Psychopathology II

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Session Overview

Self-portrait painting of Vincent Van Gogh with bandaged ear.

How are mental disorders diagnosed and treated? This session explores the two main categories of psychological treatment – behavioral therapies and medical (drug) therapies. For OCD, depression and ADHD, we'll look at the current scientific understanding of these disorders and compare methods of treatment.

Keywords: psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, diagnosis, medication, psychopharmacology, CBT, depression, OCD, ADHD, ADD, Ritalin

Image: "Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear," Vincent Van Gogh (1889).

Session Activities


Read the following before watching the lecture video.

  • [Sacks] Chapter 11, "Cupid's Disease" (pp. 102-107)
  • Finish the chapter you started for the previous session:

Lecture Videos

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Video Resources

Discussion: Psychopathology

In this discussion, we'll talk about psychological disorders, or psychopathology. It's a really interesting question: what kinds of behavior exceed the normal range of behavior for human beings? Which behaviors are truly pathological, as opposed to simply uncommon or exceptional?… Read more »

Further Study

"Extra credit" writing assignment: Is it ethical to use cognition-enhancing drugs?

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Supplemental videos The World of Abnormal Psychology. Annenberg Learner, 1992. 13 1-hour videos on various psychopathology topics
Supplemental video "ADHD: Signs, Symptoms, Research." Sept. 10, 2010. YouTube. Accessed March 9, 2012. Video about ADHD by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
Textbook supplement Study materials for Ch. 15, "Psychological Disorders: Healing Actions, Healing Words." In Kosslyn & Rosenberg, Psychology in Context, 3/e (Pearson, 2007) Practice test questions, flashcards, and media for this related textbook


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