Psychological disorders
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Psychological Disorders. Like a Skunk by Barbara (diagnosed w/ schizophrenia)

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Psychological Disorders

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Psychological disorders

Psychological Disorders

Like a Skunk

by Barbara (diagnosed w/ schizophrenia)

My mental illness is like a skunk,People know very little about meBut neither do they care to know,Interlinking lives can be enrichingAnd much can be learned from one another,Fear from what has become as common knowledgePrevents them from any involvement whatsoeverAnd even causes others to go out of their wayFor the single purpose of avoiding me.

What are they

What are they?

Definition: behavior patterns or mental processes that cause serious personal suffering or interfere with a person’s ability to cope with everyday life

Most people believe this is rare

Most are not treated or admitted

Nearly 1/3rd of adults in the U.S. have experienced a type of disorder

Identifying disorders

Identifying Disorders

What is normal?

It’s hard to define normal vs. abnormal

Usually equated with what is average for most people

Most people with disorders don’t differ much from normal but certain aspects (behaviors/mental processes) of them are exaggerated



Behaviors are not typical

Behaviors cause individual the inability to function in everyday life

Extreme emotional discomfort

Socially unacceptable behavior

Classifying psychological disorders

Classifying Psychological Disorders

  • Most widely used classification system: DSM-IV

    • Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

  • 18 different categories of mental disorders

  • Subject to ongoing revision

    (PTSD only added after

    Vietnam War)



(disturbed, nuts, crazy, psycho, mad, insane, loony, weird, freak, retard)


Go over our survey

Pros & Cons

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety: general state of dread or uneasiness

Inability to relax, nervousness

We all feel anxious at times but some feel it most of the time and it interferes with how they live their lives

Panic disorder

Panic Disorder

  • What is it?

    • Short period of intense fear identified by stressing physical symptoms

  • Symptoms:

    • Shortness of breath

    • Dizziness

    • Rapid heart rate

    • Nausea

    • Shaking

    • sweating

Panic disorder cont

Panic Disorder Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Therapy to recreate situations and deal with them in a safe environment

  • Cause:

    • Genetics and major stress play a role

  • Misc:

    • Lasts minutes to hours

    • May believe they are dying or going crazy

Gad general anxiety disorder

GAD (General Anxiety Disorder)

  • What is it?

    • An excessive or unrealistic worry about life that lasts at least 6 months

  • Symptoms:

    • Worries of finance

    • Work

    • Illness

    • accidents

Gad cont

GAD Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Anti-depressants

    • Make behavior changes

  • Cause:

    • Naturally occurring brain chemicals

    • Stressful life experiences

  • Misc:

    • Few seek treatment since it doesn’t seem much different than everyday worries

Ptsd post traumatic stress disorder

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  • What is it?

    • Intense, persistent feelings of anxiety caused by a traumatic event

  • Symptoms:

    • Flashbacks

    • Nightmares

    • Numbness of feelings

    • avoidance

Ptsd cont

PTSD Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Anti-anxiety medication

    • Sleeping aides

  • Cause:

    • Rape

    • Child abuse

    • Plane crash

    • war

  • Misc:

    • More than 1/3 of Hurricane Andrew (1992) victims suffered PTSD


Specific phobia

Specific Phobia

  • What is it?

    • Irrational fear of a particular object or situation

  • Symptoms:

    • When confronted with object or situation feel anxious

    • Avoid these objects & situations

Phobias cont

Phobias Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Exposure therapy to face fears

  • Cause:

    • Possibly genetics

    • Threats from ancestors (cause us to fear snakes, sharp objects, heights)

  • Misc:

    • Most common anxiety disorder

Phobia examples

Phobia Examples

  • Triskaidekaphobia

    • Number 13

  • Uxoriphobia

    • One’s wife

  • Phobophobia

    • Fear of fear

  • Trichophobia

    • hair

  • Numerophobia

    • Numbers




  • What is it?

    • Fear of being in places where escape may be impossible or might cause you to panic/be embarrassed

    • -fear of open spaces

  • Symptoms:

    • Fear of crowded places: malls, trains, theaters

    • Never leave home

    • Have panic attacks hen confronted with these

Agoraphobia cont

Agoraphobia Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication

    • Counseling to face fear

  • Cause:

    • Accompanied with panic disorder often times

  • Misc:

    • Most common among adults


Ocd obsessive compulsive disorder

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

  • What is it?

    • Obsessions: unwanted thoughts, ideas, mental images occurring repeatedly

    • Compulsions: repetitive behaviors often involving cleaning or checking something

  • Symptoms:

    • Checking locked doors dozens of times

    • Wash hands 500 times a day

Ocd cont

OCD Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Drugs to increase serotonin in brain

    • Exposure therapy

  • Cause:

    • Learned habits from environment

    • Change in brain/ not enough serotonin

  • Misc:

    • Least common anxiety disorder


Mood disorders

Mood Disorders

We all experience mood changes

When they become inappropriate or inconsistent with the situations faced is becomes a disorder

Mdd major dispersive disorder

MDD (Major Dispersive Disorder)

  • What is it?

    • extreme sadness

    • Must have symptoms for at least two weeks

  • Symptoms:

    • Loss of interest or enjoyment in activities

    • Weight loss or gain/change in appetite

    • Low energy

    • Sleeping more

    • Feel worthless

    • Thoughts of suicide

    • Can’t make decisions

Mdd cont

MDD Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Immediate treatment is needed

  • Cause:

    • Not 100% known

    • Balance of hormones

    • Inherited traits

    • Traumatic life events

  • Misc:

    • Most common of all psychological disorders

    • Usually can go away, even without treatment, in under 6 months

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder

  • What is it?

    • Dramatic ups and downs in mood

    • Mania extreme excitement

    • Then changes to severe depression for no apparent reason

  • Symptoms:

    • Inflated self-esteem

    • Can’t sit still or sleep restfully

    • Pressure to keep talking/switch topics

    • Difficulty concentrating

Bipolar cont

Bipolar Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Lithium to stabilize mood

    • Hospitalized if dangerous to self

    • Magnetic field through brain helps as an antidepressant

  • Cause:

    • Unknown but some triggers:

    • Physical change in brain

    • Imbalance in hormones

    • inherited

  • Misc:

    • Formerly called manic depression

    • -manic phase causes delusions, hallucinations (hearing voices) causing individual to make wild decisions (occasionally misdiagnosed as schizophrenia)

    • -less than 1% of population



Usually considered the most serious of disorders

Characterized by loss of contact with reality

Difficult to function independently

Paranoid schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia

  • What is it?

    • Delusions and frequent auditory hallucinations all relating to a single theme

    • Convinced people are plotting against them

  • Symptoms:

    • Emotional distance

    • Anxiety

    • Violence

    • Hear voices

    • Suicidal thoughts

Paranoid cont

Paranoid Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Needs lifelong treatment even when patient seems better

    • Medication

    • ECT cause small seizure to reduce symptoms

    • Hospitalization for safety at times

  • Cause:

    • Brain disorder

    • Could be genetic

    • Possible virus during prenatal stage

Catatonic schizophrenia

Catatonic Schizophrenia

  • What is it?

    • Disturbance of movement

    • Hold unusual, uncomfortable positions for a long time

  • Symptoms:

    • Flexibility

    • Hold poses for hours

Catatonic cont

Catatonic Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Same

  • Cause:

    • Different brain structure

    • Could be genetic

    • Possible virus during prenatal stage

Disorganized schizophrenia

Disorganized Schizophrenia

  • What is it?

    • Incoherent in thought and speech

    • Disorganized in behavior

    • Emotionless or show inappropriate emotions

  • Symptoms:

    • Act silly

    • Speak nonsense

    • Some hallucinations

Disorganized cont

Disorganized Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • same

  • Cause:

    • Different brain structure

    • Could be genetic

    • Possible virus during prenatal stage

  • Misc:

    • More severe

    • Unable to perform daily activities

Somatoform disorders

Somatoform Disorders

Somatization: expressions of psychological distress through physical symptoms

Example: paralysis



  • What is it?

    • Unrealistic thoughts/worries that he/she has a serious illness

  • Symptoms:

    • Convinced small symptoms are a serious illness

    • Visits doctor after doctor

Hypochondriasis cont

Hypochondriasis Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • counseling

  • Cause:

    • Life experiences


Conversion disorder

Conversion Disorder

  • What is it?

    • Change in or loss of physical functioning in a major part of the body with no known medical explanation

  • Symptoms:

    • Inability to see at night

    • Can’t move legs

    • Show little concern about it

Conversion cont

Conversion Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Usually gets better on own after doctor says it’s okay

  • Cause:

    • Stressful event

    • From having depression

    • Part of brain muscles & senses is involved

  • Misc:

    • They are NOT faking it

Dissociative disorders

Dissociative Disorders

Dissociation: the separation of certain personality component or mental processes from conscious thought

Becomes a problem when we use it as a way to avoid stressful events or feelings

Did dissociative identity disorder

DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

  • What is it?

    • Existence of two or more personalities in one individual

    • Take turns controlling individual

  • Symptoms:

    • See different traits and facial expressions

    • Different allergies and eye glasses

Did cont

DID Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Hypnosis

    • Counseling to improve relationships with others

  • Cause:

    • Usually severely abused as a child

  • Misc:

    • Formerly multiple personality disorder

Dissociative amnesia

Dissociative Amnesia

  • What is it?

    • Sudden loss of memory usually after a stressful or traumatic event

  • Symptoms:

    • May last for a few hours or years

    • Memory likely to suddenly return and not recur

Amnesia cont

Amnesia Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Hypnosis to deal with traumatic event

    • Art therapy to cope

    • antidepressants

  • Cause:

    • Traumatic event triggers

  • Misc:

    • Natural disasters

    • soldiers

Dissociative fugue

Dissociative Fugue

  • What is it?

    • Forgetting personal info and past events

    • Suddenly relocating and taking on a new identity

  • Symptoms:

    • Follows traumatic event

    • Take on new identity

    • At end they don’t remember fugue state

Fugue cont

Fugue Cont.

  • Treatments:

    • Hypnosis

    • Art therapy

    • antidepressants

  • Cause:

    • Traumatic event

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