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Psyc Final Exam Study Guide

Psyc Final Exam Study Guide - Chapter 13 Pyschological...

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Chapter 13: Pyschological Disorders Abnormal Behavior: Myths and Realities In this section 3 topics will be discussed: (1) the medical model of abnormal behavior, (2) the criteria of abnormal behavior, and (3) the classification of psychological disorders. The Medical Model Applied to Abnormal Behavior A. The medical model proposes that it is useful to think of abnormal behavior as a disease. a. This point of view is the basis for many of the terms used to refer to abnormal behavior, including mental illness , psychological disorder , and psychopathology ( pathology refers to manifestations of disease). b. Prior to the 18 th century most conceptions of abnormal behavior were based on superstition. c. The rise of the medical model brought improvements in the treatment of those who exhibited abnormal behavior. They were not “treated” with chants, rituals, exorcisms, and such. They were not put in dungeons, or tortured, or put to death if their behavior was seen as threatening. d. Some critics have suggested that the medical model has outlived its usefulness. Thomas Szasz says that “strictly speaking, disease or illness can affect only the body; hence there can be no mental illness…Minds can be ‘sick’ only in the sense that jokes are ‘sick’.” He says that abnormal behavior usually involves a deviation from social norms and that such deviations are “problems in living” rather than medical problems. e. One must remember that the disease analogy is only an analogy. B. Medical concepts such as diagnosis, etiology, and prognosis have proven valuable in the treatment and study of abnormality. a. Diagnosis involves distinguishing one illness from another. Etiology refers to the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness. A prognosis is a forecast about the probable course of an illness. C. Criteria of Abnormal Behavior
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a. Deviance: People are often said to have a disorder because their behavior deviates from what their society considers acceptable. What constitutes normality varies somewhat from culture to culture, but all cultures have such norms. When people violate these standards and expectations, they may be labeled mentally ill. b. Maladaptive Behavior: In many cases, people are judged to have a psychological disorder because their everyday adaptive behavior is impaired. This is the key criterion in the diagnosis of substance use (drug) disorders. It is the maladaptive quality of the behavior that makes it disordered because in and of itself, alcohol and drug use is not terribly unusual or deviant. c. Personal Distress: Frequently, the diagnosis of a psychological disorder is based on an individual’s report of great personal distress. This is usually the criterion met by people who are troubled by depression or anxiety disorders.
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