ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THERAPY

a..  Compare and contrast normal and abnormal psychology.

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THERAPY introduction. Psychologists explain people’s behavior in terms of their mental states (knowing, believing, feeling, desiring), and so we focus our research both normal & abnormal behavior both humans & other species all aspects of behavior and That abnormal psychology bears the same relation to normal that pathology bears to physiology, that the fundamental concept of psychology and psychopathology are identical, would seem to be a truism; and yet the reader of ordinary psychological literature turning to some of the recent works on mental pathology–as from a file of the Psychological review to some late issue of The Journal of Abnormal Psychology cannot fail to be impressed by the differences in terminology and point of view between these two branches of our general science as they stand today.

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Above all, the doctrine of the complex, which so permeates contemporary discussions of mental disorder, finds no place at all in treatises on the normal processes,so that the student who takes his elementary course in psychology in the collage. Any human instrument, long in existence, is likely to have been put to numerous and diverse uses. Abnormal psychology aspires to make its subject matter intelligible to the general reader, because of the marked social and personal value of such understanding. We’ve all heard the claim or cliche about the fine line between madness and genius. But the question stands: How does IQ factor into normality? Many will claim that Nietzsche was crazy, but many others will claim that he was too brilliant to be categorized or contained within common or everyday categories.

 If there is a bell curve which conveniently defines the borders between normal and abnormal behavior, what are the methods for defining such borders? One approach is the attempt to define the ability to adapt to a particular society’s social expectations. Abnormality is defined by one’s ability to adapt to behavior constituted by general social functionality. This can be extremely problematic, of course, as in rebellious reaction to something like institutionalized violence (e.g. wartime killing) — or what has become known as ‘civil disobedience.  Philosophy contributes to the discussion of abnormal psychology in many ways: the Cartesian mind/body problem, the phenomenology of freedom, the phenomenology of fear and angst, determinism vs indeterminism, the ideal of value-free scientific inquiry, ethics, morality, political and religious motivation, authenticity, autonomy. One could even argue that the tradition of philosophy embraces marginalization, difference and the very notion of madness: the philosopher as the madman or woman..  The Core Concepts. The Importance of Context in Defining and Understanding Abnormality. The Continuum Between Normal and Abnormal Behavior. Cultural and Historical Relativism in Defining and Classifying Abnormality. The Advantages and Limitations of Diagnosis. The Principle of Multiple Causality. The Connection Between Mind and Body. The Core Concepts: A View From the Past.

Case Vignette. Commonly Used Criteria for Defining Abnormality.Help Seeking. rrationality/Dangerousness. Deviance.Emotional Distress.Significant Impairment. Core Concepts in Defining Abnormality. Cultural and Historical Relativism. The Continuum Between Normal and Abnormal Behavior. Defining Abnormality: Practical Solutions. Working Definitions of Psychopathology.

b. Examine at least two mental disorders and two mental illnesses from the perspective of psychology.

Antiquity of Mental Disorder. –Deviation from type is, of course, as old as the human race, but definite records extendback only two or three thousand years. As far back as these records go, we find distinct recognition of at least some abnormal varieties of thought, feeling, and conduct. King Saul, we are told, had recurring periods of depression when “the evil spirit from the Lord was upon him.” Nebuchad­ nezzar suffered from delirious attacks and delusions, in which he fancied himself changed into an animal, “did eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs grew like the feathers of eagles and his nails like birds’ claws.” Esau sold his birth-right for “a mess of pot­ tage,” and the feebleminded since his day have been ever disposed toward such transactions.

Antecedent influences on behavior disorders.

The influence of antecedent events on behavior disorders has been relatively understudied by applied behavior analysts. This lack of research may be due to a focus on consequences as determinants of behavior and a historical disagreement on a conceptual framework for describing and interpreting antecedent variables. We suggest that antecedent influences can be described using terms derived from basic behavioral principles and that their functional properties can be adequately interpreted as discriminative and establishing operations. A set of studies on assessment and treatment of behavior disorders was selected for review based on their relevance to the topic of antecedent events. These studies were categorized as focusing on assessment of antecedent events, antecedent treatments for behavior disorders maintained by either positive or negative reinforcement, and special cases of antecedent events in behavior disorders. Some directions for future research on antecedent influences in the analysis and treatment of behavior disorders are discussed.

Catechol-O-methyltransferase-deficient mice exhibit sexually dimorphic changes in catecholamine levels and behavior.

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the major mammalian enzymes involved in the metabolic degradation of catecholamines and is considered a candidate for several psychiatric disorders and symptoms, including the psychopathology associated with the 22q11 microdeletion syndrome. By means of homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells, a strain of mice in which the gene encoding the COMT enzyme has been disrupted was produced. The basal concentrations of brain catecholamines were measured in the striatum, frontal cortex, and hypothalamus of adult male and female mutants. Locomotor activity, anxiety-like behaviors, sensorimotor gating, and aggressive behavior also were analyzed. Mutant mice demonstrated sexually dimorphic and region-specific changes of dopamine levels, notably in the frontal cortex. In addition, homozygous COMT-deficient female (but not male) mice displayed impairment in emotional reactivity in the dark/light exploratory model of anxiety. Furthermore, heterozygous COMT-deficient male mice exhibited increased aggressive behavior. Our results provide conclusive evidence for an important sex- and region-specific contribution of COMT in the maintenance of steady-state levels of catecholamines in the brain and suggest a role for COMT in some aspects of emotional and social behavior in mice.

Mental Illness and Psychology is an important document tracing the intellectual evolution of this influential thinker. A foreword by Foucault scholar Hubert Dreyfus situates the book within the framework of Foucault’s entire body of work.

The Child Survivor of Traumatic Stress

Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, Mania,

Bipolar mania symptoms:
·   Overly confident and grandiose about abilities, talents, wealth, appearance.

·   Excessive energy, needs little sleep.

·   Irritable much of the time.

·   Extreme mood swings with no provocation.

·   Speaks very fast, difficult to interrupt.

·   Is easily angered.

·   Excited, euphoric, overly confident, disruptive to others

Depression symptoms

·   Decreased appetite, weight loss.

·   Difficulty sleeping, interrupted sleep, sleeping too much.

·   Intrusive thoughts of death or suicide.

·   Unable to make decisions, concentrate, or follow through.

·   Feels worthless, hopeless, and helpless.

·   Guilty feelings over minor things.

·   Loss of interest and pleasure in most things.

Can’t read other people. Specific mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders don’t necessarily have symptoms that fall into one category. In other words, someone struggling with bipolar disorder could have signs of mental illness from each category (though there are indications that are strictly bipolar, such as excessive energy and extreme mood swings).

c. Discuss the similarities and differences among the therapies for each school of thought in psychology for treating mental disorders.

Students providing psychological treatment to those individuals with chronic and severe mental disorders. The editors have successfully drawn together a fine international team of writers, mostly psychologists and psychiatrists, to create a text that nevertheless sustains unity of style and conveys a sense of shared purpose. The chapters nicely balance theory and research, whilst maintaining an unequivocal focus on practice, and it is hard to fault.

The explicit focus is on psychosocial treatment of the ‘difficult’ mental disorders, i.e. the major psychoses, substance abuse and personality disorder, and to have extended the brief, in terms of either the range of disorders or interventions covered, would have involved sacrifice of depth and detail. A chapter on the treatment of individuals with dual or multiple diagnoses would have been justified, however, since we now know that clinicians should expect such clients rather than view them as exceptions. This could perhaps have been at the expense of the chapter on ‘marital discord and coexisting depression’. The book is divided into four sections – schizophrenia, mood disorders, substance abuse disorders and severe personality disorders – comprising four or five short chapters, each devoted to a specific type of intervention. These include CBT, DBT, family therapies, social skills training, individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Some of the chapters stand out as models of clarity and helpfulness. The excellent account of motivational interviewing, for example, is a precise, step-by-step description, illustrated by verbatim extracts from sessions, and supported by research studies. The chapter on dialectical behavior therapy for personality disorder is coauthored by Marsha Linehan and, as one would expect, is also paradigm of clarity and completeness (it could have been subtitled “All you ever wanted to know about DBT but were too afraid to ask”!). I think this is technical writing at its very best.

Familiarity with the conceptual apparatuses of contemporary psychiatry and clinical psychology is assumed, along with knowledge of the etiological factors and clinical features of mental disorders. The qualities required of the therapist, and the attitudinal and values issues that therapy raises are mostly set aside, and the emphasis placed strictly on the clinical application of, and empirical support for, the treatments employed. In short, this is a ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’ book! Most of the chapters draw on case studies and give verbatim accounts of therapy, and there are some very convenient tabulations of the finer details. The role of pharmacological treatment is briefly noted in relation to most of the psychosocial techniques described, although knowledge of pharmacotherapy is assumed. The evidential support for each treatment is generally presented in a way that draws attention to the strengths and shortcomings of the research. Consequently, the referencing for each chapter is copious, appears comprehensive, and is as recent as can reasonably be expected in a text.

The interventions described refer to diverse settings, and the text would be useful for psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health specialists, working in community or institutional settings. It would be valuable to novice clinicians developing their skills under expert supervision, as well as in providing established clinicians with an evidence base for their practice. In my view, it is the best text of its kind currently available, and I recommend it without reservation

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