psychology case study of health illness and healing, mental illness

Topics: Anxiety, Psychology, Obsessive–compulsive disorder Pages: 6 (1968 words) Published: October 15, 2014
PSYCHOLOGY – CASE STUDIES – HEALTH ILLNES AND HEALING Abnormality is deviating from what is considered the normal or usual behaviour as a society, normal is a statistical standard defined by what society are managing and what society considers socially acceptable or deviant or what the standard of adequate functioning meaning are they capable to cope with everyday life? There is a concept of ideal mental health this is a state of contentment we all strive to achieve. Abnormal behaviour can be understood by the biological and psychological models of abnormality these consider explanations to why people suffer with mental illness; mental illness is defined by a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking, the mental health act 2007 changed the definition of mental disorders to “Any disorder or disability of the mind”. Kraepelin (1913) published a classificatory system which was an important role in the development of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM). Biological and psychological model approaches are opposite, one may understand a specific disorder better, but both can link together to understand the disorder properly, Biological Model explains the cause of the abnormality and the psychological model is the way people learn the abnormality, most psychiatrists accept the biological model whereas most clinical psychologists reject it for the psychological model. Psychopathology looks at mental illness and the patterns of thinking and whether this behaviour is maladaptive, the person cannot adapt to the environment, thus disrupting their behaviour as shown in the following case studies. Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder which is persistent and unreasonable fear of an object or situation, Specific phobias is a fear of specific object or situation such as Gareth Brennan who has a ichthyophobia which is a phobia of fish, Gareth Brennan is a professional singer who suffers with a phobia of fish, he used to watch his dad gut and clean his catch in the sink but he became aware when plates started smelling like fish and he would not use them, it became obvious he had a phobia when he started throwing up at the sight of fish, his life was run by his fear he could not eat out because places may serve fish, he could not change supermarkets because he knew where the fish were kept so he would not accidently run into the fish counter, he had severe reactions upon seeing fish such as trembling and vomiting, it is statistically rare for people to have Ichthyophobia, it deviates from social norm as its not normal for people to be afraid of fish and people generally do not have the reactions that Gareth have upon seeing fish, this phobia causes his relationships to be strained, his performances to be ruined and it is making his friends and family uncomfortable because he can not lead a normal life, it is disruptive and harmful as he cannot control his own reactions to seeing a fish. An psychological explanation to understand phobias are classical conditioning which is defined as a learning process which occurs when you have two stimuli and they are repeatedly paired together and which changes the subjects reaction to the second stimuli, a phobia could be acquired through classical conditioning by pairing a neutral stimuli with a something that really causes pain evidence for this theory is Watson and Rayner (1920) showed that phobias can be acquired through classical conditioning evidence for this is Little Albert experiment , Albert an 11 month old baby was shown random objects, and was allowed to play with a white toy rat and he had no fear however when Albert reached for the rat they would make a loud noise after repeatedly being paired together Albert feared furry animals and cotton wool this showed that stimulus was generalised into objects that were furry and white and the fear is learned. The biological model proposes that there is genetic factors involved in the...


References: Gross, R.D (2001) Psychology A new introduction for A2 Level, Hodder and Stoughton; London
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Watson, J.B & Rayner, R (1920) Conditioned emotional reactions, Journal of experimental psychology, 3.1 -14
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