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INTRODUCTION to Psychological Disorders. “Developmental structure of genetic influences on antisocial behavior across childhood and adolescence.”. “Parents Go On 'Track Watch' After Calif. Teen Suicides”.

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INTRODUCTION to Psychological Disorders


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    1. INTRODUCTION to Psychological Disorders “Developmental structure of genetic influences on antisocial behavior across childhood and adolescence.” “Parents Go On 'Track Watch' After Calif. Teen Suicides” “A rise in mental-health help on campus: Colleges respond as more students seek help for problems small or serious.” “Surgery for Mental Ills Offers Both Hope and Risk” “MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” “Ruminative Self-Focus and Negative Affect: An Experience Sampling Study”

    2. Defining abnormality • How would you define a “psychological disorder?” • Please get in pairs and follow the handout instructions

    3. Defining disorder • Key elements of symptoms (according to DSM): • disturbances in behavior, thoughts, or emotions • associated with significant personal distress or impairment • stem from an internal dysfunction -- biological, psychological, or both • Criticisms?

    4. Understanding Pathology Description Study of Psychological Disorders Causation Treatment/Outcome

    5. Describing Disorders • DSM-IV • Diagnostic system for classifying psychological disorders • Various classes of disorders: anxiety, mood, dissociative, etc.

    6. Potential problem of Diagnosis • Diagnoses can become labels • Consequences of labeling • Impact on others? (e.g., Rosenhan study) • Impact on self? (“I’m ADHD”) • Stigma • 70% of people with diagnosable mental disorders do not seek treatment… stigma-related?

    7. Causes of Psychopathology • Historically • Medical model • Biopsychosocial model

    8. Biological (heredity; brain structures; neurochemistry) Psychological (maladaptive learning & coping, cognitive biases, Interpersonal probs) Socio-cultural (socialization, stressful life circumstances, social inequities) Bio-psycho-social Perspective

    9. Treatment / Outcome Treatments should stem from: • an attempt to understand multiple causes • research that has provided evidence of significant effectiveness for specific problems (i.e., Evidence-based Treatment, EBT)

    10. Case study: Depression Description Study of Psychological Disorders Causation Treatment/Outcome

    11. Describing Depression • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood • Loss of appetite and/or weight loss, or conversely overeating and weight gain • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping • Restlessness or irritability • Feelings of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, helplessness, hopelessness • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, making decisions • Thoughts of death or suicide or attempts at suicide • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling sluggish

    12. Mood Disorders – Causal Factors • Biological • Heritability estimates (40%) (e.g., twin studies: MZ vs DZ twins -- 3 X risk) • Drugs that affect NTs (e.g., dopamine and serotonin) can relieve depression. Is this a NT-deficit, then? • Brain findings (limbic-cortical dysfunction)

    13. 1 Stressful experiences 4 Cognitive and behavioral changes 2 Negative explanatory style 3 Depressed mood Psychological factors(e.g., Cognitive-behavioral explanation) Cognitive styles (e.g., attributions, rumination

    14. Socio-cultural factors • Poverty • Discrimination • Expectations of what it means to be happy • Level of violence in society (exposure to trauma) • Environmental factors (e.g., sunlight)