Studying Psychological Disorders
Gender and Cultural Diversity
Identifying Abnormal Behavior Culture and Schizophrenia
Gender and Cultural Diversity
A Cultural Look at Disorders Other Disorders
Explaining Abnormality Dissociative Disorders
Classifying Abnormal Behaviors Personality Disorders
“Being Insane in Insane Places” Active Learning
Testing Your Knowledge of Abnormal
Gender and Cultural Diversity
Unreasonable Anxiety Gender, Culture, and Depression
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Understanding Mood Disorders
Causes of Mood Disorders
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Types of Schizophrenia
Causes of Schizophrenia
Chapter Summary/Lecture Organizer
I. STUDYING PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS
A. Identifying Abnormal Behavior
• Abnormal behavior is identified as patterns of emotion, thought, and action
considered pathological for one or more of these reasons: statistical
infrequency, disability or dysfunction, personal distress, or violation of norms.
B. Explaining Abnormality
• The belief that demons cause abnormal behavior was common in ancient
• The medical model, which emphasizes disease and illness, replaced this
• During the Middle Ages, demonology returned and exorcisms were used to
treat abnormal behavior.
• Asylums began to appear toward the close of the Middle Ages.
C. Classifying Abnormal Behaviors
• The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)
categorizes disorders and provides detailed descriptions useful for
communication among professionals.
• Although an adequate diagnosis is needed for proper treatment, labels can also
II. ANXIETY DISORDER
A. Unreasonable Anxiety
• People with anxiety disorders have persistent feelings of threat in facing
• In generalized anxiety disorders, there is a persistent free-floating anxiety.
• In panic disorder, anxiety is concentrated into brief or lengthy episodes of
• Phobias are exaggerated fears of specific objects or situations, such as
agoraphobia, a fear of being in open spaces.
• In obsessive-compulsive disorder, persistent anxiety-arousing thoughts
(obsessions) are relieved by ritualistic actions (compulsions) such as hand-
• In posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a person who has experienced an
overwhelming trauma, such as rape, has recurrent maladaptive emotional
reactions, such as exaggerated startle responses, sleep disturbances, and
B. Causes of Anxiety Disorders
• Research on the causes of anxiety disorders have focussed on learning,
biology, and cognitive processes.
• Learning theorists suggest anxiety disorders result from classical and operant
conditioning, as well as modeling and imitation.
• The biological perspective suggests that genetic pre-dispositions, disrupted
biochemistry, or unusual brain activity influence the development of anxiety
• The cognitive approach emphasizes distorted thinking that magnifies ordinary
threats and failures, resulting in anxiety disorders.
III. SCHIZOPHRENIA - Schizophrenia is a serious psychotic mental disorder that afflicts
approximately one out of every 100 people.
A. Symptoms of Schizophrenia
• The major symptoms are disturbances in perception (impaired filtering and selection,
and hallucinations); language and thought disturbances (impaired logic, word salads,
neologisms, and delusions); emotional disturbances (either exaggerated or blunted
emotions); and behavioral disturbances (social withdrawal, bizarre mannerisms,
catalepsy, waxy flexibility).
• Delusions – disorganized and confused thinking
B. Types of Schizophrenia
• In reaction to problems with previous categorization of schizophrenia (paranoid,
catatonic, disorganized, and undifferentiated), an alternative classification system has
• Schizophrenic symptoms involving distorted or excessive mental activity (e.g.,
delusions and hallucinations) would be classified as positive symptoms, whereas
symptoms involving behavioral deficits (e.g., toneless voice, flattened emotions)
would be classified as negative symptoms.
C. Causes of Schizophrenia
• Biological theories of the causes of schizophrenia emphasize genetics (people inherit
a predisposition), disruptions in neurotransmitters (primarily dopamine), and
abnormalities in brain structure or function (such as enlarged ventricles or low levels
of activity in the frontal and temporal lobes).
• Psychosocial theories of schizophrenia focus on stress as a trigger for initial episodes
and for relapse. Family communication deviance also has been suggested. Studies of
family environments suggest that high expressed emotionality may be linked to a
worsening and relapse of schizophrenic symptoms.
• Explanations for schizophrenia get mixed research support. Biological theories
cannot necessarily determine the direction of cause and effect relationships.
Psychosocial theories have been unable to exactly determine how and why certain
life events trigger schizophrenic episodes in some cases, but not in others. Overall,
schizophrenia is probably a combination of interacting (known and unknown) factors.
• Schizophrenia is the most culturally universal mental disorder in the world. There
are numerous culturally general symptoms (such as delusions), but also four major
differences across cultures: prevalence, form, onset, and prognosis.
IV. MOOD DISORDERS
A. Understanding Mood Disorders
• Mood disorders are characterized by extreme disturbances of emotional states.
• The hallmark of major depressive disorder is a pervasive feeling of deep sadness.
• Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes similar to major depressive disorder
alternating with episodes of mania in which speech and thinking are rapid, and the
person may experience delusions of grandeur and engage in impulsive behaviors.
B. Causes of Mood Disorders
• Biological theories of mood disorders emphasize disruptions in neurotransmitters
(especially dopamine and serotonin). Antidepressants are often effective in relieving
major depression. Bipolar disorders are generally treated with lithium carbonate.
• Recent research has also implicated certain brain areas that may trigger episodes of
• There is also evidence for a genetic predisposition for both major depression and
• Psychological theories of mood disorders emphasize disturbed interpersonal
relationships, faulty thinking, poor self-concept, and maladaptive learning.
• Learned helplessness theory suggests that depression results from repeated failures at
attempted escape from the source of stress.
• Depression also has been shown to be related to seasons of the year. Most seasonal
affective disorder (SAD) sufferers report problems with depression in the winter.
Studies with controlled periods of light have been effective in relieving this type of
o Depression seems to involve several culture-general symptoms (such as sad
affect and loss of enjoyment).
o Women are more likely than men to suffer depressive symptoms in many
countries. Some researchers explain this in terms of hormonal differences, but
a large-scale study found cultural factors (such as poverty and discrimination)
were strong predictors. Other researchers suggest women are socialized
toward certain behaviors (such as passivity and dependence) that predispose
them toward depression.
• Suicide is a serious problem associated with depression. By becoming involved and
showing concern, we can help reduce the risk of suicide.
V. OTHER DISORDERS
A. Dissociative Disorders
• In dissociative disorders, critical elements of personality split apart. This split is
manifested in failing to recall or identify past experiences (dissociative amnesia), by
leaving home and wandering off (dissociative fugue), or by developing completely
separate personalities (dissociative identity disorder [DID] or multiple personality
B. Somatoform Disorders
• In somatoform disorders, there are physical symptoms without physical causes.
• In the somatoform disorder called conversion disorder, the person converts an
emotional conflict into a physical symptom such as blindness or paralysis.
• In hypochondriasis, another somatoform disorder, a person is preoccupied with an
extreme fear of illness and disease.
• Conversion disorders were once known as hysteria or hysterical neurosis.
C. Personality Disorders
• Personality disorders involve inflexible, maladaptive personality traits.
• The best known type is the antisocial personality, characterized by egocentrism, lack of
guilt, impulsivity, and superficial charm. The person doesn’t seem to have a conscious
and feels no remorse for hurting others, even loved ones. Some research has suggested
this disorder may be related to defect in brain waves and arousal patterns, genetic
inheritance, and disturbed family relationships.
• Paranoid – excessively suspicious and guarded , unable to trust others and tends to be
• Narcissistic – exaggerated sense of privilege and grandiosity and expects to be catered
to and admired by all
C. Substance-Related Disorder
• Substance-related disorder is diagnosed when use of a psychoactive drug interferes
with social or occupational functioning and drug tolerance or withdrawal symptoms
• Learning theories point to maladaptive reinforcement in substance-related disorder.
• Genetic inheritance patterns occur for abuse of alcohol.
• Another factor is comorbidity, wherein those suffering from other types of disorders
begin to abuse psychoactive drugs, particularly alcohol.