Abnormal Psychology Assemsment And Diagosis Essay

1788 words - 8 pages

1. Describe the relationship between assessment and diagnosis.

Clinicians, in hope to find the correct treatment to help their clients experiencing dysfunctional symptoms and signs, use both the processes of assessment and diagnosis. The clinician will first take a psychological assessment in order to summarize the individual’s symptoms. This is done through a variety of ways, including objective and subjective tests, structured and unstructured interviews and observation. After completing an assessment, the clinician has an understanding of the individual’s symptoms, circumstances surrounding those symptoms as well as decides if and how to treat the individual. During an assessment, the ...view middle of the document...

127). An assessment is necessary in order for a clinician to diagnose a person seeking help, precedes the diagnosis as well as helps the clinician diagnose.

2. What is stress and what is the stress response?

Stress is the reaction of the body when one faces challenges or difficulties, interfering with their daily lives and are beyond their means of dealing with. Stress can either be positive, like the stress experienced when one gets married or negative, like the stress experienced when missing the bus to work. (Negative stress is called distress.) There are many stressors throughout life, some cause extreme stress that interfere with daily living and others are minor and manageable. The extremity of the stressor depends on the following: how long the stressor lasts, when it occurs, if it is expected and if one can control it. When a stressor lasts long, and occurs at the same time as other stressors, it is more likely to be more stressful. A stressful event like a natural disaster causes a lot of stress as it is not expected or controllable (Butcher ‘et al,’ 2013 p. 135-137).

The human body’s response to stress is to enter what is called the ‘fight or flight’ response. During this automatic reaction, the body focuses all its energy on dealing with the stress, either by escaping or fighting it. Someone with an extreme fear of dogs, when faced with a dog, is focused solely on escaping from the dog. When faced with a stressful situation, the human body reacts with two different systems, the SAM and HPA systems that both respond with the ‘fight or flight’ response. The SAM, adrenomedullary system, starts to prepare the body for the fight or flight response by increasing the person’s heart rate, as well as starts to save up the body’s energy for when needed, increasing glucose in the body. It does this by triggering the hypothalamus to stimulate the somatic nervous system which causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline and noradrenaline which flow throughout the blood. This results in an increase of heart rate and more glucose to be created, which helps the body deal with the stress (Butcher ‘et al,’ p. 139). Someone who meets up with a band of robbers, their SAM system will respond, causing an increase of energy and heart rate, so the person can try to either fight the bandits or escape them. The HPA, hypothalamus pituitary adrenal system, also creates a fight or flight response. The hypothalamus releases corticotrophin-releasing hormones which flow throughout the blood, stimulating the pituitary gland which secretes ACTH, triggering the adrenal glands to produce glucocorticoids (cortisol). Cortisol suppresses the immune system, allowing the body to use all its energy to escape the stressor (Butcher ‘et al,’ p. 139-140). When one faces a stressor, the body responds with the fight or flight response via the SAM and the HPA systems.

3. What is psychoneuroimmunology?

Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the communication and...

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