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6 - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY

6 - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY Abnormality...

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ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY - Abnormality – deviance from social norms of acceptability o What is “abnormal” differs across cultures and across times in history (e.g., Great Depression, inability to throw anything away – the disorder of ‘hoarding’) o Maladaptive for the individual, interferes with at least one large sphere of life – work, relationships, etc o Cause of personal distress Two major types - Clinical disorders: generally more severe, can be temporary or long-lasting, low level of functioning - Personality disorders: milder disorders, longstanding, high level of functioning Clinical Disorders - Diagnosed largely based on self-reports o Rosenhan study: 8 people who falsely reported ‘hearing voices’ but behaved normally, admitted in a psychiatric hospital for an average of 19 days - other patients were suspicious, but physicians in the hospital weren’t (Rely so much on reports) o Structured Clinical Interview o Behavioral Observation o MMPI Tests (helpful for personality disorders) - DSM: Diagnostic manual o Organic – dysfunction of brain (amnesia) o Substance – alcoholism o Somatoform – psychologically induced physical disorders o Schizophrenia and psychoses o Mood – depression, bipolar o Anxiety – phobias, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder o Dissociative – altered identity (fugue), one believing he is someone else o Sexual or gender identity o Childhood disorders – autism, ADHD Schizophrenia & the psychoses - “split mind” – disturbances of thought that spill over to affect perceptual, social and emotional processes - Usually emerges in the late teens and 20s o Irrational thought: often characterized by delusional beliefs (e.g., ‘I am the Messiah’) o Deterioration in function o Hallucinations: usually auditory o Disturbed emotion: 2 paths Flat affect – little emotional response Emotional volatility – highly expressive, extreme emotions, moody - Types of Schizophrenia o Paranoid – delusions of grandeur and/or persecution. Person seems normal unless you discuss area of paranoia.
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Might believe he/she is so important that they are always being watched by FBI – acts normally unless areas of paranoia are brought up o Catatonic – severe motor disturbance, usually characterized by muscular stupor, mutism, or echolalia (repeating words or phrases) o Disorganized – severe maladaptive behavior (babbling, disorganized thought and speech; loosened associations) o Undifferentiated – does not fit categories above, may have multiple symptoms o Positive symptoms = excess behavior (hallucinations); Negative symptoms = deficits in functioning (flat affect) Negative symptoms more resistant to medication - Risk Factors o Genetic factors - hereditary predisposition, twice the relation in identical twins versus fraternal twins (almost 50% likelihood if one Mz twin has it, the other will too vs. 1% in population) o Brain abnormalities – overabundance of dopamine, differences in structure ( larger ventricles ), inefficient neurotransmission due to abnormal glial cells/myelin o
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