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antisocial personality disorder

A disorder in which the person (usually men) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members. Formerly, this person was called a sociopath or psychopath

anxiety disorders

Involve distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

A psychological disorder characterized by one or more of three symptoms: extreme in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity

biopsychosocial approach

Anintegrated perspective that focuses on biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis for a given behavior or mental process

bipolar disorder

The mood disorder in which a person alternates between depression and the euphoria of a manic state


A split between different levels of consciousness, allowing a person to divide attention between two or more thoughts

dissociative disorders

Involves a separation of conscious awareness from one's previous memories, thoughts, and feelings

dissociative identity disorder

A disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities


A short name for the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, which provides a widely used system of classifying psychological disorders

generalized anxiety disorder

The person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal for no apparent reason


False sensory experiences that occur without any sensory stimulus

major depressive disorder

The mood disorder that occurs when a person exhibits the lethargy, feelings of worthlessness, or loss of interest in family, friends, and activities characteristic of depression for more than a two-week period and have no discernible reason


The wildly optimistic, euphoric, hyperactive state that alternates with depression in the bipolar disorder

mood disorders

Characterized by emotional extremes

panic disorder

An episode of intense dread accompanied by chest pain, dizziness, or choking.

personality disorders

Characterized by inflexible and enduring maladaptive character traits that impair social functioning

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

An anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety and/or insomnia lasting four weeks or more following a traumatic experience

psychological disorder

Behavior must be deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional to be this


Refers to the group of severe disorders whose symptoms may include disorganized and delusional thinking, inappropriate emotions and actions, and disturbed perceptions

Medical Model

Concept that diseases have physical causes and they can be diagnosed, treated, and in most cases, cured.


A widely used system for classifying psychological disorders


Persistent, irrational fear of a specific object or situation

Panic Disorder

Marked by a minutes-long episode of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensation

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions)


False beliefs, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders


False sensory experiences such as seeing something without any external visual stimulus


Immobility (or excessive, purposeless movement),

Borderline Personality Disorder

Difficulty developing a secure sense of who they are. Tend to rely on relationships with others to define their identity.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Exaggerated sense of self-importance.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Marked by inattention, impulsiveness, a low tolerance fro frustration, great deal of inappropriate activity.


An inborn sensitivity to schizophrenia (or other disorders) that makes people vulnerable to stress factors in the environment.

Somatoform Disorders

Psychological difficulties that take on a physical (somatic) form.

Philippe Pinel

French physician who worked to reform the treatment of people with mental disorders

Cyclothymic Disorder

Is a mild form of bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness) in which a person has mood swings over a period of years that go from mild depression to euphoria and excitement.

Dysthymic Disorder

Chronic type of depression in which a person's moods are regularly low. However, symptoms are not as severe as with major depression.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

Personality disorder is a condition in which people act in a very emotional and dramatic way that draws attention to themselves.

Conversion Disorder

Type of somatoform disorder, marked by paralysis, weakness, or loss of sensation but with no discernable physical cause.

Hypochondriasis or hypochondria

A somatoform disorder involving excessive concern about health and disease.

Depersonalization Disorder

An abnormality involving the sensation that minda dn ody have separated, as in an "out of body" experience.

Diathesis-Stress Hypothesis

The proposal that says that genetic factors place the individual AT RISK while environmental stress factors transform this potential into an actual disorder.

Dissociative Amnesia

A psychologically induces loss of memory for personal information, such as one's identity or residence.

Dissociative Fugue

Essentially the same as dissociated amnesia, but with the addition of flight from one's home, family and job.


A legal term, not a psychological or psychiatric one, referring to a person who is unable because of a mental disorder or defect, to conform his or her behavior to the law.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of success or power, and a need for constant attention or admiration.


A disorder involving profound disturbances in perception, rational thinking or affect.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Technically seasonal pattern specifier, this DSM-IV course specifier for mood disorders is believed to be a from of depression caused by deprivation of sunlight.


Fear of open, public spaces. People with this may be afraid to venture out of their home at all.

Learned Helplessness

Depression has been foudn to correlate positively with this. Occurs when one's prior experiences have casued a person to view himself or herself as unable to control aspects of the future that are controllable. When undesirable things occur, the individual feels unable to improve the situations and therefore become depressed.

Delusions of Persecution

Belief that people are out to get you.

Delusions of Granduer

Belief that you enjoy greater power and influence than you do.

Disorganized Schizophrenia

Some odd uses of language, they may make up their own words (neologism) or string together series of nonsense words that rhyme (clang assocations). Also have inappropriate affect. For instance, they may laugh in response to hearing someone has died.

Paranoid Schizophrenia

Key symptom in this is delusions of persecution. For example, a man suffering from this woudl believe that others are trying to hurt him.

Catatonic Schizophrenia

Engage in odd movements. they may remain motionless in strange postures for hours at a time, move jerkily and quickly for no apparent reaons or alternate between the two.

Waxy Flexibility

A characteristic of catatonic schizophrenia. Sufferers allow their bodies to be moved into any alternative shape and will then hold that new pose.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

Exhibit disordered thinking but no symptoms of one of the other types of schizophrenia.

Dopamine Hypothesis

States that high levels of dopamine seem to be associated with schizophrenia.

Tardive Dyskinesia

Muscle tremors and stiffness caused by extensive use of psychotic drugs.

Diathesis Stress Model

Often applied to schizophrenia but more widely to all disorders. Environmental stressors can provide the circumstances under which a biological predisposition for illness that express itself. Helps explain why even people with identical genetic makeups do not always suffer from the same disorder.

Dependent Personality Disorder

Sufferers rely too much on the attention and help of others.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Sufferers feel constantly persecuated.

Rosenhan Study

1978 conducted a study in which he and associates sough admission to a number of mental hospitals. All claimed to hear voices, which was the sole symptom they reported. All were admitted to the institutions as suferring from schizophrenia. At that time they ceased reporting any unusual symptoms and behavied as they usually did. None of the researchers were expsed as imposters, and all ultimately left the institutions with the diagnosis of schizophrenia in remission.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Sufferers may be overly concerned with certain thoughts and performing certain behaviors, but they will not be debilated to the same extent that some with the anxiety disorder would.

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