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Abnormal Psychology

by: Cindy Nguyen

Abnormal Psychology PSYC 332

Marketplace > Rice University > Psychology > PSYC 332 > Abnormal Psychology
Cindy Nguyen
Rice University
GPA 3.8
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Week 1 notes
Abnormal Psychology
Dr. Diddel
Class Notes
Abnormal psychology, health, Psychology, clinical psychology




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cindy Nguyen on Wednesday August 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 332 at Rice University taught by Dr. Diddel in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychology at Rice University.


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Date Created: 08/17/16
43 million people are treated for mental illness per year; problem is that about 50% of those people are not getting treated What determines whether a behavior or experience is abnormal?  Deviating from the norm in a significant way  Deemed in a way that is problematic  Context of behavior o DSM 3 removed homosexuality, “curing” many people of mental illness o Incidence o Prevalence: how many people are likely to suffer from a disorder in a lifetime 4 D’s of Abnormal Psychology 1. Deviance: unusualness of behavior a. Uncommonness is not enough b. Ex: half of women may have poor body image, making it normal, but does not mean it shouldn’t be studied. It still contributes to a problem 2. Distress a. What if the person experiences no distress but causes problems for others? i. Antisocial personality disorder: these people don’t usually come in for treatment unless someone tells them it’s a problem ii. Substance abuse disorder or addiction (like gambling); people with this may be in denial and feel no distress iii. Bipolar disorder b. Should these causes of stress have diagnosis? (Time is a major criterion… are people distressed for too long and can’t be adjusted?) i. Gender dysphoria ii. Bereavement iii. Adjustment to disability iv. Marital discord/divorce 1. A lot of people may go through any of these but stay strong and never have a period of dysfunction – about half bounce back effectively --- adaptation? 3. Dysfunction a. types i. Psychological/emotional ii. Vocational iii. Cognitive iv. Social 4. Danger a. Dangerousness to others or yourself b. Engaging in risky behavior that could lead to negative consequences i. Ex: woman who committed act of terror 1. Did she suffer from psychopathology? 2. Should she receive psychiatric treatment? Ex: kids sleeping in parents’ bed  Depends on the culture  American cultural norms suggest leaving babies at an early age to be in their own crib in their own room 10 years from now, 50% of what we learn about psychology may be irrelevant For each disorder you must know:  DSM-V criteria for all disorders  Theories of causal factors  Common approaches to treatment o Including medications Be able to diagnose a case by reading about or seeing a patient  What might have caused it, how it can be treated For journal entries: Using one document and adding to it as the course goes  Describe the issue  Concerns, support from outside, clearly written  All paper and journals uploaded to Dropbox by 11:59pm on date due (Sundays) Textbook 3 edition Thursday notes History of psychology of abnormal behavior Spiritual/supernatural theories  In ancient times, and some people even today may believe in these theories  Regard psychological disorders as the product of possession by evil or demonic spirits o Trephination o Treatments recommended by church  Confession, exorcism  Split in views of cause of abnormality in the middle ages: o Medical practice based on Greek views o Uneducated/poor persisted in belief in divine intervention and possession  The DSM of ancient times: “Witch’s Hammer” (1486) th Growth of asylums (14-18 century)  As early as 12 century o Hospitals included special rooms o Treatment was often inhumane o Ex: Bethlehem Hospital, Bedlam – 8 or 9 people at a time. It was a small place for people whose families could afford to keep them there  Asylums established and run by people who thought mental disorders were medical illnesses  An act was passed for regulating “madhouses” o “Act for Regulating Madhouses” in England, 1774 o if you were crazy, you were “possessed by the devil” Humanitarian approach (moral treatment of the 18 -19 century)  movement towards a more humane treatment of the mentally ill  incorporated a psychosocial view o psychological disorders as the result of cruelty, stress, or poor living conditions  saw more “working class” people to get treated  people who made a difference o William Tuke: English Quaker, the Retreat, “moral treatment o Phillippe Pinel: La Bicetre, La Salpetriere o Dorothea Dix: Political lobbyist, established 30 mental hospitals Controversies of Contemporary Care  De-institutionalization followed 20 century improvements in treatment o Behavioral approaches o ECT (depression): effective treatment o Phenothiazines (anti-psychotics) – 1955: helped huge numbers of people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia  Community mental health movement of the 60s o Kennedy: began the movement and made a system of mental health centers. Helpful bc people could leave the hospital and be taken care of outside the hospital and stay with family o Unless you’re wealthy, contemporary care for those who are seriously mentally ill (SMI) is non-existent of abysmal  Los Angeles County Jail houses the most SMI patients in US  Even today there is not extremely good treatment for people with autism Early biological theories -An interplay between external/environmental and internal/physiological/temperamental forces  Chinese concept of “chi”, a force inside of you. Incorporates similar ideas of illness resulting from an imbalance of life forces  Egyptians: first medically-based theory o Hysteria (Wandering bomb) th  Hippocrates (6-5 century BCE) o The 4 humors  Galen (2 ndcentury) o temperament. Some people are born anxious by nature, others neurotic, thhers outgoing  Avicenna/Ibn Sina (11 century) o Islamic scholar who linked stress being a force that influences psychiatric disease th th Modern perspectives – somatogenic (19 and 20 century)  Psychopathology as a brain disorder  Phineas Gage (1848): observed by John Harlow  Medical disorders w/ behavioral symptoms  Classification system: the beginning of the DSM o Started by Emil Kraepelin o Common sets of labels o Criteria The biological/neuroscientific view: Genetic factors in abnormality  Alterations in the structure or number of chromosomes can cause major defects  Polygenic process: it take multiple genetic abnormalities to create on disorder  But we are not able to identify specific genes or combinations in psychiatric disorders  A lot of factors can affect if you inherit a genetic disease Mesolimbic circuitry: part of brain involved in disorders of emotion and self-regulation  Involved in organizing thought: striatum and orbitofrontal cortex  Prefrontal cortex: top-down control mechanism, manages to keep arousal and emotions and regulate thinking  Hypothalamus  Substantia nigra  VTA: (ventral tegmental area) pleasure pathways involved in disorders of substance abuse Endocrine system: triggering of hypothalamus affects pituitary and adrenal glands  A cascade of events that release hormones  Cortisol is a prominent stress hormone o Maybe influence depression, diabetes, heart disease, immune disorders Neurotransmitters:  Problems at the neural synapse o Re-uptake o Degradation  What different neurotransmitters do o Serotonin  Mood, hunger, sleep, arousal  Facilitates or dampens responses  Depression, anxiety o Dopamine  Movement, learning, attention, emotion  Facilitates or dampens responses  Schizophrenia, parkinson’s o Norepinephrine  Alertness and arousal  Depression, anxiety o Acetylcholine  Muscle action, learning, memory  Alzheimers o Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)  Inhibitory (dampens)  Eating and sleeping  Anxiety Biological treatments: drug therapies How they may work: Correct inadequacy in functioning of neurotransmitters and neuroenzymes Correct the sodium or calcium ion channels affecting electrical activity Treat symptoms -reducing anxiety with tranquilizers; reducing symptoms in schizophrenia increase or decrease/dampen neurological arousal or activity Frequently used medications for mental disorders** Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)  Series of treatments in which a brain seizure is induced by passing electrical current through the patient’s brain  An alternative to drug therapies in the treatment of the drug resistant depression, bipolar disorder  Generally a series of treatments (usually in 3s) o Now usually lower strength and unipolar (one side of the brain only) to reduce the risk of brain damage  There are times when it is useful and effective but only if done carefully and depending on severity of the symptoms


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