Abnormal Psychology Presentation

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Abnormal Psychology
JiYun Roh
IB Psychology

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Affective
intrusive memories,
inability to concentrate,
hyperarousal
Cognitive
Somatic
passivity; nightmares;
flashbacks; exaggerated
startle response
Anhedonia :
emotional numbing
Behavioral
lower back pain; headaches;
stomach ache and digestion
problems; insomnia;
Etiology of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
 Biological Level of Anlysis
 Increase level of noradrenaline
 Geracioti (2001) tested participants by
stimulating their adrenaline system. The
stimulated patients induced a panic attack in 70
per cent of patients and flashbacks in 50 per cent
of patients
 Result showed that increase sensitivity of
noradrenaline receptors in patients with PTSD
Etiology of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
 Cognitive Level of Anlysis
 Development of PTSD is associated with a
tendency to take personal responsibility for
failures and to cope with stress by focusing on the
emotion, rather than the problem
 Brewin et al 1996 argue that these flashbacks
stimulate sensory and emotional aspects of the
memory, and subsequently causing pain
 Sutker et al 1995
Etiology of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
 Sociocultural level of Analysis

Racisms, and Oppression contributes in developing PTSD
 Roysircar (2000) Vietnam veterans 20.6 per cent of
black and 27.6 per cent of Hispanic veterans met more
criteria for PTSD than 13 per cent of white veterans

common cause of PTSD for girls - fear of rape

common cause of PTSD for children - domestic violence
Biomedical Treatment for PTSD
 Antidepressants and Tranquilizers treat people
suffering from PTSD
 Common prescribed tranquilizers: Valium and Xanax
 Modulate neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety
levels
 Antidepressants are commonly used because
improvement in depression will lead to improvement in
PTSD since most of PTSD patients suffer from
depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Treatment for PTSD

Foa (1986) the expert of PTSD works as the basis of CBT

CBT includes exposure therapy and psycho-education

Expose PTSD sufferers to the traumatic events by asking
them to search their memory and describe the event over
and over again

Four goals for CBT:
1. Create a safe environment that shows that the trauma cannot hurt them
2. Show that remembering the trauma is not equivalent to experiencing it
again
3. Show that anxiety is alleviated over time
4. Acknowledge that experiencing PTSD symptoms does not lead to a loss
of control
Group Therapy for PTSD
 Friedman and Schnurr (1966) looked at the role of
group therapy on Vietnam War
 They looked at 325 veterans as a group who had
psychosocial deficits (anger management, social
anxiety and conflict resolution)
 They did trauma-focused therapy: exposure to the
traumatic memories, cognitive restructuring, and
coping skills development
 Result: 27 percent compared to 17 percent = patients
who worked through the trauma focused therapy had a
higher rate of improvement
Pros and Cons of Treatments
Pros
Cons
Biomedical
Most effective for short
term treatment
Not effective for long term
treatment
CBT Therapy
CBT allows PTSD patients
to reduce anxiety and
stress through talking
about their trauma
Patients may become
initially worse and
therapists may become
upset when they hear
about the patients’ stories
Group Therapy
Most effective for long
term treatment and for
patients’ social lives
Takes time to adapt to the
treatment since people
have to reveal their
trauma
Most Efficient Treatment
 Behavioral symptoms: flashbacks, nightmares
 CBT will be most efficient for these symptoms because
CBT allows patients to describe about their trauma
event over and over
 This makes them realize that “talking about the
trauma” is not the same as experiencing the trauma
 Allows the anxiety to alleviate over time
 Allows them to acknowledge that experiencing PTSD
symptoms does not lead to a loss of control
Etiology  Treatment

Etiology
Treatment
Relationship
Biological
Increase level of noradrenaline Antidepressants and Antidepressants
Tranquilizers
modulate
nerotransmitter and
hormones that
regulate anxiety
level
Cognitive
take personal responsibility for Cognitive Behavioral
failures and cope with stress
Therapy
by focusing on the emotion,
rather than the problem
Make patients feel
comfortable through
psycho-education
Foa (1986)
Social
Racisms, and Oppression in
social groups contribute in
developing PTSD
combine patients
who have
psychosocial deficits
into
psychoeducational
groups and process
intensive group
therapy Friedmann
and Schnurr (1966)
Trauma-focused
therapy
Symptoms of Bulimia
Affective
negative self-image; poor body
image; tendency to perceive events
as more stressful than most people
would; perfectionism
feelings of
inadequacy and
guilt
Cognitive
Somatic
-
recurrent episodes of binge eating;
use of vomiting; laxatives, exercise or
dieting to control weight
Behavioral
swollen salivary glands, erosion of
tooth enamel; stomach or intestinal
problems
Extreme cases: heart problems
Etiology of Bulimia
 Biological level of analysis
 Increase serotonin stimulate medial
hypothalamus and decrease food intake

Carraso (2000) and Smith et al (1990)
When serotonin levels were reduced in recovered
bulimic patients, they engaged in cognitive
patterns related to eating disorders, such as
feeling fat
Etiology of Bulimia
 Cognitive explanations
Body image distortion hypothesis (Bruch 1962) showed that bulimia
people overestimate their own body size

Polivy and Herman - cognitive dis inhibition

Milkshake experiment: non dieters and dieters given a chocolate
milkshake and later they were asked to have ice creams as much
as they'd like and in result dieters ate more than non dieters.

Because dieting causes cognitive control of eating to override
physiological control of eating, making the dieter more vulnerable
to disinhibition and subsequent binge eating
Etiology of Bulimia
Sociocultural explanations
 Social pressure - media coverage, (magazines, tv
shows) promote thinness
 Jaeger et al. 2002
Cross-cultural differences in body dissatisfaction
westernized countries seemed to show more amount of
body dissatisfaction than non-westernized countries
 the explanations of disorders should be considered at
a macro-level (society) rather than as originating solely
within the individual (micro-level)

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