Welcome to another review and description of an audio lecture I have collected over the years. This time we have another lecture series from The Teaching Company. This course is called “Psychology of Human Behaviour” and is taught by Professor David W. Martin.
I enjoy listening to this course, because my other job is a carer’s representative/consultant for carers. These carers care for those suffering mental health difficulties. You can learn a lot from this course, where lectures are again 30 minutes long and the lectures hit a massive 36 episodes.
Professor David W. Martin
Here I look at lecture number 8, which looks at Anxiety and Mood Disorders and their sub classifications. Be warned though, the new DSM book is out, which is DSM-V, this lecture centres in on the classification off DSM-IV. What I mean by DSM is that it stands for “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”. It is a book used by psychiatrists or those studying in the field to recognise certain mental illnesses.
Professor David gives a quick run down of the illness and breaks things down to prepare you for the lecture material, just in case you do not want to listen to the whole of the lecture. He mentions that these two mental illnesses are a lot of what you see regarding mental health problems, however the good news is that many do not have not be institutionalised for these.
First the lecture describes Anxiety and its sub classification. Prof David discusses Phobias and OCD. OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder.
David then starts out that Anxiety used to be called neurosis, he mentions that Freud use to treat these. Such disorders have been around for a long while. sufferers have severe worry of a possible danger. David then talks about Phobias and what they are. I guess a general description is that they are undue fears and can cause avoidant behaviour. Such avoidant behaviour can actually reinforce the fear.
Prof David then breaks down the different types of phobias. We look at animal phobias. In fact the lecture mentions that evolutionary psychologists have also looked at this type of phobia. Such phobias actually effect a large population, it could be built into us as a survival instinct.
We then look at other phobias one category is Natural environments phobias, which are fear of earthquakes, floods, fires and so on. Still its not that it is an illness to be afraid of these, but only when there is a less chance of them and how we behave in order to protect ourselves. Then David discusses another phobia as fear of damage to the body, such as fear of blood, injection phobias and many more threats to the body.
We then look at situational phobias, such as flying in an air plane or being a passenger of a car and other situations where you would probably see in the Final Destination movies.
Phobias seems to be more present in women at 16% than in men at 7%, but this statistic can change, since this course is a little old now. Phobias Can be dealt with by using behavioural therapies, I am sure other remedies exist though.
We then look at another subcategory which is Panic disorders
Prof David states in the lecture that these tend to be set off by itself, for little or no reason.
He discusses the signs of panic and how it affects the body. Plus how they occur and can appear fast and then go away almost just as quickly.
A good example of a panic disorder is Agoraphobia, which is fear of crowds, which causes the suffer to stay at home.
Suffers range from 5% for women, 2% for men on panic disorders, which can be dealt by using cognitive behaviour therapies.
Next Prof David moves on to describing Generalized anxiety disorders. He breaks this down in what this means and how it affects suffers. Usually they have a chronic unhappy condition of life. This affects them by making them unhappy, have headaches and cause sleep disturbances. There are many other patterns. The lecture gives a good example of a suffer who had a bad upbringing. We then move on to the final sub category of anxiety disorder. This being OCD, which means Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
OCD causes some of the following being intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviour. A good example is Fear of germs, here the lecture mentions its first celebrity suffer being Howard Hughes who had a fear of germs. You can also suffer by having a fear of messing something up, but this is increased by 10 times. We then have another example of nurse with fear of AIDS. She washes herself almost continually.
Unfortunately some suffers have co-mobility, which is more than one condition. Treatments range from behavioural therapies to taking Prozac.
We then look at the next major category and its sub categories being Mood disorders. The lecture talks about unipolar depression and its classification. We notice that women get this more than men, suffers can get a life time suffering from this symptom.
Other similar illness are Dysthymia and suffers can be depressed for most of the day, then it can go up for 2 years. It can affect suffers by causing low self esteem and concentration problems. We also have depressed moods, even though nothing triggered it. Unfortunately it can be a real difficultly diagnosis problem. Since many suffer from depression, but how can you tell if its chronic?
It can affect suffers by fatigue, sleep problems, a sudden eating change, slow down of activity or thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts. Plus it can re-occur again. The lecture mentions what treatments can help suffers deal with the symptoms such as anti-depressant drugs, inhibitors, ECT which I believe stands for Electroconvulsive therapy and is very controversial.
The lecture next looks at bipolar depression, suffers tend to be about the same, for men and women. It is quite easy for most if not all people to get depressed, e.g. death of a loved one.
So what’s the difference?
Again it is probably the length of time one suffers from the illness.
Suffers can have depressed episodes or manic episodes and some get the swings of highs and lows. That meaning when they feel excited, full of energy and then next they are slow, depressed and lack of energy.
The lecture describes how it affects suffers. Then the lecture talks about Hypno mania. Some controversial issue is that some actually like being on a high, since it can cause a burst of creativity. Suffers tend not seek medication, one reason is that they ll feel they are on a low depending on side effects and loss of manic symptoms. Treatment can range from anti-depressive drugs, lithium for the manic phase. Suffers can actually hit into psychosis if mania is not dealt with soon enough.
Lastly the lecture looks at suicide. It interesting that the lecture mentions women try suicide at a higher rate than men, but men tend to actually have a higher rate of success when it comes to taking their own lives.
The lecturer tends to talk a lot more slowly in this lecture, so it is easier to grasp some concepts, but beware other lectures in this course are quite challenging. The course is recommended as a start out into looking into the world of psychology.