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Please be aware that this is a student-generated wiki designed for review for my students' AP exams. Come in, look around, and enjoy yourself...just be aware of the nature of this wiki. Even though most everything is correct, I advise caution before citing this as an authoritative source.

Psychological Disorders

  • People are fascinated by the exceptional, the unusual, and the abnormal (Myers 619)
  • A reason for our curiosity in regards to the disturbed is that so many of us have felt the bewilderment and pain of a psychological disorder
  • Every year, approximately 2.1 million people are admitted as impatients to U.S. mental hospitals and psychiatric units (Bureau of the Census, 2002)
  • Some 2.4 million others - troubled, not disabled - seek help as outpatients from mental health organizations and clinics
  • Even more - 1 in 5 in both America and Australia, according to government reports - are judged to need such help in any given year, as have twice that many at some time in their lives (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1999; Surgeon General, 1999)
  • No known culture is free of depression or schizophrenia (Castillo, 1997; Draguns, 1990a, b, 19997)
  • Some 450 million people worldwide suffer psychological disorders, according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2001)
  • The WHO also reports that, worldwide, mental disorders have accounted for 15.4 percent of the years of life lost due to death or disability - scoring slightly below cardiovascular conditions and slightly above cancer (Murray & Lopez, 1996)
  • As members of the human family, few of us go through life unacquainted with the reality of psychological disturbance (Myers 619)
Psychological Disorders
  • A "harmful dysfunction" in which behavior is judged to be atypical, disturbing, maladaptive, and unjustifiable.
  • "They label behavior as harmful and dysfunctional when they judge it to be atypical, disturbing, maladaptive, and unjustifiable" (Myers 620).
disturbing - varies with time and culture. An example of this now is someone who ingest their own hair, that in our culture would be disturbing.
  • To be considered disordered, an atypical behavior must also be one that other people find disturbing (Myers 620).
  • Both of the ones listed above are more likely to be considered disordered when judged harmful.(Myers)
    • maladaptive - not providing appropriate or adequate adjustment to the environment or situation.
      • the behaviors must be distressing or disabling to put one at greatly increased risk of death. (Myers)
  • unjustifiable - not always proven to be right because at times there is a good reason to it.
  • Ancient causes:
    • specific positions or movements of the sun or moon
    • evil spirits (Myers)
    • Ancient Treatments:
      • exorcism, beaten, burned, castrated, mutilated, caged, pulling teeth, transfusion of animal [[#|blood]] into humans. (Myers).
      • Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) was the one who insisted that madness was not the works of possession but a sickness of the mind caused by severe stresses and inhumane conditions (Myers).
      • Some of these treatments were actually useful. For example, a castrated serial rapist would no longer have the desire to rape due to the lowered production of testosterone.

Medical Model-
  • concept that diseases have physical causes, can be diagnosed, treated, and in most cases cured. (Myers) The medical assumes that mental illnesses can be diagnosed by their customs and cured through [[#|therapy]] (this may also include treatment in a psychiatric hospital) (Myers)
"Mental illness are diagnosable disorders of the brain (white house fact sheet 1999)
-Pinel was one of the first reformers to advocate this position and call for providing more humane living conditions for the mentally ill. (Myers)
-When it was discovered the syphilis infects the brain and distorts the mind scientists began to focus more on the physical causes for disorders and treatments that would cure them.
ex: two of the most troubling, depression and schizophrenia, are often treated medically (Myers).

The Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective
  • Today's psychologists contend that all behavior, whether called normal or disordered, arises from the interaction of nature(genetic and physiological factors) and nurture (past and present experiences). To presume that a person is "mentally ill" attributes the condition sole to an internal problem-- to a "sickness" that must be found and cured. (Meyers 621)
  • Maybe there is no deep, internal problem. Maybe instead there is a growth blocking difficulty in the person's environment, in the person's current interpretations of events, or in the person's bad habits and poor social skills. (Meyers 621)

Classifying Psychological Disorders
  • DSM-IV (2000)- The America Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Metal Disorders (the fourth edition), a widely used system [[#|form]] classifying psychological disorders. (Myers). In 2013, the DSM-V was published. This new fifth edition is now used in place of the DSM-IV.
    • Groups 400 psychological disorders into 17 main categories. Diagnostic classification is intended to describe a disorder, predict its future course, imply the appropriate treatment, and stimulate research into its causes.
    • Disorders are classified by being disorganize, delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions.
      • John Ashberry, commenting on he work drawn by people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, wrote that, " The lure of the work is strong, but so is the terror of the unanswerable riddles it proposes." (Myers 647)
  • Major psychological disorders such as depression and schizophrenia are universal; others, such as [[#|anorexia nervosa]] and bulimia, are culture bound, these disorders occur mostly in Western Cultures. The culture bound disorders may share an underlying dynamic, such as anxiety, yet differ in their symptoms manifesting from different or particular cultures. (Myers)
  • Diagnostic labels facilitate mental [[#|health]] professionals' communications and research, and most [[#|health insurances]] policies in North America require DSM-V diagnosis before they will pay for therapy. (Myers)
  • Neurotic Disorder- a [[#|psychological disorder]] that is usually distressing but that allows one to think rationally and function socially; [[#|term]] is used mainly in contrast to psychotic disorders.(Myers)
    • Freud saw the neurotic disorders as ways of dealing with anxiety and unconscious conflict (Myers). And according to his psychoanalytic theory, these disorders might as well stem from the ego's defense mechanism which produces difficulties in one's life (Wikipedia )
    • Carl Jung saw neurosis as typically a product of existential crisis, when patients have "inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life" Wikipedia
  • Psychotic Disorder- a psychological disorder in which a person loses contact with reality, experiencing irrational ideas and distorted perceptions.
    • an example of a psychotic disorder would be schizophrenia; These people hear voices, and may be paranoid.
  • Anxiety disorders- psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety. (Myers)
    • To reduce anxiety, patients are often prescribed the drug valium. Valium reduces anxiety by controlling agitation and is a long acting drug often taken in the form of a capsule.
    • Another drug that is prescribed to patients to reduce anxiety is Prozac. Prozac, however deals with more than just anxiety as it also aids patients with disorders that affect their lives negatively.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder- an anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal (Myers).
    • two thirds of people who suffer from generalized anxiety are women. these women are constantly tense, worried that bad things will occur, agitated,and jittery. they also suffer from muscular tension and sleeplessness.
    • those who suffer from generalized anxiety release tension and apprehension though fidgeting, perspiration, trembling, furrowed eyebrows, and also twitching eyebrows. but the worst characteristics is when a person cant identify and so they cant deal with or avoid its causes. this would be called or refered to as "Free-floating" (Myers 627).
  • Panic disorder- an anxiety disorder marked by a minutes-long episode of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations. (Myers). May be misperceived as a heart attack because of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or dizziness (Myers).
    • people develop panic disorders because they fear the panic attacks, themselves, and try to avoid them (Myers 627).
    • 1 in 75 people suffer from this disorder usually escape into a minutes-long episode of fear that something bad is going to happen to them.
    • Diagnostic labels facilitate mental health professionals' communications and research and most health insurance policies in north America requires the DSM-V (Myers)
    • The guidelines work by asking clinicians a series of objective questions about observable behaviors, such as, "Is the person afraid to leave home?" In one study, 16 psychologists used the structured-interview procedure to diagnose 75 psychiatric patients suffering from 1) depression, 2) generalized anxiety, or 3) some other disorder (Riskind & others, 1987). Another psychologist viewed a videotape of each interview and offered a second opinion. For 83% of the patients, the two opinions agreed (Myers 623).
A Medical Perspective
  • physical causes
  • can be diagnosed, treated, and in most cases, cured (Myers)
  • A mental illness(also called psyshopathology) needs to be diagnosed on the basis of its symptoms and cured through therapy, thus being called Medical Model.(Myers)
  • The medical perspective has gained credibility from recent discoveries. (Myers)
Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective- assumes that biological, sociological, and psychological factors combine and interact to produce psychological disorders. (Myers) Shows mind and body are inseparable. (Myers) Example: stress and negative emotions contribute to physical illness, and physical abnormalties contribute experiences of pain (Myers).
  • Psychologists contend that all of our behaviors are come from the interaction of nature and nurture
  • Madness was not demon possession but a sickness of the mind caused by severe stresses (Pinel)

According to the social [[#|cognitive]] perspective those individuals who have negative thoughts about themselves tend to create negative moods for themselves (Meyer).
  • assume that disorders are influenced by genetic predisposition, physiological states, psychological dynamis, and social circumstances (Myers)


In the DSM-V depression is listed as a disorder that could occur after a triggering event or if the patient has Major depressive disorder it could have happen through absolutely no particular event,
According to the DSM-V the patient has depression if they acquire at least 5 symptoms
  1. depressed mood during the day, particularly in the morning
  2. fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  3. feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  4. impaired concentration
  5. not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  6. Loss of interest in activities that usually brought joy or pleasure
  7. Several continuous thoughts of death or suicide
  8. significant weight loss or weight gain
  9. Isolation. Tend to want to purposely stay away from others.

  • Genes act by directing biochemical events that, down the line, influence behavior. (Myers)
  • Less of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine are found in a depressed brain
  • Serotonin which regulates emotions is less abundant; this can be fixed through drug treatment with Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil or even something as simple as daily regularly scheduled exercise.
  • The hippocampus, a memory processing center linked with the brain's emotional circuitry, is vulnerable to stress-related damage. By boosting serotonin, which stimulates hippocampus neuron growth, antidepressant drugs promote recovery from depression (Jacob & others, 2000).
  • Delusions and hallucinations are also symptoms of a depressed brain.
  • Neurological signs of depression have been spotted by researchers. The brains of depressed people have been found to be less active, indicating a slowed-down state. The left frontal lobe (active during positive emotions) is likely to be inactive when depressed.
  • MRI scans have shown the frontal lobes to be 7 percent smaller in severely depressed patients (Coffey & others, 1993).
  • The risk of depression and bipolar disorder increases if you have a depressed parent or sibling (Sullivan & others, 2000).

Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • Dissociative disorder-involve a separation of conscious awareness from one's previous memories, thoughts, and feelings. (Myers)
    • or sudden loss of memory or change in identity
  • Psychogenic amnesia- when a person cannot remember thing and no psychological basis for the disruption in memory can be identified (Barrons)
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) - rare disassociate disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities (Myers)
  • An alternative identity can occur when a person can no longer deal with something, so a different identity is developed to handle the situation and protect the person.
  • ex-now and then many people may have a sense of being unreal, of being separated from there body, of watching themselves as if in a movie, or when you get in a car and driving to some unintended location while your mind was preoccupied.(Myers)
  • Others view dissociative disorders as post traumatic disorders - a natural, protective response to 'histories of childhood trauma' (Putnam)
  • role playing: suggestions and leading by therapists
    • Nick Spanos said the dissociation is essentially role playing (Myers)
    • psychological disorders characterized by inflexible and enduing behavior patterns that impair social functioning. (Myers)
      • Usually without anxiety, depression, or allusions (Myers).
    • Anti social personality disorder- a personality disorder in which the person exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even towards friends and family members.(Myers)
      • as with mood disorders and schizophrenia, the antisocial personality disorder is woven of both biological and psychological strands. (Myers)
      • People with anti social personality disorder show little regret to violating others rights (Myers)
      • Criminals tend to have anti social personality disorder.
    • Narcissistic personality disorder- involves seeing oneself as the center of the universe (Barrons)
    • People who are typically sociopaths or psychopaths statistically tend to be males in general and usually crops up at the age of 15 when they may display things like lying, stealing, fighting, or showing unrestrained sexual behaviors (Myers).
    • Avoidant Personality Disorder is a fearful sensitivity to rejection.
    • Murderous Minds: PET scans illustrate reduced activation in a murder's frontal cortex, a brain area that helps brake impulsive, aggressive behavior. (From Raine, 1999.)
    • Danish male babies whose backgrounds were marked both by obstetrical complications were twice as likely to become criminal offenders by ages of 20-22 (Myers)
    • It often strikes after a steady routine of daily activities and sleep is disrupted. (Myers)

Literally translated, schizophrenia means "split mind". It refers not to a multiple-personality split but rather to a split from reality that shows itself in disorganized thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions. (Myers)

  • Along with depression, schizophrenia is the most troubling psychological disorder, which is treated medically, traumatic stress plays a role in these two disorders.
  • Subtypes of Schizophrenia
  • dopamine hypothesis: suggests schizophrenics have excess dopamine receptors in brain, causing positive symptoms at times (Talamo 177)
    • symptoms can be positive or negative , negative symptoms include, "..toneless voices, expressionless faces, mute.." positive symptoms include "hallucinations, disorganized and deluded in their talk, inappropriate laughter, tears, rage" (Myers 648).
    • Paranoid - Preoccupation with delusions or hallucinations, often with themes of persecution or grandiosity. [Myers]
    • Disorganized - Disorganized speech or behavior, or flat or inappropriate emotion. [Myers]
    • Catatonic - Immobility, extreme negativism, and/or parrot-like repeating of another's speech or movements. [Myers]
    • Undifferentiated- many and varied symptoms. (myers)
    • Residual- Withdrawal, after hallucinations, and delusions have disappeared (Myers)
  • Delusions - false beliefs, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders (Myers)
    • Those with paranoid tendencies are particularly prone to delusions of persecution (Myers).
  • Hallucinations - sensory experiences without sensory stimulation are usually auditory. (Myers)
  • People with schizophrenia tend to have an enlarged fluid filled cranial cavity in their brain. (Meyer)
  • A person with schizophrenia may percieve things that are not there, such as hallucinations. Sometimes they might see, smell, taste, or feel things that are not there, but these instances occur less often (Myers)
  • For example a person with schizophrenia might percieve that the government is out to get them and that everyone they meet is in coherence with the government.
  • Modern brain scanning techniques reveal that many people with chronic schizophrenia have abnormal brain activity (Myers).
  • People with schizophrenia have difficulty filtering sensory input and focusing attention because their thalmus is smaller than one normal area (Myers).
  • Low birth weight and birth complications such as oxygen deprivation are known risk factors for schizophrenia (Myers).
  • Schizophrenia is a set of disorders that emerge either gradually from a chronic history of social inadequacy or suddenly in reaction to stress. (Myers)
  • It is rarely a one-time episode. (Myers)
  • Schizophrenia is a result of biological, psychological, and social factors. (Bio-Psycho-Social) Vulnerability to schizophrenia may be created before birth and environmental factors further increase the risk and onset of schizophrenia.
  • James Rotton and I.W.Kelly examined the data form studies if full moon trigger "madness" in some people commit a crime, homicides, or metal illness(psychologically) the conclusion had no evidence of "moon madness." (Myers)
  • People with this disease usually display innapropriate actions and may tend to say the wrong thing. They usually suffer with confusing emotions since their brain is wired differently and their dopamine levels are unbalanced it is harder for them to form connections with the people around them.
  • Schizophrenia patients with positive symptoms may experience hallucinations, are often disorganized and deluded in their talk, and may exhibit inappropriate laughter, tears, or rage. Those with negative symptoms have toneless voices, expressionless faces, or mute and rigid bodies. Thus positive symptoms are the presence of inappropriate behaviors, and negative symptoms are the absence of appropriate behaviors (Myers 648).
    • Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey collects the brains of young adults that suffered from disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He makes tissue samples available to researchers worldwide. (Myers 647)
Anxiety Disorders
-The psychoanalytic perspective viewed [[#|anxiety disorders]] as the discharging of repressed impulses. The learning perspective sees anxiety disorders as a product of fear conditioning, stimulus generalization, reinforcement and observational learning.
  • Fear conditioning is generally associated with causing anxiety. It usually occurs when bad events happen unpredictably and unccontrollably. (Meyers 629).

What causes anxiety?
although researchers have not yet found the "root of the problem" it is believed that Anxiety can be triggered by environmental stress and changes in the brain

studies show that severe long lasting stress can cause changes in the way nerve cells transmit information
dissorders could also be inherated

  • Anxiety disorders- psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety. (Myers)
  • Anxiety disorders are usually treated with barbiturates and benzodiazepines . These drugs act by depressing the activity of the central nervous system making people feel more relaxed. (Barrons)
  • Generalized Anxiety disorder- an anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal. (Myers)
    • one of the worst characteristics of generalized anxiety disorder is that the person cannot identify, and therefore cannot deal with or avoid, its cause. (Myers)
    • women tend to suffer from this disorder more than men do
    • Symptoms: people are usually tense and jittery agitated, and hardly get any sleep (Myers).
  • Panic disorder- an anxiety disorder marked by a minute long episode of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations. (Myers)
    • Agoraphobia:the fear of situations when escaping might be difficult or help is unavailable when one expriences a panic strike
    • Panic disorders strike suddenly, wreak havoc and then just disappear
    • example: due to the fact that nicotine is a stimulant, daily smokers are at increased risk of a first panic attack.
    • For the 1 person in 75 who suffers from this disorder, anxiety suddenly escalates into a terrifying panic attack-a minute-long episode of intense fear that something horrible is about to happen to them. (Meyers 627)
  • Phobias- an anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation. (myers) Phobias focus anxiety on a specific object, activity, or situation.
  • ex: some people suffer from irrational fears of specific animals or insects, or of heights, or blood, or tunnels. (myers)
    • common psychological disorder that people accept and live with (Myers)
    • Ex: May people have xenophobia which is the fear of immigrants especially those that are a threat to them and their culture. Like Xenophobia, most phobias stem from our insecurities.
    • Specific phobias are incapacitating since it disrupts daily routines, while social phobia will make an anxious person avoid potentially embarrassing social situations because of their fear of being watched by others.
    • Examples of common phobias: Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), and Acrophobia (fear of heights).
    • Reinforcement: Avoiding phobias reinforces the fear. For example, avoiding/escaping the feared situation, reduces anxiety, therefore reinforcing the phobic behavior.(Myers)
    • Stimulus Generalization: When a person generalizes a fear to situations/objects which seem similar.
      • Example: Being afraid of heights after a fall, might be fearful of airplanes without ever flying in one.(Myers)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD)- an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions). (Myers) Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors cross the fine line between normality and disorder when they become so persistent that they interfere with the way we live or when they cause distress (Myers 628).
    • common obsessions in children & adolescents are germs, dirt, toxins, and symmetry (Myers)
    • Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors cross the fine line between noramilty and disorder when they become so persistant that they interfere with the way we live or when they cause distress. (Meyers 628)
    • Older people are less often plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder than teens and young adults due to older adults being less apprehensive
    • Crosses the fine line between normality and disorder when they become persistent enough to interfere with the way we live or cause stress (Myers).
    • Ex: Billionaire Howard Hughes compulsively dictated the same phrases over and over again. (Meyers 639)
    • There is a teacher at my middle school who has OCD. All of the desks in his classroom must be aligned perfectly. If they are not, he moves them until they are all straight
    • Some OCD cases pertain to everything being a specific shape, way, or order, while others have to do with an action having to be repeated a certain set number of times. If the action isn't fulfilled the set number of times, the person will feel uncomfortable until the action is done.
  • Learning Perspective- bad events happen unpredictably and uncontrollably causes anxiety to develop and make people hyperattentive due to the traumatic event (Conditioning)
  • Observational Learning: we learn to fear thing be seeing other fear them, like money transmit the fear of snakes to their offspring.
  • Biological Perspective- The reason why we learn some fears readily and are more vulnerable to them than to other fears because of the biological preparation done by our ancestors that passed down to the descendants.
  • Ex. of Phobias believed to stem from our ancestors are fears of spider, snakes, and larger animals, tight spaces, heights, and storms and darkness. This prospective suggests that we developed these fears because it was these fears that kept our ancestors alive.
    • This had to do with the theory of natural selection and how our ancestors adapted to the dangers around them in order to survive.Those learned fears and adaptations were passed down to us throughout the years.
    • Perhaps due to the fact that nicotine is a stimulant, daily smokers have higher risk of heart failure and panic attack (Myers)

Mood Disorders
-Research shows that depression may be influenced by the social-cognitive perspective of the cycle of depression, in light of cyclic self-defeating beliefs, learned helplessness, negative attributions, and aversive experiences. (Myers)
-The emotional extremes of mood disorders come in two principle forms: Major Depressive disorder and bipolar disorder
-Most college students experience symptoms of depression (Myers 633).
-feeling dissatisfied with your life, discouraged about the future, isolated from other (Myers 633).
-may lack energy, unable to concentrate ,eat/sleep normally, wonder if better off dead (Myers 633).
  • Dysthymic Disorder-a down-in-the dumps mood that fills most of the day, nearly every day, for two years or more. (Meyers 634) People with dysthymic disorder tend to experience chronic low self-esteem, sleep very little, eat very little or too much, and have difficulty making decisions (Myers).
  • Mood disorder- characterized by emotional extremes (Myers)
  • Depressed people are inactive and feel unmotivated.(Myers)
  • depression is a widespread
  • may behavioral and cognitive changes
  • Ex. - Major Depressive Disorder, Manic Episode, and Bipolar Disorder
  • Manic episode- a symptom of bipolar disorder that is marked with hyperactivity, extreme optimisim, a feeling of euphoria and heightened sexual promiscuity .
  • ** PET scans (in patients suffering from bipolar disorder) show the brain energy consumption rises and falls with the patients emotional switches (Myers 639).
    • If depression is living in slow motion, mania is fast forward.
    • Depression can, in the worst case, lead someone to commit or attempt to commit suicide. It is important to receive the necessary help before the symptoms worsen. Many adolescents suffer from depression.
  • Nearly half the time depressed people exhibits symptoms of another disorder such as anxiety or drug or alcohol abuse.

Bipolar Disorder
  • Manic Episode- A mood disorder marked by a hyperactive, wildly optimistic state (Myers)
  • Bipolar Disorder- A mood disorder where the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania, formerly called manic-depressive disorder. (Myers)
  • During the manic phase, the person is typically over talkative, overactive, elated, easily irritated, has little need for sleep, and shows fewer sexual inhibitions (Myers).
  • Mania's maladaptive symptoms include grandiose optimism and self-esteem, which may cause reckless investments, spending sprees, and unsafe sex (Myers).
  • Bipolar disorder is characterized by the elated mood returning to normal or plunging into a depression after a short period of time (Myers).
  • Though as maladaptive as major depression, bipolar disorder is much less common, occurring in about 1% of the population, and afflicts as many men as women. (Myers)
  • Sometimes, Sophia experiences periods of major depression. One moment Sophia is the most happiest person on earth. She smiles brightly and chats with everyone around her. She seems to be very active and very talkative. However, there are also days where she goes without closing her eyes and her thoughts are not stable. These are all symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Explaining Mood Disorders
  • Many behavioral and cognitive changes accompany depression. (Myers)
    • Nearly half the time depressed people exhibit symptoms of another disorder, such as anxiety or drug or alcohol abuse (Myers)
  • Depression is widespread (Myers)
  • Depression is like a disease, in terms of who it affects.
  • Depressed people are sensitive to negative happenings, expect negative outcomes, and are more likely to recall negative information. (Myers)
  • negative thoughts feed negative moods (myers)
  • Depressed people tend to explain bad events in terms that are stable, global, and internal. (Myers)
  • Martin Seligman (1991, 1995) argues that depression is common among young Westerners because of epidemic hopeless stemming from the rise of individualism and the decline of commitment to religion and family. (Myers)
  • Women are twice as vulnerable as men to major depression. In fact, women are more vulnerable to passive disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and inhibited sexual desire (Myers).
  • The disorders that men suffer from are usually more active, such as alcohol abuse, antisocial conduct, and a lack of impulse control (Myers).
  • Most major depressive episodes self-terminate (Myers)
  • Stressful events related to work, marriage, and close relationships often precede depression (Myers)
  • With each new generation, the rate of depression is increasing
    • Young adults in North America are three times as likely as their grandparents to report having suffered depression.
  • The Biological Perspective which involves genetic predispositions, biochemical imbalance, melancholy mood, and negative thoughts. (Myers)
    • Mood disorders do in fact run in families
    • If an identical twin is diagnosed with depression, the chances that the other twin also is depressed is 1 in 2
    • Adopted people who suffer a mood disorder often have close biological relatives who suffer mood disorders, become dependent on alcohol, or commit suicide (Meyers 637).
  • The Social Cognitive shows recent research reveals how self-defeating beliefs feed the vicious cycle. (Myers)
    • Self-defeating beliefs may arise from learned helplessness.
    • The mind's negative thoughts somehow influence biochemical events that in a vicious cycle amplify depressing thoughts (Meyers 640).

Somatoform Disorders
  • psychological disorders characterized by physical symptoms without any physical causes (Talamo)
  • conversion disorder- psychological problem manifests itself as a deficit in physiological function (Talamo)
    • Freud built on this saying physiological manifestation of disorder was hysteria, but it is now rarely referred to as that (Talamo 176)
  • hypochondriasis- person is irrationally concerned with having serious disease (Talamo)
    • factitious disorder- person inflicts injury or ingests toxins in order to produce symptoms (Talamo)
    • Hypochondriasis patients have fears that are uncontrollable and this often results in a domino effect as the this can lead to irrational behaviors that harm the body further.

Behavior Disorder
  • Autism is characterized by... (Talamo 179)
    • deficit in social interaction
    • impaired communication
    • restrictive and repetitive behaviors or interests

  • Autism is not necessarily just one type of disorder. There is the Autism Spectrum, which refers to the degree of Autism and individual may have. An individual with severe Autism, for example, will have a lot of trouble functioning by himself/herself and will probably need lifelong care. However, a person who is only slightly autistic may be able to function almost normally, with a limited degree of problems in areas such as social function, but can still be a functional member of society.

Theories of abnormal behavior

Psychoanalytic Perspective
  • Views mental disorders as a conflict among the id, ego, and superego

Cognitive Perspective
  • Maldaptive thought leads to misperceptions and misinterpretations of events and social interactions
  • Example; unrealistically negative thoughts can lead to depression.
  • Self-defeating beliefs feed a vicious cycle of depression (Myers, 640)
    • Negative assumptions about themselves and situations make them magnify bad experiences and not recognize the good ones (Myers, 640)

Behavioral Perspective
  • Stresses that abnormal behavior is learned
  • Believe that the maladaptive behavior was reinforced and rewarded
  • Feels the way to treat psychological disorders is through behavioral therapy and operant condition.

Biological Perspective
  • Disorders such as depression is a whole-body disorder; it involves genetic predispositions, biochemical imbalances, melancholy mood, and negative thoughts. (Myers)
  • Mood disorders run in families (biological). (Myers)
  • Argues that many psychological disorders are caused by hormonal or neurotransmitter, difference in brain structure, and inherited predispositions.

The U.S. National Institute off Mental Health through the 1980s gathered a representative sample of about 20,000 individuals from across the U.S. in order to determine how many people were suffering from various types of psychological disorders. They gathered data on what they found, and then generalized that data to the rest of the U.S. population.
  • The NIMH concluded that 1 out of 6 individuals suffers from a diagnosable psychological disorder.
    • Many other findings also supported this 1/6 proportion.
      • The Australian and Britain governments and agencies involved in calculating such statistics have also found rates corresponding with ore closely to 1/6.
    • To a certain extent it is believed that many individuals try to mask their symptoms.
    • There is also a high association between being poor and having a psychological disorder. It is important not to attribute causation. Researchers suggest a two way relation.
      • The mental stress and psychical hardships associated with not having money may predispose individuals to problems, such as depression and the uncontrolled use of alcohol.
      • Those who have more debilitating disorders, such as schizophrenia, may be rendered unable to work, and if no one takes care them they may fall into poverty.
    • In a random sample of those that had a psychological disorder taken by researchers, it was found that more than 75 percent of these individuals had an onset of their symptoms prior to their 24th birthday. This leads to suggest that many individuals are afflicted with psychological disorders at an earlier point in life. [1]
    • Among Americans who have ever experienced a psychological disorder, the three most common were phobic disorder; alcohol abuse or dependence; and mood disorder. (Myers)
    • Alcohol abuse or dependence is more prevalent in Hispanics than in White and Blacks, while it is also more common in men than in women. Generalized Anxiety afflicts blacks to a higher degree and likewise it afflicts females to a higher degree but it is still a very small population of people, (Total being 3.8%)
    • Also, Phobias are the highest existing psychological disorders. Blacks are the highest in their percentage of phobias for ethnicity and then hispanics are next which are followed by whites. Women tend to contract it more than men do and the total is 14.3%.
  • Schizophrenia
  • A psychotic disorder in which a person loses contact with reality experiencing grossly irrational ideas or distorted chronic schizophrenia
  • Nearly 1 in 100 people develop this psychotic disorder.
  • It affects bothmales and female about equally though men tend to get it early in life and more seveRly.
  • Some sympotms include disorganized thinking, disturbed perceptions,and inappropriate emotions and actions.
  • Delsuions - false beliefs often of perception or grandeur.
There are subtypes of Schizophernia
Paraniod,Disorganimation, catatonic, undifferentiated, residual. (647-648).
  1. ^ Myers, David G. Myers' Psychology for AP. Seventh ed. New York, NY: Worth, 2004. Print.