Mood disorders

Mood disorder is a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV TR) classification system where a disturbance in the person’s mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature. The classification is known as mood (affective) disorders in ICD 10.

English psychiatrist Henry Maudsley proposed an overarching category of affective disorder. The term was then replaced by mood disorder, as the latter term refers to the underlying or longitudinal emotional state, whereas the former refers to the external expression observed by others.

Two groups of mood disorders are broadly recognized; the division is based on whether a manic or hypomanic episode has ever been present. Thus, there are depressive disorders, of which the best-known and most researched is major depressive disorder (MDD) commonly called clinical depression or major depression, and bipolar disorder (BD), formerly known as manic depression and characterized by intermittent episodes of mania or hypomania, usually interlaced with depressive episodes. However, there are also psychiatric syndromes featuring less severe depression known as dysthymic disorder (similar to but milder than MDD) and cyclothymic disorder (similar to but milder than BD). Continue reading

A Conversation with Aaron T. Beck

Aaron T. Beck- Biography

Aaron Beck was born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, the youngest child of four siblings. Beck’s daughter, Judith S. Beck, is also a researcher in the field of cognitive therapy and President of the Beck Institute. She is married with four children, Roy, Judy, Dan, and Alice. He has nine grandchildren.
Education
Beck attended Brown University, graduating magna cum laude in 1942. At Brown he was elected a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, was an associate editor of The Brown Daily Herald, and received the Francis Wayland Scholarship, William Gaston Prize for Excellence in Oratory, and Philo Sherman Bennett Essay Award. Beck attended Yale Medical School, graduating with an M.D. in 1946.

Career
Aaron T. Beck, M.D., is the President Emeritus of the non-profit Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, and University Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Psychopathology Research Unit (PRU), which is the parent organization of the Center for the Treatment and Prevention of Suicide. Continue reading

An introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( Aaron Beck)

Aaron Temkin Beck (born July 18, 1921) is an American psychiatrist and a professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is widely regarded as the father of cognitive therapy, and his pioneering theories are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression. Beck also developed self-report measures of depression and anxiety including Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Hopelessness Scale, Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSS), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Beck Youth Inventories. He is the President Emeritus of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Honorary President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, which certifies qualified cognitive therapists.

Beck’s work at the University of Pennsylvania inspired Martin Seligman to refine his own cognitive techniques Continue reading

Introduction to Anxiety and Child Anxiety Disorders

Childhood Anxiety Disorders
Children as well as adults experience feelings of anxiety, worry, and fear when facing different situations, especially those involving new experiences. However, if anxiety is no longer temporary and begins to interfere with the child’s normal functioning or do harm to their learning, the problem may be diagnosed as more than just the ordinary anxiety typical in children.

When children suffer from a severe anxiety disorder, their thinking, decision-making ability, perceptions of the environment, learning and concentration may be affected. They not only experience fear, nervousness, and shyness but also may start avoiding places and activities. Anxiety raises blood pressure and heart rate and can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, ulcers, diarrhea, tingling, weakness, and shortness of breath. Some other symptoms are self-doubt and self-criticism, irritability, sleep problems and, in extreme cases, thoughts of not wanting to be alive. Continue reading

Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Some evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the mind has a modular structure similar to that of the body, with different modular adaptations serving different functions. Evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments.

The adaptationist approach is steadily increasing as an influence in the general field of psychology.
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that EP is not simply a subdiscipline of psychology but that evolutionary theory can provide a foundational, metatheoretical framework that integrates the entire field of psychology, in the same way it has for biology.
Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviors or traits that occur universally in all cultures are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations including the abilities to infer others’ emotions, discern kin from non-kin, identify and prefer healthier mates, and cooperate with others. They report successful tests of theoretical predictions related to such topics as infanticide, intelligence, marriage patterns, promiscuity, perception of beauty, bride price, and parental investment.
The theories and findings of EP have applications in many fields, including economics, environment, health, law, management, psychiatry, politics, and literature. Continue reading

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