Psych Notes Case Essay Sample

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Psychological disorders – disorders reflecting abnormalities of the mind (variation from the cultural standard) Medical Student Disease – diagnosing yourself with every possible illness How many people develop a psych disorder? – 4/10 What are psychological disorder symptoms from? – internal dysfunction (biological, psychological) Medical model – the conceptualization of psychological abnormalities as diseases that, like biological diseases, have symptoms, causes and possible cures 3 parts to the medical model? –

the medical model? – diagnosis, symptoms, possible cures Do you need to know cause to treat it? – No!

Intervention-causation fallacy – the assumption that if a treatment is effective, it must address the cause of the problem Intervention-causation fallacy example – you have sleepless nights because of worrying about a loved one, but once you take sleeping pills, you can sleep. Your insomnia could incorrectly be attributed to your lack of sleeping pills DSM-IV-TR – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: classification system describing diagnostic criteria, symptoms, ways to distinguish one disorder from another; helps clinicians communicate and target treatment 7 things DSM-IV-TR give: – – Most common symptoms

– Typical age of onset
– Predisposing factors
– Course of disorder
– Prevalence of disorders
– Sex ratio
– Cultural issues
Five Axes – definition – give you five considerations to be taken account when you are diagnosing people → to give you a “feel” for a patient What are the five axes? – – Principle disorder (depression)

– Personality disorder, developmental disorder (mental retardation, learning, disability) – Medical problems (diabetes)
– Psychological stressors (unemployed)
– Global assessment of overall functioning (GAF score is 0-100) → 60 is someone you’d see; one number way to describe severity of how the disorder is impacting someone’s life Comorbidity – the co-occurrence of two or more disorders in a single individual 4 issues with DSM-IV-TR – 1.Danger of Over-Diagnosis: ADHD (people in the US are being diagnosed substantially more than in Europe) 2. Power of Diagnostic Labels: does a diagnosis follow someone forever? It can play a large role in the “self-fulfilling prophecy” → can possibly change how they choose to live their lives 3. Confusion between serious mental disorder and less significant issues (Schizophrenia vs. caffeine-induced sleep disorder)

4. Illusion of objectivity and universality: culturally and historically bound disorders → drapetomania: when slaves would run away they were diagnosed with a mental disorder, the fact that they were unhappy wasn’t considered Diathesis-stress model – definition – a model suggesting that a person may be predisposed for a mental disorder that remains unexpressed until triggered by stress → Nature AND Nurture Diathesis-stress model – explain – Individual vulnerability (genetic predisposition, history of insecure attachment, negative ways of thinking, hopelessness, brooding rumination, low self-esteem) + Upsetting events (loss of loved one, loss of job, failure, trauma, violence) – temporary unhappiness → SEVERE DEPRESSION Characterize anxiety and how it changes your behavior – Adaptive -> motivates you to do things based on the future consequencesGe → when there’s too much of it, or you don’t cope well, that’s when you have a disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Overwhelming, long lasting feelings of apprehension and doom – Continuous and uncontrollable, lasts a long time (has to be the majority of days for longer than six months) How many people suffer from GAD? (%) – 5% of Americans

How many of these 6 symptoms must be accompany chronic excessive worrying? – 3 of these: o Restlessness, keyed up, on edge
o Fatigue
o Concentration problems or mind goes blank
o Irritability
o Muscle tension
o Sleep disturbance
Panic Disorder – recurring attacks of intense fear/panic/terror Followed by how many of these 3 symptoms for how long? – 1 of these for at least 1 month – Attacks followed by persistent concern about having another attack – Worry about implications of attack

– Significant change of behavior related to attacks
Agoraphobia – (fear of public places) anxiety in places or situation where escape might be hard or embarrassing OR where help may not be available if you have a panic attack; situations are avoided or endured with marked distress/panic attack Panic Attack – discrete period of time of panic in which at least four symptoms develop abruptly and reach peak by ten minutes Panic attack symptoms – HR increase, sweating, shortness of breath, feeling of choking, chest pain, nausea or abdominal distress, dizzy or lightheaded, feeling of unreality or being detached from oneself, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, numbness or tingling, chills or hot flashes Why do you get panic attacks? – Everyone has those “heart skips a beat” moment.

If you don’t really react, you won’t have one. But if you feel it and freak out and think I’m going to have a panic attack, you will. It’s all about the interpretation of the anxiety symptoms Phobic Disorders – define – disorders characterized by marked, persistent and excessive fear and avoidance of specific objects, activities or situations → when the fear becomes chronic, pathological and interferes with your daily living, then it is labeled as a phobia Specific phobia – irrational fear of a particular object or situation that markedly interferes with an individual’s ability to function Five kinds of phobias – Animals (snakes, spiders),

Natural environments (height
Dark storms),
Situations (bridges, elevators) ,
Blood, injections, injury,
Other (illness, death)
Social phobia – irrational fear of being publicly humiliated or embarrassed Situations where they are being observed like eating in a restaurant, public speaking, party, → fear they will do or say something humiliating Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – a disorder in which obsessions and compulsions are used to fend off anxious feelings Obsessions – recurrent, persistent, unwanted thoughts or images (contamination, death, sex, disease, orderliness, disfigurement, aggression) → unwanted, horrific Compulsions – repetitive, ritualized, stereotyped behaviors that person feels must be carried out to avoid disaster (cleaning, checking, repeating, ordering, counting) Treatment – behavior modification therapy is the best solution so far; serotonin minimizes some of the symptoms Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – 4 characteristics – 1. trauma, 2. recurrent and intrusive thoughts, 3. physiological arousal (insomnia, irritability, impaired concentration, increased HR), 4. avoidance 6 things that make you more likely to develop PTSD – – Poor coping skills – Previous trauma

– Low social support
– Lower IQ
– Smaller hippocampus
– Low SES (socioeconomic status)
Mood disorders – : mental disorder that has mood disturbances as it’s predominant feature → depressive and bipolar disorders Major depression – severely depressed mood that lasts 2 or more weeks and is accompanied by feeligns of worthlessness, and lack of pleasure, lethargy, and sleep and appetite disturbances Women are how much more likely than men to suffer? – Two times more likely (but also more likely to get help) Depression symptoms – – Depressed mood

– Diminished interest or pleasure in activities
– Significant weight loss/gain OR decrease/increase in appetite – Insomnia or hypersomnia
– Psychomotor agitation or retardation (restless, slowed down) – Fatigue or loss of energy
– Feelings of worthlessness or excessive inappropriate guilt – Inability to concentrate, make decisions
– Recurrent thought of death, suicidal ideation with plan, suicide attempt – HOPELESSNESS
Dysthymia – the same cognitive and bodily problems as in depression but they are less severe and last longer – persisting for at least 2 years Double depression – periodic major depression and dysthymia

Postpartum depression – after giving birth; biological, social and responsibility changes lack of sleep/support Factors that can cause postpartum depression (~5) – previous depression, didn’t plan/fully accept pregnancy, traumatic/stressful pregnancy,  financial difficulties, poor relationship between the spouses

WHY do people develop depression? (3 give explanations) – -Genetic component, runs in families -Neurotransmitter differences (low serotonin) → can help people lacking neurotransmitters by giving the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and help them -Brain structure differences (but correlated, not necessarily causal) Helplessness theory (3 parts) – attribute negative experiences to causes that are 1. internal (their fault), 2. stable (unlikely to change), and 3. global (widespread) Helplessness theory example: – After getting bad grade, student would attribute to low intelligence (internal), stable (unlikely to change) and will lead to future failures in everything (global) Bipolar disorder – an unstable emotional condition characterized by cycles of abnormal, persistent high mood (mania) and low mood (depression) → extreme Bipolar I – major depression + manic episode

Bipolar II – major depression + hypomanic episode (not severe enough to cause marked impairment) Rapid cycling bipolar disorder is characterized by…. – at least 4 mood episodes in a given year Manic episode – define – abnormally high state of exhilaration, feeling powerful, full of plans based on delusional ideas, impulsive high risk behavior Manic episode symptoms – Inflated self esteem or grandiosity Decreased need for sleep, feel rested after 3 hours

More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing Distractibility (drawn to irrelevant external stimuli)
Increase in goal directed activity (social, work, school, sexual) or psychomotor agitation Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities with high potential for consequences (buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, foolish business investment) Schizophrenia – a disorder characterized by the profound disruption of basic psychological processes; a distorted perception of reality; altered or blunted emotion; and disturbances in thought, motivation and behavior Five types of schizophrenia –

1. Paranoid
2. Catatonic
3. Disorganized
4. Undifferentiated
5. Residual

Paranoid – preoccupation with delusions and hallucinations
Catatonic – immobility and stupor or agitated, purposeless motor activity Disorganized – disorganized speech and behavior and flat or inappropriate emotion Undifferentiated – rapidly changing mixture of all or most of the primary schizophrenia indicators Residual – mild indication of schizophrenia shown by individuals in remission following a schizophrenic episode Five schizophrenia symptoms – 1. delusions

2. hallucinations
3. disorganized, incoherent speech
4. grossly, disorganized behavior
5. negative symptoms
delusions – False belief system and thoughts, often bizarre and grandiose, maintained despite irrationality oIdentity, paranoid, thoughts inserted into head by someone else, broadcasts over TV, celebrity loves them. NO insight that they have lost control of their minds hallucinations – false sensory experience that feels real

o Hear voices, see things, smell things
o Common to commit suicide to avoid voices
Disorganized, incoherent speech – idea shift rapidly and incoherently from one to another unrelated topics oWord salad: illogical jumble of ideas
Grossly disorganized inappropriate behaviors – oInappropriate for situation, ineffective in attaining goals, often with specific motor disturbance
oChildlike silliness, violent agitation, collect garbage, wear three coats Negative Sx – loss of normal traits/behaviors:

– Emotional flatness
– Can’t speak fluently
– Can’t care for self
– Catatonic stupor
Dopamine Hypothesis/Theory – excess of dopamine in the brain causes sz. Sz causes? (5)
– Dopamine theory
– Genetic predisposition
– Brain structure differences
– Diathesis-stress model
– Prenatal environment
Personality disorder – disorder characterized by deeply ingrained, inflexible patterns of thinking, feelings, or relating to others or controlling impulses that cause distress or impaired functioning Name them (10) – Odd/ccentric cluster:

Dramatic/erratic cluster:
Anxious/inhibited cluster
Paranoid – pattern of distrust and suspiciousness such that others’ motives are interpreted as malevolent. Delusions of being persecuted Schizoid – patter of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional expression. Loner, prefers being alone Schizotypal – pattern of acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive or perceptual distortions, and eccentricities of behavior. Talk to self or not respond in communication. Might be mild form of Sz Antisocial – pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, present in childhood. Impulsive, less sensitive to fear -Serial killers; con men; abuse others emotionally, physically or financially; break the law -Psychopath: inability to feel normal emotions, no remorse, no shame, guilt Narcissistic – pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy. Preoccupied with fantasies of their own importance, power and brilliance. Demand special treatment Borderline – pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, affects; marked impulsivity -Idealize then devalue partner, try to avoid real or imagined abandonment -Cutters, threaten to commit suicide

-Emotionally volatile, anger to euphoria
-I hate you, don’t leave
Histrionic – pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking -Operative, uses sexuality, provocative dress, exaggerated illness. Overly lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, flirtatious. Emotions as if on stage Avoidant – pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.

Wants social contact but fears criticism and rejection so avoid social situations Dependent – pattern of submissive and clinging behavior related to an excessive need to be taken care of Obsessive-Compulsive – pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism and control -Won’t delegate tasks, stubborn, inflexible in terms of morality, can’t complete tasks because of own perfectionism psychological disorder – deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors 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 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 DSM-IV-TR.

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