Psychological Disorders Chapter 4 Notes, QnA 2023

Psychological Disorders

Concept of Abnormality and Psychological Disorder:

Most definitions of abnormal behavior have certain common features, often called “four Ds”:

Deviance: Psychological disorders are deviant-different, extreme, unusual, even bizarre.

Distress: Behaviour which is unpleasant and upsetting to the person and to the others.

Dysfunction: Behaviour which is interfering with the person’s ability to carry out daily activities in a constructive way.

Danger: Behavior which is dangerous to the person or to others.

Abnormal literally means “away from normal”. It implies deviation from some clearly-defined norms or standards.

Conflicting views on abnormal behavior

  • The first approach views abnormal behavior as deviation from social norms.
  • The second approach views abnormal behavior as maladaptive which states the best criterion for determining the normality of behavior is not whether the society accepts it, but whether it fosters the well-being of the individual and eventually, of the group to which she belongs to.


> Well-being is not simply maintenance and survival but also includes growth and fulfillment. 

> “Physicians make a diagnosis looking at a person’s physical symptoms”. In this way, psychological disorders are diagnosed.

> In order to diagnose psychological disorders, they are classified into categories.

> The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has published an official manual describing and classifying various kinds of psychological disorders.

> The current version of it, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, V edition (DSM-V), evaluates the patients on five axes or dimensions rather than just one broad aspect of ‘mental disorder. These dimensions relate to biological, psychological, social and other aspects.

> The classification scheme officially used in India and elsewhere is the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), which is known as the ICD-10 Classification of Behavioural and Mental Disorders. 

It was prepared by the World Health Organisation (WHO). For each disorder, a description of the in this scheme, main clinical features or symptoms and of other associated features including diagnostic guidelines is provided in this scheme.

Classification of Psychological disorders: 

● Classification refers to a list of categories of specific Psychological disorders grouped into various classes on the basis of some shared characteristics.

● Main Classification:

  • ICD-10: Developed by WHO. This is the official classification in India. The classification is based on symptoms under broad heading, i.e., Mental disorders.
  • DSM IV: Developed by APA. It is multiaxial. It is very comprehensive because classification is based on biological, psychological and social factors, cause and prognosis of disorders.

●  Importance: These classifications provide standard vocabulary through which professionals universally can

converse. It also helps in understanding the cause and diagnosis of mental disorders.

● Recurring Theories to Study Abnormal Behavior:

  • Ancient theory suggests that some people are possessed by supernatural and magical forces such as evil spirits. 

Exorcism (removing the evil residing in the individual through prayer) is still commonly used. Shaman or medicine man has contact with supernatural forces, medium of communication between human and spirits.

  • Biological/Organic approach links defective biological processes to maladaptive behavior.
  • According to psychological approach, problems are caused by inadequacies in the way an individual thinks, feels and perceives.

> Historical Background:

• Ancient Greek philosophers (Hippocrates, Socrates, Plato) developed an organismic approach-viewed disturbed behavior arising out of conflicts between emotion and reason.

• Galen-temperament affected by imbalance in four humors, similar to tridoshas. Middle ages, superstition and demonology-people with mental problems, were associated with demons. St. Augustine wrote about feelings, mental anguish and conflict-laid groundwork for modern psychodynamic theories.

• Renaissance Period increased humanism and curiosity about behavior.

• Johann Weyer-disturbed interpersonal relationships as cause of psychic disorders, mentally disturbed require medical not theological treatment.

• Age of Reason and Enlightenment (17/18th centuries)- growth of scientific method replaced faith and dogma, contributed to the Reform movement.

• Increased compassion for those suffering-reform of asylums, deinstitutionalisation, emphasized community care.

• Recent years-convergence of approaches, resulted in interactional biopsycho-social approach.

Factors Underlying Abnormal Behavior

In order to understand something as complex as abnormal behavior, psychologists use different approaches. Each approach in use today emphasizes a different aspect of human behavior and explains and treats abnormality in line with that aspect. 

These approaches also emphasize the role of different factors such as biological, psychological and interpersonal, and socio-cultural factors. We will examine some of the approaches which are currently being used to explain abnormal behavior.

a) Biological Factors: 

Biological factors influence all aspects of our behavior a white range of biological factors such as faulty genes, endocrine imbalances, malnutrition, injuries and other conditions may interfere with normal development and functioning of the human body. These factors may be potential cases of abnormal

b) Genetic Factors Genetic factors have been linked to mood disorders, schizophrenia, mental retardation and other psychological disorders. Researchers have not, however been able to identify the specific genes that are the culprits.

It appears that in most cases, no single gene is responsible for a particule behavior or a psychological disorder In fact, many genes combine to help bring about our various behavior and emotional reactions, both functional and dysfunctional. 

Although, there is sound evidence to belie that genetic biochemical factors are involved in mental disorders as diverse as schizophrenia, depression anxiety, etc., biology alone cannot account for most mental disorders

Models of Abnormal Behavior

> Psychological Model: There are several models which provide a psychological explanation of mental disorder. These models maintain that psychological and interpersonal factors have a significant role to play in abnormal behavior.

These Factors Includes

  • Maternal deprivation
  • Faulty parent-child relationship
  • Faulty discipline
  • Maladaptive family structure
  • Severe stress

The Psychological models include psychodynamic model, behavioral, cognitive and humanistic-existential models.

(a) Psychodynamic Model:

■ This is the oldest and most famous of the modern psychological models. Psychodynamic theorists believe that the behavior, whether normal or abnormal, is determined by psychological forces within

the person of which she is not consciously aware. 

These internal forces are considered dynamic, ie, they interact with one another and their interaction gives shape to thoughts and emotions.

■ Abnormal symptoms are viewed as the results of conflicts between these forces. The model was fine formulated by Freud who believed that three central forces shape personality-instinctual needs, drives and impulses (id), rational thinking (ego), and moral standards(superego) be generally traced to early childhood or infancy.

■ Freud stated that abnormal behaviour is a symbolic expression of unconscious mental conflicts that can

(b) Behavioral Model:

■ This model states that both normal and abnormal behaviors are learned and psychological disorders are the result of learning maladaptive ways of behaving. 

The model concentrates on behaviors that are learnt through conditioning and proposes that what has been learned can be unlearned.

■ Learning can take place through classical conditioning (temporal association in which two events repeatedly occur close together in time), operant conditioning (behavior is followed by a reward) and social learning (learning by imitating others’ behavior). These three types of conditioning account for behavior whether adaptive or maladaptive.

(c) Cognitive Model:

This states that abnormal functioning can result from cognitive problems. People may hold assumptions and attitudes about themselves that are irrational and inaccurate. 

People may also repeatedly think in illogical ways and make over generalizations, that is, they may draw broad, negative conclusions based on a single insignificant event.

(d) Humanistic-existential Model:

This model focuses on broader aspects of human existence. Humanists believe that human beings are born with a natural tendency to be friendly, co-operative and constructive, and are driven to self-actualise, ie, to fulfill this potential for goodness and growth. 

Existentialists believe that from birth, we have total freedom to give meaning to our existence or to avoid that responsibility. Those who shirk from this responsibility would live empty, inauthentic and dysfunctional lives.

(f) Sociocultural Model:

• Sociocultural factors such as war and violence, group prejudice and discrimination, economic and employment problems, and rapid social change, put stress in most of us and can also lead to psychological problems in some individuals. 

According to sociocultural models, abnormal behavior is best understood in light of the social and cultural forces that influence an individual. 

As behavior is shaped by societal forces, factors such as family structure and communication, social networks, societal labels and roles become more important. It has been found that certain family systems are likely to produce abnormal functioning individual members. 

Some families have an enmeshed structure in which the members are overwhelmed in each other’s activities, thoughts and feelings. 

Children from this type of family may have difficulty in becoming independent in life. The broader social networks in which people operate include their social and professional relationships. 

Studies have shown that people who are isolated and lack social support, ie, strong and fulfilling interpersonal relationships in their lives are to become more depressed and remain depressed longer than those who have good friendships. 

Sociocultural theorists also believe that abnormal functioning is influenced by the societal labels and roles assigned to troubled people. 

When people break the norms of their society, they are called deviant and “mentally ill”. Such labels tend to stick so that the person may be viewed as “crazy” and encouraged to act sick. The person gradually learns to accept and play the sick role, the functions of a disturbed manner.

(g) Diathesis-stress Model:

This model states that psychological disorders develop when a diathesis (biological predisposition to the disorder) is set off by a stressful situation.

This model has three components:

  • The first is the diathesis or the presence of some biological aberration which may be inherited.
  • The second component is that the diathesis may carry a vulnerability to develop a psychological disorder. This means that the person is “at risk” or “predisposed to develop the disorder.
  • The third component is the factors/stressors that may lead to psychopathology. If such “at risk persons” are exposed to these stressors, their predisposition may actually evolve into a disorder. 

This model has been applied to several disorders including anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

Major Psychological Disorders

(a) Anxiety Disorder: The term anxiety is defined as diffuse, vague and very unpleasant feeling of fear and apprehension.

The anxious individual shows a combination of following symptoms: Rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fainting, dizziness, sweating, sleeplessness, frequent urination and tremors.

Major Anxiety Disorders and their Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Prolonged, vague, unexplained and intense fears that have no object, accompanied by hyper vigilance and motor tension.

Panic Disorder: Frequent anxiety characterized by feelings of intense terror and dread; unpredictable along with physiological symptoms like breathlessness, palpitations, trembling, dizziness and a sense of losing control or even dying.

Phobias: Irrational fears related to specific objects, interactions with others and unfamiliar situations.

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder: Being preoccupied with certain thoughts that are viewed by the person or shameful, and being unable to check the impulse to repeatedly carry out certain to be embarrassing or acts like checking, washing, counting, etc.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Recurrent dreams, flashbacks, impaired concentration and emotional numbing followed by a traumatic or stressful event like a natural disaster, serious accident, etc.

Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorder: People with OCD are unable to control their preoccupations with specific ideas or are unable to prevent themselves from repeatedly carrying out a particular act, which affects their ability to carry out normal activities. 

Obsessive Behavior: inability to stop thinking about a particular idea or topic. Compulsive Behavior: is the need to perform certain behaviors over and over again. For e.g., Counting, touching, checking, washing, etc., E.g., Hoarding Disorder, Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), Excoriation (skin picking).

Trauma and Stress-Related Disorder: People who are caught in natural disasters, bomb blasts, or have been in serious accidents or in a war situation, experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms: Recurrent dreams, flashbacks, impaired concentration & emotional numbing Includes: Adjustment disorder and Acute Stress Disorder.

Somatic Symptom and Related Disorder: These are conditions in which there are physical symptoms in the absence of a physical disease. The individual has psychological difficulties & complains of physical symptoms, for which there is no biological cause.

Somatic Symptom Disorder: Persistent body-related symptoms which may or may not be related to any serious medical condition. 

People with this disorder tend to be overly preoccupied with their symptoms and they continually worry about their health and make frequent visits to doctors. As a result, they experience significant distress and disturbances in their daily life.

● Illness Anxiety Disorder: Involves persistent preoccupation about developing a serious illness and constantly worrying about this possibility. This is accompanied by anxiety about one’s health. 

Individuals with illness anxiety are overly concerned about undiagnosed disease, negative diagnostic results, do not respond to assurance by doctors and are easily alarmed about illness such as hearing about someone else’s ill-health or some such news. 

In the case of somatic symptom disorder, this expression is in terms of physical complaints while in case of illness anxiety disorder, as the name suggests, it is the anxiety which is the main concern.

Conversion Disorders: Symptoms: Reported loss of a body part or some basic bodily functions. For e.g., Paralysis, blindness, deafness, difficulty in walking, etc. These symptoms often occur after stressful experience & may be quite sudden.

Dissociative Disorders Dissociation: Involves feelings of unreality, estrangement, depersonalisation & sometimes loss or shift of identity. Dissociative Disorders: Sudden temporary alterations of consciousness that blot out painful experiences.

Depressive Disorder/ Depression: One of the most widely prevalent and recognised of all mental disorders is depression. Depression covers a variety of negative moods and behavioral changes. 

Depression can refer to a symptom or a disorder. In day-to-day life, we often use the term depression to refer to normal feelings after a significant loss, such as the break-up of a relationship or the failure to attain a significant goal. 

Major depressive disorder is defined as a period of depressed mood &/or loss of interest or pleasure in most of the activities together with other symptoms which may include change in body weight, constant sleep problems, tiredness, inability to think clearly, agitation, greatly slowed behaviour, thoughts of death & suicide, excessive guilt or feelings of worthlessness.

Factors predisposing towards depression:

  • Age: e.g.. Women are at risk during young adulthood & men during middle age.
  • Heredity: It is a major risk factor predisposing people to mood disorders.
  • Gender: eg, Women in comparison to men are likely to be more depressed.
  • Other factors: e.g., Negative life events and lack of social support 

Bipolar and Related Disorder

Mania: People suffering from mania become Euphoric (high), extremely active, excessively talkative and easily distractible.

● Maniac episodes rarely appear by themselves, they usually alter with depression.

● Such a mood disorder, in which both mania and depression are alternatively present, is sometimes interrupted by periods of normal mood, this is known as Bipolar Mood Disorder.

Suicide: Symptoms of Suicide:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities 
  • Violent actions, rebellious behavior, running away
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Marked personality change
  • Persistent boredom
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Complaints about physical symptoms
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

Factors leading to suicide:

  • Social, psychological, cultural and other factors such as mental disorders (especially depression and alcohol use disorders), going through disasters, violence, abuse or loss and isolation.
  • Impulse during crisis, the capacity to deal with life stresses such as financial issues, relationship break-
  • Previous suicidal attempt is the strongest risk factor.
  • Causes: Interpersonal relationships, family and negative peer-pressure.
  • The ramifications of suicide on social circle and communities tend to be devastating and long-lasting.

Schizophrenia Disorder: Schizophrenia is the descriptive term for a group of psychotic disorders in which personal, social and occupational functioning deteriorates as a result of disturbed thought processes, strange perceptions, unusual emotional states and motor abnormalities. 

Symptoms: can be grouped into 3 categories Positive (Le, excess of thought, emotion and behavior), Negative ( deficit of thought, emotion and behavior) and Psychomotor symptoms.

Disruptive, Impulse-Control and Conduct Disorder:

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) display age-inappropriate amounts of stubbornness, are irritable, defiant, disobedient and behave in a hostile manner. Unlike ADHD, the rates of ODD in boys and girls are not very different.

Conduct Disorder and Antisocial Behavior refers to age inappropriate actions and attitudes that violate family expectations, societal norms and the personal or property rights of others. 

The behaviors, typical conduct disorder, include aggressive actions that cause or threaten harm to people or animals, non-aggressive conduct that causes property damage, major deceitfulness or theft and serious rule violations.

Types of aggressive behavior:

  • Verbal aggression (i.e., name-calling, swearing), Physical aggression (ie, hitting, fighting)
  • Hostile aggression (ie, directed at inflicting injury to others)
  • Proactive aggression (ie, dominating and bullying others without provocation)

Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Manifested at an early age before schooling.

Feeding & Eating Disorder (Anorexia Nervosa): The individual has a distorted body image that leads her/him to see herself/himself as overweight. Often refusing to eat, exercising compulsively may lose large amounts of weight and even starve herself/himself to death. 

Bulimia nervosa: The individual may eat excessive amounts of food, then purge her/his body of food by using medicines such as laxatives or diuretics or by vomiting. A sense of tension and negative emotions after purging. Binge eating: There are frequent episodes of out-of-control eating.

Substance Related and Addictive Disorder:


  • People who abuse alcohol drink large amounts and rely on it to help them face difficult situations.
  • Eventually, the drinking interferes with their social behavior and ability to think and work.
  • Their bodies built up tolerance for alcohol and they need to drink large amounts to feel its effect.
  • They also feel withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Alcohol destroys millions of families, social relationships and careers. 

It also has serious effects on children of persons with this disorder. These children have higher rates of psychological problems, particularly anxiety, depression, phobias and substance abuse related disorders.


  •  Heroin intake significantly interferes with social and occupational functioning. Most abusers further develop a dependence on heroin, revolving their lives around the substance, building up a tolerance for it and experiencing a withdrawal reaction when they stop taking it.
  • The most direct danger of heroin abuse is an overdose, which slows down the respiratory centers in the brain, almost paralysing breathing and in many cases, causing deaths.


  • Regular use of cocaine may lead to a pattern of abuse in which the person may be intoxicated throughout the day and function poorly in social relationships and at work. May also cause problems with short term memory and attention.
  • Dependence may develop, so that cocaine dominates the person’s life. More of the drug is needed to get the desired effects and stopping it results in feelings of depression, fatigue, sleep problems, irritability and anxiety, Cocaine poses serious dangers. It has dangerous effects on psychological functioning and physical well-being.

Textbook Questions And Answers

Q.1. Identify the symptoms associated with depression and mania.

Ans. The symptoms associated with depression and mania which are mood disorders are as mentioned below:

(a) Symptoms of  Depression

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • Change in body weight
  • Constant sleep problems
  • Tiredness
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Agitation
  • Greatly slowed behavior
  • Thoughts of death and suicide
  • Excessive guilt or feeling of worthlessness.

(b) Mania:

  • Become euphoric
  • Extremely active
  • Excessively talkative
  • Easily distractible.

Q.2. Describe the characteristics of hyperactive children.

Ans. The characteristics of hyperactive children are as mentioned below:

(i) Children with ADHD are in constant motion.

(ii) Sitting still through a lesson is impossible for them.

(iii) The child may fidget, squirm, climb and run around the room aimlessly.

(iv) Parents and teachers describe them as ‘driven by a motor.

(v) They are always on the go.

(vi) They talk incessantly.

Q.3. What do you understand by substance abuse and dependence ?

Ans. (a) Substance abuse disorders: Disorders relating to maladaptive behaviors resulting from regular and consistent use of the substance involved are called substance abuse disorders. 

These disorders include problems associated with using and abusing such drugs as alcohol, cocaine and heroin, which alter the way people think, feel and behave.

(b) There are two sub-groups of substance-use disorders, i.e. Substance Dependence and Substance Abuse. These are explained as given below 

(i) Substance Dependence: 

(a) In it there is intense craving for the substance to which the person is addicted.

(b) The person shows tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and compulsive drug-taking.

(ii) Substance Abuse: 

(a) In it there are recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the use of substances.

(b) People who regularly ingest drugs damage their family and social relationships, perform poorly at work, and create physical hazards.

Q.4. Can a distorted body image lead to eating disorders ? Classify the various forms of it.

Ans. ‘Eating disorder’ refers to serious disruption of the eating habit or the appetite manifested as distorted body image. These are of three types. i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating.

(i) Anorexia Nervosa: 

(a) In it, the individual has a distorted body image that leads him to see himself as overweight.

(b) Often refusing to eat, exercising compulsively and developing unusual habits such as refusing to eat in front of others, the anorexic may lose large amounts of weight.

(c) He may even starve himself to death.

(ii) Bulimia Nervosa: 

(a) In it an individual may eat excessive amounts of food, then purge his body of food by using medicines such as laxatives or diuretics or by vomiting.

(b) The person often feels disgusted and ashamed when he binges and is relieved of tension and negative emotions after purging.

(iii) Binge Eating: In it there are frequent episodes of out-of-control eating.

Q.5. “Physicians make diagnosis looking at a person’s physical symptoms.” How are

psychological disorders diagnosed ?

Ans. (a) (i) Psychological disorders are diagnosed on the basis of their classification. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has classified various kinds of psychological disorders.

(ii) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV Edition (DSM-IV) evaluates the patient of five dimensions i.e.. biological, psychological, social and other aspects

(b) (i) The physicians make diagnosis on the basis of the classification of the disorders because categories of specific psychological disorders are grouped into various classes on the basis of some shared characteristics.

(ii) Classifications are useful because they enable users like psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers to communicate with each other about the disorder and help in understanding the causes of psychological disorders and the processes involved in their development and maintenance.

Q.6. Distinguish between obsessions and compulsions.

Ans. Obsessions are persistent ideas that occupy thoughts continually. The person concerned is unable to stop thinking about a particular idea or topic. The person often finds these thoughts to be unpleasant and shameful. 

On the other hand, compulsions simply irresistible urge to perform certain behaviors over and over again. Many compulsions deal with counting, ordering, checking, touching and washing.

Q.7. Can a long-standing pattern of deviant behavior be considered abnormal? Elaborate.

Ans. In psychology there is no “ideal model’ or even ‘normal model’ of human behavior. There are various approaches to distinguish between normal and abnormal behaviors.

Under one approach abnormal behavior is a deviation from social norms. Main features of this approach are as mentioned below:

(i) Abnormal behavior, thoughts and emotions are those that differ markedly from a society’s ideas of proper functioning.

(ii) Each society has norms for proper conduct.

(iii) Behaviors, thoughts and emotions that break societal norms are called abnormal.

(iv) One society may accept aggressive behavior while other may consider aggressive behavior as unacceptable or even abnormal.

(v) It is based on the assumption that socially accepted behavior is not abnormal, and that normality is conformity to social norms.

This approach has some shortcomings and serious questions have been raised against it.

(a) Many psychologists believe that the best criterion for determining the normality of behavior is not whether society accepts it but whether it fosters the well-being of the individual and the group.

(b) According to Maslow, conforming behavior can be seen as abnormal if it is maladaptive.

Q.8. While speaking in public the patient changes topics frequently, is this a positive or a negative symptom of schizophrenia ? Describe the other symptoms and subtypes of schizophrenia.

Ans. (A) It is a positive symptoms of schizophrenia because people with it may not be able to think logically and may speak in peculiar ways. 

These formal thought disorders can make communication extremely difficult. These include rapidly shifting from one topic to another so that the normal structure of thinking is muddled and becomes illogical, inventing new words or phrases, and persistent and inappropriate repetition of the same thoughts.

(B) Other symptoms of schizophrenia are as mentioned below :

(1) Positive symptoms 

(a) Delusions i.e., a false belief that is held on inadequate grounds

(i) Delusions of persecution: People believe that they are being plotted against, spied on, threatened, attacked and deliberately victimized.

(ii) Delusions of reference: People attach special and personal meaning to the actions of others or to objects and events.

(iii) Delusions of grandeur : People believe themselves to be specially empowered persons,

(iv) Delusions of control: People believe that their feelings, thoughts and actions are controlled by others

(b) Hallucinations i.e.. perceptions that occur in the absence of external stimuli.

(i) Auditory Hallucinations – Patients hear sounds or voices that speak words, phrases and sentences directly to the patient.

(ii) Tactile hallucinations i.e., forms of tingling. burning

(iii) Somatic hallucinations i.e.. something happening inside the body such as a snake crawling inside one’s stomach.

(iv) Visual hallucinations i.e., vague perceptions of color or distinct visions of people or objects.

(v) Gustatory hallucinations i.e.. food or drink taste strange.

(vi) Olfactory hallucinations i.e., smell of poison or smoke.

(c) Some people show inappropriate affect i.e., emotions that are unsuited to the situation.

(2) Negative symptoms: 

(i) These are ‘pathological deficits’ and include poverty of speech,

blunted and flat affect, loss of volition and social withdrawal.

(ii) People with schizophrenia show alogia or poverty of speech, i.e., reduction in speech and speech content.

(iii) Many people show less anger, sadness, joy and other feelings than most people do. Thus they have blunted affect.

(iv) Flat affect i.e., some people show no emotions at all.

(v) Some experience avolition, or apathy and inability to start or complete a course of action.

(vi) Some people show psychomotor symptoms. They move less spontaneously or make odd grimaces and gestures.

(vii) People in a catatonic stupor remain motionless and silent for long stretches of time.

(viii) People with catatonic rigidity maintain a rigid, upright posture for hours. Others exhibit catatonic posturing for long periods of time.

(3) Subtypes of schizophrenia and their characteristics are given in the table below:

Psychological Disorders
Psychological Disorders

Q.9. What do you understand about the term ‘dissociation’? Discuss its various forms.

Ans. (A) (a) Dissociation can be viewed as severance of the connections between ideas and emotions. It involves feelings of unreality, estrangement, depersonalisation, and sometimes a loss or shift of identity.

Sudden temporary alterations of consciousness that blot out painful experiences are a defining characteristic of dissociative disorders.

(b) Its different forms are dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, dissociative identity disorder and depersonalisation.

(c) Dissociative amnesia: 

(i) It is characterized by extensive but selective memory loss.

(ii) Some people cannot remember anything about their past.

(iii) Some can no longer recall specific events, people, places or objects, while their memory for other events remains intact.

(B) Dissociative fugue: 

(a) An unexpected travel away from home and workplace. 

(b) The new identity. 

(c) Inability to recall the previous identity. 

(d) The fugue usually ends assumption of when the person suddenly wakes up with no memory of the events that occurred during the fugue.

(C) Dissociative identity disorder: 

(a) Multiple personality 

(b) Relates to traumatic experiences in childhood 

(c) Person assumes alternate personalities.

(D) Depersonalisation

(a) It i a dreamlike state in which the person has a sense of being separated both from self and from reality. 

(b) In depersonalisation, there is a change of self-perception, and the person’s sense of reality is temporarily lost or changed.

Q.10. What are phobias? If someone had an intense fear of snakes, could this simple phobia be a result of faulty learning? Analyze how this phobia could have developed.

Ans. (a) Irrational fears related to specific objects, people, or situations are called phobias. 

(b) If someone had an intense fear of snakes, this could be a simple phobia as a result of faulty learning because small children can play with snakes. They are not aware of the danger of playing with snakes. For them it is just another play object. 

However, as they grow up the fear of snakes and other dangerous animals are instilled by their parents and society to keep them safe. This is reinforced and accounts for reactions like phobia.

Q.11. Anxiety has been called the “butterflies in the stomach feeling”. At what stage does anxiety become a disorder ? Discuss its types. [CBSE 2014]

Ans. (a) Anxiety is usually defined as a diffuse, vague, very unpleasant feeling of fear andbapprehension without any clear reason. So they are called ‘butterflies in the stomach.

(b) High levels of anxiety that are distressing and interfere with effective functio…ng indicate that anxiety has become an anxiety disorder. It is the most common category of psychological disorders.

(c) Symptoms: The anxious individual also shows a combination of the following symptoms: Rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fainting, dizziness, sweating.sleeplessness, frequent urination and tremors.

(d) Different types of anxiety disorders are as mentioned below

(i) Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Prolonged, vague, unexplained and intense fears that have no object, accompanied by hypervigilance and motor tension. As a result of which the person is unable to relax, is restless and visibly shaky and tense.

(ii) Panic Disorder: Frequent anxiety attacks characterized by feelings of intense terror and dread; unpredictable ‘panic attacks’ along with physiological symptoms like breathlessness, palpitations, trembling, dizziness, and a sense of loosing control or even dying.

(iii) Phobias: Irrational fears related to specific objects, interactions with others, and unfamiliar situations.

(iv) Obsessive-compulsive Disorder: Being preoccupied with certain thoughts that are viewed by the person to be embarrassing or shameful, and being unable to check the impulse to repeatedly carry out certain acts like checking, washing, counting, etc.

(v) Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Recurrent dreams, flashbacks, impaired concentration, and emotional numbing followed by a traumatic or stressful event like a natural disaster, serious accident, etc.

Final Words:

From the above article you have learnt about cbse class 12 psychology notes and questions answers of chapter 4 psychological disorders in details. All the best for your exam, do well.

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