Presentation on theme: "PS1000: Introduction to Abnormal Psychology"— Presentation transcript:
1 PS1000: Introduction to Abnormal Psychology Dr Claire GibsonSchool of Psychology, University of Leicester
2 Introduction to abnormal psychology Introduction to mood disorders and anxiety disorders
3 Why study abnormal behaviour? At the centre of mental disordersPsychopathologythe field concerned with the nature, development and treatment of psychological disordersAs psychologists;we have to overcome our own (and work to change others) preconceived notions of mental disorder and abnormalityStigma;beliefs and attitudes held by a society ascribed to groups not considered ‘normal’Sadly, mental illness is one of the most stigmatised conditions of the 21st century
4 What is abnormal behaviour? Difficult to defineContains several characteristics‘A clinically significant behavioural or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual that is associated with present distress or disability or with a significant increased risk of suffering, death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom. In addition, this syndrome or pattern must not be merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event, e.g. the death of a loved one. Whatever its original cause, it must currently be considered a manifestation of a behavioural, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual.’DSM-IV
5 Personal distressA person’s behaviour may be considered abnormal if it causes them distresse.g. a child with problems paying attention may feel distressBut, not all abnormal behaviour causes distresse.g. a person with antisocial personality disorder may treat others coldheartedly or break the law without any remorse
6 DisabilityImpairment in some important area of life (e.g. work or personal relationships)E.g. substance-related disorders are defined, in part, by the social or occupational disability created by substance abuseBut, not all disorders involve disability
7 Violation of social norms widely held beliefs and attitudes that people use (consciously or intuitively) to make judgments of behaviour in terms of; good-bad, right-wrong, acceptable-unacceptableBehaviour that violates social norms might be classified as abnormalBut, this definition is too broade.g. criminals violate social normsNot all abnormal behaviour violates social normse.g. anxiety disordersSocial norms vary immensely across cultures and ethnic groups
8 DysfunctionWakefield (1992) proposed that mental disorder could be defined as harmful dysfunctionThis definition has two components;A value judgment (harmful)Objective, scientific component (dysfunction)A judgment that a behaviour is harmful requires some standard (social norms)Dysfunction = internal mechanism unable to perform its natural functionBut, the internal mechanism that is dysfunctional in mental disorders is usually unknown
9 Dysfunction DSM-IV-TR Dysfunction = behavioural, biological or psychological dysfunction supported by current evidenceDissociative disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders, etc.In many cases there is no single accepted cause of mental disorders although often accepted in terms of a diathesis-stress model and biopsychosocial model.
10 Diathesis-stress model Explains behaviour as result of biological and genetic factors (‘nature’) and life experiences (‘nurture).Assumes that a disposition to a disorder results from a combination of genetics and early learning (‘di’)A biological or genetic vulnerability (diathesis) interacts with the environment and life events (stressors) to trigger abnormal behaviours.↑vulnerability - ↓stress = abnormal behaviour↓vulnerability - ↑ ↑stress = abnormal behaviour
11 Biopsychosocial (BPS) model States that a range of biological, psychological and sociological factors all play a significant role in human functioning in the context of disease/illness.In contrast to traditional reductionist biomedical models of diseaseBiological = neural mechanismsPsychological = stress, anxiety, personality traitsSocial = peer pressure/relationships, culture
12 History of psychopathology and its treatments Dr José Prados (PS2015)e.g. exorcismEvolution of contemporary thought (late 18th/early 19th century) – biological and psychological approaches to the causes and treatments of mental disorders.
13 Today’s treatments of mental health issues Care in the communityThe biggest political change in mental healthcare in the history of the NHSMovement away from isolation of the mentally ill in Victorian asylums towards their integration in the communityAim = to ‘normalise’ mental health disorders and remove stigma
14 Care in the community Since the 1960’s Change in attitude towards treatment of the mentally ill, civil rights campaigns1959 Mental Health Act – abolished distinction between psychiatric and other hospitalsChallenges to historic treatment, introduction of new drugsClosure of mental health asylums, change in social attitudes1983 Mental Health Act (now 2007) – rights of people admitted to hospitals on the grounds of mental health
15 Care in the community Success? Closure of Victorian asylums should = reduced spending for mental health authoritiesAssumed such ‘extra’ money would be invested in appropriate services for care in the communityPolitical issues
16 Mental health professionals An individual who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health or to treat mental illnessIncludes; psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, mental health counselors etc.Deal with the same illnesses, conditions, issues etc.But, scope of practice varies and laws regarding education/trainingDiagnosis
17 Challenges to mental health treatment Stigma= the beliefs and attitudes held by a society that are ascribed to groups considered to deviate from the ‘norm’ in some way e.g. the mentally ill.Has four characteristicsA label is applied to a group of peopleThe label is linked to deviant or undesirable attribute by societyPeople with the label are viewed differentlyPeople with the label are discriminated against
18 Challenges to mental health treatment StigmaResults in discriminationOne of the biggest obstacles to future progress in the diagnosis of mental health disordersWe need to set aside our own preconceptions and misgivingsIndividuals, professionals, media
19 SummaryCharacteristics of abnormal behaviour – personal distress, disability, violation of social norms, dysfunction.Diathesis stress modelBiopsychosocial modelToday’s treatment of mental health issuesMental health professionalsObstacles – stigma and discrimination.