Saturday, November 6, 2010

Psychodiagnostic basics: DSM IV TR categories

  • Psychological Disorders – a harmful dysfunction in which behavior is judged to be atypical, disturbing, maladaptive and unjustifiable
  • DSM-IV – a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders; defines 17 major categories of ‘mental disorder,’ describes disorder and lists prevalence; no explanation of causes
  • Medical Perspective – psychological disorders or mental illnesses (psychopathology) can be diagnosed based on symptoms and then therapy is sought to cure the illness; these disorders are understood to be physical in nature and can be diagnosed, treated and cured
  • Bio-psycho-social perspective – how biological, psychological, and social factors interact to produce psychological disorders; mind and body are inseparable;
  • Anxiety disorders – psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety; involve both feeling and cognition where there is an appraisal of one’s social skill and anxiety
    • Generalized anxiety – one is continually tense, apprehensive, and autonomic nervous system is in a constant state of arousal
    • Phobias – persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object, activity, situation; irrational fears that disrupt behavior
    • Panic disorder – short-term episode of intense fear where one experiences terror and physiological sensation because something terrible is going to happen to them
    • OCD – unwanted repetitive thoughts, obsessions and/or actions
    • Learning perspective – researchers have looked at the relationship btwn anxiety and classical condition of fear; as we grow older we become conditioned to fear many things
    • Biological perspective – using natural selection researchers have argued that humans are predisposed to fear threats faced by ancestors
  • Mood disorders – psychological disorders characterized by emotional extremes; psychologists are trying to develop a theory
    • Major depressive disorder – prolonged hopelessness and lethargy until normality; longer than two weeks
    • Bipolar disorder – one alternates btwn depression and manic
      • Mania – one is characteristically overly talkative, overactive, elated, lack of sleep, loud speech, overly optimistic, high self esteem; affects about 1% of population, men and women equally
    • Biological Perspective – hereditary, women twice as vulnerable
    • Social cognitive perspective – focusing in particular on control beliefs such as self defeating beliefs which may arise from learned helplessness, making bad experiences really worse
    • Schizophrenia – disorganized or delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions and inappropriate emotions or actions – most debilitating of mood disorders
      • Disorganized thinking – fragmented and distorted ways of thinking that may result from a breakdown in selective attention
      • Delusions – false beliefs that may accompany psychotic disorders
      • Disturbed perceptions – sees things that are not there; hearing voices to seeing, feeling and smelling things that are not actually there
      • Subtypes
        • Paranoid – preoccupation with delusions or hallucinations with themes of persecution or grandiosity
        • Disorganized – disorganized speech or behavior or flat/inappropriate emotion
        • Catatonic – immobility or excessive purposeless movement, extreme negativism and/or parrot like repeating of another’s speech of movements
        • Undifferentiated – many unvaried symptoms
        • Residual – withdrawal after hallucinations and delusions have disappeared

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