Most Common Psychological Disorders
Substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
Perspective that views psychological disorders as similar to physical diseases; they result from biological disturbances and can be diagnosed, treated, and cured like other physical illnesses.
Psychoanalytic Perspective of Psychological Disorders
This perspective attributes abnormal behavior to unresolved unconscious conflicts. According to Freud, psychological disorders result from the conflict between the unconscious sexual and aggressive instinctual desires of the id and the outward demands of society. Newer theories, referred to as psychodynamic theories, developed by Freud’s followers such as Alfred Adler and Karen Horney, downplay the role of sexual and aggressive instincts and instead emphasize the role of the ego and interpersonal relationships in maintaining or restoring psychological health.
The Social Learning Perspective of Psychological Disorders
Learning theorists (particularly B.F. Skinner and his successors) explain abnormal behavior as a result of the same learning processes nthat produce normal behavior-classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning. A person’s responses to stimuli in the environment and the consequences of these behaviors are what lead to abnormal behavior. For example, Howie Mandel learned to respond with fear to germs in his environment. Avoiding the germs with surgical masks or gloves reinforced his fear because this behavior reduced his anxiety about germs – a positive reinforcement. Thus, a person’s past learning and modeling along with current experiences can explain psychological disorders
The Cognitive Perspective of Psychological Disorders
This perspectives emphasizes the role of thoughts, expectations, assumptions, and other mental processes in abnormal behavior. For example, anxiety results from irrational assumptions or from believing that negative outcomes will occur despite one’s best efforts. Think about the little voice inside of you that comments on your behavior. Does it encourage you to do well, or does it criticize you for your stupidity? Is it possible that such internal messages influence your behavior? The cognitive perspective maintains that they do.
The Humanistic Perspective of Psychological Disorders
Humanists like Carl Rogers see abnormal behavior as resulting from a distorted perception of the self and reality. When people lose touch with their personal values and their sense of self, or when they fail to fulfill their basic biological and psychological needs, they cannot attain self-actualization. Instead, they experience personal distress and maladaptive behavior.
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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
A book published by the America Psychiatric Association (APA) that lists the criteria for close to 400 mental health disorders.
Axis 1 (Clinical Disorders)
Major categories of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, amnesia, substance abuse, and schizophrenia.
Axis 2 (Personality Disorders; Mental Retardation)
Lifelong conditions that negatively affect a person’s ability to function. Divided into two major classes: mental retardation and personality disorders.
Axis 3 (General Medical Conditions)
Physical problems or conditions – such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, diabetes, arthritis – that may influence the person’s mental health and that must also be considered when medication is prescribed.
Axis 4 (Psychosocial and Environmental Problems)
Psychosocial problems might include problems holding a job or staying in school, or lack of social support. Environmental problems might include physical or sexual abuse, or experiencing a traumatic event.
Axis 5 (Global Assessment of Functioning)
A numerical scale for evaluating the person’s level of functioning. A rating of 90 indicates a person who is functioning very well in all areas of life, has minimal symptoms, if any, and is experiencing only everyday problems. At a rating of 50, a person shows serious symptoms of one or more problems with relationships, work, or school, including possible suicidal thoughts and obsessional behavior.
A disorder marked by excessive apprehension that seriously interferes with a person’s ability to function.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
An anxiety disorder characterized by chronic, constant worry in almost all situations.
An anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear and anxiety in the absence of danger that is accompanied by strong physical symptoms.
An excessive fear of being places from which escape might be difficult or where help might not be available if one were to experience panic.
An anxiety disorder characterized by an intense fear of a specific object or situation.
A persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation.
An irrational, persistent fear of being negatively evaluated by others in a social situation.
A recurrent thought or image that intrudes on a person’s awareness.
Repetitive behavior that a person feels a strong urge to perform.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
An anxiety disorder involving a pattern of unwanted intrusive thoughts and the urge to engage in repetitive actions.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
An anxiety disorder, characterized by distressing memories, emotional numbness, and hypervigilance, that develops after exposure to a traumatic event.
A disorder marked by a loss of awareness of some part of one’s self or one’s self or one’s surroundings that seriously interferes with the person’s ability to function.
Dissociative Fugue Disorder
A disorder marked by episodes of amnesia in which a person is unable to recall some or all of his or her past and is confused about his or her identity; a new identity may be formed in which the person suddenly and unexpectedly travels away from home.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
A disorder in which two or more personalities coexist within the same individual; formerly called multiple personality disorder.
A disorder marked by physical complaints that have no apparent physical cause.
A somatoform disorder in which the person persistently worries over having a disease, without any evident physical basis.
A disorder marked by a significant change in one’s emotional state that seriously interferes with one’s ability to function.
A mood disorder involving dysphoria, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in one’s usual activities, and changes in bodily activities such as sleep and appetite that persists for at least 2 weeks.
An extreme state of sadness.
Absence of pleasure from one’s usual activities.
A mood disorder that is a less severe but more chronic form of major depression.
A mood disorder characterized by both depression and mania
A period of abnormally excessive energy and elation.
A mood disorder that is a less severe but more chronic form of bipolar disorder.
The belief that one cannot control the outcome of events.
Ruminative Coping Style
The tendency to persistently focus on how one feels without attempting to do anything about one’s feelings.
Thought that tends to be pessimistic and negative.
A severe disorder characterized by disturbances in the thought, perceptions, emotions, and behavior.
A thought or belief that a person believes to be true but in reality is not.
Perceiving something that does not exist in reality.
A symptom of schizophrenia that includes inappropriate or unusual behavior in a situation such as silliness, catatonic excitement, or catatonic stupor.
A disorder in motor behavior involving immobility.
A disorder in motor behavior involving excited agitation.
A lack of emotional expression.
Decreased quality and/or quantity of speech.
The inability to follow through on one’s plans.
A disorder marked by maladaptive behavior that has been stable across a long period and across many situations.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
A personality disorder marked by a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others with no remorse or guilt for one’s actions.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
A personality disorder marked by a pattern of instability in mood, relationships, self-image, and behavior.