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What is anti-psychiatry?

This was a movement associated with Szasz and Laing that rejected the medical model of psychopathology. Instead they proposed that people had 'problems with living' rather than psychological disorders.


What is psychosis?

This refers to a state when the individual appears to have lost contact with reality. It occurs in disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar depression. The individual does not have insight into their condition.


What do anti-psychiatrists believe?

That there is no such thing as 'abnormality'; some see it as a sane reaction to an insane world, and psychiatry was seen as a political tool to label and control 'difficult' people. Their alternative suggestion was that the legal system should be used to control violent or antisocial behaviour, but otherwise people should not be forced to undergo psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.


What is a psychiatrist?

A person who has completed their medical training and then specialised in psychopathology.


What is a psychologist?

These clinical psychologists have completed a psychology degree and then specialised in the study of psychological disorders.


What are some ways of defining abnormality?

1. Deviation from social norms
2.Failure to function adequately
3. Deviation from ideal mental health


What is deviation from social norms?

Whether written into the legal system or implicit, i.e. generally accepted but not legally binding, social norms allow for the regulation of normal social behavior. One approach to defining abnormality, therefore, is to consider deviations from social norms as an indication of abnoramlity.


What is the limitation of defining abnormality as deviation from social norms?

1. It doesn't take into account the importance of the context of behaviour
2. Behaviour that deviates from social norms is not always a sign of psychopathology
3. This definition is open to abuse, particularly as a means of political control, when norms are dictated by the ruling party.
4. Social norms vary over time
5. Cultural relativity


What is cultural relativity?

The idea that some aspects of psychology vary from culture to culture. SO patterns of infant attachment might vary across different cultures and definitions of abnormality such as DSN are certainly culture-specific.


What is meant by failure to function adequately?

This definition of abnormality focuses on the everyday behaviour of an individual. When someone deviates from the normal pattern of behaviour (going to work, getting washed etc.) we might argue that they are failing to function adequately. Failure to function adequately is a general sign of disorder, and not itself specific to any condition.


What characteristics of abnormal behaviour in relation to FFA definition did Rosenhan and Seligman (1989) suggest?

1. Observer discomfort when another's behaviour causes discomfort and distress to the observer
2. Unpredictability; FF can involve behaviour that is unpredictable and sometimes uncontrolled
3. Irrationality: FFA can involve behaviours that look irrational and are hard to understand.
4. Maladaptiveness; this is central to the FFA definition; it refers to behaviour that interfers with a person's usual daily routine.


What are the limitations of the failure to function adequately definition of abnormality?

1. It does not take into account context, hunger strikes etc.
2. Doesn't take into account economic conditions, prejudice or discrimination that might affect people's ability to function
3. Psychological disorders may not prevent a person from functioning adequately.
4. Cultural dimension; standard patterns of behaviour will vary from culture to culture


What is psychopathy?

A term used to refer to an apparent lack of empathy and understanding of others. People with high levels of psychopathy exploit others with no guilt or remorse.


What is self-actualisation?

This refers to our motivation to achieve our full potential as individuals


What is autonomy?

The ability to function as an independent person, taking responsibility for one's actions.


What is deviation from ideal mental health?

Jahoda introduced the first systematic approach in 1956, listing a number of characteristics she felt indicated ideal mental health. Deviations from these ideals would be defined as abnoramlity;
1. Individual should be in touch with their own identity and feelings
2. Should be resistant to stress
3. Should be able to focus on the future and self-actualisation
4. Should function as autonomous individuals
5. Have an accurate perception of reality
6. Show empathy and understanding towards others.


What are the limitations to the deviation from ideal mental health definition of abnormality?

1. The characteristics listed are rooted in Western societies and a Western view of personal growth and achievement- cultural relativity
2. Very few people would match the criteria laid down by Jahoda and so by definition the majority of the population would be classified as abnormal.


What is the disease model?

This is the idea that psychological disorders can be seen as similar to physical illnesses and diseases. Each disorder has its own distinct symptoms and is separate from all others. However, it is likely that psychological disorders will often overlap with each other.


What is a syndrome?

A cluster of physical or psychological symptoms that regularly occur together is referred to as a specific syndrome


What is the DSM-IVR:?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A system used by psychiatrists to diagnose and classify psychological disorders.


What is the global assessment of functioning scale?

One of the scales used in the DSM-IVR system. It assesses the impact of the disorder on the individual's everyday life. In this sense it has elements of the FFA definition of abnormality.


What is the dominant approach to psychopathology?

The biological approach


What elements is the diseasemodel made up of?

1. Abnormality is associated with certain signs or symptoms.
2. Signs and symptoms that regularly occur together are referred to as syndromes.
3. The disease model assumes that the various syndromes represent distinctive disorders that can be considered independently of one another. It then tries to develop explanations and treatments for each seperate disorder.


What are the two widely used systems in psychiatry for defining and classifying psychopathology into separate syndromes?

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) is used mainly in Europe, while the American-Based Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has a more international usage. Bother follow the approach of categorising different disorders, but differ in some particulars.


How does the DSM-IVR system define abnormality?

After using signs and symptoms to identify the particular syndrome, it also takes into account social and environmental problems that might influence the disorder. Finally, it useds a global assessment of functioning scale to rate the impact of the disorder on the patient's daily life; this is closely related to deviation from social norms and failure to function adequately approach. However, the global rating is secondary to the main aim of identifying the disorder through signs and symptoms.


What are the issues with the medical disease model of psychopathology?

1. There can be significant disagreements between psychiatrists when symtpoms overlap, or illnesses themselves occur together.
2. The medical model of psychopatholgy emphasises the biological aspects of disorders, and the possible role of psychological factors in causing psychopathology is minimised.
3. Labelling patients is a serious ethical issue that might lead to people being stigmatised.


What is cognitions?

This term refers to the cognitive processes underlying behaviour. It can include attention, perception and memory, and more complex thought processes such as reflection and problem solving.


What is cognitive neuroscience?

This is an area of research that investigates the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive processes such as perception, language and memory.


What is the biological approach?

THis studies the relationship between behaviour and the body's various physiological systems. THe most important of these is the nervous system, especially the brain. The brain is the focus for most biological psychologists as it is the processing centre controlling all complex behaviour. This means that in theory all behaviour, normal and disordered, can be related to changes in brain-activity.


What is the nature-nurture debate?

For at least the last century psychologists have argued over whether behaviour is influenced more by our genetic inheritance (nature) or by environmental factors such as upbringing and socialization (nurture.)