What Is a Psychological Disorder?
Psychological Disorders Quiz
How to Cite This SparkNote
Table of Contents
What Is a Psychological Disorder?
Criteria for defining psychological disorders depend on whether cultural norms are violated, whether behavior is maladaptive or harmful, and whether there is distress.
describes and explains psychological disorders as if they are diseases.
states that disorders are caused by an interaction between biological and environmental factors.
theorizes that psychological disorders result from the reinforcement of abnormal behavior.
states that psychological disorders result from maladaptive defenses against unconscious conflicts.
to assess psychological disorders.
allows psychologists to describe disorders, predict outcomes, consider treatments, and study etiology.
is a legal term, not a diagnostic label.
Psychologists and psychiatrists use the
to diagnose psychological disorders.
multi-axial system of classification
is a useful tool but has been criticized for several reasons.
Most of the major disorders in the
are found worldwide.
are limited to specific cultural contexts.
A chronic, high level of anxiety may be a sign of an
Generalized anxiety disorder
involves persistent and excessive anxiety for at least six months.
means becoming anxious when exposed to a specific circumstance.
is characterized by anxiety in social or performance situations.
A person with
experiences recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.
involves anxiety about having panic attacks in difficult or embarrassing situations.
, or both.
Post–traumatic stress disorder
is a set of psychological and physiological responses to a highly traumatic event.
Biological factors implicated in the onset of anxiety disorders include
different sensitivity to anxiety
the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin
Conditioning and learning may contribute to the development of phobias.
Some styles of thinking may make people more susceptible to anxiety disorders.
is associated with anxiety disorders.
are characterized by marked disturbances in emotional state, which cause physical symptoms and affect thinking, social relationships, and behavior.
Mood disorders may be
have depressed mood for at least two years.
Major depressive disorder
involves at least one period with significant depressive symptoms.
involve at least one period with manic symptoms and usually depressive periods as well.
Biological influences on mood disorders include
the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin
There is a two-way relationship between negative thinking and depression.
Cognitive characteristics of depressed people include
tendency to make internal, stable, global attributions
; and a
tendency to ruminate
There is a two-way relationship between social support and depression.
may be related to experiences of loss.
The onset and course of mood disorders may be influenced by stress.
are characterized by problematic eating patterns, concerns about body weight, and inappropriate efforts to control weight.
entails very low body weight, fear of gaining weight, and distorted body image.
involves binge eating and unhealthy efforts to control body weight.
Some people may have a genetic vulnerability to eating disorders.
Eating disorders may be associated with particular personality traits.
Cultural factors strongly influence the onset of eating disorders.
Lacking autonomy in the family and having an overly weight-conscious mother may influence the onset of eating disorders.
People with eating disorders tend to have certain distortions of thinking.
The onset of anorexia nervosa may be associated with stressful events.
are characterized by real physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained by a medical condition, the effects of a drug, or another mental disorder.
A person with
has many different, recurrent physical symptoms.
involves symptoms that affect voluntary motor functioning or sensory functioning.
constantly fear that they may have a serious disease.
traits may be more likely to develop somatoform disorders.
Several cognitive factors may contribute to somatoform disorders.
People with somatoform disorders may learn to adopt a sick role.
Many substance-related disorders are described in the
is a maladaptive pattern of drug use that results in repeated, negative legal, social, occupational, or academic consequences.
involves continuing to use a drug despite persistent harmful physical or psychological consequences.
disease model of addiction
holds that addiction is a disease that must be treated medically.
learning model of addiction
holds that addiction is a way of coping with stress.
Genes may produce a predisposition to substance dependence.
Several lines of evidence suggest that environmental factors play a key role in substance dependence.
is a psychotic disorder that includes
. There are several subtypes of schizophrenia.
is characterized by marked
and relatively normal cognitive and emotional functioning.
involves disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, and emotional flatness or inappropriateness.
is characterized by unnatural movement or speech patterns.
applies if diagnostic criteria are not met for any of the above three subtypes.
Research suggests that
are involved in the onset of schizophrenia.
Stress may help to induce schizophrenia in people who are already biologically vulnerable to the disorder.
are characterized by disturbances in consciousness, memory, identity, and perception.
involves sudden and unexpected travel away from home, failure to remember the past, and confusion about identity.
dissociative identity disorder
fail to remember important personal information and have two or more identities or personality states that control behavior.
Dissociative identity disorder is a controversial diagnosis. Psychologists disagree about why its prevalence has risen since the 1980s.
Severe stress may play a role in the onset of dissociative disorders.
are stable patterns of experience and behavior that differ noticeably from patterns that are considered normal by a person’s culture.
schizoid personality disorder
are socially withdrawn and have restricted expression of emotions.
Borderline personality disorder
involves impulsive behavior and unstable relationships, emotions, and self-image.
Histrionic personality disorder
is characterized by attention-seeking behavior and shallow emotions.
narcissistic personality disorder
have an exaggerated sense of importance, a strong desire to be admired, and a lack of empathy.
Avoidant personality disorder
involves social withdrawal, low self-esteem, and extreme sensitivity to being evaluated negatively.
Antisocial personality disorder
begins at age fifteen and includes a lack of respect for other people’s rights, feelings, and needs.
Abnormalities in physiological arousal
genetically inherited inability to control impulses
may be involved in the development of antisocial personality disorder.
Environmental influences are also likely to influence the development of antisocial personality disorder.
From the SparkNotes Blog
What to Do If You Left All of Your Required Reading Until the Last Minute
6 Fictional Characters You Would Probably Hate in Real Life
Every Book on Your English Syllabus Summed Up in a Quote from
20 Incredible First Lines That Will Make You Want to Read the Rest of the Book Immediately
Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Quote from The Office