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Chapter 14 - Psychological Disorders

Grant Clay

Period 3



AP Psychology Outline

Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders


Red – Definition

Blue – Important Points

Green – Important People & Contributions


  1. Medical Model – Proposes to Think of Abnormal Behavior as a Disease.
    1. Thomas Szasz = Medical Model Critic, “Minds can be ‘sick’ only in the sense that jokes are ‘sick’ or Economies are ‘sick’.”
    2. Diagnosis – Distinguishing 1 Illness from another.
    3. Etiology – Apparent Causation and Developmental History of an Illness.
    4. Prognosis – A Forecast about the Probable Course of an Illness.
    5. Criteria of Abnormal Behavior = Deviance, Maladaptive Behavior, & Personal Distress.
    6. Decisions upon if a Person is “Normal” or “Abnormal” is based off Social Norms of the Time.
    7. Psychological Disorders Stereotypes = Psychological Disorders are Incurable, People with Psychological Disorders are often Violent and Dangerous, & People with Psychological Disorders Behave in Bizarre Ways and are Very Different from Normal People.
    8. David Rosenhan = Did experiment where it is hard to Distinguish Normality from Abnormality in People.
    9. Psycho-Diagnosis: Classification of Disorders

                                                               i.      Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – Current Classification Editions of Mental Disorders.

                                                              ii.      5 Different Axis of DSM

1.        Clinical Syndromes

2.        Personality Disorder or Mental Retardation

3.        General Medical Conditions

4.        Psychosocial & Environmental Problems

5.        Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale

    1. Prevalence of Psychological Disorders

                                                               i.      Epidemiology – Study of Distribution of Mental or Physical Disorders in a Population.

                                                              ii.      Prevalence – Percentage of a Population that Exhibits a Disorder During a Specified Time Period.

                                                            iii.      About 45% of Population has a Mental Disorder sometime During their Lives.

  1. Anxiety Disorders
    1. Anxiety Disorder – Class of Disorder marked by Feelings of Excessive Apprehension and Anxiety.

                                                               i.      Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Marked by Chronic, High Level of Anxiety that is Not Tied to any Specific Threat.

                                                              ii.      Phobic Disorder – Marked by Persistent and Irrational Fear of an Object or Situation that Presents No Realistic Danger.

                                                            iii.      Panic Disorder – Characterized by Recurrent Attacks of Overwhelming Anxiety that Usually Occur Suddenly and Unexpectedly.

1.        Agoraphobia – Fear of going out to Public Places.

                                                            iv.      Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Marked by Persistent, Uncontrollable Intrusions of Unwanted Thoughts (Obsessions) and Urges to Engage in Senseless Rituals (Compulsions).

                                                             v.      Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Involves Enduring Psychological Disturbance Attributed to the Experience of a Major Traumatic Event.

1.        The More Emotional One’s Reaction at the Time of the Stressful Event, the more Chance for PTSD.

2.        Common Symptoms are Flashbacks, Nightmares, and Emotional Numbing.

                                                            vi.      Biological Factors

1.        Concordance Rates – Percentage of Twin Pairs of Relatives who Exhibit the Same Disorder.

2.        Moderate Chance of Genetic Pre-Disposition for Anxiety Disorders

3.        GABA Neurotransmitters play a Key role in Anxiety Disorders.

                                                          vii.      Conditioning & Learning

1.        Anxiety Responses may be Acquired & Maintained through Conditioning.

2.        Conditioned Fears can be Created by Observational Learning.

3.        High Stress often Precipitates onset of Anxiety Disorders.

  1. Somatoform Disorders
    1. Somatoform Disorders – Physical Ailments that Cannot be Fully Explained by Organic Conditions and are Largely due to Psychological Factors.
    2. Somatization Disorder – Marked by a History of Diverse Physical Complaints that Appear to be Psychological in Origin.
    3. Conversion Disorder – Characterized by a Significant Loss of Physical Function (With no Apparent Organic Base), Usually in a Single Organ System.
    4. Hypochondriasis (Hypochondria) – Characterized by Excessive Preoccupation with Health Concerns and Incessant Worry about Developing Physical Illness.
  2. Dissaciotive Disorders
    1. Dissociative Disorders – Class of Disorders in which People lose Contact with Portions of their Consciousness or Memory, Resulting in Disruptions in their Sense of Identity.
    2. Dissociative Amnesia – Sudden Loss of Memory for Important Personal Information that is too Extensive to be due to Normal Forgetting.
    3. Dissociative Fugue – People lose their Memory for their Entire Lives along with their Sense of Personal Identity.
    4. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) – Involves the Co-Existence in 1 Person of 2 or More Largely Complete, and Usually Very Different, Personalities. (Multiple Personality Disorder)

                                                               i.      Usually Attributed to Excessive Stress.

  1. Mood Disorders
    1. Mood Disorders – Marked by Emotional Disturbances of Varied Kinds that may Spill over to Disrupt Physical, Perceptual, Social, and Thought Processes.

                                                               i.      Mood Disorders are Episodic, or Come & Go.

                                                              ii.      Uni-Polar Disorder – Experience Emotional Extremes at 1 End of Mood Spectrum.

                                                            iii.      Bi-Polar Disorder – Experience Emotional Extremes at Both Ends of Mood Spectrum.

    1. Major Depressive Disorder – People Show Persistent Feelings of Sadness and Despair and a Loss of Interest in Previous Sources of Pleasure.

                                                               i.      Dysthymic Disorder – Consists of Chronic Depression that is Insufficient in Severity to Justify Diagnosis of a Major Depressive Episode.

    1. Bi-Polar Disorder (Maniac Depressive Disorder) – Characterized by the Experience of 1 or More Manic Episodes as Well as Periods of Depression.

                                                               i.      Cyclothymic Disorder – When they Exhibit Chronic but Relatively Mild Symptoms of Bi-Polar Disturbance.

    1. Heredity can Create a Pre-Disposition to Mood Disorders
    2. Neuro-Chemical Factors

                                                               i.      Norepinephrine & Serotonin Levels affect Mood Disorders.

                                                              ii.      Low Levels of Serotonin is Common in Depression.

    1. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema = Cognitive Model = Negative Thinking is what leads to Depression in Many People.
    2. Behavioral Model = Inadequate Social Skills with others Cause Depression.
  1. Schizophrenic Disorders
    1. Schizophrenic Disorders – Class of Disorders Marked by Delusions, Hallucinations, Disorganized Speech, and Deterioration of Adaptive Behavior.

                                                               i.      1% of Population has Schizophrenia

    1. Delusions – False Beliefs that are Maintained even though they Clearly are out of Touch with Reality.
    2. Hallucinations – Sensory Perceptions that Occur in the Absence of a Real, External Stimulus or are Gross Distortions of Perceptual Input.
    3. Subtypes, Course, Outcome

                                                               i.      Paranoid Schizophrenia – Dominated by Delusions of Persecution, along with Delusions of Grandeur.

                                                              ii.      Catatonic Schizophrenia – Marked by Striking Motor Disturbances, Ranging from Muscular Rigidity, to Random Motor Activity.

                                                            iii.      Disorganized Schizophrenia – Particularly Severe Deterioration of Adaptive Behavior is Seen.

                                                            iv.      Undifferentiated Schizophrenia – Schizophrenia that cant be easily Categorized into 1 Category.

    1. Negative v. Positive Symptoms

                                                               i.      Nancy Andreasen

                                                              ii.      Negative Symptoms – Behavioral Deficits, Flattened Emotions, Social Withdrawal, Apathy, Impaired Attention, and Poverty of Speech.

                                                            iii.      Positive Symptoms – Behavioral Excesses or Peculiarities, such as Hallucinations, Delusions, Bizarre Behavior, and Wild Flights of Ideas.

    1. Schizophrenia usually Emerges during Adolescence or Early Adulthood.
    2. Etiology of Schizophrenia

                                                               i.      Heredity plays a Role in Development of Schizophrenic Disorders.

                                                              ii.      Dopamine Hypothesis – Excess Dopamine Activity in Nuero-Chemical causes Schizophrenia.

                                                            iii.      Abnormalities in the Brain Could Cause or be Caused by Schizophrenia.

1.        Such as Enlarged Brain Ventricles, or Smaller Pre-Frontal Cortex.

                                                            iv.      NeuroDevelopmental Hypothesis – Schizophrenia is caused by, in part, by Various Disruptions in the Normal Maturation Processes of the Brain Before or at Birth.

                                                             v.      High Expressed Emotion causes people cured of Schizophrenia to Relapse into it Easier.

  1. Personality Disorders
    1. Personality Disorders – Class of Disorders Marked by Extreme, Inflexible Personality Traits that Cause Subjective Distress or Impaired Social and Occupational Functioning.

                                                               i.      Usually Emerge in Late Childhood or Adolescence.

    1. 3 Types of Personality Disorders

                                                               i.      Anxious/Fearful

                                                              ii.      Odd/Eccentric

                                                            iii.      Dramatic/Impulsive

    1. AntiSocial Personality Disorder – Marked by Impulsive, Callous, Manipulative, Aggressive, and Irresponsible Behavior that Reflects a Failure to Accept Social Norms.
  1. Psychological Disorders & Law
    1. Insanity – Legal Status Indicating that a Person Cannot be Held Responsible for His or Her Actions because of Mental Illness.
    2. Involuntary Commitment – People are Hospitalized in Psychiatric Facilities against their Will.
  2. Culture & Pathology
    1. Social “Norms” Differentiate in Cultures, so “Abnormal Behavior” Differentiates too.
    2. Culture-Bound Disorders – Abnormal Syndromes Found only in a Few Cultural Groups.
Subject X2: 

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