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Chapter 1
Abnormal Psychology: An Overview

Copyright 2006 Allyn & Bacon

What Do We Mean by Abnormal Behavior?


There is no consensus definition There are, however, some clear elements of abnormality

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The Elements of Abnormality


Elements of abnormality include Suffering Maladaptiveness Deviancy Violation of the standards of society Social discomfort Irrationality and unpredictability
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The Elements of Abnormality


However, no one element is sufficient to define and determine abnormality, and what is considered deviant changes as society changes

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Working Definition
A psychological dysfunction associated with distress or impairment in functioning that is not typical or culturally expected

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Is our society more or less tolerant of mental illness????


No Single Definition of Psychological Abnormality No Single Definition of Psychological Normality

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Why Do We Need to Classify Mental Disorders?


Classification systems provide us with a categorization that allows us to structure information Knowing what disorder people suffering from is helpful Diagnostic classification systems classify disorders, not people What s wrong with classifying disorders?
Copyright 2006 Allyn & Bacon

By classifying mental disorders, do we promote the stigma of mental illness?

Copyright 2006 Allyn & Bacon

The DSM-IV Definition of Mental Disorder


A clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern Associated with distress or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) Not merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event (e.g., the death of a loved one) Considered to reflect behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual
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Prevalence and Incidence


Epidemiology The study of the distribution of diseases, disorders, or health-related behaviors in a given population Psychiatric Epidemiology is a field which seeks to measure the prevalence of mental illness in society The Lifetime prevalence of having a DSM-IV disorder is 46.7%
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Prevalence and Incidence


Prevalence
The number of active cases in a population during any given period of time Disorder with the highest lifetime prevalence is ___________ .
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Prevalence of DSM-IV Disorders in Adults


50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

One-Year (%) Lifetime (%)

Any mood disorder


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Any anxiety disorder

Any substanceabuse disorder

Any disorder
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Most Common Individual DSM-IV Disorders


18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

One-Year Prevalence (%) Lifetime Prevalence (%)

Major depressive disorder

Alcohol abuse

Specific phobia

Social phobia

Conduct disorder

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Treatment
Not all people with disorders get treatment
Some deny or minimize their problems Some fear stigma of diagnosis Some try to cope on their own Some spontaneously recover Some see general practitioner physicians Copyright 2006 Allyn & Bacon

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Who seeks therapy?


In the United States, people who are middleaged, female, from Western states, and highly educated are the most likely to have been in therapy at some point in their lives.
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The Mental Health Team


Diagnosis and assessment may involve a number of participants who
Play differing roles in the process Gather data germane to a comprehensive evaluation of the patient s situation
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Personnel in Mental Health Professionals


Clinical psychologist Counseling psychologist School psychologist Psychiatrist Psychoanalyst Clinical social worker Psychiatric nurse Occupational therapist Mental health counselor

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