Chapter 18 - Mental Health Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 18 - Mental Health Deck (28):


Application of a biopsychosocial framework to understanding and managing simple phobia as an example of an anxiety disorder.



A state of arousal associated with feelings of apprehension, worry or uneasiness that something is wrong or something unpleasant is about to happen.


Anxiety Disorder

Characterised by chronic feelings of anxiety, distress, nervousness and apprehension or fear about the future, with a negative effect


Phobia Definition

Persistent, irrational and intense fear of a particular object, animal situation, activity or person that causes a significant distress and interferes with daily functioning


Phobic Disorders - Divided into 3 main categories

  1. Specific Phobia: fear of a single object or event that triggers a panic response
  2. Social Phobias (social disorder): fear of other people or social situations. Includes feeling scrutinised by others while eating, speaking in public or attending a party.
  3. Agoraphobias: fear of leaving a place. Can be worse when accompanied by a panic attack.


DSM Phobia Categories

  1. Animals
  2. Situations
  3. Blood/Injections
  4. Natural Environments
  5. Other


Biological Factors

Genetic Predisposition

Stress Response - Fight or Flight, Heart Palpitations, increased perspiration


Gamma-amino-butyric-acid (GABA)

PRIMARY INHIBITORY neurotransmitter in the CNS: Inhibits postsynaptic neurons by getting in the synapse to block the transmission



EXCITATORY neurotransmitter

  • Makes postsynaptic neurons more likely to PASS ON the neural impulse
  • Gets the post synaptic neuron excited so it requires less stimulation to make it fire
  • Also plays a role in learning and memory, strengthing synaptic connections


GABA and Anxiety

Lack of the neurotransmitter might lead to over stimulation, and thus heightened anxiety

Benzodiazepines: a class of drugs that 'calm down' neural activity.


Agonist and Antagonists (DRUGS)

Agonists: mimic the activity of a neurotransmitter

Antagonists: inhibit the activity of a neurotransmitter


Benzodiazepines and Anxiety

Mimic the activity of GABA in inhibiting post synaptic neural activity



Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people to change unhelpful or unhealthy thinking habits, feelings and behaviours.

CBT may be used to treat problems including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, uncontrollable anger, substance abuse, eating disorders and other problems.


Psychodynamic Model

Mental disorders are caused by unresolved conflicts that occur in the subconscious

  • Psychosexual Stages
    • ORAL 0-2
    • ANAL 2-3
    • PHALLIC 4-5
    • LATENCY 6-Puberty
  • As we progress through these stages different parts of the body become focus of attention and pleasure
  • Each stage has a critical development conflict that must be resolved to move onto the next stage

  • We use defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from this anxiety
  • The ego (conscious part of mind) distorts, denies or falsifies reality unconsciously


Oedipal Complex

Phallic Stage 4-5

Male/female child develops sexual attraction to his/her mother/father

Fears father/mother who is bigger and stronger

Repression of sexual impulses towards opposite sex parent - used as a defense mechanism


Behavioural Model

- Assumes phobias are learned through experience and may acquired, maintained or modified by environmental consequences such as rewards and punishmentClassical Conditioning- Explains acquisition of a phobia and generalisation- Fear of a CR through association with CSOperant Conditioning- Explains persistence of phobia- May also explain acquisition


Cognitive Model Definition

Emphasises how the individual processes information about the phobic stimulus and related events


Cognitive Biases

Tendencies for distorted thinking, mistaken judgements, flawed, decision-making


Cognitive Model - attentional bias

selectively attend to threat-related stimuli rather than neutral stimuli


Cognitive Model - memory bias

Recall negative or threatening information rather than positive/neutral information


Cognitive Model - interpretive bias

Interpret or judge ambiguous stimuli and situations in a threatening manner


Cognitive Model - Catastrophic bias

object or event is perceived as intolerable, dangerous, insufferable or resulting in the worst possible outcome when actually none of these is realistic

Overestimate threat and underestimate ability to cope with threat


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Assists person to understand interrelationship between thoughts, emotions and behaviour in interpreting and responding to phobic stimuli

Combines cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy

  • Cognitive Therapy: thinking therapy, aims to address the problems in cognition that contribute to negative emotions and behaviours
  • Behavioural Therapy: application of classical, operant and observational learning to address behavioural aspects of a disorder


CBT and phobias

Switch from unhelpful irrational automatic thoughts to evidence-based rational thoughts


CBT behavioural component

Behavioural component aims to address maladaptive behaviours that are part of the condition

  1. Make a prediction
  2. Review the evidence for and against
  3. Devise an experiment to test it
  4. Note the results
  5. Draw conclusions


Socio-cultural factors - Specific environmental triggers

Specific Environmental Triggers: specific objects or situations in the environment that produce (trigger) the fear response


Socio-cultural factors - Parental Modelling

Parental Modelling: learning through observation of a parent model's fearful response (and consequences) to a specific object or situation


Socio-cultural factors - Transmission of threat information

Transmission of Threat Information: information received directly or indirectly from people or media about potential threat or actual threat/danger of a specific object or situation