The conceptualization of psychological abnormalities as diseases that, like biological diseases, have symptoms and causes and possible cures.
A classification system that describes the features used to diagnose each recognized mental disorder and indicates how the disorder can be distinguished from other, similar problems.
The co-occurrence of two or more disorders in a single individual.
Suggests that a person may be predisposed for a mental disorder that remains unexpressed until triggered by stress.
The class of mental disorder in which anxiety is the predominant feature.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A disorder characterized by chronic excessive worry accompanied by three or more of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance.
Disorders characterized by marked, persistent, and excessive fear and avoidance of specific objects, activities, or situations.
A disorder that involves an irrational fear of a particular object or situation that markedly interferes with an individual's ability to function.
A disorder that involves an irrational fear of being publicly humiliated or embarrassed.
The idea that people are instinctively predisposed toward certain fears.
A disorder characterized by the sudden occurrence of multiple psychological and physiological symptoms that contribute to a feeling of stark terror.
An extreme fear of venturing into public places.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
A disorder in which repetitive, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and ritualistic behaviors (compulsions) designed to fend off those thoughts interfere significantly with an individual's functioning.
A condition in which normal cognitive processes are severely disjointed and fragmented, creating significant disruptions in memory, awareness, or personality that can vary in length from a matter of minutes to many years.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
The presence within an individual of two or more distinct identities that at different times take control of the individual's behavior.
The sudden loss of memory for significant personal information.
The sudden loss of memory for one's personal history, accompanied by an abrupt departure from home and the assumption of a new identity.
Mental disorders that have mood disturbance as their predominant feature.
Major Depressive Disorder
A disorder characterized by a severely depressed mood that lasts 2 weeks or more and and is accompanied by feelings of worthlessness and lack of pleasure, lethargy, and sleep and appetite disturbances.
A disorder that involves the same symptoms as in depression only less severe, but the symptoms last longer, persisting for at least 2 years.
A moderately depressed mood that persists for at least 2 years and is punctuated by periods of major depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Depression that involves recurrent depressive episodes in a seasonal pattern.
The idea that individuals who are prone to depression automatically attribute negative experiences to causes that are internal (i.e. their own fault), stable (i.e. unlikely to change), and global (i.e. widespread).
An unstable emotional condition characterized by cycles of abnormal, persistent high mood (mania) and low mood (depression).
A disorder characterized by the profound disruption of basic psychological processes; a distorted perception of reality; altered or blunted emotion, and disturbances in thought, motivation, and behavior.
A patently false belief system, often bizarre and grandiose, that is maintained in spite of its irrationality.
A false perceptual experience that has a compelling sense of being real despite the absence of external stimulation.
A severe disruption of verbal communication in which ideas shift rapidly and incoherently from one topic to another unrelated topic.
Grossly Disorganized Behavior
Behavior that is inappropriate for the situation or ineffective in attaining goals, often with specific motor disturbances.
A marked decrease in all movement or an increase in muscular rigidity and overactivity.
Negative Symptoms (schizophrenia)
Emotional and social withdrawal; apathy; poverty of speech; and other indications of the absence or insufficiency of normal behavior, motivation, and emotion.
The idea that schizophrenia involves an excess of dopamine activity.
Emotional overinvolvement (intrusiveness) and excessive criticism directed toward the former patient by his or her family.
A disorder characterized by deeply ingrained, inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or relating to others or controlling impulses that cause distress or impaired functioning.
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD)
A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.