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Abnormal Psychology. The study of psychopathology. What is Psychopathology?. The study of abnormal thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. “ Psycho” refers to “mind.” Derives from the Greek “Psyche” for “soul.” “Pathology” refers to “disease.”. What constitutes abnormal behavior?.

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abnormal psychology

Abnormal Psychology

The study of psychopathology

what is psychopathology
What is Psychopathology?
  • The study of abnormal thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
  • “Psycho” refers to “mind.”
    • Derives from the Greek “Psyche” for “soul.”
  • “Pathology” refers to “disease.”
factors that determine whether behavior is abnormal or not
Factors that determine whether behavior is abnormal or not:
  • 1.Statistical infrequency
  • 2.Violation of norms
  • 3.Personal Distress
  • 4.Dysfunction
  • 5. Unexpectedness
statistical infrequency
Statistical infrequency:
  • Abnormal behavior is often infrequent.

mania & depression occur in 1% of the pop.

problem
Problem:

Not all unusual behavior is considered abnormal!!

(e.g., superior athletic, musical, or intellectual ability)

violation of norms
Violation of norms:
  • Abnormal behavior often violates the social norms of a given culture.

(E.g., experiencing hallucinations, talking to inanimate objects,)

problem1
Problem:
  • The violation of norms explicitly makes abnormality a relative concept.

Criminals and prostitutes violate social norms, but would not necessarily fall within the context of abnormal psychology.

personal distress
Personal Distress:
  • Behavior may be defined as abnormal if it creates subjective distress.
  • (E.g., a hallmark of mood and anxiety disorders is heightened subjective distress.)
problem2
Problem:
  • Not all distressed individuals are mentally ill & some mentally ill individuals do not show distress (psychopaths).
dysfunction
Dysfunction:
  • Does the behavior impair an individual’s ability to function in life (work, personal relationships)?

(E.g., substance-use disorders)

problem3
Problem:
  • Some individuals with a DSM diagnosis, live functional lives (e.g., transvestites).
unexpectedness
Unexpectedness:
  • Distress & disability are considered abnormal when they occur as unexpected responses to stressors.

E.g., (anxiety disproportionate with the situation).

problems with classifying behavior as abnormal
Problems with classifying behavior as abnormal

Several factors need to be examined.

Societal norms may change which behaviors are deemed abnormal.

E.g., Homosexuality was once classified as a mental disorder in the DSM (up till 1973).

mental health professions
Mental Health Professions

What does it take to be a clinical psychologist?

1 clinical psychologist
1. Clinical Psychologist
  • -Ph.D. or Psy.D.
  • -4-7 yrs graduate study (the range is probably more like 5-9 years).
  • -1-year pre-doctoral internship in APA accredited hospital or mental health facility.
  • At least 1 year of supervised post-doctoral experience for licensure (depends on state: Alabama has no such requirement).
difference between ph d psy d
Difference between Ph.D. & Psy.D
  • -A Ph.D. is trained to:
  • *conduct research, teach
  • *assess & diagnose mental disorders
  • *conduct therapy
  • A Psy.D: limited to clinical practice…. Modeled after the M.D. degree..
2 psychiatrist
2. Psychiatrist
  • -4 yrs Medical school (M.D.)
  • -4-5 yr residency in hospital
  • ***Can prescribe medication for mental disorders-because of M.D. training.
  • Recent development: Psychologists are gaining limited prescriptive authority in some states… e.g. Louisiana, New Mexico
3 psychoanalyst
3. Psychoanalyst

-M.D. or Ph.D. degree

  • -receives specialized postdoctoral training in field of psychoanalysis
  • -up to 10 yrs graduate study required
4 m s w masters in social work
4. M.S.W. (Masters in Social Work)
  • -MSW degree
  • -2-3 yrs graduate study
  • -1-3 yr. field placement
  • -can practice psychotherapy and marriage counseling.
  • 5.Counseler or Counseling Psychologist:
  • - (Masters or Ph.D.)
  • -2-5 yrs graduate work
  • 1-3 yr field placement
  • Note: Most state licensing boards regulate the use of the term “psychologist,” such that anyone using such a title has an appropriate doctoral degree and requisite postdoctoral hours.
history of psychopathology
History of Psychopathology
  • Mental illness was thought to be the result of supernatural forces (angry Gods, possession by demons).

Scholars, theologians, and philosophers believed a troubled mind was the result of displeased Gods or possession.

demonology
Demonology
  • Abnormal behavior (hallucinations, delusions, paranoia) resulted from demonic possession.
  • Treatment: drive the evil spirits out of the body.
  • -stone-age: trephination
  • -exorcism rituals: prayers, vile brews, flogging, starvation, etc.
mental illness a biological problem
Mental illness: a biological problem?
  • By 5th century B.C., mental illness--thought to be result of physical disease (e.g. Hippocrates and unbalanced humors).
  • -The idea that deviant behavior occurs because of disease in the body is referred to as “Somatogenesis.”
    • Contrasted with “Psychogenesis,” which holds that deviant behavior occurs because of aberrant mental processes..
hippocrates contd
Hippocrates (contd.)

Thought cognitive functioning could be restored by balancing the four humors in body:  blood, black bile, yellow bile, & phlegm).

the dark ages
The Dark Ages
  • With decline of Roman & Greek civilizations/ rise of Church as dominant power in Europe, demonology makes a come-back!!
  • *Treatment- exorcisms
mental illness witchcraft 1300s
Mental illness: witchcraft (1300s)
  • Hallucinations & delusions--evidence of witchcraft.
  • Most accused were not mentally ill, but forced to admit symptoms they didn’t possess.
  • Treatment: beatings/death by hanging or burning.
mentally ill housed in asylums 1500s
Mentally ill housed in asylums (1500s+)
  • After crusades, mentally ill were confined to asylums.
  • Asylums (originally leprosariums), were converted after crusades when leprosy was on a decline.
  • Most famous: St. Mary’s of Bethlehem in London (founded in 1243). Called “Bedlam.”
  • Deplorable conditions- little food, little patient care, blood letting practices, & spread of diseases.
asylums became attraction
Asylums became “attraction.”
  • Bedlam- became hot tourist spot, where London’s mentally ill were placed on display for all to see.
  • Treatment- patients were drained of blood & purposely “frightened.”
moral treatment 1790s
Moral Treatment (1790s +)
  • Philippe Pinel – humanitarian treatment of mentally ill in asylums.
  • Patients formerly chained & shackled were released & free to roam the buildings.

Treatment: cannabis, opium, alcohol.

current conceptualizations in modern psychiatry
Current conceptualizations in modern psychiatry

Mental illness– may have biological, psychological, and/or social cause.

Treatment: somatic therapy (drugs, ECT) or psychotherapy