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Perspectives on Psychological Disorders. Society: Behavior is abnormal when it does not conform to the existing social order. Individual: One’s own sense of personal well-being determines normality.

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Perspectives on Psychological Disorders

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perspectives on psychological disorders
Perspectives on Psychological Disorders
  • Society: Behavior is abnormal when it does not conform to the existing social order.
  • Individual: One’s own sense of personal well-being determines normality.
  • Mental-health professional: Personality and degree of personal discomfort and life functioning determine normality.
approaches to psychological disorders
Approaches to Psychological Disorders
  • biological model: Disorders have a biochemical or physiological basis.
  • psychoanalytic model: Disorders result from unconscious internal conflicts.
  • cognitive-behavioral model: Disorders result from learning maladaptive ways of thinking and behaving.
approaches to psychological disorders3
Approaches to Psychological Disorders
  • diathesis-stress model: People biologically predisposed to a mental disorder (diathesis) will tend to exhibit that disorder when particularly affected by stress.
  • systems approach: Biological, psychological, and social risk factors combine to produce disorders.
diagnostic statistic manual of mental disorders 4th edition
Diagnostic & Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition)
  • A publication of the American Psychiatric Association that classifies over 230 psychological disorders into 16 categories.
  • The most widely used classification of psychological disorders.
mood disorders
Mood Disorders

Disturbances in mood or prolonged emotional state.

  • depression
  • mania
  • bipolar disorder
  • A mood disorder characterized by overwhelming feelings of sadness,
  • lack of interest in activities,
  • and perhaps excessive guilt or feelings of worthlessness.
  • A mood disorder characterized by euphoric states,
  • extreme physical activity,
  • excessive talkativeness,
  • distractedness,
  • and sometimes grandiosity.
bipolar disorder
Bipolar Disorder
  • A mood disorder in which periods of mania and depression alternate, sometimes with periods of normal mood intervening.
causes of mood disorders
Causes of Mood Disorders
  • Most psychologists now believe that mood disorders result from a combination of
  • biological factors,
  • psychological factors,
  • and social factors.
biological factors
Biological Factors
  • Genetics appears to play a role in the development of mood disorders.
  • The strongest evidence for the role of genetics comes from twin studies.
  • Certain chemical imbalances in the brain have been linked to mood disorders.
psychological factors
Psychological Factors
  • Cognitive distortions may lead to the development of mood disorders.
  • cognitive distortions: An illogical and maladaptive response to early negative life events that leads to feelings of incompetence and unworthiness that are reactivated whenever a new situation arises that resembles the original events.
types of illogical thinking
Types of Illogical Thinking

arbitrary inference

selective abstraction


magnification and minimization

social factors
Social Factors
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships may lead to mood disorders.
  • The link between depression and troubled relationships may explain why women are more likely to suffer from depression--women tend to be more relationship-oriented than men.
anxiety disorders
Anxiety Disorders

Disorders in which anxiety is a characteristic feature or the avoidance of anxiety seems to motivate abnormal behavior.

  • phobias
  • panic disorder
  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
types of phobias
Types of Phobias
  • specific: intense, paralyzing fear of some object or thing
  • social: excessive, inappropriate fears connected with social situations or performances in front of other people
  • agoraphobia: involves multiple, intense fear of crowds, public places, and other situations that require separation from a source of security
panic disorder
Panic Disorder
  • An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks.
  • panic attack: A sudden, unpredictable, and overwhelming experience of intense fear or terror without any reasonable cause.
generalized anxiety disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • An anxiety disorder characterized by prolonged vague but intense fears that are not attached to any particular object or circumstance.
obsessive compulsive disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • An anxiety disorder in which a person feels driven to think disturbing thoughts (obsessions) and/or to perform senseless rituals (compulsions).
causes of anxiety disorders
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
  • prepared responses: responses that evolution has made us biologically predisposed to acquire through learning
  • not feeling in control of one’s life
  • may be caused by an inherited predisposition
  • internal psychological conflict
psychosomatic vs somatoform
Psychosomatic vs. Somatoform
  • psychosomatic: Disorders in which there is REAL physical illness that is largely caused by psychological factors such as stress and anxiety.
  • somatoform: Disorders in which there is an APPARENT physical illness for which there is no organic basis.
somatoform disorders
Somatoform Disorders
  • somatization disorder
  • conversion disorder
  • hypochondriasis
  • body dysmorphic disorder
somatization disorder
Somatization Disorder
  • A somatoform disorder characterized by recurrent vague somatic complaints without a physical cause.
conversion disorder
Conversion Disorder
  • Somatoform disorders in which a dramatic specific disability has no physical cause but instead seems related to psychological problems.
  • A somatoform disorder in which a person interprets insignificant symptoms as signs of serious illness in the absence of any organic evidence of such illness.