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Mental Disorders

by: Ann Carter Herbert

Mental Disorders Psych 210

Ann Carter Herbert

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About this Document

Introduction to Psychology
Professor Chris Pagano, PhD
Mental Disorders, Psychology, social psychology
75 ?




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Popular in Psychlogy

This 2 page Bundle was uploaded by Ann Carter Herbert on Thursday December 3, 2015. The Bundle belongs to Psych 210 at Clemson University taught by Professor Chris Pagano, PhD in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 12/03/15
Mental  Disorders:     A  medical  definition  is  used:   • Symptom:  An  action,  thought,  or  feeling  that  may  indicate  a  disorder   • Disorder:  A  collection  of  interrelated  symptoms     o Must  involve  significant  distress  or  impairment  to  be  classified  as  a   disorder     o You  can  have  all  of  the  symptoms  of  the  disorder,    but  if  they  are  not   causing  you  impairment  then  you  don’t  have  the  disorder     • Obsessions:  repetitive  thoughts   • Compulsions:  repetitive  behaviors   • Obsessive/Compulsive  behavior  are  very  common  in  children     o Usually  grow  out  of  these     • Predisposing  Causes:   o Make  one  susceptible  to  a  disorder   § Genetics:  some  people  are  genetically  predisposed  to  get  a   disorder,  disease,  etc   o Brain  Damage  (prenatal,  infection,  substance  abuse)   o Chronic  Psychological  stressors  (abuse)   o Learned  beliefs  or  thought  patterns  (learned  helplessness,  external   LOC)     • Precipitating  Causes:     o Stressors  may  bring  on  a  disorder   § Death  of  a  loved  one   § Job  loss  or  big  promotion   § Marriage  or  Divorce     § Move  to  a  new  place     • Predisposing  causes  vs.  Precipitating  causes:   o Even  little  stress  can  precipitate  a  disorder  if  predisposition  is  high   o Genetic  predisposition  +  Stressful  experience  =  Disorder     • Perpetuating  Causes:     o The  consequences  of  a  disorder  that  keep  it  going     § Example  with  depression:   • Withdrawal  from  others  (isolation  perpetuates   depression)   • Physical  outcomes  (poor  sleep,  diet,  lack  of  exercise)   • Rewards  (  attention  up,  responsibilities  down)     • Three  Perspectives  on  Mental  Disorders:   o Biological:   § Evolution,  individual  genes,  brain  structure  and  chemistry   o Psychological:   § Stress,  trauma,  learned  helplessness   o Social:   § Roles,  expectations   • Treatment:   o Evaluating  Therapies     § Without  therapy,  conditions  follow  peaks  and  valleys     § How  do  we  demonstrate  that  a  therapy  works?   • Use  a  control  group   • Biological  Perspectives:     o Mental  disorders  are  physical  diseases  of  the  brain     § Less  frontal  lobe  activity  in  a  murderer   o Schizophrenia:  enlarged  cerebral  ventricles   § Very  large  genetic  predisposition     § Much  bigger  improvement  from  therapy  than  the  drug      


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