Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders
Psychopathology- problematic patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that disrupt an individual’s sense of
well-being or social or occupational functioning.
three broad classes of psychopathology that form continuum of functioning (least to most disturbed)
*Neuroses: problems in living, such as phobias, chronic self-doubts, and repetitive interpersonal
problems such as trouble with authority.
*Personality Disorders: enduring maladaptive patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that lead
to chronic disturbances in interpersonal and occupational functioning. (inhibit the capacity to love
and to work).
*Psychoses: gross disturbances involving a loss of touch with reality.
Neurotic problems occur in most, if not all, people at different points in their lives and usually do not
stop them from functioning reasonably well.
100% of people are abnormal, there are no normal people!
Etiology: causes of a disorder
Psychoses result primarily from biological abnormalities, with some environment input.
Psychodynamic Formulation: a set of hypotheses about the patient’s personality structure and the
meaning of a symptom. Attempt to answer three questions:
*What does the patient wish for and fear?
*What psychological resources does the person have to her disposal?
*How does she experience herself and others?
First question focuses on the person’s dominant motives and conflicts. Psychodynamic clinicians view
many neurotic symptoms as expressions of, or compromises among, various motives.
Second question is about ego functioning--the person’s ability to function autonomously, make sound
decisions, think clearly, and regulate impulses and emotions.
Third question addresses object relations, that is, the person’s ability to form meaningful relationships
with others and to maintain self-esteem.
Cognitive-Behavioral: approach in clinical psychology in which practitioners integrate an understanding
of classical and operant conditioning with a cognitive-social perspective.
Integrating Nature and Nurture: The Diathesis-Stress Model:
Diathesis-Stress Model: the model of psychopathology which proposes that people with an underlying
vulnerability (also called diathesis) may develop a disorder under stressful circumstances.
The diathesis may be biological, such as a genetic propensity for anxiety symptoms caused by over
activity of norepinephrine, or environmental, stemming from events such as a history of neglect, excessive
parental criticism, or uncontrollable painful events in childhood.
Systems Approach: an approach that explains an individual’s behavior in the context of a social group,
such as a couple, family, or large group.
System: a group with interdependent parts