Mental Health

  1. What is normality?
    A pattern of thought, feelings and behaviour that conforms to a usual, typical or expected standard
  2. What is abnormality?
    When thoughts, feelings and behaviour become dysfunctional, deviant or show distressq
  3. What are the 6 approaches to how normality is defined/described?
    • 1. Socio-cultural: defined by what a particular society or culture views as acceptable or unacceptable behaviour
    • 2. Functional: By how well an individual can cope and function within society
    • 3. Historical: by the time period or era in which the behaviour is performed. What is normal changes over time.
    • 4. Situational: defined by the 'situation' or context in which a behaviour is occurring
    • 5. Medical: defined on a physiological basis- a doctor defines your mental health
    • 6. Statistical: normality is based upon calculating the behaviour of the majority
  4. What is mental health
    A state of emotional and social wellbeing where an individual can interact with others and the environment, cope with normal stresses and achieve optimal development and wellbeing.
  5. What is 'mental illness'?
    • A psychological dysfunction that involves the impaired ability to cope with everyday life
    • Typical characteristics are distress, unusual thoughts, feelings and inappropriate behvaiour
  6. Define 'disorder'
    • A set of symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Symptoms are reasonably consistent between patients but causes may differ
    • eg. Major depression
  7. Define a 'syndrome'
    A particular profile of symptoms. The origins and clinical severity may vary. eg dyslexia
  8. What is a 'disease?
    A condition with a known cause, predictable course and standard protocols for treatment. Eg. Alzheimer's dementia
  9. What is the DSM?
    • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: A system for classifying and identifying mental disorders.
    • It is descriptive- it does not specify causes or treatment
    • Categorical approach: Has 5 axis
  10. What are the weaknesses of the DSM?
    • Cultural variation: the DSM is based on American culture, tradition and mores, and thus may not always be appropriate.
    • Validity of the categories: It is possible that a very precise and specific description may not truly reflect the disorder (e.g. homosexuality was considered a mental disorder).
    • Writing by committee: Committee members may have a disproportionate influence on the committee listing the diagnostic criteria for a particular disorder.
    • Subjectivity: People may not disclose subjective feelings (these feelings are the symptoms that classification is based on), such as intense anxiety, unhappiness or distress.
  11. What are strengths of the categorical approach?
    • Based on ongoing scientific research and regularly revised.
    • Very comprehensive in terms of the number of disorders included and amount of information.
    • Useful for planning treatment.
    • Provides user-friendly guidelines that help in the diagnosis of disorders with the ‘yes/no’ approach, thus assisting the decision making process, i.e. if treatment is needed.
    • Assists communication between mental health professionals and their peers.
  12. What are the limitations of the categorical approach of diagnosing mental illnesses?
    • Only looks at whether the patient has a disorder or not—does not address the severity or provide an evaluation of the symptoms present.
    • Some disorders do not have the same symptoms (e.g. personality disorders).
    • High degree of overlap between symptoms for various disorders, this does not account for that
    • Stigmatisation (e.g. shame due to labelling).
    • Substantial loss of information (e.g. overlooks unique combinations of symptoms for each individual).
  13. What is the categorical approach of diagnosing mental disorders?
    • Organises mental disorders into groups or categories and sub-categories, each with specific symptoms and characteristics.
    • It uses a ‘yes/no’ approach in that you either have a mental disorder or you don’t
    • Used to classify the symptoms.
  14. What is the dimensional approach to classifying mental disorders?
    Quantifies a person’s symptoms and other characteristics with numerical values on one or more scales or continuums to determine the severity of these symptoms, rather than assigning them to a mental disorder category.
  15. What are strengths of the dimensional approach?
    • Doesn’t use single diagnostic labels, therefore no loss of information about unique combinations of symptoms.
    • Can generate a profile and provide a detailed description of client’s mental condition.
    • Does not lump people into single diagnostic categories, instead describes different dimensions.
    • Quantifying and grading can provide richer and more detailed description of a client’s mental condition.
    • Reduces possibilities of stigmatisation.
  16. What are weaknesses of the dimensional approach?
    • Can’t be applied to most disorders in the DSM-IV and ICD-10, e.g. mostly personality disorders.
    • Time consuming for mental health professionals to rate clients on dimensions.
    • There is not necessarily agreement on the number of dimensions and what they are.
    • The wide range of symptoms people experience leads to a large number of potential dimensions associated with disorders.
    • No specific system that can be used
Card Set
Mental Health
Mental health DSM-IV, ICM