PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS. The Medical Model- An Advantage “abnormal behavior/mental illness is a disease” Prior to MM, abnormal behavior thought to be caused by: demonic possession, cursed a punishment from God (therefore it was deserved b/c person must of have been bad)
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Normality and abnormality as a continuum. There isn’t a sharp boundary between normal and abnormal behavior. Behavior is normal or abnormal in degree, depending on the extent to which one’s behavior is deviant, personally distressing, or maladaptive.
Common phobias. The most frequently reported phobias in a large-scale survey of mental health (Eaton, Dryman, & Weissman, 1991) are listed here. The percentages reflect the portion of respondents who reported each type of phobia. Although the data show that phobias are quite common, people are said to have full-fledged phobic disorders only when their phobias seriously interfere with their activities. Overall, about 40% of the subjects who reported each fear qualified as having a phobic disorder.
Episodic patterns in mood disorders. Time-limited episodes of emotional disturbance come and go unpredictably in mood disorders. People with unipolar disorders suffer from bouts of depression only, whereas people with bipolar disorders experience both manic and depressive episodes. The time between episodes of disturbance varies greatly with the individual and the type of disorder.
Twin studies of mood disorders. The concordance rate for mood disorders in identical twins is much higher than that for fraternal twins, who share less genetic overlap. These results suggest that there must be a genetic predisposition to mood disorders. The disparity in concordance between the two types of twins is greater for mood disorders than for either anxiety disorders or schizophrenic disorders which suggests that genetic factors may be particularly important in mood disorders. (Data from Gershon, Berrettini, & Goldin, 1989)
Negative thinking and prediction of depression. Alloy and colleagues (1999) measured the explanatory style of first-year college students and characterized them as high risk or low risk for depression. This graph shows the percentage of these students who experienced major or minor episodes of depression over the next 2.5 years. As you can see, the high-risk students who exhibited a negative thinking style proved to be much more vulnerable to depression. (Data from Alloy et al., 1999)
Dopamine normally crosses the synapse between two neurons, activating the second cell. Antipsychotic drugs bind to the same receptor sites as dopamine does, blocking its action. In people suffering from schizophrenia, a reduction in dopamine activity can quiet a person’s agitation and psychotic symptoms.