Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Chapter 16: Psychological Disorders...

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Chapter 16: Psychological Disorders Perspectives on Psychological Disorders Psychological disorders fascinate us, partly because most of us will at some time experience or witness  them close at hand. Defining Psychological Disorders Between normality and abnormality there is not a gulf but a somewhat arbitrary line. Where we draw this  line depends on how atypical, disturbing, maladaptive, and unjustifiable a person’s behavior is. Understanding Psychological Disorders The medical model’s assumption that psychological disorders are mental illnesses displaced earlier views  that demons and evil spirits were to blame. However, critics question the medical model’s labeling of  psychological  disorders   as   sicknesses.  Most   mental   health   workers   today  adapt   a   biopsychosocial  perspective. They assume that disorders are influenced by genetic predisposition, physiological states,  psychological dynamics, and social circumstances. Classifying Psychological Disorders Many   psychiatrists   and   psychologists   use   the   American   Psychiatric   Association’s   Diagnostic   and  Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) for naming and describing psychological disorders in  treatment and research. Diagnostic labels facilitate mental health professionals’ communications and  research, and most health insurance policies in North America require DSM-IV diagnoses before they will  pay for therapy. Labeling Psychological Disorders Critics point out the price we pay for these benefits of classifying disorders: Labels also can create  preconceptions   that   unfairly   stigmatize   people   and   bias   our   perceptions   of   their   past   and   present  behavior. Anxiety Disorders
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Chapter 16 - Chapter 16: Psychological Disorders...

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