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generic name given to any formal psychological treatment


What percentage of the US population is severely affected by psych disorders?




sickness or disorder of the mind



factors that contribute to development of a disorder


Moral Treatment

therapy involving close contact with & careful observation of patients


What is mal-adaptiveness?

-Symptoms of the disorder must interfere with at least one aspect of the person’s life, such as work, social relations, or self-care


What is the criteria for determining if something is a symptom of psychopathology?

– Does the person act in a way that deviates from cultural norms for acceptable behavior? (BUT DON"T FOCUS ON THIS ONE)
– Is the behavior maladaptive?
– Is the behavior self-destructive?
– Does the behavior cause discomfort and concern to others, thus impairing a person’s social relationships?



-released in 2013
-describes & classifies disorders in terms of observable symptoms
-DSM has been continuously edited and revised


dimensional approach

assumes that people vary along continuums of behavior and thought patterns (symptoms)


categorical approach

It implies that a person either does have a psychological disorder or does not. DSM uses this approach.


What is the last section of the DSM?

a guide for future thinking/research.
last section of DSM-5 encourages researchers to examine a dimensional approach to understanding psychological disorders


Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)

-a method that defines basic aspects of functioning and considers them across multiple levels of analysis
-proposed by US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
-this approach will guide future research on psychopathology


is DSM based on symptoms or causes?




– simultaneous presence of 2 disorders
– Many psychological disorders occur together, even though the DSM-5 treats them separately (e.g., depression & anxiety; depression & substance abuse
– Certain disorders might frequently be comorbid because of shared underlying factors


What are the main problems with DSM-5?

-no comorbidity
-not based on biological and psychological causes
-does not use a dimensional approach



-examination of cognitive, behavioral, and/or emotional functioning to diagnose possible psychological disorders
-process often includes self-reports, psychological testing, observations, and interviews
-it may also involve neuropsychological testing

self reports + observations + interviews -> assessment -> diagnosis


Neuropsychological Assessment

examination of performance on tasks such as:
– copying pictures
– drawing objects from memory
– sorting cards into categories
– matching shapes blindfolded
– tapping fingers in sequences

• Actions that are performed poorly may indicate problems with particular brain regions

• Medical evaluation may be necessary


what is the secondary goal of assessment

to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment


What is the purpose of ongoing assessment

– Ongoing assessment helps us determine whether progress is being made in treatment
– Ongoing assessment helps us see & understand other unique factors that might help in treating a specific case


Evidence-based assessment

Research guides evaluation of psychopathology, including:
– the selection of appropriate psychological tests & neuropsychological methods
– the use of critical thinking in diagnosis


Diathesis-stress model

-diagnostic model proposing that a disorder may develop when an underlying vulnerability is coupled with a precipitating event
-biological and environmental factors both contribute to development of psychopathology


Biological factors

– Genetics
– Pre-natal exposure to teratogens, malnutrition, etc.
– Contribute to disorders through effects on CNS


Psychological factors

– Play important roles in expression of psychological disorders and their treatment


Cognitive-Behavioral factors

– Views psychopathology as resulting from learned, maladaptive thoughts and beliefs


Is alcohol dependence more likely in males or females?



Is anorexia nervosa more likely in males or females?



Internalizing / Externalizing Model

– Internalizing disorders: characterized by negative emotions (e.g., major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder)
– Externalizing disorders: characterized by disinhibition (e.g., alcoholism, conduct disorders, antisocial behavior)


Are internalizing disorders more prevalent in females or males?



Are externalizing disorders more prevalent in females or males?



Anxiety Disorder

-mood disorder
-a psychological disorder characterized by excessive fear and anxiety in the absence of true danger
-Chronic anxiety continually arouses the autonomic nervous system
-Can cause bodily symptoms (sweating, dry mouth, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, increased blood pressure and muscle tension)
-Chronic arousal can also result in hypertension, headaches, and other health problems
-Over 25% of Americans will have some type of anxiety disorder during their lifetime
-their high levels of autonomic arousal can lead to restless and pointless motor behaviors
-an exaggerated startle response is typical, and behaviors such as toe tapping and excessive fidgeting are common



-an anxiety disorder
-a mood disorder
-excessive fear and anxiety of a specific object or situation in the absence of true danger
-About 1 in 8 people have some type of phobia


Social Anxiety Disorder

– a fear of being negatively evaluated by others (formerly called “Social Phobia”) Fears of public speaking, speaking up in class, meeting new people, and eating in front of others
– anxiety disorder
– mood disorder
– One of the earliest anxiety disorders to develop, often around age 13
– The more social fears one has, the more likely they are to develop other disorders… particularly depression & substance abuse problems


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

– anxiety disorder
– mood disorder
– a diffuse state of constant anxiety, not associated with any specific object or event
– People with GAD are constantly anxious, and worry incessantly about minor matters
– Hypervigilance results in distractibility, fatigue, irritability, & sleep problems • Can cause headaches, light-headedness, & muscle pain
– 5-6% of US population –Women more than men


Panic Disorder

– anxiety disorder
– mood disorder
– an anxiety disorder that consists of sudden, overwhelming attacks of terror
– “Panic attacks” last several minutes. Victims sweat & tremble, feel their hearts racing, experience shortness of breath and chest pain, feel dizziness and light-headedness, and feel numbness and tingling in hands & feet
– People feel that they are going crazy or possibly dying. Those who suffer from persistent panic attacks attempt suicide much more frequently than other people
– 3% of US population
–Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed



– anxiety disorder
– mood disorder
– an anxiety disorder marked by fear of being in situations in which escape may be difficult or impossible – For example, they may fear being in a crowded shopping mall or using public transportation
– The fear is so strong that being in such situations causes panic attacks
– Agora = market


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

– a disorder characterized by frequent intrusive thoughts and compulsive actions
– Unwanted thoughts lead to emotional distress & anxiety
– OCD is paradoxical: patients are aware that the obsessions and compulsions are irrational… but they cannot stop.
• Maybe the behaviors result from strong conditioning?
• There is evidence for a genetic predisposition for OCD
– 1-2% of US population
– More common among women


What is an obsession in OCD?

– recurrent, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts, ideas, or mental images
– often include fear of contamination, of accidents, or of one’s own aggression


What is a compulsion in OCD?

– specific actions that an OCD patient feels driven to perform repeatedly
– common compulsive behaviors are cleaning, checking, and counting
– OCD patients anticipate catastrophe and loss of control


Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

– a disorder that involves frequent nightmares, intrusive thoughts, & flashbacks related to an earlier trauma
– PTSD results from trauma, and involves an unusual problem in memory – the inability to forget
• There is evidence for a genetic predisposition to PTSD
– Patients often have chronic tension, anxiety, and health problems. They may experience memory and attention problems in their daily lives.
– Around 7% of US population is affected at some point in life
– More common among women


Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders involve the presence of sad, empty, or irritable mood, along with bodily symptoms and cognitive problems that interfere with daily life


Major Depression

– a disorder characterized by severe negative moods or a lack of interest in normally pleasurable activities
– Lasts months to years
– Leading risk factor for suicide
– There is evidence for a genetic predisposition to depression
– 6-7% of US population in any year
– Women are twice as likely to suffer depression


Persistent depressive disorder

– a form of depression that is not severe enough to be diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (sometimes called dysthymia)
– Depressed mood for most of the day, more days than not, for at least 2 years
– Lasts 2 – 20 years
– 2-3% of US population –Women are twice as likely to suffer depression


Learned helplessness

a cognitive model of depression in which people feel unable to control events in their lives
– Beck has hypothesized that people with depression think negatively about themselves, their situations, and the future
– Cognitive triad: thoughts about self, situation, & future
– The attributions (or explanations) that depressed people give for negative events refer to personal factors that are stable & global… rather than situational factors that are temporary & specific.
– Scientific evidence suggests that dysfunctional cognitive patterns are a cause rather than a consequence of depression


Bipolar disorder

– a mood disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania
– Manic episodes: elevated mood, increased activity, diminished need for sleep, racing thoughts, grandiose ideas, extreme distractibility, & excessive involvement in pleasurable but foolish activities * Persist for at least one week
• 3-4% of population (lifetime)
• Equal prevalence in men and women
• There is evidence for a genetic predisposition to bipolar disorders


Manic episodes

-elevated mood, increased activity, diminished need for sleep, racing thoughts, grandiose ideas, extreme distractibility, & excessive involvement in pleasurable but foolish activities
-persist for at least one week


Bipolar l disorder

-disorder characterized by extremely elevated moods during manic episodes and frequent depressive episodes
-Manic episodes cause significant impairment in daily living & can often result in hospitalization
-biggest problem is the mania


Bipolar II disorder

– disorder characterized by alternating periods of extremely depressed and mildly elevated moods
– biggest problem is the depression
– Hypo-mania: Less
extreme mood elevations
– Hypo-manic episodes may be somewhat disruptive, but depressive episodes are the primary problem



-Less extreme mood elevations
-may be somewhat disruptive, but depressive episodes are the primary problem


disorders of thought

Disorders of thought involve disruptions in the connection between thoughts and experiences
– e.g., people lose their sense of identity or feel that external forces are controlling their thoughts



a break from reality, in which the person has difficulty distinguishing which thoughts or perceptions are real versus which are imagined


Dissociative disorders

class of disorders that involve disruptions of identity, memory, or conscious awareness
– believed to result from extreme stress


Dissociative Amnesia

a person forgets an event happened or loses awareness of a substantial block of time
– e.g., people suddenly lose memory for personal facts, including their identity & place of residence


Dissociative Fugue

rarest and most extreme form of dissociative amnesia that involves complete loss of identity
– involves travel to another location, and sometimes the assumption of a new identity
– fuge means flight


Dissociative Personality Disorder (DID)

occurrence of two or more distinct identities in the same individual
• Separate identities usually differ substantially (e.g., in gender identity, sexual orientation, age, spoken language, interests, physiological profiles, and patterns of brain activation)
• Many researchers remain skeptical about whether DID is a genuine mental disorder, or whether it exists at all
– It can be difficult to tell if a person is faking, or has come to believe what a therapist said, or has a genuine psychological disorder
– Formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder



“splitting of the mind”
a disorder characterized by a split between thought and emotion
• Involves alterations in thought, perceptions, or consciousness
• Motor, cognitive, behavioral, & perceptual abnormalities lead to impaired personal, social, or vocational functioning
– The essence of schizophrenia is Psychosis – 0.5 – 1% of population
– Equal prevalence in men & women


How long must person must show continuous signs of disturbances for to be diagnosed with schizophrenia

at least 6 months


What are the 5 major symptoms of schizophrenia?

1. delusions
2. hallucinations
3. disorganized speech
4. grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
5. negative symptoms (ie diminished emotional response or lack of motivation)


Positive symptoms (schizophrenia)

excesses in functioning


Negative symptoms (schizophrenia)

deficits in functioning
– apathy, and lack of emotion and/or expression of emotion
– slowed speech, long pauses, and monotone voice
– slowed movement
– avoiding eye contact



Positive symptom. False beliefs that are based on incorrect inferences about reality
– Delusional people persist in their beliefs, despite evidence that contradicts them



Positive symptom. False sensory perceptions that are experienced without an external source – Frequently auditory, but hallucinations can also be visual, olfactory, or somatosensory
– Auditory hallucinations are often accusatory voices – Hallucinations are associated with activity in brain regions that normally process incoming sensory information


Disorganized speech

Positive symptom. Speaking in an incoherent fashion that involves frequently changing topics and saying strange or inappropriate things
– Incoherent and lacks normal conversational structure
– Loosening of associations: the person shifts between seemingly unrelated topics, making it difficult to follow their train of thought


Loosening of associations (disorganized speech, schizophrenia)

the person shifts between seemingly unrelated topics, making it difficult to follow their train of thought


Disorganized behavior

Positive symptom. Acting in strange or unusual ways (including strange movement of limbs, and inappropriate self-care)
–May display unpredictable agitation or silliness


Catatonic behavior

Negative symptom. Showing decreased responsiveness to the environment



Negative symptom. Mindlessly repeating words or sounds


Can antipsychotic medications reduce positive schizophrenia symptoms?



Is there evidence for a genetic predisposition to develop schizophrenia?



Might environmental stress also contribute to the development of schizophrenia?

– Being born or raised in an urban area approximately doubles the risk of developing schizophrenia later
– Growing up in a dysfunctional family may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia
– Many cases onset around times of increased life stress (e.g., starting college, marriage, divorce, etc.)