A persistent disturbance or dysfunction in behavior, thoughts or emotions that causes significant distress or impairment
Abnormal psychological experiences are conceptualized as illnesses that like physical illnesses have biological and environmental causes, defined symptoms, and possible cures
What's the first step in helping someone with a psychological disorder?
Disorder vs. disease vs. diagnosis
Disorder: refers to a common set of signs and symptoms
Disease: is a known pathological process affecting the body
Diagnosis: Determination as to whether a disorder or disease is present
The co-occurrence of two or more disorders in a single individual
Explains mental disorders as the result of interactions among biological, psychological and social factors
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
A classification system the describes the features see to diagnose each recognized mental disorder and indicates how the disorder can be distinguished from other, similar problems
How has the DSM changed over time?
Vague descriptions of disorders to very detailed lists of symptoms, started including conditions that might become formal disorders but are too un-researched as of now to figure it out
Why does assessment require looking at a number of factors?
Most psychologists take a biopsychosocial perspective because many things seem to influence mental disorders including
Genetic and Epigenetic influences, biochemical imbalances and abnormalities in the brain structure and function
Maladaptive learning and coping, cognitive biases, dysfunctional attitudes and interpersonal problems
Poor socialization, stressful life experiences, cultural and social inequities
Suggests that a person may be predisposed for a psychological disorder that remains unexpressed until triggered by stress.
What are the limitations of using brain scans for diagnosing?
Because brain scans of people with and without disorders can give rise to an unusually strong impression that psychological problems are internal and permanent, inevitable and even untreatable.
Brain influences are important but they ain't everything yo
Research Domain Criteria Project (RDoC)
A new initiative that aims to guide the classification and understanding of mental disorders by revealing the basic processes that give rise to them
Why might someone avoid seeking help?
There is a stigma around mental illnesses.
The RDoC is a new classification system that focuses
on biological, cognitive and behavioral aspects of mental disorders
The DSM-5 is a classification system that defines a mental disorder as occurring when the person
Experiences disturbances of thought, emotion or behavior that produce distress or impairment and that arise from internal sources
According to the biopyschosocial model, mental disorders arise form an interaction of
Biological, psychological and social facts.
Often thought of as a combination of a diathesis (internal predisposition) and stress (environmental life event)
When is anxiety harmful and when is it helpful?
Harmful: When it out of proportion to real life threats and challenges
Helpful: Situation related anxiety is normal and adaptive, can help remind you to keep up with things you need to do
The class of mental disorder in which anxiety is the predominant feature
Disorders characterized by marked, persistent and excessive fear and avoidance of specific objects, activities or situations
A disorder that involves an irrational fear of a particular object or situation that markedly interferes with an individual's ability to function
A disorder that involves an irrational fear of being publicly humiliate or embaressed
The idea that people are instinctively predisposed toward certain fears
Why might we be predisposed to certain phobias?
A disorder characterized by the sudden occurrence of multiple psychosocial and physiological symptoms that contribute to a feeling of stark terror
A specific phobia involving a fear of public places
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
A disorder characterized by chronic excessive worry accompanied by three or more of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance
What is it about public places that many people with agoraphobia fear?
It is more about the person being afraid of having a panic attack in a new/foreign place around people who will judge them
What factors contribute to GAD?
The idea of it being generalized comes from the fact that the worries do not come from a specific threat, and are often exaggerated and irrational
Uncontrollable worrying produces a sense of loss of control that can so erode self confidence that simple decisions seem fraught with dire consequences
People with anxiety disorders
Have irrational worries and fears that undermine their ability to function normally
People who suffer from panic disorders experience
A sudden and intense attack of anxiety that is terrifying and can lead them to become agoraphobia and housebound for fear of public humilation
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves
A chronic state of anxiety, whereas phobic disorders involve anxiety tied to a specific object or situation
How effective is willful effort at curing OCD?
Little or no benefit, can often backfire and make things worse
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
A disorder in which repetitive, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and ritualistic behaviors (compulsions) designed to fend off those thoughts interfere significantly with an individual's functioning.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A disorder characterized by chronic physiological arousal, recurrent unwanted thoughts or images of the trauma and avoidance of things that call the traumatic event to mind
What structure in the brain might be an indicator for susceptibility to PTSD?
Heightened activity in the Amygdala.
Decreased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex
Smaller sized hippocampus
PTSD makes a person experience
Chronic physiological arousal, unwanted thoughts or images of the event and avoidance of things that remind the person of the event
Mental disorders that have mood disturbance as their predominant feature
Major depressive disorder (or unipolar depression)
A disorder characterized by a severely depressed mood and/or inability to experience pleasure that lasts 2 or more weeks and is accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, lethargy and sleep and appetite disturbance
The same cognitive and bodily problems as in depression are present, but they are less severe and last longer, persisting for at least 2 years
What is the difference between depression and sadness?
Depression is more than typical sadness. Depression is not a normal thing for everyone to feel from time to time like sadness is.
Why do more women instead of men experience depression?
Sex differences in hormones
Higher rates of post partum depression
A moderately depressed mood that persists for at least 2 years and is punctuated by periods of major depression
Seasonal affective disorder
Recurrent depressive episodes Ina seasonal patern
The idea that individuals who are prone to depression automatically attribute negative experiences to causes that are internal (their own fault) stable, (unlikely to change) and global (widespread)
A condition characterized by cycles of abnormal, persistent high mood (mania) and low mood (depression)
Why is bipolar disorder sometimes misdiagnosed as schizophrenia?
Because during a manic episode things like hallucinations and delusions may be present.
What findings offer exciting new evidence of why symptoms of different disorders seem to overlap?
Polymeric: Arising from the interaction of multiple genes that combine to create the symptoms observed in those with this disorder.
Pleiotropic effects: One gene influences one's susceptibility to multiple disorders.
How does stress relate to manic depressive episodes?
Stressful life experiences often precede manic and depressive episodes. The more stressed one is the harder it is for them to recover from an episode.
High levels of stress have less impact on people with extroverted personalities than on those with more introverted personalities.
Mood disorders are
Mental disorders in which a disturbance in mood is the predominant feature
Bipolar disorder is and unstable emotional condition involving
Extreme mood swings of depression and mania. The manic phase is characterized by periods of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least one week
A measure of how much hostility, criticism, and emotional over-involvement are used when speaking about a family member with a mental disorder
A disorder characterized by the profound disruption of basic psychological processes; a distorted perception of reality; altered or blunted emotion and disturbances in thought, motivation and behavior
Thoughts and behaviors present in schizophrenia but not seen in those without the disorder such as delusions and hallucinations
A false perceptual experience that has a compelling sense of being real despite the absence of external stimulation
A patently false belief system, often bizarre and grandiose, that is maintained in spite of its irrationality
A severe disruption of verbal communication in which ideas shift rapidly and incoherently among unrelated topics
Grossly disorganized behavior
Behavior that is inappropriate for the situation or ineffective in attaining goals, often with specific motor disturbances
What is the role of genetics in schizophrenia?
The more related you are to someone with schizophrenia the more likely you could have it.
A marked decrease in all movement or an increase in muscular rigidly and overactivity
Deficits or disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors (emotional and social withdrawal; apathy; poverty of speech; and other indications of the absence or insufficiency of normal behavior, motivation and emotion)
Deficits in cognitive abilities, specifically executive functioning, attention, and working memory
The idea that schizophrenia involves an excess of dopamine activity
How are the brains of people with schizophrenia different from those without this disorder?
Abnormally enlarged ventricles suggesting loss of brain tissue mass that could arise from an anomaly in prenatal development
Progressive tissue loss beginning in the parental lobe and eventually encompassing much of the brain.
Only 1% of the population, but it accounts for a disproportionate share of psychiatric hospitalizations
Risks for developing schizophrenia include
Biochemical factors (perhaps a complex interaction among many neurotransmitters)