Clinical psychology
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Clinical Psychology. Concepts. Different approaches have different ideas about what causes psychological disorders to develop Most psychological disorders are caused by multiple factors. Bio-psycho-social model. Concepts.

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  • Different approaches have different ideas about what causes psychological disorders to develop

  • Most psychological disorders are caused by multiple factors.

    • Bio-psycho-social model

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  • Treatment is shaped by one’s understanding of the causes of the problem

    • Eclectic approaches combine ideas from the different approaches/schools within psychology

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The Field of Clinical Psychology

  • Research

    • causes of psychological disorders

    • effective treatment approaches

  • Application of theories/research findings to help clients

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  • It can be difficult sometimes to draw the line between “abnormal” & “normal” behavior.

    • Useful criteria:

      • Atypical

      • Maladaptive

      • Disturbing

      • Unjustifiable

    • Are depressed, angry, anxious feelings always bad?

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  • Psychological disorders are real problems that affect real people.

  • Research into the causes & treatment of psychological disorders is critically important.

  • Process of making a diagnosis is difficult

  • Stigma of mental illness creates a great deal of difficulty in our society in terms of people getting the help they need

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Stigma & Labeling

  • Rosenhan study 1973

  • Purpose of diagnostic labels

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Diagnostic & Statistical Manual—IV

  • Concensus among professionals—psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, etc.

  • Used in obtaining insurance coverage, treatment, research

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Schizophrenia & other related psychotic disorders

Mood disorders

Anxiety disorders

Substance Abuse Disorders

Personality Disorders

Adjustment Disorders

Somatoform disorders

Sexual & Gender Identity Disorders

Sleep Disorders

Eating Disorders

Dissociative Disorders

Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—4th edition

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Symptoms of Schizophrenia

  • Disorganized thinking

    • Delusions

    • Incoherent Speech—flight of ideas, “word salad”

  • Disturbed Perceptions

    • Hallucinations

  • Inappropriate Emotions & Actions

    • Disturbed Affect

    • Flat Affect

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Factors that may contribute to development of Schizophrenia

  • Dopamine overactivity

  • Underactivity in frontal lobes

  • Enlarged ventricles

  • Underdeveloped thalamus

  • Possible Prenatal viral infection

  • Genetics

  • Stress

  • Expressed Emotion

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Treatment of Schizophrenia

  • Psychotropic drugs

    • Most success with treating hallucinations & delusions

    • Recently, some drugs that also can help other symptoms as well

  • Community Support Programs —helping with housing, employment, etc.

  • Family Support — education about the disorder, attempt to reduce expressed emotion

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  • Depressed mood most of the day nearly every day

  • Diminished interest or pleasure

  • Weight or appetite loss/gain

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation

  • Fatigue or Loss of Energy

  • Feelings of Worthlessness

  • Concentration problems

  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death

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Depression also occurs in…

  • Dysthymia: milder, but longer lasting (at least 2 years in adults)

  • Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood (less than 6 months)

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  • Relatively common—10% of men & 20% of women

  • Rate of depression increasing with each new generation

  • Course: for some, naturally remits, most lasts less than 3 months (even without professional help). For others, without treatment, recurrence becomes more frequent & more severe

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  • Alternating patterns of depression & mania

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Symptoms of mania

  • Abnormally elevated, expansive or irritable mood

  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity

  • Decreased need for sleep

  • More talkative than usual

  • Flight of ideas or racing thoughts

  • Psychomotor agitation

  • Distractability

  • Impulsive behavior

  • Delusions

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Causes of Mood Disorder

  • Bio-psycho-social model

    • Genetics & Neurotransmitter levels

    • Negative thinking

    • Low levels of social support

  • Difference in gender ratio in major depression

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Anxiety Disorders

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia

  • Phobias

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Anxiety Disorders

  • Panic Disorder

    • Panic attacks: brief, sudden, recurrent episodes of intense & uncontrollable anxiety

    • Sometimes (but not always) co-occurs with Agoraphobia—avoiding situations in which panic attack might occur

    • One cause may be over attentiveness to physical symptoms

    • Recommended treatment: cognitive behavioral--focuses on helping the person to better understand the symptoms & interpret them in less anxiety-provoking ways

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Anxiety Disorders

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder—

    • Obsessions

    • Compulsions

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    • Response to traumatic situation

    • Flooding

    • Numbing

    • Autonomic hyperarousal

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Anxiety Disorders

  • Phobic Disorders—phobia=persistent, irrational, disruptive fear of specific object, activity or situation.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder—general, constant & high level of anxiety about multiple areas in one’s life.