What are the symptoms of a psychological disorder?


Your are requested to describe hypothetically the symptoms of a psychological disorder from a first person scenario (as if they apply to you). Which means that you have to imagine that you actually have that disorder (without really having it, just by learning about it from the text) and you are explaining it to your therapist. Others have to try to guess what it is so you want to be clear and provide a few clues..here’s an example:dr. therapy: thank you for coming. what can i do to help.me:dontthank me please. thank the judge that made me. (mumble: as if i have time for this.).dr. yes, yes, of course. maybe you can tell me why they sent you here.me: really? telling me you do not even know? everyone out in your waiting room, including nurses and secretaries and patients know why i am here and they are surely enjoying their gossip.dr. yes. you are right.. i do know that you were sent here because you threatened to rearrange the schoolprincipal’sface with the mirror you broke in his office.but maybe you can tell me with your own words. after all, there is two sides to the story.me: nope. i did. i broke the mirror and i really wanted to scare the stupid principal.dr. tell me why you did all that so i can help you ?me: (mumbling) sure you want to help me. you just want to hear my story so you can go home and blot about how sick i am and what a healer you are)dr. you said what? are you talking to yourself?me: yes.dr. do you often do that?me: only if it makes you believe i am crazy.dr.ok, back to what happened today. tell me please. what let to the incident.me: you mean what lead to the incident from the start or from my discussion with the holy educator?dr.nononot from the start dear. just tell me the story. before you went to the principle, what happened.me: well, it might be interesting to you to know that i told my boss to eat s–t and die before i left to my son’s school too.dr. you did? why? that means you lost your job too?me: well, it might be hard for you to believe but if my son’s school calls with an urgent matter, and my boss does not allow me to leave early, then she can eat s–t and die.dr. oh, so they called you to school but the boss wouldn’t let you leave.me: you got it big shot. she drove me crazy. if she had a problem, then it isokfor her but not for us. i feel good i sent her to hell.dr. yes, but now you have no job.me: you call that job? honestly, couldn’t even have enough for the couple of drinks i enjoy before bed. i made out better from government assistance.dr. but you are young and strong, tell me why they wanted you at school anyway.me: they wanted to inform me that my child must repeat his class for the second time. they said he has a speech problem and that they warned me to only speakenglishto him but my father does not knowenglishand they love to talk to each other. so now the kid is going to behearbrokenagain.dr. i see. i totally understand. you sound like a good parent who cares about her kids.me: whispering to myself. oh yes, totally. you understand me. we are just the same. you with your tailored suit and clean office and spotless shoes and me, with my …. yes…. we are very similar and you are very blind.dr. would you please stop talking to yourself and talk to me? tell me what is bothering you? why so angry? do you drink often?me: oh great. now i am alcoholic too.dr. why do you treat me with such hostility? i am on your side and want to help you.me: great, another helpful person wants to feel good about himself. help me. let me go home to finish the laundry and that would help me.dr. you seem to have a lot hanging on your shoulders. do you have help.me: yes, i have a maid and a butler and my car actually drives from a to z without breaking down. and i have so much money i do not have to work stupid jobs. all perfect.dr. i want to help you become better and i want to send you home with an assignment. i want you to eat well so you can lose some weight and improve your self esteem. i want you to walk twenty minutes a day and i want you to write a list of what would help you do when you feel angry so you do not lash out. and then i want you to come back next week so i can start your treatment.me:ok, so i am crazy. good. thank you.dr. next week. same time please. we will start your treatment.me: i can not. i do not have the money or the time. next week i have to take my disabled elderly mother to the hospital for a surgery. and i already do not know who is going to watch the kids. so please do not add to my troubles.what is my disorder?(really, i would very much like it if you try to guess my disorder:-)due date:july7.
Chapter 14
Prepared by
Melissa S. Terlecki,
Cabrini College, PA
Identifying Psychological Disorders: What
Is Abnormal?
Medical model: the conceptualization of
psychological disorders as diseases that, like
physical diseases, have biological causes,
defined symptoms, and possible cures
Diagnosis of symptoms underlying a syndrome
Not every abnormal thought or behavior can be
traced to an underlying disease.
Whats the first step in helping someone with
a psychological disorder?
Classification of Disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM-IV-TR; 4th ed., text revision): a classification
system that describes the features used to diagnose
each recognized mental disorder and indicates how the
disorder can be distinguished from other similar
Involves disturbances in behavior, thoughts, or emotions
Causes significant distress or impairment.
Stem from internal dysfunction (biological and/or
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF score)
Comorbidity: the co-occurrence of two or more disorders in a
single individual
Table 14.1
Categories of Mental Disorders
Causation of Disorders and the Dangers of
An integrated perspective incorporates biological, psychological,
and environmental factors.
Different individuals may experience a similar psychological
disorder for different reasons.
Diathesis-stress model: suggests that a person may be
predisposed for a mental disorder that remains unexpressed until
triggered by stress
The intervention-causation fallacy assumes treatment addresses
the cause of the disorder.
The brain is likely not the only cause.
Stigmas are likely attached to labeling people with psychological

Roughly 70% of sufferers do not seek treatment.
Education does not dispel the stigma.
May result in unnecessary incarceration
May lead to low self-esteem
Anxiety Disorders and GAD
Anxiety disorder: the class of mental disorder in which
anxiety is the predominant feature
Anxiety can be adaptive or maladaptive, when it is
disproportionate to real threats and challenges.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): a disorder
characterized by chronic excessive worry accompanied
by three or more of the following symptoms:
restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems,
irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance
Roughly 5% of North Americans suffer
Occurs more in lower SES groups
Phobic Disorders
Phobic disorders: disorders characterized by
marked, persistent, and excessive fear and
avoidance of specific objects, activities, or
Specific phobia: a disorder that involves an irrational
fear of a particular object or situation that markedly
interferes with an individuals ability to function
Social phobia: a disorder that involves an irrational fear
of being publicly humiliated or embarrassed
Panic Disorder
Panic disorder: a disorder characterized
by the sudden occurrence of multiple
psychological and physiological
symptoms that contribute to a feeling of
stark terror; panic attacks
Approximately 22% of the U.S. population
reports having at least one panic attack.
Agoraphobia: an extreme fear of
venturing into public places; correlates
with panic disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): a
disorder in which repetitive, intrusive,
thoughts (obsessions) and ritualistic behaviors
(compulsions) designed to fend off those
thoughts interfere significantly with an
individuals functioning
Roughly 1.3% of the population suffers
Moderate heritability
Mood Disorders and Depressive Disorders
Mood disorders: mental disorders that have mood disturbances as
their predominant feature
Major depressive disorder: a disorder characterized by a severely
depressed mood that lasts 2 wks. or more and is accompanied by
feelings of worthlessness and lack of pleasure, lethargy, and sleep
and appetite disturbances
Dysthymia: a disorder that involves the same symptoms as in
depression only less severe, but the symptoms last longer,
persisting for at least 2 yrs
Double depression: a moderately depressed mood that persists for
at least 2 yrs. and is punctuated by periods of major depression
Seasonal affective disorder: depression that involves recurrent
depressive episodes in a seasonal pattern
Women experience depression at twice the rate of men, as in
postpartum depression
What is the difference between depression
and sadness?
Why do more women than men experience
Biological and Psychological Factors
Heritability estimates for major depression range from
33% to 45%.
Depression may involve norepinephrine and serotonin,
and/or diminished activity in the left prefrontal cortex and
increased activity in the right prefrontal cortex.
Aaron Beck (1921- ) noted dysfunctional attitudes and
negative mood states in depressed individuals.
Helplessness theory: the idea that individuals who are prone to
depression automatically attribute negative experiences to
causes that are internal, stable, and global
Depressed individuals tend to have depressive biases in thinking
and memory.
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder: an unstable emotional condition
characterized by cycles of abnormal, persistent high
mood (mania) and low mood (depression)
Approximately 1.3% of people suffer
Rapid cycling bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder has the highest heritability
(polygenic) among the psychological disorders.
Biological causes (specific neurotransmitters) are
difficult to substantiate.
Stressful life experiences often precede episodes.
Dissociative Disorders: Going to Pieces
Dissociative disorder: a condition in which normal cognitive
processes are severely disjointed and fragmented, creating
significant disruptions in memory, awareness, or personality that
can vary in length from a matter of minutes to many years
Dissociative identity disorder (DID): the presence within an
individual of two or more distinct identities that at different times
take control of the individuals behavior
.5% – 1% of the population suffers; female to male prevalence 9:1
Dissociative amnesia: the sudden loss of memory for significant
personal information
Dissociative fugue: the sudden loss of memory for ones personal
history, accompanied by an abrupt departure from home and the
assumption of a new identity
Dissociative amnesia and fugue usually occur later in life and memory
loss may be temporary.
Schizophrenia: Losing the Grasp on Reality
Schizophrenia: a disorder characterized by the profound disruption of basic
psychological processes, a distorted perception of reality, altered or blunted
emotion, and disturbances in though, motivation, and behavior
Occurs in about 1% of the population
Delusion: a patently false belief system, often bizarre and grandiose, that is
maintained in spite of its irrationality.
Hallucination: a false perceptual experience that has a compelling sense of being real
despite the absence of external stimulation
Disorganized speech: a severe disruption of verbal communication in which ideas shift
rapidly and incoherently from one to another unrelated topic
Grossly disorganized behavior: behavior that is inappropriate for the situation or
ineffective in attaining goals, often with specific motor disturbances
Catatonic behavior: a marked decrease in all movement or an increase in muscular rigidity and
Negative symptoms: emotional and social withdrawal, apathy, poverty of speech, and
other indications of the absence or insufficiency of normal behavior, motivation, and
Subtypes include: paranoid, catatonic, disorganized, undifferentiated, and
Table 14.3
Types of Schizophrenia
Biological and Psychological Factors
Concordance rates increase greatly with biological
Prenatal and perinatal environments may also have
Dopamine hypothesis: the idea that schizophrenia
involves an excess of dopamine activity
Effects and treatments related to neurotransmitters
have yet to be completely determined.
Disturbed family environment may affect
development and recovery of schizophrenia.
Hot Science: Autism and Childhood
Early onset disorders are recognized in the DSM,
and some resolve into adulthood while others do
Autistic disorder involves abnormal or impaired
development of communication and social
interaction, and a markedly restricted repertoire of
Recent increased prevalence
Variations of the disorder lie along a spectrum,
including Aspergers syndrome.
Individuals with the disorder may display unique,
gifted talents.
Personality Disorders: Going to Extremes
Personality disorder: disorder characterized by deeply
ingrained, inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or
relating to others or controlling impulses that cause
distress or impaired functioning
Organized into three clusters: odd/eccentric, dramatic/erratic,
and anxious/inhibited
14.8% of the population has a personality disorder.
Common feature is failure to take others perspectives
Diagnosis is controversial and complicated.
Peer nomination measures may be more valid
Table 14.4
Clusters of Personality
Why is self-reporting a problem in diagnosing
personality disorders?
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder(APD): a pervasive
pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of
others that begins in childhood or early adolescence
and continues into adulthood
3.6% of the population suffers; males outnumber females 3:1
Individuals typically have a history of conduct disorder and
many commit crimes.
Sociopathology and psychopathology describe people
with APD.
Newer theories suggest internal (biological) causes.
Less sensitive to fear in the brain.
What are some of the factors that contribute
to APD?
Hot Science: Positive Psychology
Positive psychology is an
approach that seeks to
understand what makes our
lives pleasant, good, and
meaningful, began by Martin
Seligman (1942- ).
Character Strengths and
Virtues (CSV) classifies
positive characteristics, as
complimentary to the DSM.
The movement has been
effective in spurring
happiness research.
Various findings are cited.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
What are the symptoms of a psychological disorder?
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay


Psychological disorders can be challenging to diagnose and understand. The symptoms can often be hard to pinpoint, and understanding the disorder may require a considerable amount of expertise. In this article, we will explore a hypothetical scenario where an individual describes their symptoms to a therapist. The aim is to provide some insights into how a psychological disorder can manifest.


In this scenario, an individual is describing their symptoms to their therapist. The individual is exhibiting signs of hostility and aggression towards authority figures like their boss and the school principal. They also seem to have feelings of paranoia and isolation, which makes it hard for them to build trust with others. Throughout the conversation, the individual shows a lack of empathy and a disregard for other people’s feelings.

As a content writer with experience in psychology, it is essential to note that this scenario is indicative of a wide range of psychological disorders. Some possible diagnoses may include conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or borderline personality disorder. These disorders require careful assessment and an accurate diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional.


By the end of this exercise, learners will:

1. Understand the process of identifying psychological disorders through first person scenarios.

2. Be able to generate symptoms of a psychological disorder in a first person scenario.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Demonstrate the ability to analyze a patient’s spoken words and behaviors to identify potential symptoms of specific psychological disorders.

2. Apply theoretical knowledge of psychological disorders to a realistic hypothetical situation.

3. Produce clear and concise descriptions of symptoms of psychological disorders in a first person scenario to aid in diagnosis.

4. Recognize the importance of accurate and non-judgmental communication when working with patients dealing with psychological disorders.


Dr. Therapy: Thank you for coming. What can I do to help?

Me: Don’t thank me, please. Thank the judge that made me. (mumble: as if I have time for this.)

Dr. Therapy: Yes, yes, of course. Maybe you can tell me why they sent you here.

Me: Really? Telling me you do not even know? Everyone out in your waiting room, including nurses and secretaries and patients know why I am here, and they are surely enjoying their gossip.

Dr. Therapy: Yes. You are right…I do know that you were sent here because you threatened to rearrange the school principal’s face with the mirror you broke in his office. But maybe you can tell me with your own words. After all, there are two sides to the story.

Me: Nope. I did. I broke the mirror, and I really wanted to scare that stupid principal.

Dr. Therapy: Tell me why you did all that so I can help you?

Me: (mumbling) Sure you want to help me. You just want to hear my story so you can go home and brag about how sick I am and what a healer you are…

Dr. Therapy: You said what? Are you talking to yourself?

Me: Yes.

Dr. Therapy: Do you often do that?

Me: Only if it makes you believe I am crazy.

Dr. Therapy: OK, back to what happened today. Tell me please. What led to the incident?

Me: You mean what led to the incident from the start or from my discussion with the Holy Educator?

Dr. Therapy: No, no…not from the start, dear. Just tell me the story. Before you went to the principal, what happened?

Me: Well, it might be interesting to you to know that I told my boss to eat s–t and die before I left for my son’s school too.

Dr. Therapy: You did? Why? That means you lost your job too?

Me: Well, it might be hard for you to believe, but if my son’s school calls with an urgent matter and my boss does not allow me to leave early, then she can eat s–t and die.

Dr. Therapy: Oh, so they called you to school, but the boss wouldn’t let you leave?

Me: You got it, big shot. She drove me crazy. If she had a problem, then it’s OK for her, but not for us. I feel good I sent her to hell.

Dr. Therapy: Yes, but now you have no job.

Me: You call that a job? Honestly, couldn’t even have enough for the couple of drinks I enjoy before bed. I made out better from government assistance.

Dr. Therapy: But you are young and strong. Tell me why they wanted you at school anyway.

Me: They wanted to inform me that my child…

Solution 1:
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Dr. Therapy: Thank you for coming in today, how can I help you?
Me: Well, I’m just feeling really anxious all the time. I have trouble sleeping at night because my mind is racing with thoughts about all the things I need to get done the next day. And during the day, I’m always worrying about everything – my work, my relationships, my health… I just can’t seem to turn off that part of my brain.
Dr. Therapy: I see, how long have you been feeling this way?
Me: Honestly, as long as I can remember. But lately it’s been really intense and it’s starting to affect my daily life.
Dr. Therapy: Okay, it sounds like you might be experiencing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. This is a common condition where someone feels constant and excessive worry about a variety of things. We can work together to figure out some coping strategies to help manage your anxiety.

Solution 2:
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder
Dr. Therapy: Thank you for coming in today, how can I help you?
Me: I just feel really down all the time. I don’t really enjoy anything anymore, and I’m having trouble sleeping and eating. I feel like I’m just going through the motions of life without any real purpose or joy.
Dr. Therapy: I’m sorry to hear that. Have you been feeling this way for a while?
Me: Yeah, pretty much for the past few months. It’s starting to feel like this is just the way life is and it’s never going to get better.
Dr. Therapy: It sounds like you might be experiencing symptoms of major depressive disorder. This is a condition where someone feels persistent sadness, lethargy, and a lack of enjoyment in life. But the good news is that treatments like therapy and medication can be very effective in managing these symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Suggested Resources/Books:
1. “An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness” by Kay Redfield Jamison
2. “First Person Accounts of Mental Illness and Recovery” by Craig Winston LeCroy
3. “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk
4. “The DSM-5” published by American Psychiatric Association
5. “Psychotherapy Took Kit: 22 Practical Tools to Master Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Self-Hypnosis” by Gillian Wing

Similar Asked Questions:
1. What are some effective treatments for depression?
2. What are common symptoms of anxiety disorders?
3. How can one differentiate between normal emotional fluctuations and a psychological disorder?
4. How does childhood trauma impact mental health in adulthood?
5. Can medication alone cure mental illnesses, or is therapy necessary too?

Hypothetical Explanation of Psychological Disorder:

Dr. Therapy: Thank you for coming in today. What brings you here?

Me: Well, I don’t really know where to start. I’ve just been feeling really down lately. It’s like everything is gray and dull all the time, and I can’t seem to get excited about anything anymore.

Dr. Therapy: I see, can you explain the thoughts or feelings that lead you to feel this way?

Me: I just feel so overwhelmed with everything. It’s like I can’t keep up with my responsibilities and everything just feels like it’s crashing down around me. I also find it really hard to concentrate or make decisions lately.

Dr. Therapy: Do you have any difficulty sleeping or eating?

Me: Well, now that you mention it, I struggle with both. Sometimes I can’t seem to fall asleep no matter how tired I am, and other times I sleep all day. Plus, I don’t really have much of an appetite anymore.

Dr. Therapy: Have you noticed any changes in your energy levels or motivation?

Me: Yes, that’s the worst part. Sometimes I feel like I have so much energy that I can’t sit still, but then other times I can barely get out of bed. I don’t really have any interest in doing things anymore either.

Dr. Therapy: You have described some symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression. Would you be willing to discuss these potential diagnoses further in our next session?

Me: Yes, I suppose so. That actually helps to explain a lot.

Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
× How can I help you?