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Abnormal Behaviour Example • Two weeks ago, a man jumped from a 401 overpass after throwing his 5 year old daughter off. He died and she is still in guarded condition in the hospital. He left a suicide note that seemed to indicate that he wanted to punish his wife. • What would cause someone to take such a drastic act?
Abnormal behaviour is characterized as (a) not typical (genius) (b) socially unacceptable (naked tantrums) (c) distressing (to self and others) (d) maladaptive (causes problems for the person) (e) result of disorganized cognition (thought processes are disturbed) What Is Abnormal Behaviour?
Model:Framework of explanation Abnormal psychology: Use models to explain maladapative behavior Perspectives on Abnormality
The Medical-Biological Model • focuses on the physiological conditions that initiate and underlie abnormal behaviour • Many terms used in abnormal psychology borrowed from medical field • Diagnose, treat, cure with emphasis on drugs and hospitalization
The Psychodynamic Model • rooted in Freud’s theory of personality • assumes psychological disorders result from anxiety produced by unresolved conflicts outside a person’s awareness
focuses on individual uniqueness and decision making Maladjustment occurs when a person’s needs are not met The Humanistic Model
Abnormal behaviour is learned through selective reinforcement and punishment The Behavioural Model
Human beings engage in both prosocial and maladjusted behaviours because of their thoughts Change your thoughts; change your behavior The Cognitive Model
The Sociocultural Model • Maladjustment occurs within and because of a context – family, community, culture, etc. • Frequency and type of disorders varies across cultures
The Evolutionary Model • humans evolved in a specific environment • Maladjustments may be expressions of behaviour that would once have been normal in evolutionary history • (e.g., phobias, aggression)
Some psychologists use only one model to analyze all behaviour problems Others may take an eclectic approach Which Model Is Best?
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) A way to try to standardize and clarify the language used by practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Diagnosing Psychopathology: The DSM
Diagnosing Psychopathology GOALS of DSM • To improve the reliability of diagnoses by categorizing disorders according to observable behavior • To ensure that the diagnoses are consistent with research evidence and practical experience 16 major categories & 200 subcategories
Table 15.1 Major Classifications of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (TR)
Diagnosing Psychopathology Criticisms: • Potential biases • Symptom focus rather than etiology • Too complex • Medical model focus • Reliability • Pathologize everyday behaviour
Defining Anxiety • Anxiety : a generalized feeling of fear and apprehension that may be related to a particular situation or object often accompanied by increased physiological arousal
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Diagnostic Criteria: • Excessive anxiety and worry for at least 6 months • Difficult to control the worry • At least three of the following: restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance • Focus of anxiety is NOT associated with other anxiety disorders • Symptoms cause clinically significant distress • Not due to direct effects of substance abuse or medical condition
Generalized Anxiety Disorder • Prevalence • 3% of the population • Risk factors • suicide • Comorbidity • Depression • Substance abuse
Phobic Disorders • Phobic disorders : • Irrational fear of an object or a situation • Three main Types • Agoraphobia • Social phobia • Specific phobias (table 15.3 pg. 543)
Agoraphobia • Excessive fear and avoidance of being alone in a place from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing • Accompanied by panic attacks • More common in females than males (5.8% : 2.8%) • Often brought on by interpersonal stress
Social Phobia • Excessive fear and avoidance of situations where one might be scrutinized by others • Fear of acting in a way that may lead to humiliation or embarrassment • Affects males and females equally • Identified in all cultures
Specific Phobias • Irrational and persistent fear and avoidance of a particular object or situation • 5 – 12% of the population has one or more specific phobias • Categories of specific phobias: animal, natural environment, blood-injection-injury, situational, other
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder • Persistent, uncontrollable thoughts and irrational beliefs that cause compulsive rituals that interfere with daily life • Obsessions = thoughts • Compulsions = behaviors
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder • 80% of cases report both obsessions and compulsions • Compulsions are used to combat anxiety associated with obsessions(think, do, feel better – for a while) • 2% of the population (males = females) • Neurological mechanisms identified (frontal lobe and amygdala)
Depressive Disorders • Depressive disorders • General category of mood disorders in which people show extreme and persistent sadness, despair, and loss of interest in life’s usual activities Depression is the “common cold” of psychological disorders.
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder • Poor appetite • Insomnia • Weight loss • Loss of energy • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt • Inability to concentrate • Suicidality
Major Depressive Disorder: Onset and Duration • Onset • usually prior to age 40 • Duration • days, weeks, or months • Single episode or recurring episodes
Major Depressive Disorder: Prevalence • Major depressive disorder affects about 1.3 million Canadians each year • Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed • Increased negative experiences • Lower feelings of mastery • rumination • May include delusions • Major depression with psychotic features
Major Depressive Disorder: Clinical Evaluation • Diagnosis of depression (or any other mental disorder) should involve a complete clinical evaluation: • A physical examination • Thyroid, virus, anemia? • Brain disorders • A psychiatric history • Course, genetics, history • A mental status examination • Evaluate the current status/severity • Rule out dysthymia
Causes of Major Depressive Disorder (many & varied) Biological Theories: genetics children of depressed parents twin studies neurotransmitters e.g. Monoamine theory dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin
Learning and Cognitive Theories • Learning and thoughts underlie depression • Lewinsohn: • The vicious cycle of lack of reinforcement leading to lack of reinforcement • Poor social skills? • Beck: • Negative views of self, environment, future • Poor self-concept and negative expectations • Negative interpretation of self and the world in general
Learned Helplessness • The behaviour of giving up or not responding exhibited by people and animals exposed to negative consequences over which the feel they have no control • Why try? I can’t change anything. • Seligman suggests that people’s beliefs about the causes of failure determines whether they will become depressed • I failed because I am weak, stupid, etc. • Environment is the key!
The Biopsychosocial Model Diathesis-stress model • Combination of factors lead to vulnerability (BIO / PSYCHO/ SOCIAL) • Vulnerability: person’s diminished ability to deal with life events • Increased vulnerability means less stress is needed to initiate depression
Bipolar Disorder • originally known as manic-depressive disorder • People with the disorder experience behaviour varying between two extremes • The key is the extreme swing in mood • Mania and depression
Manic Phase:rapid speech, inflated self-esteem, impulsiveness, euphoria, decreased need for sleep, promiscuity, grandiose ideas, extreme spending, quick anger responses Depressed Phase: symptoms of depression Bipolar Disorder Prevalence: 1% of the population = 200,000 Canadians; Affects men and women equally Treatment: Tricky because moods are too stable Comorbidity: OCD, dependence, narcissism
Dissociative Disorders • Dissociative disorders are characterized by a sudden, temporary, alteration in consciousness, identity, behaviour, and/or memory
Dissociative Disorders Dissociative Disorders include: • Dissociative amnesia – • Sudden & extensive memory loss (personal/traumatic) • Dissociative identity disorder • The existence within an individual of two or more distinct personalities • Different memories, habits, abilties, genders, ages,etc. Three Faces of Eve