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Abnormal behavior

statistically rare
judged to be maladaptive
socially unacceptable
personally distressing to the individual

Psychoanalytical model

Cause of abnormal behavior is rooted deep within the unconscious mind, unresolved intra-psychic behavior.

Humanistic Model

Abnormal behavior is a result of environmental influence, from deviating from your true self

Cognitive Model

When thoughts and belief systems are disordered and faulty, one may easily begin to distrust others and explain events in very pessimistic ways.

Biomedical Model

it is due to structural or chemical abnormalities in the brain

Behavioral Approach

abnormal behavior has at some point been rewarded or reinforced, and has now been learned

Sociocultural approach

holds that society and culture help define what is acceptable behavior


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders by the APA
classifies psychological disorders across 5 axes

Axis I

major disorders like mood, eating, sleeping, substance-related disorders, and perceptual and cognitive disruptions

Axis II

Personality disorders (avoidant, dependent personalities, retardation)

Axis III

physical disorders that have an impact on behavior

Axis IV

asses level of psychosocial and environmental stress person is experiencing

Axis V

overall assessment of person's level of functions

Criticisms of the DSM IV TR

Relies too heavily on the medical model
"Casts too wide a net"- too many disorders
Symptoms of some disorders overlap

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders activate the sympathetic nervous system and cause excessive worry and discomfort

Panic Disorder (AD)

Repeated attacks of intense fear with
severe medical symptoms

Generalized anxiety disorder (AD)

Excessive anxiety not focused on specific
situation or object

Phobia (AD)

intense, irrational fear of avoidance of stimuli or event
-specific phobias (claustrophobia)
-social phobias, fear of being publicly humiliated


Persistent worries accompanied by
compulsive ritualistic behavior


Trauma followed by flashbacks and nightmares

Somatoform disorders

when patients complain of physical symptoms without a known organic (biological) cause.

Conversion Disorder (SD)

Loss of physical ability (ex. sight) with no
organic cause
Such a person is convinced his or her symptoms are real, but doesn't show a typical level of distress.


Preoccupation with illness where none is present, often to get attention

Factitious disorders (SD)

person inflicts injury or ingests toxins in order to produce symptoms

Mood/Affective Disorders

change stable moods from excessively euphoric to dysphoric.

Unipolar (MD)

AKA Major depression
Intense sadness, change in eating and
sleeping activity, changes in energy level
and concentration, persists for more than
two weeks (lack of serotonin)

Seasonal affective disorder (MD)

Depression which usually occurs in late

Bipolar Disorder (MD)

Alternating episodes of mania (euphoric
mood, reckless behavior, grandiosity,
and loss of contact with reality) and
major depressive episodes


psychotic disorder characterized by gross (large) disturbances of affect (expression of emotions), perception, movement, and thought or language.

Dopamine hypothesis

theory suggests schizophrenics have an excess number of dopamine receptors in the brain which causes symtoms

Disorganized (schizo)

Hallucinations, incoherence,
inappropriate affect, delusions

Paranoid (Schizo)

Delusions of grandeur or persecution

Catatonic (Schizo)

Disordered movement: stupor alternating
with excitement

Undifferentiated (Schizo)

Disturbances of thought, behavior and
emotion that don't fit into any other

Organic Disorders

caused by damage to brain tissues, maybe because of disease or chemicals

Personality Disorders

pervasive expression of extreme, abnormal personality which interfere with normal social functioning

Paranoid PD

extreme distrust and suspicion of others

Antisocial PD

marked by disregard for rights or interests of others

Narcissistic PD

self-preoccupations and need for others to focus on oneself

Dependent PD

need to be cared for

Histrionic PD

excessive emotional reactions and excitability, as well as by need for attention

Dissociative disorders

involve a dysfunction of memory or an altered sense of identity

Amnesia DD

sudden loss of memory following trauma

Anterograde Amnesia

loss of memories occuring after hte traumatic event

retrograde amnesia

loss of memories from before the traumatic event

Dissociative Fugue

complete loss of identity, can be caused by severe stress, assumption of new identity (leave homes and go far away)

Dissociative identity Disorder

appearance of 2 or more distinct identities in one individual, IDs might not be aware of each other


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder
Either can't concentrate or constant need to move and do something

Rosenhan Study

8 people were diagnosed with schizophrenia even when they accurate answers to all psych questions

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