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PSY 2301, Abnormal Psychology 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit III Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

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5. Describe current treatments for mental illness. 5.1 Discuss at least two current treatment protocols for mood disorders and for anxiety disorders.

6. Examine various psychopathological disorders.

6.1 Discuss what constitutes a specific diagnosis within the mood disorder category and one within the anxiety disorder category.


Course/Unit Learning Outcomes

Learning Activity


Unit Lesson Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Unit III Reflection Paper


Unit Lesson Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Unit III Reflection Paper


Required Unit Resources Chapter 5: Mood Disorders Chapter 6: Anxiety Disorders

Unit Lesson

Introduction The chart below represents the point that anxiety and mood disorders are separate from one another. Mood disorder is a term that covers depressive and bipolar conditions only. Anxiety disorder is separate. When the term mood disorders is used within psychology, it goes beyond a bad mood and actually encompasses certain diagnosable psychological conditions. Though bipolar and depressive disorders are listed in two separate chapters of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the term mood disorders itself should bring to mind a sort of family of conditions. In fact, you can compare the idea of unipolar (meaning one) to bipolar (meaning two). In unipolar depressive conditions, the symptoms include a depressed and low state; with bipolar depressive conditions there is a low state and a high (manic) state, occurring at different times. Since bipolar symptomology includes both mania and depression, there is a natural connection to the next category of depressive disorders. Anxiety disorders, comorbid though they may sometimes be, are organized in a separate category from mood disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).


Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders




PSY 2301, Abnormal Psychology 2



(Adapted from Sylverarts, n.d.)

Unipolar Depression

Depression itself is certainly a term that has been absorbed into the public vernacular and used to describe a multitude of situations from grief over a loss to having a bad day at work. However, for people who suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD), the term depression has a different meaning. For purposes in the world of psychology, the term depression relates to certain diagnoses, including some mixture of suicidality, feelings of excessive worthlessness or guilt, minimal energy, changes in sleep or weight, low self-esteem, an inability to feel pleasure, and other related symptoms (Kring & Johnson, 2018).

Sufferers of depression may focus on negative aspects of life and situations, experience exhaustion, and encounter a decrease in sexual functioning, as well as a host of other disturbances, prior to developing symptoms. Symptoms may include difficulty with concentration or thoughts about death and suicide. These symptoms are not new. The Ancient Greeks wrote about people who could not derive pleasure from life. Sigmund Freud viewed depression as aggression turned inward on the self. Cognitive theorists have pointed to negative thought processes, which seem to be automatic in depression sufferers. DSM-5 has eight specific diagnoses, which fall under the depressive disorders category, but the symptomology discussed above should paint a picture of the overall idea (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Important, too, in selecting the correct diagnosis for depression, is the length of time one has been experiencing symptoms and the severity of the symptoms. Individual diagnoses are discussed in relation to prevalence, gender, cultural implications, identified risk factors, and instances of comorbidity in DSM-5.

Depressive Disorders Depressive disorders are a prevalent psychological diagnosis in the United States (Kring & Johnson, 2018). The specific diagnoses of focus are highlighted below (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It is interesting to note that depression occurs twice as often among women as men. In addition, depression rates change based o

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