Psychopathology and Individual Differences Essay

2472 Words Jan 20th, 2014 10 Pages
Individual differences – Psychopathology

Definitions of Abnormality-
1. DEVIATION FROM SOCIAL NORMS:
Deviation refers to dominant behaviour – ‘Behaviour which is considered undesirable by the majority’ – For example; Talking to yourself in public
LIMITATIONS:
The definition is susceptible to abuse: Diagnosing someone with a mental illness could just be a way to exclude non conformists from society
For example, homosexuality was considered a ‘mental disorder’ in the USA until 1970s also anyone who disagreed with the state could be regarded as insane in Russia in the 1960s
Doesn’t take into account context and degree – How badly does someone need to deviate from the norm to be considered ‘Abnormal’
For example, someone in a
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Electric current passing through brain; resetting electrical circuits
2. Mental and physical exam – IV sedation – Electrodes attached to temples – Electric current passes through – 2 or 3 treatments over a couple of weeks (then monthly)
3. Used to treat severe depression
NEUROTRANSMITTER IMBALANCE:
Chemicals carry information around nervous system
Too much or too little can lead to psychopathy
Schizophrenia – too much dopamine, depression, little serotonin
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION as there’s sudden change in hormones/neurochemistry
PSYCHOSURGERY-
Lobotomy
Lobotomy: patient put under anaesthetic – ice picks put through top of the eye and wiggles around
Changes structure of the brain
GENETICS:
Individuals may inherit a predisposition, or it’s carries in genes through DNA passing on generations

EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL APPROACH
EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL THERAPIES
SZASZ – Could be seen as a form of social control

CHEMOTHERAPY –
Side effects of sickness, weight loss or gain, dependency
Symptoms can return
WHO (2001) found relapse rates were higher when a placebo was used (55%) compared to drugs (25%)
GOTTESMAN AND SHIELDS (1976) - There isn’t 100% concordance between twins so abnormality is caused by other factors too
ECT –
CROMER – 60–70% of patients show
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