Abnormality - Fundamentals of Psychology - Lecture Slides, Slides for Introduction to Psychology. Agra University
shalu.200621 December 2012

Abnormality - Fundamentals of Psychology - Lecture Slides, Slides for Introduction to Psychology. Agra University

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Abnormality, Abnormal Psychology, Defining Abnormality, Personal Distress, Maladaptiveness of Behavior, Mental Disorder, Role of Culture, Ataque De Nervios, Ghost Sickness, Classifying Abnormal Behaviors. This lecture is...
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Microsoft PowerPoint - AbnormalPsychology1.ppt


Abnormal Psychology

What does it mean to be insane?

Abnormal Psychology

Normal behavior and abnormal behavior are continuous with each other…So I think the best reason for studying abnormal behavior is that we learn to understand ourselves.

George Albee

One of the great pleasures of mental health (whatever it is) is how much less time I have to spend thinking about myself.

Susanna Kaysen

Abnormal Psychology Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Phil Donahue

Though this be madness, yet there’s method in it.

Shakespeare (Hamlet, ii, 2)

How come when we talk to God, we’re praying, but when God talks to you, we’re schizophrenic?

Lily Tomlin

Abnormal Psychology

One out of four people in this country is mentally imbalanced. Think of your three closest friends – if they seem okay, then you’re the one.

Ann Landers

Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.


Defining Abnormality Deviation from statistical norms Deviation from social norms

Norms: Societal standards for acceptable behavior

Maladaptiveness of behavior Adverse effects on the individual or on society

Personal distress Subjective feelings of distress

What is normal? Appropriate perception of reality Ability to exercise voluntary control over behavior

Self-esteem and acceptance Ability to form affectionate relationships Productivity



Mental disorder: What is it?

Example: A person in a restaurant screams out "I don't like my food".

The person becomes more and more agitated. Finally, the person throws themselves down onto the floor and starts crying.

How do you interpret this behavior? Mental disorder? Yes................... No.....................

Mental disorders are extreme cases of behaviors we have all experienced

Role of Culture Amok

Malaysia, Laos, Phillippines

Brooding, followed by violent behavior Persecutory ideas Amnesia Exhaustion

Ataque de nervios Latin America

Uncontrollable shouting Crying Trembling

Ghost sickness American Indians

Nightmares Weakness Feelings of danger Loss of appetite

Koro Malaysia, China

Sudden and intense anxiety in the sexual organs Will recede into the body and cause death

Classifying Abnormal Behaviors

Broad range of behaviors

Acute, transitory Chronic, lifelong

No two individuals behave in exactly the same way

But general characteristics and patterns can be identified

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV

Functional classification system American Psychiatric Association

Founded on the system established by the World Health Organization

Five Axes 1. Clinical Syndromes

Disorders that involve a deterioration of function. 2. Personality Disorders and Mental Retardation

Disorders that persist through life personality disorder is a maladaptive, inflexible way of dealing with situations and people.

3. General Medical Conditions 4. Psychosocial and environmental Problems 5. Global Assessment of Functioning Scale

The lower the number, the less likely individual will function without treatment and support.

Prevalence of Disorders Nearly 1/2 of Americans between 15 - 54 have had a psychiatric disorder. Rates of almost all disorders decline with increasing income and education. People between 25 - 34 have the highest overall rates of mental illness. 1/6 of our population suffers from a disorder; only 40 percent ever receive psychiatric care.

Prevalence of Disorders: Sex and Geography

Sex Women more than men: anxiety and affective disorders. Men more than women: substance abuse and antisocial disorders.

Geography Rural Americans just as likely as urbanites to suffer from year-long or lifelong disorders. Lifelong substance abuse disorders and lifelong anxiety disorders are highest in the Western US. Lifelong anxiety disorders are highest in the Northeastern US.



Comorbidity of Disorders Mental Disorders

Disorders first evident in infancy, childhood, or adolescence

Mental retardation Autism Attention deficit disorder Separation anxiety

Delirium, dementia, amnesiac, and other cognitive disorders

Functioning of brain is impaired

Psychoactive substance abuse disorders

Addictive behavior Somatoform disorders

Physical disorders No physiological basis Psychological factors play a major role

Sleep disorders Chronic insomnia Excessive sleepiness Sleep apnea Sleepwalking Narcolepsy

Mental Disorders Sexual disorders

Problems of sexual identity

Transgender Problems of sexual performance

Impotence Sexual aim

Interest in children

Factitious disorders Physical or psychological symptoms that are intentionally produced or feigned Malingering

Impulse control disorders

Kleptomania Pathological gambling Pyromania

Eating disorders Anorexia Bulimia

Other conditions that require clinical attention

Marital problems Parent child difficulties

Perspectives on Mental Disorders

Psychoanalytic approach Behavioral perspective Cognitive perspective

Perspectives on Mental Disorders

Evolutionary Perspective 3 Sources of Psychological Disorders

Mechanism functioning normally, but has negative consequences Mismatch between ancestral and current environments Brain malfunction

Anxiety Disorders Hazel was walking down a street near her home one day when she suddenly felt flooded with intense and frightening physical symptoms. Her whole body tightened up, she began sweating and her heart was racing, she felt dizzy and disoriented.

She thought, “I must be having a heart attack! I can’t stand this! Something terrible is happening! I’m going to die.” Hazel just stood frozen in the middle of the street until an onlooker stopped to help her.



Anxiety Physiological/somatic symptoms

Heart racing Perspiration Tense muscles

Cognitive Symptoms Often exaggerated beliefs

Behavioral Symptoms Freezing

Emotional Symptoms Sense of dread and terror

Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Constant sense of tension and dread

Inability to relax Disturbed sleep Fatigue Headaches Dizziness Rapid heart rate

Panic Disorders Panic attacks

Episodes of acute and overwhelming apprehension or terror

Agoraphobia Fear any place where they might be trapped or unable to receive help in an emergency

Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia

Genetic or biological predisposition Panic disorder runs in families

Over-reactive fight or flight response Deficiencies in locus coeruleus May also lack serotonin within the limbic system

Cognitive/behavioral factors Hypervigilance

May pay attention to bodily signals Waiting for the “other shoe” to drop Even minor bodily signals may be interpreted as catastrophic

Anxiety Disorders Phobias

Usually realize that the fear is irrational Simple phobia

Fear of a specific object, animal, or situation

Social phobia Extremely insecure in social situations Fear of embarrassing themselves

Anxiety Disorders Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessions Persistent intrusions of unwelcome thoughts, images, or impulses that elicit anxiety

Compulsions Irresistible urges to carry out certain acts or rituals that reduce anxiety

Can seriously interfere with daily life

Biological factors Caudate nucleus malfunction

Cognitive factors Trouble turning off “intrusive thoughts”

Behavioral factors Reinforcement When you check the door, you feel better…




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