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Psychopathologies and Their

Pathology from pathos = suffering, and
logos = study:
The study of the essential nature of disease.
Dis-ease: Not at ease, something that impairs
Away from (ab-) or deviating from, the
normal or average.
Abnormal behaviour:
Behaviour that is other than normal or
markedly irregular.
Not necessarily statistically abnormal, often
just painful or involving suffering.
Study of abnormal behaviour.
Study of the psychological and behavioural
dysfunction, distress, and disability.
Such dysfunction, distress, or disability itself.

Somatogenic (soma=body and

genesis=beginning)from the body.
e.g., general paresis as a result of syphilis,
disordered brain chemistry
Psychogenic (psyche=mental and
genesis=beginning)from the mind.
e.g., hysterical blindness, glove anesthesia
Structuring Mental Disorders


PATHOLOGY Primarily Organic Primarily Mental

Measles, General paresis,

tuberculosis, possibly
Somatogenic influenza, common schizophrenia and
cold. bipolar affective

Psychophysiological Anxiety disorders such

Psychogenic disorders such as as phobias, depression,
glove anesthesia, dissociative disorders.
hysterical blindness.
Pathology Model
Mental disorders can be analyzed as for any
Any disease is a collection of symptoms that
together form a syndrome.
Influenza is a syndrome with symptoms such as runny
nose, cough, fever, muscles aches.
SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) is a
syndrome with symptoms of sudden onset, high fever,
respiratory difficulty.
Bird flu is a syndrome with symptoms such as runny
nose and conjunctivitis (inflamed eyes).
Assumes an underlying pathology that is
responsible for the disorder.
Psychopathology Models
Four Main Perspectives
Biomedical View
Theoretical Cause of
Theoretical Cure
A process similar to that Medication or surgery by
underlying physical illness. psychiatrist or neurosurgeon,
Somatogenic causes e.g., antidepressants, electro-
(physical factors). convulsive therapy (ECT),
insulin shock therapy, surgery.
Pathology Models
Four Main Perspectives
Psychodynamic View
Theoretical Cause of
Theoretical Cure
Internal, psychological, Psychotherapy to
unconscious conflict develop insights into
(psychological factors). underlying unconscious
Pathology Models
Four Main Perspectives
Behavioural View
Theoretical Cause of
Theoretical Cure
Maladaptive learning or Learning new responses
faulty habits and and thoughts. Usually
thoughts (cognitive- treated by cognitive or
behavioural factors). behaviour therapists.
Pathology Models
Four Main Perspectives
Diathesis- Stress View
Theoretical Cause of
Theoretical Cure
Predisposition based on Reduction of stress and
genes or early learning learning new coping
plus excessive stress mechanisms for times
prior to development of stress arises in the
the disorder. future.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV.
A system of classification for mental
disorders, widely used in North America.
Lays out each disorder as a specific
syndrome (collection of symptoms) that
serve as identifying features for the
physician and clinician.
DSM-IV Classification Scheme:
Five Major Axes
Each mental disorder is classified on five
major axes (categories).
Presents a full picture of the individual and
their disorder.
Includes not only symptoms but other
contributing factors, including mental
retardation, physical symptoms, life
circumstances, and evaluation of stress.
DSM-IV Classification Scheme:
Five Major Axes
AXIS I: Major Psychological Disorders
Description of symptoms of major clinical disorders
AXIS II: Mental Retardation & Personality Disorders
Antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder,
paranoid personality disorder.
AXIS III: Accompanying Physical Disorders
Cancer, epilepsy, obesity, Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers
AXIS IV: Source and Severity of Stress
Unemployment, divorce, legal problems, homelessness, poverty,
stressful personal relations..
AXIS V: Assessment of Functioning
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF): Uses a scale from 1 to
100 with 1 being very poor functioning, harmful to self, and 100
superior functioning.
DSM-IV Classification Scheme:
A Single Individual with Alcoholism
AXIS I: Major Psychological Disorders
Major depressive disorder.
Alcohol dependence.
AXIS II: Personality Disorders
Personality characteristics that impair normal functioning and
involve psychological stress (e.g., Antisocial personality disorder,
Borderline personality disorder).
AXIS III: Accompanying Physical Disorders
Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.
AXIS IV: Source and Severity of Stress
Divorce, loss of jobsevere stress.
AXIS V: Assessment of Functioning
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is 30, which indicates a
serious impairment of functioning.
Major Psychological Disorders
Disorders of Infancy, Childhood, and
Speech disorders, phobias, hyperactivity, autism,
delayed development.
Organic Mental Disorders
Result from deterioration of the brain (e.g.,
Altzheimers disease, exposure to toxic metals,
Substance Abuse Disorders
Problems that result from abuse of drugs such as
alcohol, street drugs, or medication.
Major Psychological Disorders
Schizophrenia (Psychoses)
Characterized by hallucinations, bizarre perceptions,
loss of touch with reality, illogical thoughts.
Mood Disorders (Disorders of Affect)
Characterized by extremes of emotional state.
Severe depression (Depression) or excessive elation
(Manic disorder), or alternation between the two
(Bipolar disorder).
Hypermania vs hypomania.
Anxiety Disorders
Repetitive persistent thoughts accompanied by
ritualistic behaviour (Obsessive-compulsive disorder),
phobias, attacks of extreme anxiety.
Major Psychological Disorders
Somatoform Disorders
Characteristized by physical symptoms
(e.g.,blindness, pain, paralysis) that have no physical
cause (e.g., Glove anesthesia).
Factitious Disorders
Characterized by fake mental or physical disorders
(e.g., Munchausen syndromefrequent
hospitalization or surgery for nonexistent illness).
Dissociative Disorders
Person becomes detached from identity (e.g.,
Amnesia, Dissociative Identity Disorder).
Major Psychological Disorders
Sexual Disorders
Disorders of sexual functioning (e.g., fetishes,
Impotence, Sexual Identity Disorders).
Eating Disorders
Characterized by disordered eating patterns
(e.g., Anorexia, Bulimia).
Sleep Disorders
Characterized by sleeping problems (e.g.,
Insomnia, Sleep Walking, Narcolepsy).
Major Psychological Disorders
Impulse Control Disorders
Characterized by inability to control impulses
(e.g., fire setting, stealing, gambling).
Adjustment Disorders
Characterized by difficulty adjusting to
significant life events such as death of a
parent or child, job loss, family problems.
Treatment of Psychopathologies
Biological Therapies (requires an MD)
Drug Therapies
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Psychoanalysis & Psychodynamic Therapies
Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Therapy
Humanistic Therapy
Treatment of Psychopathologies
Who Can Help?
Psychiatrist (MD with specialist training mental
Psychoanalyst (MD, PhD, PsyD): Uses the
psychodynamic approach. Not necessarily an MD.
Clinical Psychologist (PhD, PsyD): Some or all
therapies except drug interventions.
Psychiatric social worker (MSW): Offering individual
and family therapy, counselling, and community work.
School psychologist (MA,PhD, EdD): Counselling and
educational testing related to educational issues.
Counselling psychologist (MA, PhD, EdD): Personal
and vocational counselling, therapy, rehabilitiation.
Psychiatric nurse (RN): Counselling, therapy, care of
hospitalized mental patients.
Paraprofessional (No specific qualifications): Provides
support, may lead groups, offer workshops.
How the Drugs Work:
Synaptic Transmission
How the Drugs Work
Agonists: Increase the effect of
Antagonists: Decrease the effect of
Drug Therapies:
How They Work
Some drugs stimulate or inhibit the
production of one neurotransmitter (e.g.,
dopamine), therefore affect only one set of
May stimulate constant production (e.g., black
widow spider venom stimulates acetylcholine
production leading to constant cramping).
May inhibit production (e.g., botulism prevents
release of acetylcholine, leads to paralysis).
Drug Therapies:
How They Work
Some affect postsynaptic receptor
molecules by duplicating the effect of
May stimulate postsynaptic neurons (e.g.,
nicotine stimulates acetylcholine receptors in
the brain that create a pleasurable sensation
when they fire).
May inhibit postsynaptic neurons (e.g., curare
turns off acetylcholine receptors in muscle
cells, leading to paralysis.
Drug Therapies:
How They Work
Blocks receptor molecules.
Neurotransmitter is produced but is not taken
up by the postsynaptic neuron (e.g.,
antisychotic medications).
Interfere with the reuptake of transmitters
in the presynaptic neuron after their
Increases effect of the transmitter substance
(e.g., cocaine, speed).
Effect is usually brief.
Drug Therapies:
Impact on Behaviour
Have depressive effect on the body, causing
relaxation or even unconsciousness.
Several families: barbiturates (downers), tranquilizers
(benzodiazepines), alcohol.
Used to relieve anxiety, create relaxation, for sleep.
Some very addicting and line between enough and
too much is very narrow.
Very dangerous when combined because effects are
more than doubled.
Drug Therapies:
Impact on Behaviour
Stimulate nervous system and may have pleasurable
Can be addicting because of this.
Cocaine and amphetamines are in this class, blocking
reuptake of dopamine and prolonging its effects
Used to treat narcolepsy and some forms of
Excessive use produces symptoms of serious mental
Drug Therapies:
Impact on Behaviour
Alter sensations, perceptions, emotions,
thinking, self-awareness (e.g., marijuana,
LSD, magic mushrooms).
Effects are unpredictable.
Seem to block release of serotonin, which is
present when we sleep and is involved in
Results in dreaming while awake.
Has occasionally been used in therapy.
Drug Therapies:
Impact on Behaviour
Antipsychotics and antidepressants
Dopamine blockers can relieve psychotic
symptoms (e.g.,chlorpromazine).
Antidepressants (e.g., Prozac) can relieve
Relieves feelings of extreme sadness and can
prevent suicide attempts.
Using the Pathology Model:
Exploring a Disorder
Signs and Symptoms.
Proximate Causes (Underlying Pathology):
What is out of order?
Helps define treatment.
Ultimate Causes
Diathesis (predisposition)
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Disordered cognitions.
Withdrawal from others.
Emotional reactivity.
Disordered behaviour related to symptoms
Characteristics of Schizophrenias
Disordered cognition
Unable to maintain logical flow of thoughts
Difficulty in repressing irrelevant thoughts.
Withdrawal from others
Fewer opportunities to do reality checking.
Faulty perceptions about the world (e.g.,
misinterpreting actions of others, paranoid, feel
they are the focus of others thoughts.
Perceptual experience without sensory input.
Primarily auditory.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Emotional reactivity
Overreacts to input from others.
Emotions may be inappropriate.
May become hyper vigilant or gradually become
almost indifferent.
Disordered behaviour that accompanies the
disordered thoughts and emotions.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Proximate Causes
Believed to be some kind of somatogenic
Could be malfunction of neurotransmitter
High activity in dopamine circuits suggests
problem with dopamine.
Could be result of excess of dopamine, or
oversensitivity to dopamine, or result of other
neurotransmitters affecting dopamine system.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Proximate CausesIf neurotransmitter system
is disturbed:
Dopamine hypothesis: Excess dopamine or an
oversensitivity to dopamine.
Treatment with classical antipsychotics that block
dopamine receptors (e.g.,chlorpromazine, halperidol)
reduces symptoms.
The better they block the better they work. Have calming
effect and later reduce hallucinations and delusions.
These drugs have fairly serious side effects (sedation,
dizziness, endocrine effects, and other more serious
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Proximate CausesIf neurotransmitter system
is disturbed:
Dopamine-serotonin interaction hypothesis: Other
neurotransmitters affect dopamine system.
Treatment with atypical antipsychotics, e.g., clozapine,
that appear to block both dopamine and serotonin
receptors are more effective, particularly for those who do
not respond to classical antipsychotics.
Seem to reduce both positive and negative symptoms
better and have fewer of the more severe side effects.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Proximate Causes
Could be some kind of structural defect in the
MRIs show larger ventricles in males with
schizophrenia than in males without schizophrenia.
Suggests either a loss (cerebral atrophy) or
genetic deficiency in brain tissue.
However, this is not predictive of the disorder
because many with larger ventricles are not
One Major Psychological Disorder:
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Proximate Causes
Could be some kind of combination of these
No perspective can explain all cases of
Leads to multiple syndrome hypotheses.
Crows two syndrome hypothesis: positive
symptoms (increase from normal) and negative
symptoms (decrease from normal)
Three syndrome hypothesis: two types of positive
symptomspsychotic and disorganized, plus
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Ultimate Causes
Twin studiesmedian concordance rate for identical twins,
even reared in different families, is three times that for
fraternal twins.
Adoption studiesadoptees with biological relatives who
have chronic schizophrenia are much more likely to have
chronic schizophrenia than those who do not have relatives
with the disorder.
Family studiesrisk to relatives of those who have the
disorder is higher than to those who do not have the disorder.

All suggests that the closer the genetic relationship the

greater the risk for schizophrenia.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Ultimate Causes
Prenatal Environment
There must be more than heredity because
concordance rates between identical twins is not
Complications during pregnancy and delivery are
suggested to perhaps influence a genetic
An infectious agent, such as influenza, during
pregnancy may be a factor. Children of mothers
infected during middle of pregnancy seem to be at
increased risk.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Ultimate Causes
Social Environment
Incidence of schizophrenia is higher in poorer
areas of cities.
Those who have higher socioeconomic status are
less at risk.
Two possible interpretations of this:
The social circumstances lead to increased stress, and
thus these people are more at risk.
Alternatively, those who have the disorder will be less
successful and drift to the bottom of the social hierarchy,
downward drift theory.
One Major Psychological
Disorder: Schizophrenia
Major Treatment
Antipsychotic drugs:
Make it possible for individual to resume some
aspect of normal life.
Hospitalization is often no longer necessary for
more than short periods.
Other therapies must accompany this:
With the control provided by the drug it can
possible for the individual to restructure their lives.
Many different approaches can be helpful: groups
therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, even
psychodynamic therapy.