia/1586145/playlist.jhtml#series=2211&seriesId=5232&channelId=1


Mental retardation developmentally disabled

Mental Retardation/Developmentally disabled

  • Mental abilities below average (IQ) along with a person’s inability to perform adaptive behaviors (dressing, eating, communicating, shopping, and working).

  • Total care is only necessary for the profoundly retarded – most others live in group homes or with families

  • No biological problem is known – familial retardation (occurs mostly in poor households, where nutrition, intellectual stimulation, medical care, and emotional support may be inadequate).

  • Organic sources – related to physical disorders (birth injuries, fetal damage, metabolic disorders, genetic abnormalities.

  • Down Syndrome – moderate or severe retardation and a shortened life expectancy of around 49 years.

    • Age of parents is the biggest risk (genetic not hereditary)

  • Developmentally disabled persons are not handicapped where their feelings are concerned – sensitive to rejection and easily hurt by teasing or ridicule.


Mental disorder videos

Mental disorder videos

  • Tourettes:

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnyTMzQ76WA

  • True Life Videos:

    • Narcolepsy - http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-have-narcolepsy/1672872/playlist.jhtml#series=2211&seriesId=5232&channelId=1


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