Psych Crash Course: Abnormal Psychology

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Five Ways to Define Abnormality
1. Abnormal in culture
2. Personal distress
3. prevents functioning in society
4. Danger to self or others
5. Questions legal responsbilities
Rosenhan sanity study
showed difficulty diagnosing abnormality; Rosenhan and associates (all “normal”) reported hallucinations to gain admittance to psychiatric ward; once admitted, “plants” were treated as abnormal patients
intense, irrational fears of specific items or situations; include agoraphobia (fear of open, public
spaces) and social phobia (fear of embarrassing social situations)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
chronic, pervasive low-level anxiety
Panic disorder
intermittent anxiety, characterized by panic attacks (episodes of frightening mental and physical symptoms)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD
includes obsessions (uncontrollable, repetitive internal thoughts that cause anxiety) and compulsions (behaviors performed to counteract obsessive thoughts)
Major depression
characterized by unhappiness, fatigue, loss of appetite, low self-esteem
Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
periods of depression followed by periods of mania (high energy, lack of
Seasonal affective disorders
mood affected by time of year, and/or lack of sunlight
Dissociative disorders
includes amnesia (person loses memory for personal identity) and identity (two or more distinct personalities in one person)
Somatoform disorders
disorders that take bodily form (e.g. hypochondriasis, conversion)
Schizophrenia Positive Symptoms
hallucinations, disorganized thought and speech, delusions (false beliefs)
Schizophrenia Negative Symptoms
lack of speech and emotion expression, social withdrawal
Catatonic Schizophrenia
motionlessness, sudden frenziedness, and holding of contorted postures
incoherence, inappropriate emotional reactions
delusions of persecution or grandeur
Personality disorders
stable patterns of experience and behavior that differ noticeably from patterns that are considered normal by a person’s culture;
Disorders include antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder
Categories: Abnormal Psychology