Mental Health Flashcards Preview

A Level Psychology 2016/2017 > Mental Health > Flashcards

Flashcards in Mental Health Deck (29):

What is 'Trepanning'?
Positive & Negative?

Making a hole in the human skull to let out bad spirits.

People were starting to get that madness was due to something within the brain.

Bad spirits do not exist and also unethical.


What did Thomas Szasz believe

Psychiatry was a false science and compared it to religion. He said that mental illness was a metaphor and was nothing to do with the brain. A mental illness is a bodily/physical illness/disease.



It used to be viewed as a mental illness, however in 1973 it was removed from the DSM. This suggests that mental illnesses are socially constructed.



Something to do with the physical body and not the mind.



Excess of deficiency in four distinct bodily fluids known as humours (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood) influenced health. Therefore they had to be kept at a proper balance. This was believed until the late 19th century.



Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
The official classification of psychological disorders and illnesses published by the American Psychological Association.


ICD -10

ICD - 10 is the 10th version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Mental Health Problems. It is a medical classification list by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


"Mental illness can be accurately diagnosed, successfully treated, just as a physical illness." - Bill Clinton

The definitions for the majority of mental illnesses have been consistently altered in both the DSM and the ICD over the years meaning that some mental illnesses cannot be accurately diagnosed. Furthermore, physical and mental illnesses are completely different. Physical illnesses are often able to be cured whereas mental illnesses are not. Medication tends to just hide the symptoms of the mental illness rather than curing it.


Problems with subjectivity in terms of viewing mental illnesses

• Low validity in diagnosis - Needs to be standardised with a book.
• Misdiagnosis = Self-fulfilling prophecy, side effects to unneeded meds, not getting needed treatment...
• Creates mistrust in the medical profession
•"Mental illness is in the eye of the beholder" - Thomas Szasz.


Type 1 error


False positive. Eg; saying someone has something when they do not.


Type 2 error


False negative. Eg: saying someone does not have something when they do.


What are anxiety disorders?

Categories of mental disorders characterised by feelings of anxiety and fear. Eg: OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, …phobia.


What are affective disorders?

They're a set of psychiatric diseases also known as mood disorders. Eg: depression, bi-polar, cyclothymia.


What are psychotic disorders?

They are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with a psychotic disorder often lose touch with reality and two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Eg: Schizophrenia


Assumptions of the medical (biological) approach to mental illness

• All behaviour is the result of something inside of the body (nature over nurture) such as: brain chemistry (hormones, neurotransmitters), brain structure (anatomy), genetics (heredity). (REDUCTIONIST)
• All behaviour is determined by factors beyond the individual's control, therefore it is not their fault as we cannot control our genetic makeup. (DETERMINISTIC)
• Individual's cannot change their behaviour without help from a doctor. (Less pressure on themselves to get better as it's in the doctor's hands BUT as they're lacking independence they may feel useless.)


The genetic explanation of mental illness is...

•supported by research evidence
•difficult to test


Explain the Social Learning Theory

Observation of a role model ➡️ vicarious reinforcement ➡️ Mental representation + Self efficiency ➡️ Imitation ➡️ Direct reinforcement ➡️ Repetition.


Diathesis stress disorder

Genetic vulnerability + Environmental trigger = Disorder


Causes of depression - Synapse

Pre-synaptic gap may not be producing enough serotonin

The recycling process may be clawing back too much serotonin too quickly before it can be used

The receptors may not be sensitive enough to pick up the serotonin


What's the role of the prefrontal cortex

•decision making
• problem solving



What's the role of the Hippocampus

•creates and files new memories

Mood disorders


What's the role of the amygdala?

•fight or flight



What's the role of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex?

•emotional reactions
•responses to mistakes
•controls blood pressure & heart rate

ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, ¿anxiety


What are two main types of treatment for mental illnesses?

1) medication
2) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)


If depression is found to do with the individuals thought process, what treatment would be given?

Cognitive behavioural therapy


If depression is found to do with a chemical imbalance within the individual, what treatment would be given?

Drug therapy


Strengths of CBT

•the patient has independence on their journey to get 'better'.
•helps the patient to build on their motivation, commitment and confidence.
•The aim of CBT is to treat the underlying cause rather than to just hide the symptoms.
•treating the underlying cause is a more affective way to prevent the illness from reoccurring.


Weaknesses of CBT

•it takes up a lot of time and sometimes is very expensive
•the patient needs to be motivated to get up and go to their sessions but lacking motivation is a major symptom of depression.
•it has less of an immediate effect than drug therapy meaning patients could quickly begin to feel demotivated to continue with their sessions is they feel like it is taking too long
•as it is such a long process, it is unclear whether the patient then gets 'better' from this treatment or from other factors which may have occurred within the time period. Eg: supportive friends.
•it is not in the hands of the doctor so if they feel that they're not getting better then they may turn to self-blaming.


Gottesman's key research

Gottesman's and Shields' key research (1976) looked into many studies all of which found an increased concordance rate for related pairs, but never 100% concordance rates (58% for MZ twins).
As MZ twins, who share 100% of their genetics, do not share a 100% concordance rate, this proves that the environment must have some impact.