Abnormal Psychology

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The Nature of Psychopathology and Abnormal Psychology
The Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

Introduction to the psychotic disorders

  • Psychotic disorders are mental disorders that can cause abnormal thinking and one's ability to perceive normally. Many who experience psychoses lose touch with reality and are unable to cope with the outside world.
  • Some of the major symptoms associated with psychotic disorders include:
  • delusions, hallucinations, incoherent or disorganized speech, tangentiality, loose associations or derailment, preservation, alogia, avolition, bizarre behavior, and/or disorganized behavior.
  • There are several types of psychotic disorders but one which is reported frequently is schizophrenia.
  • Schizophrenia affects people from all walks of life; and is about as prevalent as epilespy. This psychotic disorder usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood.
  • Schizoaffective disorder is a disorder, that when diagnosed, an individual demonstrates symptoms of both Schizophrenia and a severe mood disorder: bipolar or unipolar.
  • Another example of schizophrenia is Schizophreniform disorder. This disorder can last up to six months. The indiviual may experience social and occupational impairment during the episodes and a brief psychotic disorder. If the symptoms of brief psychotic disorder last for a month or longer, they will turn into one of the other disorders previously listed.
  • There are two types of symptoms that coincide with schizophrenia; postive and negative symptoms.
  • Postive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and disorganized or catatonic behavior. Negative symptoms are those who experience the flat effect, alogia, and avoltion

The following links come from a series of five videos uploaded by ehowhealth regarding schizophrenia:

1. What is Schizophrenia? 2. Signs of Schizophrenia in children with ADHD 3. How is Schizophrenia diagnosed? 4. Schizophrenia and homelessness 5. Is Schizophrenia inherited?


  • "True Life: I Have Schizophrenia" is from MTV's True Life series. It follows three different young people diagnosed with different Schizophrenic disorders.
  • "If I Had - A Family Member With Psychotic Depression" explains what steps to use if family member were to be experiencing symptoms regarding psychotic disorders.

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