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What does it mean to be insane?
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.
One of the great pleasures of mental health (whatever it is) is how much less time I have to spend thinking about myself.
Abnormal Psychology Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
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?
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.
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
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…