Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders (Key Terms)

Medical model
Proposes that it is useful to thinking of abnormal behavior as a disease

Diagnosis
Involves distinguishing one illness from another

Etiology
Refers to the apparent causation and developmental history of an illness

Prognosis
A forecast about the probable course of an illness

Comorbidity
The coexistence of two or more disorders

Epidemiology
The study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population

Prevalence
Refers to the percentage of a population that exhibit a disorder during a specified time period

Common types of psychological disorders
1) Substance use disorders
2) Anxiety disorders
3) Mood disorders

Anxiety disorders
A class of disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety

5 principal types of anxiety disorders
1) Generalized anxiety disorder
2) Phobic disorder
3) Panic disorder
4) Obsessive-compulsive disorder
5) Posttraumatic stress disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder
Marked by a chronic, high level of anxiety that is not tied to any specific threat; people with this disorder worry about yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s problems

Phobic disorder
Marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no realistic danger

Panic disorder
Characterized by recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually occur suddenly and unexpectedly; these paralyzing feelings are accompanied by physical symptoms of anxiety

Agoraphobia
A fear of going out to public places

Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Marked by persistent, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts and urges to engage in senseless rituals

Posttraumatic stress disorder
Involves enduring psychological disturbance attributed to the experience of a major traumatic event

Concordance rate
Indicates the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives who exhibit the same disorder

Dissociative disorders
A class of disorders in which people lose contact with portions of their consciousness or memory, resulting in disruptions in their sense of identity

Dissociative amnesia
A sudden loss of memory for important personal information that is too extensive to be due to normal forgetting

Dissociative fugue
People lose their memory for their entire lives along with their sense of personal identity; these people forget their name, their family, where they live, and where they work

Dissociative identity disorder
Involves the coexistence in one person of two or more largely complete, and usually very different, personalities

Mood disorders
A class of disorders marked by emotional disturbances of varied kinds that may spill over to disrupt physical, perceptual, social, and thought processes

Major depressive disorder
People who show persistent feelings of sadness and despair and a loss of interest in previous sources of pleasure; onset of depression can occur at any point in the life span; an earlier age of onset is associated with more episodes of depression, more severe symptoms, and general impairment of social and occupational functioning; lifetime prevalence estimate = 13%-14%

Depressive epiodes
Vast majority (75%-95%) of people who suffer from depression more than one episode over the course of their lifetime; average number of depressive episodes is 5 to 6; average length of these episodes is about 6 months

Anhedonia
A diminished ability to experience pleasure; a central feature of depression

Bipolar disorder
Characterized by the experience of one or more manic episodes as well as periods of depression; affects less than 1% of the population

Manic episodes
One episode is sufficient to qualify for this diagnosis (bipolar disorder); in a episode, a person’s mood becomes elevated to the point of euphoria; episodes typically last about 4 months

Suicide
11th leading cause of death in the United States; accounts for about 30,000 deaths annually; 90% of the people who complete suicide suffer from some type of psychological disorder

Hippocampus
Known to play a major role in memory consolidation

Neurogenesis
The formation of new neurons in the brain

Schizophrenic disorders
A class of disorders marked by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and deterioration of adaptive behavior; 1% of the population may suffer from schizophrenia; severe, debilitating disorder that tends to have an early onset (75% manifest by 30) and often requires lengthy hospital care; financial impact of schizophrenia is estimated to exceed the costs of all types of cancers combined

Delusions
False beliefs that are maintained even though they clearly are out of touch with reality

Hallucinations
Sensory perceptions that occur in the absence of a real, external stimulus or are are gross distortions of perceptual input

4 subtypes of schizophrenia disorders
1) Paranoid schizophrenia
2) Catatonic schizophrenia
3) Disorganized schizophrenia
4) Undifferentiated schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia
Dominated by delusions of persecution, along with delusions of grandeur; people come to believe that they have many enemies who want to harass and oppress them

Delusions of grandeur
People maintain that they are famous or important

Catatonic schizophrenia
Marked by striking motor disturbances, ranging from muscular rigidity to random motor activity; not particularly common, prevalence declining

Disorganized schizophrenia
A particularly severe deterioration of adaptive behavior is seen; prominent symptoms = emotional indifference, frequent incoherence, and virtually complete social withdrawal

Undifferentiated schizophrenia
People who are clearly schizophrenic but who cannot be placed into any of the three other categories; marked by idiosyncratic mixtures of schizophrenic symptoms; fairly common

Negative symptoms
Involve behavioral deficits, such as flattening emotions, social withdrawal, apathy, impaired attention, and poverty of speech

Positive symptoms
Involve behavioral excesses or peculiarities, such as hallucinations, delusions, bizarre behavior, and wild flights of ideas

Dopamine hypothesis
Asserts that excess dopamine activity is the neurochemical basis for schizophrenia

Expressed emotion
The degree to which a relative of a patient displays highly critical or emotionally overinvolved attitudes toward the patient

Neurodevelopmental hypothesis
The etiology of schizophrenia may involve pathologic processes, caused by both genetic and environmental factors, that begin before the brain approaches its adult anatomical state in adolescence

Anxiety sensitivty
Oversensitivity to physical symptoms of anxiety may lead to overreactions to feelings

Personality disorders
A class of disorders marked by extreme, inflexible personality traits that cause subjective distress or impaired social and occupational functioning; people with these disorders usually emerge during late childhood or adolescence

3 clusters of personality disorders
1) Anxious-fearful
2) Odd-eccentric
3) Dramatic-impuslive

Antisocial personaltiy disorders
Marked by impulsive, callous, manipulative, aggressive, and irresponsible behavior that reflects a failure to accept social norms

Insanity
A legal status indicating that a person cannot be held responsible for his or her actions because of mental illness

Voluntary commitment
People are hospitalized in psychiatric facilities against their will

Culture-bound disorders
Abnormal syndromes found only in a few cultural groups

Eating disorders
Severe disturbances in eating behavior characterized by preoccupation with weight and unhealthy efforts to control weight

Anorexia nervosa
Involves intense fear of gaining weight, disturbed body image, refusal to maintain normal weight ,and use of dangerous measures to lose weight; 2 types; people who enter treatment are typically 25%-30% below their normal weight; eventually lead to amenorrhea, gastrointestinal problems, low blood pressure, osteoporosis, and metabolic disturbances that can lead to cardiac arrest or circulatory collapse

Restricting type anorexia nervoa
People drastically reduce their intake of food, sometimes literally starving themselves

Binge-eating/purging anorexia nervosa
Individuals attempt to lose weight by forcing themselves to vomit after meals, by misusing laxatives and diuretics, and by engaging in excessive exercise

Amenorrhea
A loss of menstrual cycles in women

Bulimia nervosa
Involves habitually engaging in out-of-control overeating followed by unhealthy compensatory efforts, such as self-inducing vomiting, fasting, abuse of laxatives and diuretics, and excessive exercise

Binge-eating disorder
Involves distress-inducing eating binges that are not accompanied by the purging, fasting, and excessive exercise seen in bulimia;

Representativeness heuristic
Basing the estimated probability of an events on how similar it is to the typical prototype of that event

Point prevalence rates
Estimate the percentage of people manifesting various disorders at a particular point in time

Conjunction fallacy
Occurs when people estimate that the odds of two uncertain events happening together are greater than the odds of either event happening alone

Availability heuristic
Basing the estimated probability of an event on the ease with which relevant instances come to mind

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