Abnormal Psychology A. K. A. Psychological Disorders

Download 13,35 Kb.
Date conversion07.09.2017
Size13,35 Kb.

Abnormal Psychology A.K.A. Psychological Disorders

  • A “harmful dysfunction” in which behavior is judged to be atypical, disturbing, maladaptive and unjustifiable.

Early Theories

  • Abnormal behavior was evil spirits trying to get out.
  • Trephining was often used.

Perspectives and Disorders

  • Psychological School/Perspective
  • Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic
  • Internal, unconscious drives
  • Humanistic
  • Failure to strive to one’s potential or being out of touch with one’s feelings.
  • Behavioral
  • Reinforcement history, the environment.
  • Cognitive
  • Irrational, dysfunctional thoughts or ways of thinking.
  • Sociocultural
  • Dysfunctional Society
  • Biomedical/Neuroscience
  • Organic problems, biochemical imbalances, genetic predispositions.


  • Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: the big book of disorders.
  • DSM will classify disorders and describe the symptoms.
  • DSM will NOT explain the causes or possible cures.

Two Major Classifications in the DSM

  • Neurotic Disorders
  • Distressing but one can still function in society and act rationally.
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Person loses contact with reality, experiences distorted perceptions.

Anxiety Disorders

  • a group of conditions where the primary symptoms are anxiety or defenses against anxiety.
  • the patient fears something awful will happen to them.
  • They are in a state of intense apprehension, uneasiness, uncertainty, or fear.


  • A person experiences sudden episodes of intense dread.
  • Must be an irrational fear.
  • Phobia List

Generalized Anxiety Disorder GAD

  • An anxiety disorder in which a person is continuously tense, apprehensive and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal.
  • The patient is constantly tense and worried, feels inadequate, is oversensitive, can’t concentrate and suffers from insomnia.

Panic Disorder

  • An anxiety disorder marked by a minutes-long episode of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking and other frightening sensations.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Persistent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) cause someone to feel the need (compulsion) to engage in a particular action.
  • Obsession about dirt and germs may lead to compulsive hand washing.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder a.k.a. PTSD

  • Flashbacks or nightmares following a person’s involvement in or observation of an extremely stressful event.
  • Memories of the even cause anxiety.

Somatoform Disorders

  • Occur when a person manifests a psychological problem through a physiological symptom.
  • Two types……


  • Has frequent physical complaints for which medical doctors are unable to locate the cause.
  • They usually believe that the minor issues (headache, upset stomach) are indicative are more severe illnesses.

Conversion Disorder

  • Report the existence of severe physical problems with no biological reason.
  • Like blindness or paralysis.
  • Pol Pot

Dissociative Disorders

  • These disorders involve a disruption in the conscious process.
  • Three types….

Psychogenic Amnesia

  • A person cannot remember things with no physiological basis for the disruption in memory.
  • Retrograde Amnesia
  • NOT organic amnesia.
  • Organic amnesia can be retrograde or antrograde.

Dissociative Fugue

  • People with psychogenic amnesia that find themselves in an unfamiliar environment.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • Used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
  • A person has several rather than one integrated personality.
  • People with DID commonly have a history of childhood abuse or trauma.

Mood Disorders

  • Experience extreme or inappropriate emotion.

Major Depression

  • A.K.A. unipolar depression
  • Unhappy for at least two weeks with no apparent cause.
  • Depression is the common cold of psychological disorders.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • Experience depression during the winter months.
  • Based not on temperature, but on amount of sunlight.
  • Treated with light therapy.

Bipolar Disorder

  • Formally manic depression.
  • Involves periods of depression and manic episodes.
  • Manic episodes involve feelings of high energy (but they tend to differ a lot…some get confident and some get irritable).
  • Engage in risky behavior during the manic episode.

Personality Disorders

  • Well-established, maladaptive ways of behaving that negatively affect people’s ability to function.
  • Dominates their personality.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • Lack of empathy.
  • Little regard for other’s feelings.
  • View the world as hostile and look out for themselves.

Dependent Personality Disorder

  • Rely too much on the attention and help of others.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

  • Needs to be the center of attention.
  • Whether acting silly or dressing provocatively.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  • Having an unwarranted sense of self-importance.
  • Thinking that you are the center of the universe.

Obsessive –Compulsive Personality Disorder

  • Overly concerned with certain thoughts and performing certain behaviors.
  • Not as extreme as OCD anxiety.

Schizophrenic Disorders

  • About 1 in every 100 people are diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • Symptoms of Schizophrenia
  • Disorganized thinking.
  • Disturbed Perceptions
  • Inappropriate Emotions and Actions

Disorganized Thinking

  • The thinking of a person with Schizophrenia is fragmented and bizarre and distorted with false beliefs.
  • Disorganized thinking comes from a breakdown in selective attention.- they cannot filter out information.

Delusions (false beliefs)

  • Delusions of Persecution

Disturbed Perceptions

  • hallucinations- sensory experiences without sensory stimulation.

Inappropriate Emotions and Actions

  • Laugh at inappropriate times.
  • Flat Effect
  • Senseless, compulsive acts.
  • Catatonia- motionless Waxy Flexibility

Positive v. Negative Symptoms

  • Positive Symptoms
  • Presence of inappropriate symptoms
  • Negative Symptoms
  • Absence of appropriate ones.

Types of Schizophrenia

Disorganized Schizophrenia

  • disorganized speech or behavior, or flat or inappropriate emotion.
  • Clang associations
  • "Imagine the worst Systematic, sympathetic Quite pathetic, apologetic, paramedic Your heart is prosthetic"

Paranoid Schizophrenia

  • preoccupation with delusions or hallucinations.
  • Somebody is out to get me!!!!

Catatonic Schizophrenia

  • Flat effect
  • Waxy Flexibility
  • parrot like repeating of another’s speech and movements

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

  • Many and varied Symptoms.

Other Disorders

  • Paraphilias (pedophilia, zoophilia, hybristophilia)
  • Fetishism
  • sadist, masochist
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • ADHD

The Rosenhan Study

  • Rosenhan’s associates were Malingering symptoms of hearing voices.
  • They were ALL admitted for schizophrenia.
  • None were exposed as imposters.
  • They all left diagnosed with schizophrenia in remission.
  • What are some of the questions raised by this study?


  • It used to be that if someone exhibited abnormal behavior, they were institutionalized.
  • Because of new drugs and better therapy, the U.S. went to a policy of deinstitutionalization.

Psychoanalytic Therapy

  • Psychoanalysis (manifest and latent content through…. hypnosis free association, dream, interpretation).
  • Unconscious
  • Transference
  • Other therapies will result in symptom substitution.

Humanistic Therapy

  • Client-Centered Therapy by Carl Rogers
  • These are non-directive therapies and use active listening.
  • Self-actualization, free-will and unconditional positive regard.
  • Gestalt Therapy by Fritz Perls encourage clients to get in touch with whole self.

Behavioral Therapies

  • Counterconditioning
  • Classical Conditioning
  • Aversive Conditioning
  • Systematic desensitization
  • Flooding
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Token Economy

Cognitive Therapy

  • Change the way we view the world (change our schemas)
  • Aaron Beck
  • Albert Ellis and Rational Emotive Therapy

Somatic Therapies

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Antipsychotics (thorazine, haldol)
  • Anti-anxiety (valium, barbiturates, Xanax)
  • Mood Disorders (serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • Bipolar (lithium)

Somatic Therapy

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)- for depression.
  • Psychosurgury
  • Prefontal lobotomy

Group Therapy

The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2016
send message

    Main page