Abnormal Psychology



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FRQ / Abnormal Psychology
NOTE: This essay can be combined with Treatment of Psychological Disorders if those topics are taught together.
Psychological disorders usually involve dysfunction in two main areas: cognition and behavior. Differentiate how cognition and behavior are affected in the following pairs of related psychological disorders:
Generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder

Hypochondriasis and conversion disorder

Major depression and bipolar disorder

Paranoid schizophrenia and disorganized schizophrenia

Antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder

Dissociative fugue and dissociative amnesia


Rubric:


  • Students must differentiate between the two disorders in each category. This can be done implicitly if students discuss the same symptom differently in reference to each disorder.

  • Students must also address BOTH a cognition and a behavior for each disorder in order to receive a point.

    • Cognitions must refer to thoughts or a way or thinking.

    • Behaviors must refer to an action.

  • NOTE: This essay can be 6 points (one point per set of disorders) or 12 points (one point per disorder discussed) depending on teacher preference. Those wishing to combine this essay with the Treatment of Psychological Disorders essay may prefer a 6-point essay for more efficient grading. This rubric will reflect a 6-point essay scoring preference.


Point 1: Generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder

Students should discuss how GAD and panic disorder differ in cognition:

    • GAD = general thoughts of anxiety, not specific to situations


    • Panic disorder = thoughts of anxiety related to having a panic attack, which is more specific to panic situations

Students should discuss how GAD and panic disorder differ in behavior:

  • GAD = frequent expression (discussion) of fears, brooding over decisions (being indecisive), physical behaviors such as trembling, diarrhea, dizziness, sweating, etc.

  • Panic disorder = having panic attacks, developing agoraphobia (not leaving home or avoiding inescapable situations, etc.


Point 2: Hypochondriasis and conversion disorder

Students should discuss how hypochondriasis and conversion disorder differ in cognition:



  • Hypochondriasis = general thoughts that one is sick with a serious malady that is being missed by doctors

  • Conversion disorder = thoughts of anxiety are converted into a physical malady that the person doesn’t acknowledge is caused by anxiety

Students should discuss how hypochondriasis and conversion disorder differ in behavior:

  • Hypochondriasis = frequent visits to multiple doctors, discussing symptoms as being a sign of a serious condition, etc.

  • Conversion disorder = loss of functioning, typically in a single organ system (paralysis, partial/total blindness/deafness, etc.), expressing lack of concern (la belle indifference) toward condition, which contrasts with a hypochondriac’s worry.


Point 3: Major depression and bipolar disorder

Students should discuss how major depression and bipolar disorder differ in cognition:



  • Major depression = thoughts of low self-esteem, sadness, despair, etc.

  • Bipolar disorder = thoughts of low self-esteem, sadness, despair, etc., followed by thoughts of high self-esteem, mania, happiness, etc.

Students should discuss how major depression and bipolar disorder differ in behavior:

  • Major depression = changes in sleeping and eating patterns, slow movements, sluggish talk, etc.

  • Bipolar disorder = changes in sleeping and eating patterns, slow movements, sluggish talk, etc., followed by frenzied activity, overindulgence, rapid speech, etc.




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