Defining Abnormality

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Defining Abnormality

  1. 1. PSYC 3553 – Psychopathology Week 2: Defining Abnormality • September 15, 2009
  2. 2. What is normal? <ul><li>What is normal behaviour and what is abnormal behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we classify people into normal vs. abnormal? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Normal vs. Abnormal Behaviour <ul><li>Outside of societal norm </li></ul><ul><li>Variable in each culture </li></ul><ul><li>Can include severe harm or violence </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in abiding by social situations </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional? </li></ul><ul><li>Mental weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Confusing – few fit the normal standard…? </li></ul><ul><li>May not be a bad thing – simply different </li></ul><ul><li>Not capable of surviving in society </li></ul><ul><li>Relative categorization </li></ul>
  4. 4. Elements of abnormality <ul><li>Deviant </li></ul><ul><li>Distressful to self and/or others </li></ul><ul><li>Dysfunctional or maladaptive </li></ul><ul><li>Dangerous to self and/or others </li></ul>
  5. 5. Elements of abnormality <ul><li>Unpredictable /irrational </li></ul><ul><li>Violates social norms or is incomprehensible </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate to developmental stage </li></ul>
  6. 6. Classification of abnormal behaviour <ul><li>Can get worse if not treated as soon as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t abide by normal rules – live by other set </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise chaos </li></ul><ul><li>Improve functioning </li></ul><ul><li>Take away pain </li></ul><ul><li>To help others and improve understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Better coping </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify the very subjective </li></ul><ul><li>No longer a danger </li></ul><ul><li>Dispel fears of the unknown </li></ul>
  7. 7. Your Interests… <ul><li>Use of non-drug treatments, and role of drug companies in prescribing medications </li></ul><ul><li>Specific disorders: mood, anxiety, dissociative, sleep, cognitive </li></ul><ul><li>Specific populations: troubled youth, school psychology, First Nations </li></ul><ul><li>Legal determination of insanity </li></ul><ul><li>Gender differences in bipolar disorder </li></ul>
  8. 8. Your Interests… <ul><li>Murder/suicides among family members </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate between disorders (i.e., bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) </li></ul><ul><li>Why some disorders without physiological explanation? Why are some seemingly “incurable”? </li></ul><ul><li>How people are born with them – or how they develop disorders? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Attitudes Toward Abnormality <ul><li>Stereotypes – automatic beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Stigma – shame & disgrace </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canadian Medical Assoc. Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Globe & Mail Breakdown Series </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Video: Mental Health Commission of Canada: Stigma Symposium </li></ul>
  10. 10. Attitudes Toward Abnormality <ul><ul><li>The Rosenhan studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Original study </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Slater’s update: has anything changed? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? Will it change? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Cultural Aspects <ul><li>“… different cultures have different perspectives” </li></ul><ul><li>Display rules for expression of some disorders appear (e.g., depression) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of other disorders (e.g., amok) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Cultural Aspects
  13. 13. Statistics Talk <ul><li>Epidemiology : study of disease statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Prevalence : # active cases in time period </li></ul><ul><li>Incidence : # new cases in given time period </li></ul><ul><li>Co-morbidity : co-occurring disorders </li></ul>
  14. 14. Statistics Talk <ul><li>Lifetime prevalence : 20% of Canadians </li></ul><ul><li>Point prevalence : 300,000 Canadians </li></ul><ul><li>Often in adolescence/young adulthood </li></ul><ul><li>$$ = at least $7.9 billion (1998) </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Mental Health Professions <ul><li>Clinical psychologist </li></ul><ul><li>Psychiatrist </li></ul><ul><li>Psychoanalyst </li></ul><ul><li>Social worker </li></ul><ul><li>Counseling psychologist </li></ul><ul><li>Psychiatric nurse </li></ul>
  16. 16. Different Viewpoints <ul><li>Abnormality is…against social / cultural norms </li></ul><ul><li>Abnormality is…a social construction </li></ul><ul><li>Abnormality is…a diseased brain </li></ul>
  17. 17. History of Abnormality <ul><li>Demonology – spirits control us & cause abnormal behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Methods of eviction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exorcism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trepanning </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18.
  19. 19. History of Abnormality <ul><li>Somatogenesis vs. psychogenesis </li></ul><ul><li>Hippocrates : brain is central organ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mania, melancholia, phrenitis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality: the “ humours ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Galen : more scientific approach </li></ul>
  20. 20. History of Abnormality <ul><li>Middle Ages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tarantism : uncontrollable dancing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lycanthropy : wolf possession </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Witchcraft : smart gals angry with society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Treatment: exorcisms, priest spitting… </li></ul>
  21. 21. History of Abnormality <ul><li>1500’s: asylums </li></ul><ul><li>Bethlehem (Bedlam) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deplorable conditions, “patient shows” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Benjamin Rush: transition </li></ul><ul><li>Moral treatment: Philippe Pinel </li></ul>
  22. 22.
  23. 23. History of Abnormality <ul><li>Mental hygiene movement: Dorothy Dix </li></ul><ul><li>20th century: still cycled with preference </li></ul><ul><li>Deinstitutionalization: meant to be good… </li></ul>
  24. 24. Contemporary Thought <ul><li>Early system of classification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emil Kraepelin: syndromes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Empirical evidence of mental illness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General paresis and syphilis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pasteur’s germ theory </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Contemporary Thought <ul><li>Mesmer : magnetism </li></ul><ul><li>Charcot : hysteria </li></ul><ul><li>Breuer : catharsis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anna O. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freud: psychoanalysis </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Mental Hospitals in Canada <ul><li>Medicare </li></ul><ul><li>Provincial psychiatric hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Milieu therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Community treatment orders (CTOs) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Lessons of History <ul><li>Cycles of persecution, neglect and humanitarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Future generations may regard some of our practices as cruel and inhumane </li></ul><ul><li>Recent reforms may easily be reversed during adverse conditions </li></ul>

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