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Stage 2 Psychology

HEALTHY MINDS
A ‘healthy mind’ is free from the distressing symptoms of
mental illness or a mental disorder.

Particular focus on resilience – building mental resilience


so our mental health is better.

This topic brings together all four levels of explanation:


 Biological
 Basic processes
 Person
 Socio-cultural
Healthy Minds
HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS
 Treatment for mental illness traced back as early as 1550 BC in Ancient Greece
and Egypt. Mainly lists of combinations of plants and animals.

 Evidence suggests not enough distinction between physical and mental illness
known.

 Middle of 19th century saw push for more humane asylums for mentally ill as
psychology advanced.

 By the mid 1940s, electric shock therapy, insulin shock therapy and lobotomies
common to treat mental illness.

 Treatment of mental illness today far more ethical and based on scientific
research.
HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS
Lobotomy procedure Early electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Historic insane asylum conditions Insulin shock therapy


Healthy Minds
Ariana
Grande
Famous singer.

Diagnosed with Post


Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) after
Manchester bombings
at her concert.
Daniel
Johns
Lead singer of the
band Silverchair.

Diagnosed with
anxiety, depression
and anorexia. Has
struggled with panic
attacks and addiction.
Mariah
Carey
Famous singer.

Diagnosed with
bipolar disorder.
Had a mental
breakdown in 2001.
Dustin
Martin
AFL player for
Richmond Tigers.

Diagnosed with
anxiety and
depression in 2018.
Lance
‘Buddy’
Franklin
AFL player for Sydney
Swans.

Has struggled with


depression for many
years. Stepped away
from AFL in 2015 to get
professional help.
Kristen
Bell
Famous actress and
singer.

Diagnosed with
depression and anxiety
and has taken
medication from a
young age.
Ian
Thorpe
Former Olympic
swimming
champion.

Diagnosed with
depression as a
teenager.
Brooke
Shields
Famous actress.

Suffered from post-natal


depression in the early
2000s. Was a member of
the Church of Scientology
but was ‘removed’ due to
taking medication to help
illness.
Robin
Williams
Famous actor and
comedian.

Suffered from depression


and addiction to alcohol
and cocaine for many
years. Was also diagnosed
with early Parkinson’s
Disease before his death.
MENTAL ILLNESS
Characterised by behaviours, thoughts and
emotions that significantly impair work, study or
social functioning.

Usually diagnosed by investigating the symptoms that


the person reports, observing their behaviour and
gaining further evidence from others (family members,
GP etc.)
HOW ARE MENTAL DISORDERS
DIAGNOSED?
Professionals around the world use the
DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of the American Psychiatric
Associations Manual 5th edition) to
diagnose mental illness.

The DSM-V outlines the main


diagnoses and related characteristics
and statistics relating to all types of
mental illness.

Diagnosis can only be made by a


qualified health professional.
HOW ARE MENTAL DISORDERS
DIAGNOSED?
People need to have the following to be considered
mentally unhealthy
 Maladaptive behaviour
 Everyday behaviour is impaired or affected
 i.e. drugs and alcohol consumed in excess

 Deviance from normal


 Clients social and cultural context, as well as developmental
stage.
 Personal distress
 Frequent diagnosis made on basis of report of great personal
stress.
Healthy Minds
DEPRESSION
An extended experience of negative emotions, thoughts,
behaviours and functioning for at least two weeks.

One of the most common mental health disorders.

Each symptom of depression fits into one of the four levels


of explanation of behaviour.
Healthy Minds
DEPRESSION – BIOLOGICAL
Whilst no one is sure how depression develops, change
in the brain chemistry is likely.

Reduced levels of serotonin (associated with feeling


content).

Common amongst families, thought to be hereditary.

Overuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs is


associated with higher vulnerability to depression.
DEPRESSION – BIOLOGICAL
Biological Symptoms of Depression
 Headaches
 Digestion issues
 Chronic pain
 Insomnia
 Increase or decrease in appetite
 Imbalance of neurotransmitters (serotonin)
 Inactive left frontal lobe of brain (during the depression)
 Genetic inheritance
 Increased daytime fatigue
DEPRESSION – BASIC PROCESSES
Many people with depression have difficulty
concentrating and making decisions.

Memory is often poorer than normal.

Appear to access negative thoughts and emotions


more readily than positive ones.
DEPRESSION – BASIC PROCESSES
Basic processes symptoms of Depression
 Feelings of increase sadness/unhappiness
 Low self esteem
 Unclear thinking
 Learned helplessness
 Depressive thinking styles – pessimistic
 Thoughts of suicide and/or self harm in serious cases
Learning
LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
Results when a person or animal is prevented
repeatedly from avoiding some aversive stimulus
and becomes passive and depressed.

Main researcher was Martin Seligman in the 1970s.

Conducted research on dogs where they were


continuously exposed to electric shocks that were
unavoidable.
LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
Eventually the dogs were given the opportunity to
escape the shocks by jumping over a barrier, however
most dogs did not and simply lay down and took the
shocks.

Seligman argued that the dogs had learned to be


helpless.

Similar observations in humans who have depression


> reduced motivation.
DEPRESSION - PERSON
Research shows people who develop depression have
personality types which include:
 Less flexibility
 Strongly emotional
 Worriers

 Women more likely to be diagnosed with depression than


men – vulnerable at beginning of adolescents, childbirth and
menopause.

 Men appear to be more vulnerable at retirement, during long


periods of unemployment and following separation from a
partner.
DEPRESSION - PERSON
Person symptoms of Depression
Loss of once pleasurable activities
Inflated/deflated sense of self importance
Poor judgement
Lowered comprehension
Impulsivity
DEPRESSION – SOCIO-CULTURAL
People without supportive social networks are more
vulnerable to depression.

In some cultures, depression is considered ‘shameful’


and stigma of mental illness is very apparent.
DEPRESSION – SOCIO-CULTURAL
Socio-cultural symptoms of Depression
Diminished involvement with others
Strained relationships with family and friends
Loss of social skills
Inappropriate/maladaptive social behaviour
Abuse
Healthy Minds
BIOLOGICAL TREATMENTS
Anti-depressant medication
 Several different types of anti-depressants.
 Most common ones in Australia are Selective Serotonin Reuptake
Inhibitors (SSRIs) – these help to enhance the function the function
of nerve cells in the brain that regulate emotions.

Electric shock therapy (also known as electroconvulsive therapy -


ECT)
 Involves passing a carefully controlled electric current through the
brain which affects the brains activity with the aim of reducing
severe depressive symptoms.
 Modern day ECT is very safe however has risk factor of reducing
memory, so is only used when absolutely necessary.
BASIC PROCESSES TREAMENTS
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
 Structured psychological treatment which recognises the way we think
(cognition) and act (behaviour) affects the way we feel.
 Involves a professional therapist to identify thought and behaviour patterns
that make someone more likely to be clinically depressed.
 One of the most effective treatments of depression and is useful for all age
groups.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)


 Focuses on problems with personal relationships and the impact they can
have on developing depression.
 IPT helps to recognise patterns in relationships that make people more
vulnerable to depression, and by identifying patterns can help client
improve on these relationships, hence, reduce symptoms of depression.
PERSON TREATMENTS
Assertiveness training
 Depression can develop due to lack of trait confidence in the
workplace, at home or in social situations.
 Assertiveness training aims to help clients become more assertive
without becoming aggressive with the aim of reducing depressive
symptoms.
 Role playing exercises conducted with ‘I’ statements.
 Minimal risk involved – very ethical treatment
SOCIO-CULTURAL TREATMENTS
Support groups
 Belonging to a recognised support group for depression seen to have
positive results.
 Hearing and talking to other who know what client is going through
promotes feelings of belonging and not being alone.
 Can do this both in person and online.
Healthy Minds
ANXIETY
Many different types of anxiety disorders, however all of
them have the experience of strong and/or frequent
anxiety or fear.

Different anxiety disorders include:


 Phobias
 Panic disorder
 Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
 Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
 Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
 Social phobia
Healthy Minds
ANXIETY - BIOLOGICAL
Flight or fight response much more active.

Some research suggests that there are genetic markers


for vulnerability to anxiety disorders.

Evidence to also support it is genetic.


ANXIETY - BIOLOGICAL
Biological Symptoms of Anxiety
 Headaches
 Trembling
 Nausea
 Muscle tension
 Dizziness
 Insomnia
 Genetic factors
 Heart palpitations
 Chest pain
 Sweating
 Tingling sensations
 Hot flushes
ANXIETY – BASIC PROCESSES
Classical conditioning can shape some aspects of
anxious responses.

Anxious people often have interpretation bias where


they perceive information form others as negative
towards themselves.

Often memory is impaired due to inattention to task


and worry about other aspects.
ANXIETY – BASIC PROCESSES
• Basic Processes Symptoms of Anxiety
• Magnify threats and failures
• Fear, worrisome thoughts.
• Irrational fears
• Fear of panic and public scrutiny
• Hypersensitive to criticism
• Worried about potential mistakes
• Avoidance
• Persistent unwanted thoughts
• Feelings of anxiety, confusion, resentfulness
ANXIETY - PERSON
Takes into account an individuals past experiences,
personality style, attitudes and beliefs and stress
management skills.

Women more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety


disorders than men.
ANXIETY - PERSON
Person Symptoms of Anxiety
•Unable to cope
•Not confident, focus on perceived threats
•High stress levels
•Neuroticism
ANXIETY – SOCIO-CULTURAL
Anxiety disorders can develop from a traumatic event
based a persons social, socio economic, political,
religious or cultural affiliation.

Examples include:
War
Abuse
Poverty
ANXIETY – SOCIO-CULTURAL
Socio-cultural Symptoms of Anxiety
• Fast paced lives
• Environmental stressors
• Decreased job security
• Lack of family support
• Avoidance of groups, work colleagues etc.
• Avoidance of social contact, crowds
• Social phobias
• Difference between cultures
Healthy Minds
BIOLOGICAL TREATMENTS
 Anti-anxiety medication
 Most common type are benzodiazepines – type of tranquillizers and/or
sleeping pills (depends on type).
 Promote relaxation and reduces muscle tension.
 Should only be used for short amount of time as they become addictive.
 Should also be used in conjunction with other treatments, not as only
treatment for anxiety.

 Anti-depressant medication
 Some types of anti-depressants effective for anxiety, even if client is not
experiencing depression symptoms.
 Correct the imbalance of chemical messages between nerve cells and the
brain.
BASIC-PROCESSES TREATMENTS
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
 Structured psychological treatment which recognises the way we think
(cognition) and act (behaviour) affects the way we feel.
 Involves a professional therapist to identify thought and behaviour patterns
that make someone more likely to be anxious.
 By making client more aware of the thoughts and behaviours, client can
start to make changes to thoughts, which will in turn improve coping skills.
 One of the most effective treatments of depression and is useful for all age
groups.
PERSON TREATMENTS
Assertiveness training
 Anxiety can develop due to lack of trait confidence in the workplace,
at home or in social situations.
 Assertiveness training aims to help clients become more assertive
without becoming aggressive with the aim of reducing anxious
symptoms and thoughts.
 Role playing exercises conducted with ‘I’ statements.
 Minimal risk involved – very ethical treatment
SOCIO-CULTURAL TREATMENTS
Support groups
 Belonging to a recognised support group for anxiety seen to have
positive results.
 Hearing and talking to other who know what client is going through
promotes feelings of belonging and not being alone.
 Can do this both in person and online.
Healthy Minds
RISK FACTORS
Research has suggested that there is no one cause of
mental illness, alternatively the more risk factors that
are present in ones life the greater the chance of that
person developing a mental illness

Risk factors exist at the biological, person, basic


processes and socio-cultural level.
RISK FACTORS
Healthy Minds
PROTECTIVE FACTORS
Protective factors are factors present in one’s life that
reduces the likelihood of developing a mental illness

Protective factors exist at the biological, person, basic


processes and socio-cultural level
PROTECTIVE FACTORS
Healthy Minds
STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS
There is still great stigma in society towards mental illness
in general, largely because people misunderstand what it is.

There is no evidence to suggest there is a link between


mental illness and violence, and this notion should not be
used to reinforce stigma and discrimination against people.

Episode of ‘You Can’t Ask That - Schizophrenia’ will reveal


a lot of this discrimination.
STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS
Significant amount of stigma regarding gender expectations
in society, especially in men's health.

Statistics from 2017 show that on average, six men will take
their own lives in Australia every day.

Leading cause of death in Australian men aged between 15-


44. More than double the national road toll.

More recent advertising campaigns targeting men and boys.


Healthy Minds
COPING STRATEGIES
Psychological interventions such as CBT, medication etc.
deal directly with mental illness.

However there are coping strategies that people can employ


to deal with everyday symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Coping strategies are things that you can do to help


yourself, before seeking help from professionals (if needed)
COPING STRATEGIES
Collectively known as ‘Stress Management Therapy.’

Strategies use in treating depression and/or anxiety both in and


outside of therapy sessions.

Psychologists will identify triggers, causes and accelerators of


mental illness symptoms, then recommend several coping
strategies.

Some may include including yoga, meditation, exercise, time


management techniques, proper nutrition, saying ‘no’ more
often, and many more.
BIOLOGICAL COPING
STRATEGIES
Physical exercise
Can be helpful for depression and ‘down’ emotional state.
Can also be helpful for anxiety as it burns away stress chemicals of
cortisol and epinephrine.
Increases self esteem.

Proper Nutrition
Lowering fat, salt and sugar intake and increasing protein, vitamin and
mineral intake.
Circadian rhythms not affected, therefore more energy.
Physically feel better.
BASIC PROCESSES COPING
STRATEGIES
Challenging negative thoughts
Often we make predictions of ourselves and we are our own worst enemy.
 Such thoughts can be challenged by thinking of helpful or beneficial ways
of thinking about the situation > make us realise they are just perceptions
and not reality.
 E.g. Invitation to a party > ‘No one will talk to me’ > Challenge: I don’t know
they wont talk to me; I could invite my friend along; I could just start
talking to people etc.’ > situation does not seem as daunting > more positive
outlook.
Planning and problem solving
 Writing down how you plan to tackle problems/goals is helpful.
 Helps to prioritise what is most important and what is not as important at
the time.
 Decide which task/s you can do on your own and which you need help with.
PERSON COPING STRATEGIES
Will depend on the individual differences of each
person and their individual needs.

Common person coping strategies include:


Art/colouring books
Reading books
Video games
Music – listening and/or playing
Etc.
SOCIO-CULTURAL COPING
STRATEGIES
Social involvement
People with network of friends and family are less likely to experience
mental disorders.
 Sense of belonging.
 Discussion helps us feel more supported and might help our
perception of issue.
 Can come in many forms such as:
 Sporting clubs
 Dance/drama/clubs
 Music bands
 Online groups and chat rooms
 Friendship groups
 Support network of parents, family, teachers, counsellors etc.
Healthy Minds
RESILIENCE
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of
adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of
stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious
health problems or workplace and financial stressors.

It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.

Three types:
 Overcoming the odds
 Sustained competence under stress
 Recovery from trauma
RESILIENCE
Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't
experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and
sadness are common in people who have suffered major
adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to
resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional
distress.

Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not


have. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that
can be learned and developed in anyone.
Healthy Minds
FACTORS AFFECTING
RESILIENCE - BIOLOGICAL
Biological Level of Explanation Factors affecting resilience
(The biological, chemical, and • Sleep – having a healthy amount
physical processes underlying of sleep enhances physical health
behaviour e.g. drugs, hormones, and supports mental health.
nervous system damage etc.) • Adrenaline – protective factor
aimed at keeping us strong in
•Linked to Altered States of times of immediate stress.
Awareness topic • Cortisol – helps us to handle
longer term stress howevever….as
long as stress doesn’t lead to
GAS.
• Exercise – releases endorphins.
• Eating – healthy, balanced diet.
• Minimal use of drugs/alcohol
as a coping strategy.
FACTORS AFFECTING
RESILIENCE – BASIC PROCESSES
Basic Processes Level of Factors affecting resilience
Explanation
(The psychological processes • Cognition– positive mindset,
underlying behaviour e.g. seeing the optimistic side of life.
cognition, emotion, memory, • Perception– the belief we can
perception, learning etc. Universal perform behaviours necessary to
to all human beings.) cope. The belief that things will
turn out positively.
•Linked to Learning topic. • Emotions – finding meaning in
stressful life situations.
• Learning – school achievement,
IQ, problem solving.
• Memory – remembering you are
supported and how you have
coped well before etc.
FACTORS AFFECTING
RESILIENCE – PERSON
Person level of Explanation Factors affecting resilience

(The individual differences in • Eysenck’s theory: Protective


behaviour e.g. personality traits, age factors more likely to be provided
and gender.) by someone who shows stable
and impulse control traits.
•Linked to the Personality topic. • Good problem solving skills.
• Good communication skills.
• Individual coping strategies i.e.
reading, video games,
listening/playing music etc.
FACTORS AFFECTING
RESILIENCE – SOCIO-CULTURAL
Socio-cultural Level of Factors affecting resilience
Explanation
(The influence that other people exert • Relationships – caring and
on behaviour in a socio-cultural supportive relationships within
context., External factors to the self.) and outside of the family.
• Socio-economic advantage –
•Linked to the Social Cognition steady income, access to support
topic. services.
• School/work – positive
school/work environment.
• School achievement –
recognition of achievements in
school or work.
• Cultural pride – active, positive
involvement in cultural and
community pride.
Healthy Minds
PSYCHOLOGICAL AND
BIOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS
There are a range of psychological and biological
interventions used to treat mental illness.
Many of the interventions you have looked at
throughout the year.
Review the following interventions
 CBT (basic processes)
 Assertiveness Training (person)

 Systematic Desensitisation (basic processes)

 ECT (biological)

 Drug Treatment (biological)


Healthy Minds
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL
THERAPY (CBT)
Advantages
Evidence for longer, more extended success
Can use strategies again if symptoms resurface
Applicable to all age groups and demographics, men and
women.
Disadvantages
Sometimes difficult to change thought process for severe
depression and/or anxiety.
Can be very confronting being diagnosed.
Can be very expensive.
SYSTEMATIC DESENSITISATION
Advantages
Gradual process of extinguishing strong conditioned
response.
Can be more ethical due to gradual approach.
Disadvantages
Can be very slow process.
Can be expensive due to the time it can take for some
clients.
Risk of it not being effective.
ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING
Advantages
 Minimal risk involved – seen to be a very ethical treatment.
 Very practical form of therapy using role plays – can be more
successful due to this.
Disadvantages
 People can still find therapy intimidating – may make
depression/anxiety worse.
 Not relevant if cause of mental illness is not in the work place.
 Not as widely available/well known as other therapies.
Healthy Minds
IMPORTANT!
Electric shock therapy and medication for depression
and/or anxiety are NOT considered psychological
therapies.

Considered biological therapies.

Why is this?
ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY
(ECT)
Advantages
Modern day ECT very safe – delivered by trained health
professionals.
Can be very effective in treating severe mental illness.
Disadvantages
Is an intrusive procedure.
Can cause memory problems due to changes in brain.
May not work for everyone.
MEDICATIONS
 Advantages
 Can allow people to function day to day far more effectively.
 Used in conjunction with psychological therapy > typically more
successful in reducing mental illness.
 Readily available in Australia.
 Disadvantages
 May have negative side effects.
 Can become addictive.
 May take several trials of different medications to find the right one,
as well as the right dosage.
 Can take a long time to work i.e. more than two weeks.
Healthy Minds
Methods of collecting data
Clinical interviews
Uses qualitative data to gain more information and make
possible diagnosis.

Self-reports
Diaries, rating scales etc. Uses subjective quantitative and
qualitative data.

Objective quantitative methods


EEG machines, heart rates, blood pressure, blood tests etc.
Healthy Minds
Ethics
There is a duty of care and ethical code for
professionals working with people who have a mental
illness to protect their rights and dignities
Diagnosis of mental illness is far from straightforward
and adequate evidence needs to be compiled before a
diagnosis should be made
Diagnosis of a mental illness can be both helpful and
harmful.
Ethics
Diagnosis is fraught with difficulty, so to is treatment
and what is most effective for patients
There are laws in place to protect people with a mental
illness, this may mean involuntary admission to a
psychiatric ward if people are considered a danger to
themselves or others, however most psychiatric wards
in Australia have a majority of patients that are there
on a voluntary basis.