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abnormal behavior

is deviant, maladaptive, or personally distressful over a relatively long period of time

medical model

describes psychological disorders as medical diseases with a biological origin

biological approach

psychological disorders to organic, internal causes... primarily focuses on the brain, genetic factors, and neurotransmitter functioning as the sources of abnormality

psychological approach

emphasizes the contributions of experiences, thoughts, emotions, and personality characteristics in explaining psychological disorders

sociocultural approach

emphasizes the social contexts in which a person lives, including gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family relationships, and culture

biopsychosocial model

influenced by biological factors (such as genes), psychosocial factors (such as childhood experiences), and socioculutral factors (such as gender).


diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, introduced in 1994

Axis I

all diagnostic categories except personality disorders and mental retardation

Axis II

Personality disorders and mental retardation

Axis III

General medical conditions

Axis IV

Psychosocial and environmental problems

Axis V

current level of functioning

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

one of the most common psychological disorders of childhood, in which individuals show one or more of the following: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity

criticism of DSM-IV

complex interaction of biological, psychological, and environmental factors in psychological disorders, reflects the medical model, focuses strictly on pathology and problems

anxiety disorders

involve fears that are uncontrollable, disproportionate to the actual danger the person might be in, and disruptive of ordinary life- motor tension, hyperactivity, and apprehensive expectations and thoughts

Types of anxiety disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder

generalized anxiety disorder

psychological disorder marked by persistent anxiety for least 6 months, and in which the individual is unable to specify the reasons for the anxiety

panic disorder

anxiety disorder in which the individual experiences recurrent, sudden onsets of intense terror, often without warning and with no specific cause

phobic disorder (phobia)

anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational, overwhelming, persistent fear of a particular object or situation

obsessive-compulsive disorder

anxiety-provoking thoughts that will not go away and/or urges to perform repetitive, ritualistic behaviors to prevent or produce some future situation

post-traumatic stress disorder

anxiety disorder that develops through exposure to a traumatic event, a severely oppressive situation, cruel abuse, or a natural or an unnatural disaster

PTSD symptoms

fashbacks (reliving events), avoiding emotional experiences and avoiding talking about emotions with others, reduced ability to feel emotions, excessivie arousal, diff arousal, diff with memory and concentration, feelings of apprehension, impulsive outbursts

mood disorders

psychological disorders in which there is a primary disturbance of mood: prolonged emotion that colors the individual's entire emotional state

depressive disorders

mood disorders in which the individual suffers from despression: an unrelenting lack of pleasure in life

major depressive disorder

involving a major depressive episode and depressed characteristics, such as lethargy and hopelessness, for at least two weeks

MDD symptoms

five must be present during a two-week period- depressed mood most of the day, reduced interest or pleasure... see page 424

Dysthymic disorder

mood disorder that is generally more chronic and has fewer symptoms than MDD

DD symptoms

poor appetite or overeating, sleep problems, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, poor concentration or difficulty making decisions, feelings of hopelessness

biological factors

genetic, lower levels of brain activity in a section of the prefrontal cortex that is involved in generating actions

learned helplessness

an individual's acquisition of feelings of powerlessness when he or she is exposed to aversive circumstances, such as prolonged stress, over which that individual has no control

sociocultural factors

individuals with a low socioeconomic status... women are twice as likely to develop depression

bipolar disorder

a mood disorder that is characterized by extreme mood swings that include one or more episodes of mania, an overexcited, unrealistically optimistic state

anorexia nervosa

eating disorder that involves the relentless pursuit of thinness through starvation, more common in girls than women,

main characteristics of A.N.

weight less than 85 percent of what is considered norman for age and height

bulimia nervosa

eating disorder in which an individual (typically a girl or a woman) consistently follows a binge-and-purge eating pattern


many personality characteristics and behaviors that are associated with anorexia and bulimia are influenced by genes

binge eating disorder

characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food during which the person feels a lack of control over eating

dissociative disorders

psychological disorders that involve a sudden loss of memory or change in identity due to the dissociation (separation) of the individual's conscious awareness from previous memories and thoughts


the inability to recall important events

dissociative amnesia

characterized by extreme memory loss that is caused by extensive psychological stress

dissociative fugue

fugue means flight, dissociative disorder in which the individual not only develops amnesia buy also unexpectedly travels away from home and assumes a new identity

dissociative identity disorder

formerly called multiple personality disorder, a dissociative disorder in which the individual has two or more distinct personalities or selves, each with its own memories, behaviors, and relationships


a severe psychological disorder that is characterized by highly disordered thought processes, referred to as psychotic because they are so far removed from reality


sensory experiences that occur in the absence of real stimuli


false, unusual, and sometimes magical beliefs that are not part of an individual's culture

referential thinking

ascribing personal meaning to completely random events


state of immobility and unresponsiveness, lasting for long periods of time

flat affect

display of little or no emotion- a common negative symptom of schizophrenia

thought disorder

unusual, sometimes bizarre thought processes that are characterstic positive symptoms of schizophrenia

"positive" symptoms of schizophrenia

reflect something added above and beyond normal behavior- hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, and disorders of movement

"negative" symptoms

reflect social withdrawl, behavioral deficits, and the loss or decrease of normal functions


genetic factors play a role in schizophrenia, structural brain abnormalities, problems in neurotransmitter regulation, stress may contribute to the development, poverty contributes as well

diathesis-stress model

argues that a combination of biogenetic disposition and stress causes schizophrenia (diathesis means physical vulnerability or predisposition to a particular disorder)

personality disorders

chronic, maladaptive cognitive-behavioral patterns that are thoroughly integrated into an individual's personality


10 different personality disorders

anti social personality disorder

psychological disorder characterized by guiltlessness, law-breaking, exploitation of others, irresponsibility, and deceit

DSM-IV criteria for anti social personality disorder include:

failure to conform to social norms, deceitfulness, lying, impulsivity or failure to plan ahead,... page 440

borderline personality disorder

a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions, and of marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts

BPD symptoms

frantic efforts to avoid being abandoned, unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extreme shifts.. ph 441


over 26% of Americans age 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable psychological disorder in a given year


they are people!

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