Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders - Psychological Disorders What Is a...

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Psychological Disorders What Is a Psychological Disorder? Criteria for defining psychological disorders depend on whether cultural norms are violated, whether behavior is maladaptive or harmful, and whether there is distress. The medical model describes and explains psychological disorders as if they are diseases. The vulnerability-stress model states that disorders are caused by an interaction between biological and environmental factors. The learning model theorizes that psychological disorders result from the reinforcement of abnormal behavior. The psychodynamic model states that psychological disorders result from maladaptive defenses against unconscious conflicts. Psychologists use objective and projective tests to assess psychological disorders. Classification Classification allows psychologists to describe disorders, predict outcomes, consider treatments, and study etiology. Insanity is a legal term, not a diagnostic label. Psychologists and psychiatrists use the DSM to diagnose psychological disorders. The DSM uses a multi-axial system of classification . The DSM is a useful tool but has been criticized for several reasons. Most of the major disorders in the DSM are found worldwide. Culture-bound syndromes are limited to specific cultural contexts. Anxiety Disorders A chronic, high level of anxiety may be a sign of an anxiety disorder . Generalized anxiety disorder involves persistent and excessive anxiety for at least six months. Having a specific phobia means becoming anxious when exposed to a specific circumstance. Social phobia is characterized by anxiety in social or performance situations. A person with panic disorder experiences recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. Agoraphobia involves anxiety about having panic attacks in difficult or embarrassing situations. Obsessive-compulsive disorder entails obsessions , compulsions , or both.
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.

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Psychological Disorders - Psychological Disorders What Is a...

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