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Psy 270 capstone

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PSY270 Complete DQ’s Week 1 to 9 (including Capstone)
Week 1/1
In defining psychological abnormality the four “D’s” are often examined first in the
attempt to assess behavior. An individuals’ behavior will be examined for deviance or behavior
which differs from the social norm. The particular culture in which the behavior is occurring
will aid in defining behavior as deviant as each culture has its own definition of normal and
acceptable behavior based upon the specific factors relating to the culture (history, values,
etc.). With regard to assessing behavior as deviant one must be careful to examine the specific
circumstances which may surround the onset of the behavior. For example: To take the life of
another human being would most likely commonly be deemed deviant behavior in our society.
However, the opinion may change if the individual were reacting in self-defense to a violent
attack (rape).
Behavior will also be assessed for level of distress. Here there is often a challenge as
many individual’s experience little, or no, distress accompanying mental illness. As our text
suggests Brad, who would seem to be suffering a psychotic episode (Schizophrenia), is
showing signs of distress. Brad feels anxiety and dread, he feels assaulted by the voices when
refusing orders from “them”, he is withdrawn and his ability to maintain his health is being
effected through dieting in preparation for the invasion. Here we see obvious signs of distress
yet some individual’s with the same diagnosis may not feel distress themselves while still
having severely abnormal behaviors, thoughts and ideas.
Dysfunction is the third “D”. Here the individual’s behavior is assessed to determine
the level at which his or her signs and symptoms are hindering normal functioning. If the
individual is unable to properly care for themselves or participate in social interactions, has
suffered a decline in work performance or lost employment, or suffered a family breakup
(divorce) the obviously the abnormal behavior has created a high level of dysfunction in his or
her life. When assessing dysfunction one is essentially asking “to what extent has this person’s
life been disrupted?”.
The final “D” is that of danger. Dangerous behavior would include the individual
experiencing thoughts of suicide or engaging in other harmful behaviors such as refusal to
eat, promiscuous behavior, drug or alcohol abuse. Obviously dangerous behavior easily
defines any individual who exhibits behavior which poses a threat to themselves or other
people.
Week1/2
The use of psychotropic medications has many positive benefits. For those suffering
from severe psychological disturbances these drugs aid in reducing many troublesome
symptoms thus enhancing the individual’s ability to function with more normality. For those
diagnosed with disorders such as schizophrenia or severe depressive disorders these
medications can often seem to be a lifesaver. The problem though is over prescribing of these
medications (often by a doctor who does not really understand what they are doing) to where it
has become “normal” to be on some sort of medication.

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For example: I went through a divorce years ago and it was rough… I was a bit
of a mess and having a tough time sleeping and eating and was having more frequent anxiety
attacks. I was sick and went to my general practitioner who then sent me off with a
prescription for Ativan which he prescribed to be taken 1 pill 3x day and 2 at bed time. Pardon
me?! If I took those as prescribed I would be unable to function at all. He also prescribed an
anti-depressant on top of this.
My thought is this… we all have good days and bad days, when crisis happens (death,
divorce) these things often result in feelings of sadness which is normal human response.
Does this require heavy sedation and anti-depressant medication to effectively avoid feeling?
Isn’t it more beneficial to work through these things as they come along (enter positive
psychology) unless the symptoms become extreme or unmanageable? I guess my point is that
psychotropic drugs have a plethora of positives when carefully and properly prescribed yet it
seems like anyone who isn’t having “the best day ever...every day” is given a pill to “fix” that.
I would also argue that general practitioners should not be prescribing these medications.
Week3/1
The psychodynamic perspective on anxiety disorders is that some anxiety during
childhood is normal; children will experience realistic anxiety in the face of real danger,
neurotic anxiety when impulses of the id become hindered, and moral anxiety as a result of
punishment or threat of punishment for expressions of id impulses. The psychodynamic view,
according to Freud, is that children with unresolved neurotic or moral anxieties are highly
likely to develop anxiety disorders as adults. Other theorists would disagree with Freud on
aspects of his theory yet continue to believe that strained relationships of early childhood may
factor in to later life anxiety disorders.
The humanistic theorists would suggest anxiety disorders to be the result of self-denial.
The inability to be self-accepting and honest about ones' self create anxious feelings and
hinder the individual’s ability to achieve a state of self-actualization. When children fail to
receive unconditional positive regard during childhood develop issues with conditions of
worth causing anxiety issues.
The cognitive perspective is that distorted thinking leads to anxiety. Maladaptive
assumptions lead to actions and reactions that are not appropriate which are the result of the
flawed thought processes. Second generation cognitive theorists suggest that individuals
positive and negative beliefs about worrying and that the individual focused on the negatives
will be more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders.
Biological theories of anxiety suggest anxiety is caused by biological factors. For
instance, this perspective would imply that if the individual has family members who suffer
from anxiety disorders the individual has a predisposition for developing the disorder
themselves. In addition, anxiety disorders may be caused by problems related to the neural
activity of the brain.
Honestly, there is no one perspective that I feel I agree with more so than the others as
each makes valid suggestions as to the root causes related to anxiety. I have an anxiety
disorder and can see how each perspective could be possible in explaining my anxiety. I can

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say though that the biological perspective is the one I would question based upon the fact that
most of my family does not have the anxiety issues like I do. Therefore, in my opinion, this
perspective has the weakest argument.
Week3/2
The difference between phobia’s and fear is that basic fear is justified (someone
attacks you = natural fear response which is justified, plane crashing…same thing) and
phobic fear is fear which is persistent and unrealistic. Many phobias cause immense
disruption to the individual’s ability to function normally. People who suffer from social
phobia will obviously have trouble with social encounters which might affect their ability to
maintain employment and partake in social gatherings or events. The individual with social
phobia may also be subject to many misconceptions regarding themselves as a person as
others who are unaware of their phobia might view the individual as anti-social, hostile or
snobbish when this may not be a true reflection of the individual’s personality.
While reading through the list of phobias on page 106 of our text I found a plethora of
phobias besides the social phobia which would impair social functioning. The person with
xenophobia will undoubtedly be unable to function in social circumstances as they are afraid
of people they don’t know (This person might also suffer more by likely having a very small
social support network). I can’t begin to imagine how someone who is phobophobic would feel
on a day to day basis… I’m sure this is not a common phobia but to be fearful of being afraid
is almost too much to comprehend. Agoraphobia is another phobia which would greatly
impact ones level of social functioning as the agoraphobic is unlikely to venture outside of
their safe zone which is normally the home. Here there is an extreme disruption to life as the
individual would encounter difficulty with things such as going to the grocery store, doctor
appointments, and even work.
Some would suggest phobias to develop in response to classical conditioning. Other
theories suggest modeling to result in fear reaction. In these cases the individual likely
witnesses other people experiencing fear in response to stimuli and sort of follow suit by
imitating the fear they observe in others. Behavior theorists also suggest the individual who
develops a number of phobias will likely develop generalized anxiety disorder.
Week 5/1
The individual with anorexia nervosa will refuse to maintain a “normal” body weight for their
age and height. The anorexic has intense fear of gaining weight even when he or she is
already underweight. The restricting type anorexic will typically not eat, restricting their food.
While the anorexic is not eating he or she is still very much preoccupied with food evidenced
by thinking, reading, or talking about food or spending much time preparing food he or she
will likely not consume. Anorexia can lead to the absence of menstruation, lowered blood
pressure and body temperatures, the heart rate can slow and more seriously heart failure may
occur. In addition, lack of proper nutrition can lead to low bone density and risk of developing
osteoporosis later in life.
Bulimia involves binge and purge cycles. The bulimic will literally overstuff themselves,
eating far more than most people do in an entire day in about one hour, and then perform one

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PSY270 Complete DQ's Week 1 to 9 (including Capstone)Week 1/1In defining psychological abnormality the four "D's" are often examined first in the attempt to assess behavior. An individuals' behavior will be examined for deviance or behavior which differs from the social norm. The particular culture in which the behavior is occurring will aid in defining behavior as deviant as each culture has its own definition of normal and acceptable behavior based upon the specific factors relating to the culture (history, values, etc.). With regard to assessing behavior as deviant one must be careful to examine the specific circumstances which may surround the onset of the behavior. For example: To take the life of another human being would most likely commonly be deemed deviant behavior in our society. However, the opinion may change if the individual were reacting in self-defense to a violent attack (rape).Behavior will also be assessed for level of distress. Here there is often a challenge as many individual's experience little, or no, distress accompanying mental illness. As our text suggests Brad, who would seem to be suffering a psychotic episode (Schizophrenia), is showing signs of distress. Brad feels anxiety and dread, he feels assaulted by the voices when refusing orders from "them", he is withdrawn and his ability to maintain his health is being effected through dieting in preparation for the invasion. Here we see obvious signs of distress yet some individual's with the sa ...
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