Pathology and Therapy

Essay by toonces114College, UndergraduateC, April 2005

download word file, 6 pages 4.0


Medical Model of Abnormal Behavior

Abnormal behavior is viewed as a disease

Diagnosis - distinguishing one illness from another

Etiology - how the illness is caused and how it develops

Prognosis - a forecast about what course the illness is likely to take

Criteria of Abnormal Behavior


Maladaptive behavior

Personal distress

Defining Neurosis and Psychosis

Neurosis - characterized by anxiety, often as a result of inner conflict. The outward signs of anxiety may be hidden, however, as the person uses ego defenses to keep the anxiety under control. The person remains in good contact with reality (no irrational thought, delusions, or hallucinations).

Psychosis - characterized by a loss of contact with reality. The person may be delusional, have irrational beliefs that conflict with common sense, or suffer hallucinations. Although anxiety may be present (or not), it is not a characteristic of the disorder.


caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors and may develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events

psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medication therapy are effective treatments

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Characterized by excessive, unrealistic worry that lasts six months or more

Other symptoms include trembling, muscular aches, insomnia, abdominal upsets, dizziness, and irritability.

Panic Disorder

Characterized by severe attacks of panic-which may make them feel like they are having a heart attack or are going crazy-for no apparent reason.

with either the continued concern about having more panic attacks, worry about the consequences (physical or psychological) or undergoing a change in behavior or routine due to the panic attacks.

Symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, trembling, tingling sensations, feeling of choking, fear of dying, fear of losing control, and feelings of unreality.

Agoraphobia (which sometimes accompanies a panic attack)...