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History of Psychology and Mental Illness

by: Gina

History of Psychology and Mental Illness PSYC 3005 31

Marketplace > Fairleigh Dickinson University > Psychology > PSYC 3005 31 > History of Psychology and Mental Illness

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About this Document

These notes are on the lecture about the history of mental illness and the treatments for these illnesses throughout the year. They don't include notes on the movie, since we weren't allowed to hav...
Abnormal Psychology
Donalee Brown
Class Notes
Psychology, abnormal
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gina on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3005 31 at Fairleigh Dickinson University taught by Donalee Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Historical Background 9/9/16 12:26 PM  Mental disorders are one of the most serious problems of our time  It will touch everyone in their lives, at some point  It can be a very emotional topic, it is not a disease of other people  If you yourself don’t develop a mental disability, you may encounter someone who does  Think about what it’s like to be one of the people who suffer from these illnesses  Most people who go to get help for the mental illnesses have thought about doing it for a long time  Going to a doctor for a physical sickness is normal, there’s no stigma behind it  These people are often misunderstood, nobody asks to have these disorders – There are people behind these disorders  Try to empathize with these people, try to understand what these people are going through – they aren’t just their illnesses  Psychology IS a science – this isn’t just something that you do because it feels right, it isn’t just an intuition  Society has treated abnormal behavior differently over time  It used to be explained away by demons, and has progressed to accusing drugs of causing them  These old ideas never really go away, some people still use them  Before the start of recorded history  People used to believe that people who had mental illnesses were afflicted by supernatural forces o We see evidence of this abnormal behavior in old texts like the bible and other historical documents o Look for the explanations for the abnormal behaviors and their treatments (physical and psychological)  The Greeks used to believe that the gods would control people and cause them to act abnormally  People believed that supernatural forces controlled everything, both physical and psychological (like crops, and then abnormal behavior)  There’s a matching treatment for every illness  There were punishments like stoning and flogging  Hippocrates – Father of Medicine  First attempt to explain abnormal behavior  He would look at people’s symptoms and try to explain them physically (A depressed person may not be getting enough sleep)  4 humors – The foundation for physiological perspectives o Black bile – too much led to depression o Yellow bile – too much led to anxiety o Blood – too much led to mood swings o Phlegm – too much led to sluggishness  He had no real scientific backing for these claims, but these were his beliefs o These were the first times that people were looking at physiological explanations for abnormal behavior  Hippocrates would try to cure people by letting out the excess fluids (blood letting, etc.)  He viewed these people as patients, so he would treat them humanely  Middle Ages  Religion was the dominant force in life  Things were viewed as a constant struggle between good and evil  People with abnormal behavior were treated as being afflicted by the devil o They were also treated as agents of the devil o There was a call for people to report witches, there was even a manual written about it  These ‘witches’ had to be killed to protect the population  1 Human Care – St. Mary of Bethlehem, in London  Mid 1500s  Dedicated to the care of disturbed people, the first in history  More like a prison than a hospital – people were confined in horrible conditions (often chained to walls, chaos ensued)  Society was not concerned, they even sold tickets for people to view those in the hospitals  People with abnormal behavior were viewed as patients, and thus had to be removed from society to get help  The next incident of people trying to help was by Philippe Panel in the 1700s o Requested that his patients were unchained from the walls and the hospital was renovated o There was a movement to humanize the treatment of mentally ill  Benjamin Rush in the US  Also helped to build mental hospitals  Dorthia Dix, New England school teacher  Horrified by the treatment of mentally ill  Credited with creating 32 mental hospitals  William Tuke in England  A Quaker, believed that people should be taken out of hospitals and put into fresh air to relieve them of their stresses  Started fresh air farms, that were really more of retreats  These people only helped with the environments, because there were no treatments for these serious disorders  Fanz Anton Mesmer  Physiological cause made way for psychological explanations  Believed abnormal behavior was the result of magnetic fluid in the body, but this was a physiological cause  He created this huge tub that was full of magnetic fluid, he would apply them to affected areas of the human body o Like a magic magnetic wand o Patient might twitch, convulse, or scream – he called this a crisis o After this crisis, they would be symptom free o This was considered to be a popluar thing, had patients like Marie Antoinette  He was seriously questioned by the scientific community, who found no base in this treatment, except for the fact that man can affect man o This means that people really could change their behavior by acting a certain way  He died in disgrace, but he did pave the way for us to discover physiological treatments  Also considered the father of hypnotism  Jean-Martin Charcot  A neurologist  Contributed another psychological explanation  Fascinated by hysterical disorders  Hysterical disorders – there’s no physical reasons for these disorders, but they are very real  Somatoform disorders  Saw a link between hysterical disorders and mesmerism o He could completely get rid of someone’s symptoms and create new ones  Sigmund Freud  A neurologist like Charcot  He also had an interest in hysterical disorders  He had a huuuuuuge ego, which led him to a lot of his discoveries o He was a doctor, and encountered a lot of people with disorders he couldn’t cure  Breure  Treating Anna O o Had 3 limbs that were paralyzed o Difficulty seeing o Difficulty eating o These symptoms disappeared while speaking about them under hypnosis  Freud believed that she could speak and act normally due to a release of tension called Catharsis  This case caused him to think about illnesses psychologically o Believed hypnosis was extremely effective, and created the treatment called free association  This treatment allowed patients to just talk about whatever came to their mind (stream of conciseness) o This treatment would lead to catharsis  Freud believed that the human mind was like an iceberg, that there was only a bit we could really access, while the rest was unconscious  People had these mysterious physical ailments to distract themselves from the psychological traumas  Ex. A soldier makes himself blind because he feels terrible about seeing something or having to do something  How learning affects abnormal behavior  Ivan Pavlov – Physiologist  He looked at the physiological aspects of behavior, rather than the psychological  In a laboratory setting, working with animals rather than people  We may not actually see these situations in real life  Classical conditioning – a stimulus that elicits a response is consistently paired with a neutral stimulus that initially created no response, but eventually did o This is important to abnormal psychology because we can see how someone being affected by mental illnesses may have a different response than the majority of the population  Edward Thorndike  Operant conditioning – You had to make something happen to elicit a reaction  There has to be some kind of reward after operating on something (a cat pushes a pedal and gets a treat, so they press it again)  We learn behavior, we do not start off with these behaviors  Phobias came from conditioning  How learning affects abnormal behavior  John Watson  Behaviorism  Believed that phobias came from classical conditioning  Focused on overt behavior  He said he could mold a child to be any sort of adult that he wanted, through conditions  B. F. Skinner also focused on overt behavior  Little Albert – Conditioned a child to have a phobia of anything white and fluffy o They would put him on a blanket and present him with a bunny o When the bunny was brought out, a gong (that he disliked) would be sounded o He then associated anything white and fluffy with the fear that the gong instigated  People thought this was much to limiting because it ignored the aspect of cognitive learning, this lead to this introduction of the cognitive perspective  Psychotropic Medications  1950s – something happened to give us a renewed interest in the physiological aspects  Many schizophrenic patients were roomed together, and there was an outbreak of flu o The patients were given medication with antihistamines, which calmed those patients  This showed that drugs could play a very important role in helping patients with their treatments  Half of psychiatric treatments were no longer in mental hospitals  Lead to the study of psychopharmacology – treating mental illnesses with drugs  Psychiatrists are the only people who can prescribe medications for illnesses because they are trained as medical doctors  Psychologists can also work with people with mental disorders  Can had a PhD (doctor in philosophy), a PsyD (doctor in psychology), EdD (doctor in education)  Counselors and social workers can also help treat people (Masters degree and a license)  Will be watching a movie that gives pictures to go along with this history


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