Sunday, December 30, 2007

Personality Disorders

(Unit Quiz) Due Monday, January 14. Assignment:
Screening for Personality Disorders:
Treatment for Personality Disorders:
Looking for an all-inclusive site pertaining to personality disorders? This is what you are looking for:
(An excellent resource as you complete your unit quiz on Personality Disorders as well as informative for those of you choosing to focus on Personality Disorders for your final paper.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lessons from "I am Sam"

What did you learn about the challenges any new parent faces with a newborn?
How does Sam cope with his new responsibilities as a parent?
What qualities does he possess? What does he lack?
Why do you think society tends to be more accepting of the phobias/obsessive-compulsive tendencies of someone like Rita and less accepting of the autistic-tendencies Sam exhibits?
What disorder did the character Annie suffer from? How did she cope with her disorder?

Did any other characters exhibit symptoms indicative of one of the personality disorders we discussed in class? If so, who? What disorder(s)? What led you to this conclusion?
Did this movie change your impressions of mental disorders and/or disabilities. If so, how?

Agoraphobia - Mayo Clinic

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Autism Speaks - An excellent resource on the topic

New York Times Health Information: Autism

Agoraphobia Wikipedia Entry

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" Wikipedia Entry

"Here Comes the Sun" Wikipedia Entry



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do Something!

Links to sites of interest:
Teach for America
Pay it Forward Foundation
American Democracy Project
Service Learning Clearinghouse
Heifer International - Ending Hunger
Yes Magazine (many inspirational stories, excellent resources, etc.)

Van Halen - "Right Now"


Watch "All the President's Men" and answer the following questions:

1. Who were the Washington Post reporters portrayed in the movie?

2. What techniques were used by investigative reporters in an effort to get information from their sources?

3. What ethical standards did journalists follow? Ethical standards for editors?

4. What risks are involved in running a controversial story such as the Watergate scandal? (include a brief discussion of the use of anonymous sources, challenging government leaders - even alleging criminal activity)

5. Discuss the competing interests in U.S. v. Nixon.

6. Briefly discuss the legacy of both the case and the scandal as a whole.

Wikipedia Entry: U.S. v. Nixon

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Anxiety Disorders

Resources for students and teachers:
(Note for Psychology students: We will be reading a case study and discussing it in class. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the questions ahead of time, visit the Teaching Tolerance site below. The questions we will discuss are 1-5 &7.)
A Lesson Plan:
Anxiety Disorders Checklist (for teens)
Anxiety Disorders Screening Test
Discussion Questions:
Panic Attack Facts
Psych Central
Treatment G.A.D.
OCD (Wikipedia)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Psychology Take-Home Quiz (Mood Disorders)

Mood Disorders

1. What factors do clinicians consider when distinguishing clinical depression from normal sadness?

2. In class we discussed clinically depressed people as experiencing a "cluster" of biological, physical and cognitive symptoms. Briefly explain each category of symptoms.

3. Briefly explain two theories regarding why more women are diagnosed with clinical depression than men.

4. Although not every person experiencing a significantly stressful life event (recall those from the Social Readjustment Scale) becomes clinically depressed, some do. List four vulnerability factors.

5. Briefly, discuss several differences in the Social Readjustment Scale for minors (compare to the Social Readjustment Scale for adults.)

6. What is the difference between Cognitive and Interpersonal Therapy?

7. Briefly discuss the treatment methods for S.A.D.

8. How common is postpartum depression? Researchers are calling for increased screening measures for new mothers through the first year of giving birth. What preventative measures can expectant and new mothers take to deal with P.P.D.?

9. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of mania and depression. Briefly describe a manic state?

10. Discuss the difficulties involved in treating people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Do not post your answers in the "comments" section.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mood Disorders - Post Partum Depression

Post Partum Depression Basics:
60-70% of new mothers experience "The Baby Blues" lasting between one and two weeks
10-15% of new mothers experience post partum depression lasting weeks to months
Post partum depression, more serious and long-lasting that the "baby blues" can effect a new mother's ability to care for her baby and function effectively in her daily life. Feelings of sadness and anxiety can become overwhelming rendering her unable to function.
Many women experiencing post partum depression also report feeling exteme fatigue and either a lack of concern for her baby or overconcern for her baby.

A much more serious related disorder is called, post partum psychosis. Feature associated with this disorder include: constant fear of harming one's baby, hallucinations, extreme mood swings.
More on this in the wikipedia link below.

It is believed the drastic decline in the hormones estrogen and progesterone following birth triggers depression. The inevitable stress involved in caring for a newborn is also a contributing factor.

Many are calling for wide-spread screening among new mothers beginning a couple weeks after giving birth through the first year.

Maternal depression can impact a newborn's development:
-poor impulse control
-low self-esteem
-increased behavioral problems

Danish researchers reported last year that it seems as if post-partum depression is physiological rather than psychosocial. First-time fathers received hospitalization for mood disorders at about the same rate as men in the regular population, perhaps indicating post partum depression is physiological.

Treatment options:
Additional information:
American Psychological Association:
To learn more about one woman's battle with post partum depression:
APA brochure: