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Psychological Disorders

any pattern of behavior that causes people significant distress, causes them to harm others, or harms their ability to function in daily life

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

a psychological disorder marked by the appearance by age 7 of one or more of three key symptoms: extreme inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. (Myers Psychology 9e p. 595)

Medical Model

the concept that diseases, in this case psychological disorders, have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and, in most cases, cured, often through treatment in a hospital


the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, with an updated "text revision"; a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders.

Anxiety Disorders

psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

An anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal.

Panic Disorder

an anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable minutes-long episodes of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations.


An anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsession) and/ or actions (compulsions).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD)

An anxiety disorder in which a person who has experienced a traumatic or life-threatening event has symptoms such as psychic numbing, reliving of the trauma, and increased physiological arousal.

Post-Traumatic Growth

positive psychological changes as a result of struggling with extremely challenging circumstances and life crises.

Somatoform Disorder

psychological disorder in which the symptoms take a somatic (bodily) form without apparent physical cause (See conversion disorder)

Conversion Disorder

a rare somatoform disorder in which a person experiences very specific genuine physical symptoms for which no physiological basis can be found.


chronic and abnormal anxiety about imaginary symptoms and ailments

Dissociative Disorders

disorders in which conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

a rare dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities. Also called multiple personality disorder. (Myers Psychology 9e p. 609)

Mood Disorders

psychological disorders characterized by emotional extremes. See major depressive disorder, mania, and bipolar disorder. (Myers Psychology e p. 611)

Major Depressive Disorder

a mood disorder in which a person experiences, in the absence of drugs or a medical condition, two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods, feelings of worthlessness, and diminished interest or pleasure in most activities.


a mood disorder marked by a hyperactive, wildly optimistic state

Bipolar Disorder

a mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania. ( Formally called manic-depressive disorder. )


a group of severe disorders characterized by disorganized and delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions.


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

Personality Disorders

psychological disorders characterized by inflexible and enduring behavior patterns that impair social functioning. (Myers Psychology 9e p. 628)

Antisocial Personality Disorder

a personality disorder in which the person (usually a man) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members. May be aggressive and ruthless or a clever con artist.

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