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Gen Psych, week 7 notes

by: Marie Fong

Gen Psych, week 7 notes PSYC 1001 - General Psychology

Marie Fong
University of Memphis
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These notes were taken on 03/15 and cover psychological disorders. The next exam will be 03/29, which is one week from this Tuesday.
General Psychology
Class Notes
Psychology, psychological disorders
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marie Fong on Sunday March 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 1001 - General Psychology at University of Memphis taught by in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Memphis.

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Date Created: 03/20/16
Normality –What’s Normal? •Psychopathology: scientific study of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders –Also refers to abnormal or maladaptive behavior Defining (Ab)normality •Psychopathology is characterized by: –Subjective Discomfort: private feelings of discomfort, unhappiness, or emotional distress •Symptom, but not necessary •Some pathologies might have lack of discomfort –Statistical Abnormality •Abnormality defined by having extreme scores on some dimension, such as intelligence, anxiety, or depression •Tells us nothing about the meaning of the deviations or where to draw the line between normal and abnormal –Social Nonconformity: disobeying societal standards for normal conduct •Usually leads to destructive or self-destructive behavior •Use caution in separating unhealthy nonconformity from creative or eccentric lifestyles •Strictly following social norms is not necessarily healthy Situational Context •Social situation, behavioral setting, or general circumstances in which behavior takes place •Is it normal to walk around strangers naked? If you are in a locker room and in the shower area, yes! Cultural Relativity •Judgments are made relative to the values of one’s culture •All cultures classify failure to communication and consistent unpredictability as abnormal Core features of Disordered Behavior 1. Maladaptive Behavior: behavior that makes it difficult to function, to adapt to the environment, and to meet everyday demands 2. Loss of ability to control thoughts, behaviors, or feelings adequately Insanity: a legal term; refers to an inability to manage one’s affairs or to be unaware of the consequences of one’s actions •Those judged insane (by a court of law) are not held legally accountable for their actions •Can be involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital •Many movements today are trying to abolish the insanity plea and defense; desire to make everyone accountable for their actions Classifying Mental Disorders •Mental Disorder: significant impairment in psychological functioning •Psychotic Disorder: severe psychiatric disorder characterized by hallucinations and delusions, social withdrawal, and a move away from reality •Organic Mental Disorder: mental or emotional problem caused by brain pathology (i.e., brain injuries or diseases) •Somatoform Disorder: physical symptoms that mimic disease or injury (blindness, anesthesia) for which there is no identifiable physical cause •Dissociative Disorder: temporary amnesia, multiple personality, or depersonalization –like being in a dream world, feeling like a robot, feeling like you are outside of your body •Personality Disorder: deeply ingrained, unhealthy, maladaptive personality patterns •Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders: problems with sexual identity, deviant sexual behavior, or sexual adjustment •Substance Related Disorders: abuse or dependence on a behavior or mood- altering drug, like alcohol or cocaine –Person cannot stop using the substance and may suffer withdrawal symptoms if they do Cultural Maladies •Amok: Men in Malaysia, Laos, Philippines, and Polynesia –After a period of brooding, erupt in an outburst of violent, aggressive, or homicidal behavior randomly directed at people and objects. •Susto: Latin Americans, symptoms include insomnia, irritability, phobias, and an increase in sweating and heart rate. –Can result if someone is badly frightened by a black magic curse. In extreme cases, voodoo death (can literally scare someone to death). •Ghost sickness: American Indian tribes –Preoccupation with death and the deceased –symptoms of ghost sickness include bad dreams, weakness, loss of appetite, fainting, dizziness, fear, anxiety, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, confusion, feelings of futility, and a sense of suffocation. •Koro: in south and east Asia, –a man may experience sudden and intense anxiety that his penis (or, in females, the vulva and nipples) will recede into the body. •Zar: North African and Middle Eastern societies, –Occurs when spirits possess an individual. –Marked by shouting, laughing, hitting the head against a wall, singing, or weeping. •Dhat: Indian society –Fear of the loss of semen during nocturnal emissions. –Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. Classifying Mental Disorders: DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders) –First published in 1952 –Updated •Reflects updated research and changing attitudes –Term Neurosis removed –Some disorders removed –Some disorders added General Risk Factors Contributing to Mental Illness •Social Conditions: –Poverty, stressful living conditions, homelessness, overcrowding •Family Factors: –Parents who are immature, mentally ill, abusive, or criminal –Severe marital or relationship problems –Poor child discipline –Disordered family communication patterns General Risk Factors Contributing to Mental Illness •Psychological Factors : –Low intelligence, stress, learning disorders •Biological Factors: –Genetic defects or inherited vulnerabilities –Poor prenatal care –Low birth weight –Chronic physical illness or disability –Exposure to toxins or drugs –Head injuries Psychotic Disorders •Most dramatic and serious of all disorders •Loss of contact with reality marked by hallucinations, delusions, disturbed thoughts and emotions, and personality disorganization Psychotic Disorders: The Nature of Psychosis •Delusions: false beliefs that individuals insist are true, regardless of overwhelming evidence against them –Common Types: depressive, somatic, grandeur, influence, persecution, reference •Hallucinations: imaginary sensations, such as seeing, hearing, or smelling things that do not exist in the real world •Most common psychotic hallucination is hearing voices •May be tactile (e.g., things crawling on skin) •Note that olfactory hallucinations sometimes occur with seizure disorder (epilepsy) •Severely disturbed emotions •Flat Affect: lack of emotional responsiveness •Disturbed Verbal Communication: garbled and chaotic speech; word salad •Personality Disintegration: uncoordinated thoughts, actions, and emotions of a psychotic individual Psychotic Disorders: Organic Psychosis •Psychosis caused by brain injury or disease EX: Toxic chemical poisoning (lead, mercury) •Dementia: serious mental impairment in old age –Caused by brain deterioration •Circulatory problems, repeated strokes, general brain shrinkage or atrophy –Results in disturbances in memory, reasoning, judgment, impulse control, and personality –Alzheimer’s Disease is most common form Delusional Disorders •A psychosis marked by presence of deeply held false beliefs (delusions) •Common forms: Erotomanic, Grandiose, Jealous, Persecution, Somantic Delusional Disorders •Paranoid Psychosis: most common delusional disorder –Sufferers believe they are being cheated, spied on, followed, poisoned, harassed, or plotted against. –Intensely suspicious –Difficult to treat •Hard to convince person s/he needs help •Schizophrenia: psychosis characterized by hallucinations, delusions, apathy, thinking abnormalities, and “split” between thoughts and emotions –Emotions may become blunted or very inappropriate –Withdrawal from contact with others –Loss of interest in external activities –Breakdown of personal habits –-Inability to deal with daily events •Does NOTrefer to having split or multiple personalities Schizophrenia Subtypes: Disorganized Schizophrenia •Near complete personality disintegration •Incoherence, grossly disorganized behavior, bizarre thinking, and flat or grossly inappropriate emotions •Typically develops in adolescence or young adulthood •Improvement is limited •Impairment is extreme Schizophrenia Subtypes: Catatonic Schizophrenia •Marked by stupor where victim may hold same position for hours or days •Period of rigidity resemble tendency to “freeze” at times of emergency or panic •Mute and unresponsive •may sometimes show agitated, purposeless behavior Schizophrenia Subtypes: Paranoid Schizophrenia •Preoccupation with delusions of persecution •Also involves hallucinations that are related to a single theme, especially grandeur or persecution •Most common Schizophrenia Subtypes: Undifferentiated •Any type of schizophrenia that does not have paranoid, catatonic, or disorganized features or symptoms Causes of Schizophrenia •Environment –Exposure to influenza or rubella virus during pregnancy –Malnutrition during pregnancy –Complications during birth –Early Psychological Trauma –Disturbed Family Environment •Stressful relationships •Negative emotions –Deviant Communication Patterns •Heredity –Some individuals inherit a potential for developing schizophrenia –Makes them more vulnerable to the disorder –Evidence from twin studies •Brain Chemistry –Abuse of some drugs produces symptoms similar to schizophrenia –Dopamine overactivity in brain may be related to schizophrenia –Glutamate may also be related to schizophrenia Schizophrenic Brain •Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: –Computer enhanced X-ray of brain or body –CT scans show schizophrenic brains as having wider surface fissures •Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan: –Computer enhanced three-dimensional image of brain or body –based on magnetic field –MRIs show schizophrenic brains as having enlarged ventricles suggesting that surrounding brain tissue has withered •Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan: –Computer-generated color image of brain activity; radioactive sugar solution is injected into the brain. –Activity is abnormally low in frontal lobes of schizophrenics Schizophrenia: Stress -Vulnerability Hypothesis •Psychotic disorders result from combination of environmental stress and inherited susceptibility Major Mood Disorders •Characterized by emotional extremes •Lasting extremes of mood or emotion, sometimes with psychotic features (hallucinations, delusions) –A mood disorder where the person has suffered one or more intense episodes of depression –Everything looks bleak and hopeless –Suffering is intense •Bipolar Disorders –Bipolar I Disorder •Extreme mania and deep depression •Mania –Excited, hyperactive, energetic, loud, grandiose behavior –Bipolar II Disorder •Person is mainly sad but has one or more hypomanic episodes (mild mania) Causes of Mood Disorders •Biological Explanations –Brain chemicals and transmitters •Psychological Explanations –Psychoanalytic theory: Repressed anger is displaced and turned inward as self- blame and self-hate –Behavioral: Learned helplessness –Cognitive: Self-criticism; negative, self-defeating, distorted thoughts –Personality: Certain types are more vulnerable to stress and depression Gender and Depression –Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression –Due to social conflicts (e.g., work and parenting) –Other factors: •Marital strife, sexual and physical abuse, poverty Biology and Depression –If one identical twin is depressed, there is a 67% chance the other will suffer depression –19% for fraternal twins •Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) –Depression that only occurs during fall and winter. •More common in Northern latitudes •May be related to reduced exposure to sunlight •Phototherapy: Extended exposure to bright light to treat SAD Anxiety Disorders •Panic Disorder (with Agoraphobia) –Panic attacks and sudden anxiety still occur, but with agoraphobia Anxiety Disorders: Agoraphobia •Agoraphobia (with Panic Disorder): –Intense, irrational fear that a panic attack will occur in a public place or in an unfamiliar situation –Intense fear of leaving the house or entering unfamiliar situations –can be very crippling –Literally means fear of open places or market (agora) •Agoraphobia (without Panic Disorder) –Fear that something extremely embarrassing will happen if they leave home or enter an unfamiliar situation Anxiety Disorders: Specific Phobias •Irrational, persistent fears, anxiety, and avoidance that focus on specific objects, activities, or situations •People with phobias realize that their fears are unreasonable and excessive, but they cannot control them •Usually disrupts daily life Anxiety Disorders: Social Phobia •Intense, irrational fear of being observed, evaluated, humiliated, or embarrassed by others in social situations (e.g., shyness, eating, or speaking in public) •May impair ability to work, attend school, or form social relationships Anxiety Disorders: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) •Extreme preoccupation with certain thoughts and compulsive performance of certain behaviors •May simply involve extreme orderliness or cleanliness •May make highly anxious person feel more secure •Obsession–Recurring images or thoughts that a person cannot prevent –Cause anxiety and extreme discomfort –Enter into consciousness against the person’s will –Most common: •Being dirty •Wondering if you performed an action (turned off the stove) •Committing immoral acts •Compulsion–Irrational acts that person feels compelled to repeat against his/her will –Help to control anxiety created by obsessions –Checkers and cleaners Anxiety Disorders: Stress Disorders •Occur when stresses outside range of normal human experience cause major emotional disturbance •Symptoms – Reliving traumatic event repeatedly, avoiding reminders of the event, and numbing of emotions •Acute Stress Disorder –Psychological disturbance lasting up to one month following stresses from a traumatic event •Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) –lasts more than one month after the traumatic event has occurred –may last for years –Typically associated with combat and violent crimes (rape, assault, etc.) Anxiety Disorders: Dissociative Disorders •Dissociative Amnesia –Inability to recall one’s name, address, or past •Dissociative Fugue –Sudden unplanned travel away from home and confusion about personal identity •Triggered by highly traumatic events •Forgetting identity may be a defense mechanism against intolerable anxiety Anxiety Disorders: Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) •Person has two or more distinct, separate identities or personality traits –EX: “Sybil” or “The Three Faces of Eve” –Often begins with horrific childhood experiences (e.g., abuse, molestation, etc.) –“Blackouts” or time lapses are common when another personality “takes over” –Therapy often makes use of hypnosis –Goal is to integrate and fuse the identities into a single balanced personality Anxiety Disorders: Somatoform Disorders •Hypochondriasis –Person is preoccupied with fears of having a serious illness or disease –Interpret normal sensations and bodily signs as proof that they have a terrible disease –No physical disorder can be found •Somatization Disorder –Person expresses anxieties through numerous physical complaints •Pain Disorder –Pain that has no identifiable organic, physical cause •Many doctors are consulted but no organic or physical causes are found •Munchausen Syndrome –A person fakes his or her own medical problems •Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy –Pattern in which a person fakes the medical problems of someone in his or her care •Due to pathological need to seek attention and sympathy from medical professionals •Conversion Disorder –Severe emotional conflicts are “converted” into physical symptoms or a physical disability –Caused by anxiety or emotional distress but not by physical causes –Often contradict known medical facts –Glove Anesthesia •Loss of sensitivity in areas of skin normally covered by a glove •Does not follow nervous system Causes of Anxiety Disorders •Psychodynamic –Anxiety caused by conflicts among id, ego, and superego –Forbidden id impulses for sex or aggression are trying to break into consciousness and thus influence behavior; –person fears doing something “crazy” or forbidden –Superego creates guilt in response to these impulses –Ego gets overwhelmed and uses defense mechanisms to cope •Humanistic –Unrealistic self-image conflicts with real self-image –Anxious individuals have unrealistic mental images of themselves •Existential –Unavoidable anguish that comes from knowing we are personally responsible for our lives –Anxiety reflects loss of meaning in one’s life •Behavioral –Anxiety symptoms and behaviors are learned, like everything else •Phobias often acquired through classical conditioning •Conditioned emotional responses that generalize to new situations •Maintained through avoidance learning –Anxiety reduction hypothesis •Immediate relief from anxiety is reinforcing; maintains avoidance behaviors •Cognitive View –When distorted thinking causes people to magnify ordinary threats and failures, leading to anxiety and distress Personality Disorders •Maladaptive personality traits •Typically begins in childhood or adolescence •Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) •Person lacks a conscience •Oftentimes called psychopaths or sociopaths •Typically emotionally shallow, impulsive, selfish, and manipulative toward others •Poorly socialized •Seem to be incapable of feeling guilt, shame, fear, loyalty, or love •Many are delinquents or criminals •Create a good first impression and are often charming; may cheat their way through life •Blind to signs of disgust in other people •Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)Possible Causes: –Childhood history of emotional deprivation, neglect, and physical abuse –Underarousal of the brain; suggests that they may be thrill seekers •Treatment –Very difficult to effectively treat –Person will lie, charm, and manipulate their way through therapy


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