Abnormal Psychology Essay

Submitted By dreamerxo
Words: 1124
Pages: 5

Abnormal Psychology I. What are Psychological Disorders? A. Family members, classmates, and strangers behave in a variety of ways.

B. Identifying Abnormal Behavior 1. Something that is abnormal deviates from a standard or norm.

C. Perspectives on Mental Illness 1. The diagnosis of a psychological disorder sometimes carries with it a stigma or social disgrace. 2. People who suffer from a mental illness are sometimes considered weak by their peers. 3. The etiology or cause of a disorder is important because it may determine how the patient could be treated. a. Biological Perspective i. Biological factors that can affect mental health are genetics, chemical imbalance, brain structure, injuries to the brain and certain infections. b. Psychodynamic Perspective i. Psychologists take a look into an individual’s internal conflicts for the cause of psychological disorder. c. Behavioral Perspective i. Behavior psychologists believe that psychological disorders are the result of faulty learning. ii. Behavior therapy helps individuals “unlearn” faulty learning is often used as a treatment for phobias or persistent fears. d. Cognitive Perspective i. Cognitive psychologists assert that psychological disorders arise from faulty thoughts ii. For example – “I’m not very interesting and nobody likes me.” And he/she will become convinced that it is true. e. Humanistic Perspective i. Each person within himself or herself has the potential for personal fulfillment. ii. Humanistic psychologists think that mental disorders arise because individuals adopt standards and value that conflict with their inner feelings.

D. Combining Biological and Psychological Perspectives 1. Most psychologists believe that many psychological disorders are caused by an interaction of biological, environmental, and other factors.

E. Cultural Differences in Looking at Mental Illness 1. Not all disorders are found in all cultures, nor do all cultures offer the same explanations a. For example: eating disorders only happen in western societies. II. Classifying Mental Illness A. Psychologists don’t lump all forms of mental disorders and classify them as “insanity.” 1. Five aspects of mental health a. Psychological disorders b. Personality disorders and mental retardation c. Medical conditions d. Social stress in the individuals environment e. An individual’s overall level of functioning III. Anxiety Disorders A. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension that danger or misfortune is looming and that feeling is accompanied by physical symptoms.

B. Phobic Disorders 1. People with phobic disorders can be so overwhelmed with fear that it interferes with their lives. a. Phobic example: arachnophobia- fear of spiders

C. Generalized Anxiety Disorder 1. An individual does not experience anxiety that is triggered by one particular object or event. a. An unfocused, persistent anxiety b. Physiological symptoms of anxiety

D. Panic Disorder 1. A person with a panic disorder suffers from panic attacks, short but overwhelming bouts of anxiety that occur without warning. a. Heart palpitations b. Dizziness c. Nausea d. Fears of dying or going crazy

E. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 1. A response to a harrowing experience, such as natural disaster, military combat or rape. 2. People may lose contact with reality and relive sights or sounds of the traumatic event and may avoid places and people that remind them of the event.

F. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 1. Repetitive, ritualized behaviors 2. Someone with OCD suffers from: a. Anxiety b. Obsessions and/ or compulsions so extreme they disrupt everyday life.

IV. Somatoform Disorders A. An individual suffers from physical symptoms even though he or she has