Psychopathology

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  • Psychopathology
    • 1 Definitions of Abnormality .
      • Statistical Infrequency
        • in terms of behaviour which is extremely rare
        • Evaluation
          • unable to distinguish between desirable and undesirable
          • the cut off point is subjectively determined
          • Cultural Relativism
      • Deviation from social norms
        • social norms are a set of standards for acceptable behaviour created by a group of people and so people who violate these are seen as abnormal
        • Evaluation
          • role of context
            • beliefs about morality have changed overtime e.g homosexuality-Szasz(1974)
          • Culture relativism-social norms are bound by culture
      • Failure to function adequately
        • attempts to judge behaviour as normal or abnormal in terms of a person's ability to cope with the demands of everyday life
        • this can cause distress and suffering
        • Rosenhan and Seligman(1989)
          • maladaptiveness
          • unpredictability
          • irrationality
          • observer discomfort
        • Evaluation
          • what may seem maladaptive may be adaptive to the individual
          • Cultural Relativism-definition may result in different diagnoses applied to different cultures
          • useful means to judge abnormality-WHODAS
      • Deviation from Ideal Mental health
        • Marie Jahoda(1958)
          • self attitudes
          • personal growth
          • integration
          • autonomy
          • accurate perception of reality
          • mastery of environment
        • Evaluation
          • positive approach
          • equates mental health and physical health
          • Cultural Relativism
    • 2. Mental Disorders
      • Phobias
        • a group of mental disorders characterised by high levels of anxiety in response to a particular stimulus or group of stimuli
          • Characteristic: Behavioural-avoidance of feared object or situation, freeze or faint, Cognitive-irrational thinking, excessive and unreasonable fear, Emotional-aixety and panic
      • Depression
        • a mood disorder where an individual feels sad and/or lacks interest  in their usual activities. Negative thoughts, raised or lowered activity levels and difficulty with sleep, eating and concentration
          • Characteristic:Behavioural-reduced energy, tiredness sleepy, feeling agitated, restless, appetite may go or down, Cognitive-negative thoughts, guilt, negative view of the world and their lives, Emotional-sadness, feeling empty, feel worthless, low self esteem, loss of interest in activities
      • OCD
        • an anxiety disorder where anxiety arises from both obsessions(persistent thoughts) and compulsions(repetitive behaviours)
          • Characteristic: Behavioural-compulsive behaviours to reduce anxiety, repetitive and unconcealed hand washing, checking e.g, Cognitive-intrusive thoughts, common obsessions e.g ideas of germs being everywhere, people are in danger
    • Psychological Approaches to Psychopathology
      • 3. Behavioural approach to explain phobias
        • The Two Process Model-Mowrer(1947)
          • Classical Conditioning-Initiation
          • Operant Conditioning-Maintenance
          • Social Learning (not part of the model)
          • Evaluation
            • Support for social learning e.g Bandura and Rosenthal(1966)
            • the importance of classical conditioning-Sue et al(1994)
            • incomplete explanation
      • 4. Behavioural approach to treating phobias
        • Systematic Desensitisation
          • Counterconditioning, reciprocal inhibition
          • a client is gradually exposed to the threatening situation under relaxed conditions until anxiety is extinguished
          • Evaluation
            • self administered-cheaper alternative to CBT
            • not appropriate for all phobias-Ohman et al(1975)
            • coming in contact with feared stimulus is better than pictures or imagination -Choy et al(2007)
        • Flooding
          • client is exposed to an extreme form of the threatening situation under relaxed conditions until anxiety reaction is extinguished
          • Evaluation
            • effective-Choy et al(2007)
            • highly traumatic procedure
        • Evaluation
          • therapies are much cheaper and require less effort
          • may not work certain phobias
      • 5. Cognitive approach to explaining depression
        • The ABC Model-Ellis(1962)
          • Mustabatory Thinking
          • A=activating event, B=belief, C=consequence
        • Beck's Negative Triad(1967)
          • Negative schema
        • Evaluation
          • research support for the role of irrational thinking-Hammen and Krantz
          • irrational beliefs may be realistic-Alloy and Abramson
          • alternative explanations e.g low levels of neurotransmitter serotonin associated with depression. The diathesis-stress model argues that individuals with a genetic vulnerability fo r depression are more prone to the effects of living in a negative envirnoment
      • 6. Cognitive approach to treating depression
        • REBT-Ellis
          • ABCDEF- D=disputing irrational thoughts, E+effects of disputing, F=feelings
          • Homework
          • Behavioural activation
        • Evaluation
          • research support for its effectiveness
          • CBT requires commitment and effort
          • appears to be less suitable for people with high levels of irrational irrational beliefs that are resistant to change
      • 7. Biological approach to explain OCD
        • Genetic Explanations
          • COMT gene-regulates production of neurotransmitter dopamine
          • SERT gene-affects transport of neurotransmitter serotonin
          • Diathesis stress-simple link between one gene and a complex disorder like OCD is unlikely
        • Neural Explanations
          • Abnormal level of neurotransmitters-low serotonin associated with OCD, high levels of dopamine as well
          • Abnormal brain circuits-the worry signal
        • Evaluation
          • research support e.g Szechtman et al dopamine levels being enhanced by drugs resemble compulsive behaviour of people w/ OCD
          • Family Studies & Twin Studies
          • Abnormal brain circuits-Menzies et al
      • 8. Biological approach to treating OCD
        • Drug Therapy
          • antidepressants: SSRIs
          • antidepressants: tricyclics
          • Evaluation
            • effectiveness
            • side effectse.g nausea, headaches
            • not not a lasing cure

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