Chapter 16 - Chapter 16 Psychological Disorders The Scope...

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Chapter 16 – Psychological Disorders The Scope and Nature of Psychological Disorders What is “abnormal”? - Measures to apply for defining what is normal and abnormal include: 1. The personal values of a given diagnostician 2. The expectations of the culture in which a person currently lives 3. The expectations of the person’s culture of origin 4. General assumptions about human nature 5. Statistical deviation from the norm 6. Harmfulness, suffering, and impairment - 1 and 5 not satisfactory for judging a person to be disordered o (1) Diagnosis could depend on arbitrary and unusual beliefs of the person who is making the judgments o (5) Deviation from the norm could include extremely well adjusted or highly intelligent people - 2 through 3 reflect cultural and widespread beliefs about what is appropriate - Judgments about what is normal and abnormal can differ depending on the time and the culture o Ex. Until 1973, homosexuality was officially considered a form of mental illness - Three criteria of (6) – distress, dysfunction, and deviance- seem to govern decisions about abnormality, and apply to virtually any behaviour deemed abnormal o People who are excessively anxious, depressed, dissatisfied, or otherwise seriously upset about themselves or about life circumstances may be viewed as disturbed or distressed , particularly if they seem to have little control of their reactions Not enough to define abnormality – some seriously disturbed mental patients are so out of tough that they experience little distress o Most behaviour judged abnormal is dysfunctional for the individual or for society. Interfere with work, experience satisfying relationships, maladaptive, self-defeating and uncontrollable o Conduct within every society is regulated by norms , some codified laws and some are less explicit. People violating norms are deviant and likely to be viewed, as psychologically disturbed, especially if making people feel uncomfortable. - Abnormal behaviour: behaviour that is personally distressing, personally dysfunctional, and/or so culturally deviant that other people judge it to be inappropriate or maladaptive - A Sample of Major Diagnostic Categories based on APA (p. 626, Table 16.1) 1. Anxiety disorders: Intense, frequent, or inappropriate anxiety, but no loss of reality contact; includes phobias, generalized anxiety reactions, panic disorders, OCD, and PTSD 2. Mood (affective) disorders: Marked disturbances of mood, including depression and mania (extreme elation and excitement) 3. Somatoform disorders: Physical symptoms, such as blindness paralysis, or pain, that have no physical basis and are assumed to be caused by psychological factors; also, excessive preoccupations and worries about health (hypochondriasis) 4. Dissociative disorders: Psychologically caused problems of consciousness and
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self-identification, including amnesia and multiple personalities (dissociative identity disorder) 5.
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