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Psychological Disorders: An Introduction

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1 Psychological Disorders: An Introduction

2 Warm up Before we begin Abnormal Psych, what do you hope to learn in this unit? Have you had any experience dealing with psychological disorders – people connected to you or any past reading on this topic?

3 Defining Disorder

4 Psychological Disorder
Behavior patterns or mental processes which cause serious personal suffering or interfere with a person’s ability to cope with everyday life.

5 It Takes 4 Things for a Behavior to be Considered a Disorder:
Typicality Mal-adaptivity Emotional Discomfort Socially Unacceptable Behavior

6 Typicality Is the behavior typical of most people?

7 Maladaptive Impairs the person’s ability to function in everyday life.
An exaggeration of normal, acceptable behaviors Destructive to oneself or others

8 Emotional Discomfort A behavior which is troublesome to the person themselves or those around them.

9 Socially Unacceptable Behavior
A behavior so different from other people’s behavior that it violates a norm Norms vary from culture to culture

10 Understanding Disorders

11 Early Views of Mental Illness
In ancient times, mental illness was usually explained through a supernatural model; the person was possessed. During the Middle Ages treatment methods were inhumane and cruel

12 Conditions for Psychologically Disabled
European Trephines “released evil spirits.” Ancient Greek Trephines

13 Conditions for Psychologically Disabled

14 Medieval Solutions…

15 The Medical Model Diseases have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and in most cases, cured. Disorders are diagnosed based on symptoms and treated or cured through therapy. Disorders are similar to a physical illness.

16 Bio-Psycho-Social Model
Believe mental illnesses combine biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors to produce psychological disorders

17 Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective

18 Classifying Disorders

19 Diagnosis Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)—describes symptoms and diagnostic guidelines for psychological disorders Made by the APA. Provides common language to label mental disorders Has guidelines to diagnose mental disorders

20 DSM-IV-TR Divides mental disorders into 17 major categories
Includes symptoms but not causes of each disease Lists and describes 250 specific psychological disorders



23 Labeling Stigmas Studies show a clear bias against people diagnosed with mental disorders. Rosenhan Study – “normal” people pretended to hear voices and checked into a mental hospital then acted normal. Their normal actions were taken to be abnormal once they were labeled schizophrenic.

24 Prevalence Roughly 50% of adults experienced symptoms at least once in their lives 80% who experienced symptoms in the last year did NOT seek treatment Many would benefit from treatment don’t seek it. Most people just deal with it. Women have higher prevalence of depression and anxiety Men have higher prevalence of substance abuse and antisocial personality disorder

25 Gender Differences for Disorders

26 Prevalence of Mental Disorders Worldwide



29 Are People with a Mental Illness as Violent as the Media Portrays Them?
People with mental disorders are often depicted on TV as helpless victims or evil villains who are unpredictable, dangerous, and violent. Studies show that former mental patients did not have a higher rate of violence than “normal” people. People with severe mental disorders who experience bizarre delusional ideas and hallucinated voices do have a slightly higher level of violent and illegal behavior than do “normal” people.

30 Mental Illnesses





35 With a partner… Choose one of the disorders.
Create a 2 minute newscast where one person interviews another person that has one of the disorders. Your dialogue should be “two minutes in length”; hand it in once you’re done with your presentation. Have fun!

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