1) Describe how and why clinicians classify psychological disorders.
2) Describe how the learning and biological perspectives explain anxiety disorders.
3) Define mood disorders, and contrast major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.
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1) Describe how and why clinicians classify psychologicaldisorders.
DSM-IV-TR is a current authoritative scheme forclassifying psychological disorders. This volume is theAmerican Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic andStatistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,updated in 2000 as “text revision.” This classificationscheme assumes the medical model and will be moresubstantially revised as DSM-5, which will appear in2013. DSM diagnoses were developed in coordinationwith the tenth edition of the International Classification ofDiseases (ICD-10); the eleventh edition is expected in2014. Most health insurance policies
in North America require an ICD/DSM diagnosis beforethey will pay for therapy. The DSM describes variousdisorders and has high reliability. For example, twoclinicians who are working independently and applyingthe guidelines are likely to reach the same diagnosis.
2) Describe how the learning and biological perspectivesexplain anxiety disorders.
The learning perspective views anxiety disorders as aproduct of fear conditioning, stimulus generalization,reinforcement of fearful behaviors, and observationallearning of others’ fears. The bio- logical perspectivehelps explain why we learn some fears more readily andwhy some individuals are more vulnerable. It emphasizesevolutionary, genetic, and neural influences. For example, phobias may focus on fears faced by our ancestors,genetic inheritance of a high level of emotional reactivitypredisposes some to anxiety, and elevated activity in theanterior cingulate cortex appears to be linked to OCD.
3) Define mood disorders, and contrast major depressivedisorder and bipolar disorder.
Mood disorders are psychological disorders characterizedby emotional extremes. Major depressive disorder occurswhen at least five signs of depression (including lethargy,feelings of worthlessness, or loss of interest in family,friends, and activities) last two or more weeks and are not caused by drugs or a medical condition. Bipolar disorderis a mood disorder in which a person alternates betweenthe hopelessness and lethargy of depression and theoverexcited state of mania (a hyperactive, wildlyoptimistic state). Major depressive disorder is much morecommon than is bipolar disorder.
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