Psychology - Stress, Phobias and Schizophrenia

  1. What is a mental illness?
    Mental disorders that affect one or more function of the mind. A mental illness can interfere with thoughts, emotions, perceptions and behaviours. Serious departure from normal functioning
  2. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
    • Handbook that is used to identify and classify symptoms of mental disorders. Descriptive - it does not specify the causes of the mental disorder nor does it direct the
    • treatment, though it also includes the onset, course and persistence of
    • symptoms
  3. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
    Tool for diagnosing most health problems, including physical and mental. Covers a wider range of illnesses than the DSM
  4. 5 Axis on the DSM
    • Axis 1 - Clinical disorders, any major physical disorder
    • Axis 2 - Mental retardation and personality disorders
    • Axis 3 - General Medical Conditions
    • Axis 4 - Psychosocial and environmental problems
    • Axis 5 - Global assessment of functioning (GAF)
  5. Classifying Mental Disorders
    DSM and ICD are categorical approaches - is expected to move towards a dimensional approach

  6. Dimensional Approach to classifying mental disorders
    A person's symptoms are represented by numerical values on a scale/continuum rather than assigning them to a category
  7. Strengths of the Dimensional Approach
    • Considers a wider range of symptoms and characteristics and analyses the severity.
    • Can help reduce stigmas.
    • Gives a more detailed profile of an individual's mental condition. 
  8. Limitations of the Dimensional Approach
    There is no set questionnaire or inventory that uses a dimensional approach. So a psychologist needs to create questions and scales to rate a client on different dimensions – time consuming and difficult.
  9. Stress
    A psychological and physical response of the body that occurs whenever we must adapt to changing conditions, whether those conditions be real or percieved.
  10. What is involved in the fight-or-flight response?
    Physiological reactions caused by a perception of a threatening situation, causes the person to either stay and fight or run away
  11. Difference between Eustress and Distress
    • Eustress - Stress that is positive in nature
    • e.g. winning a trip overseas

    • Distress - Stress that is negative in nature
    • e.g. failing an important exam
  12. Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome
    • Stages of G.A.S.:
    • Stage 1:
    •  - Alarm
    •  - Shock
    •  - Countershock
    • Stage 2:
    •  - Resistance
    • Stage 3 :
    •  - Exhaustion
  13. Strengths and Limitations of Selye's model
    • Strengths:
    •  - Found that the greater the intensity of the stressor, the greater the physiological response
    •  - Provided a rich, empirically based information about the physiological processes involved in an animals response to a range of stressors

    • Limitations:
    •  - Predominantly based on research on laboratory rats
    •  - Failed to recognise the role of emotion and cognition in how a person perceives and evaluates the stressor
  14. Lazarus' Transactional Model of Stress and Coping: Strengths and Limitations
    • Strengths:
    •  - Used human subjects in developing the model
    •  - Takes both mental and emotional processes into account
    • Limitations:
    •  - Greater focus on psychological factors meant that less emphasis was placed on the physiological elements of the stress response
    •  - Did not include cultural, social or environmental factors 
  15. Lazarus' Transactional Model of Stress and Coping
    • Primary Appraisal:
    •  - The recognition of a potentially stressful situation. 
    •  - The person assesses the situation as stressful, neutral or irrelevant and if stressful, they determine what should be done about it

    • Secondary Appraisal:
    •  - The stage where the person considers what options are available to them and how they will respond

    • Emotional Forecasting:
    •  - Involved in both stages, in primary appraisal the person predicts what feelings the given situation will produce

    • Positive Emotions:
    •  - Happinness, pride, relief

    • Negative Emotions:
    •  - Anger, disgust, guilt, envy

    • Problem focused:
    •  - Addresses the practical effects of the stressor and tries to manage or reduce the effect of the stressor or adapt to it’s impact.

    • Emotion Focused Copying:
    •  - Seeks to address the emotions caused by the stressor
  16. Allostasis
    Used to describe not just the idea of homeostasis, but that of achieving biological and psychological stability with a ‘variable’ response to stressors or challenges.
  17. Allostatic Load
    Term used to describe the number of stressors that a person may experience, leading to repeated arousal - the body can deal with many stressors at one time
  18. Biofeedback
    • A scientifically based treatment that uses sensitive instruments to monitor and provide feedback/information about a person’s heart rate, respiration rate, brainwaves, skin temperature, moisture on the skin and muscle tone in ‘real-time’ 
    • Through operant conditioning, the person is taught to change the levels of these processes by altering their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. This method is used to feed back physiological information about the autonomic processes that usually occur without conscious awareness.
  19. Meditation
    Meditation redirects a person’s usual flow of conscious thoughts to a more focused pathway that leads to a deep state of calmness and relaxation
  20. Relaxation
    Can be described as a process of one’s muscles and thoughts. This is usually done using methods such as visualisation, breathing techniques and graduated muscle tensing and relaxing sequences where each part of the body is systematically tensed and relaxed until the person experiences a release of physical and psychological tension.
  21. Simple Phobia
    The fear of a single specific object or event that triggers a panic response.

    E.g. spiders, snakes, heights, blood
  22. Types of Phobias
    • Simple Phobia
    • Agoraphobia
    • Social Phobia
  23. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    CBT uses a combination of verbal and behavioural modification techniques to help people change irrational patterns of thinking that create a phobia. CBT focuses on helping the person change negative thoughts and replaces them with most positive, realistic ones.
  24. Schizophrenia
    Hallucinations - experience or perceptions, such as sight or sound, which are not present in reality.

    Anhedonia - occurs when a person does not gain any pleasure from normally enjoyable activities

    Disorganised behaviours - occurs when patients are unable to organise their behaviour or are unable to perform everyday routine tasks

    Catatonia - refers to impaired or abnormal motor movements, such as repeated gestures, unusual hand or arm actions or waving of arms and legs

    Inappropriate affect - symptoms refer to showing inappropriate emotional response, for instance laughing at a funeral
  25. Psychosis
    A category of mental disorders where people lose contact with reality
  26. 5 Subtypes of Schizophrenia
    • Disorganised Schizophrenia:
    •  - Disorganised thoughts and speech
    •  - Delusions and hallucinations
    •  - Inappropriate emotions and behaviours

    • Paranoid Schizophrenia:
    •  - Organised and complicated delusions
    •  - Auditory hallucinations

    • Catatonic Schizophrenia:
    •  - Behaviour switches between catatonic trance and negativity to excitement or violent and hysterical behaviour

    • Residual Schizophrenia:
    •  - Minor symptoms develop such as unsual behaviour

    • Undifferentiated Schizophrenia:
    •  - For those people who experience symptoms that do not fit into other subtypes
Card Set
Psychology - Stress, Phobias and Schizophrenia
Psychology Definitions