Exaggerated defence mechanisms used to
escape feelings of anxiety. They are a category
of mild disorders and because they last longer
than defence mechanisms, can interfere with the
enjoyment of life.
Neurotics show unusual fear and anxiety to
escape certain situations
Neurotics understand the nature of their problems
but can’t resolve them themselves
Since a neurotic person is in touch with reality, it
Types of Neuroses
Fear that dreadful things will happen
Fears are so overpowering the person can not
Result: anxiety attacks symptoms include a
pounding heart, faintness, numbness, chills,
or flushed skin
Even though everyone experiences anxiety,
there is usually some observable cause
(upcoming exam, car accident); neurotic
anxiety occurs without any obvious cause.
Ex: the concert pianist might find her hands
Extreme fears of certain objects or
They interfere with our lives
Skinner and other learning theorists
believe phobias stem from bad
experiences and need to be treated with
conditioning techniques that associate
pleasant experiences with the feared
object or situation
List of Phobias
A persistent, unwanted thought that comes from
some sort of anxiety.
The person may know the fear is unreasonable,
but still cannot get rid of it.
The obsession is often followed by a
compulsion to perform an act that will relieve
Ex: obsession fear of germs
compulsion persistent washing of hands
Obsessions: Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa- Anorexics are obsessed
with their body image and reduce food intake,
use laxatives, vomit, and exercise compulsively
to rid of any foods eaten.
Bulimia- Bulimics binge-eat, then induce
vomiting or use laxatives and follow with
starvation and fasting.
In therapy patients explore why they feel
compelled to control their body size and shape
and find healthier ways to deal with these
A serious mental illness that may prevent the
sufferer form functioning in day-to-day life.
Psychotics may distort reality through
hallucinations or delusions
They lack understanding of their own behaviour
and believe their perceptions and distortions are
They may show great personality changes,
dramatic mood swings, strange emotional
responses and confusion with respect to time,
places or people.
Treatments include drug therapy, psychotherapy,
behaviour modification or hospitalization.
Types of Psychoses
Disassociative Identity Disorder
Result of damage to the brain tissue caused by
injury, untreated syphilis (STI), or long-term
heavy use of drugs or alcohol.
Suffers from extreme mood changes
The manic stage is marked by confused and
aggressive behaviour. The mood may appear to
be one of joy, but is really exaggerated gaiety. A
person in the manic stage may seem to have
unlimited energy or difficulty sleeping.
The depressed state is one of extreme fatigue,
sadness and futility. In this state a person may
become extremely withdrawn and even consider
Disassociative Identity Disorder
(formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder)
Involves a disturbance in both the memory and identity of an
DID is the presence of two or more distinct personalities within one
body. (Average of 8-13 personalities)
Caused by extreme sustained physical, sexual, emotional or
psychological abuse (usually a combination of all four) over a
prolonged period of time.
Usually beginning before the age of five and often occurring in
Most people with DID start to show signs in their 20’s and 30’s.
9 times more women than men receive therapy for DID
97% of the individuals with DID have been physically and/or
sexually abused .
People with DID may experience any of the following: depression,
mood swings, suicidal tendencies, sleep disorders, panic attacks
and phobias alcohol and drug abuse, compulsions and rituals,
psychotic-like symptoms (including auditory and visual
hallucinations), and eating disorders.
There are several forms of schizophrenia. Some
simply withdraw into themselves. losing interest
in the world and become completely apathetic.
Some have hallucinations and delusions; one
patient was convinced that his neighbour was
shooting harmful rays at him through the walls of
Research has increasingly suggested a genetic
cause for schizophrenia, but some psychologists
believe it may be attributed to early environment
or chemical imbalances.
Classification on psychopathy is mixed. Some see it as
a mental illness or psychosis; others do not.
The psychopath has no conscience or superego.
This type of person feels no remorse or guilt after doing
something immoral or criminal.
They behave antisocially and irresponsibly.
They find it difficult to form meaningful or lasting
Some psychologists believe this disorder is the result of
a childhood lacking love and acceptance because the
child learns that there is nothing to lose by behaving
antisocially; others believe it is the result of giving in to
the child’s every whim. “Cause” is difficult to determine.