Weekly summary: Dec 8 – 12


This week was spent wrapping up Abnormal psychology.  I think that we will have a bit more wrap up when we return after the break.  But the important announcement is that all SL students will return to class in January! This is great news – and doubles the size of D block!

I hope that you all enjoy your winter break. I will hopefully see the Northern lights on this holiday.  Fingers crossed.


Weekly summary: November 24 – 28


This week we began our study of therapy.  At the end of this week you should be write a paragraph that begins with each of the following sentences:

  • Drug treatments are based on the concept of neurotransmission.
  • There are difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of drug treatments.
  • There are several limitations to only using drugs as a treatment for depression.
  • Schema theory underpins the treatments in the cognitive level of analysis.
  • Humanistic therapy uses a non-directive approach.

In addition, we learned the following terms this week: Relapse rate, Contraindications and side effects, SSRIs, Holistic vs. reductionist approaches to treatment, Outpatient care.

Here is a very important video on anti-depressants that you should watch as we discuss drug treatments in more detail.

Weekly summary: November 18 – 20


This week we wrapped up the etiologies of PTSD and took a look at our films.

At the end of this week you should be able to explain each of the following etiologies of PTSD and give one study for each.  For each etiology, you should be able to discuss the strengths and limitations of the theories.  Remember, there is a lot of cross-over between the strengths and limitations of arguments for the origin of PTSD and the origins of depression


  • Genetic arguments
  • Neurochemical arguments (norepinephrine or neuropeptide y)


  • Schema theory
  • Locus of control


  • Social Identity Theory
  • Vulnerability models

Next week we will be therapy.  I thought that perhaps we need it at this point in the course…..

Weekly summary: November 10 – 14

This week we began our study of PTSD. You should be able to describe the key symptoms of PTSD. Please make sure that you are able to explain the following terms:

  • Invasive thoughts
  • Dissociative flashbacks
  • Foreshortened future
  • Hypervigilance

Here is a very good excellent introduction to PTSD in veterans.

Weekly summary: November 3 – 7


This week we discussed the role of culture in difference in the prevalence of depression.  You should be able to discuss the following ideas:

  • The role of somaticization – eg. Kleinman
  • The role of reporting bias
  • The role of stigmatization
  • Differences in collectivistic vs individualistic societies
  • Etic vs. emic approaches – and the use of “standardized assessments” in carrying out diagnosis – e.g. the Bolton study on Rwandans or Manson et al on the Hopi Indians.
  • The role of globalization – e.g. changes in depression in Japan.

Next week we move on to our next disorder – PTSD.

Weekly summary: October 29 – 31

depression 6

A very short week.

The key topic this week was the question of gender and the prevalence of depression.  At the end of this week, you should be able to discuss the following issues with the differences in prevalence of depression between men and women:

  • The question of reporting bias.
  • Why it is not simply an issue of income.
  • The question of protective factors for women.
  • The question of biological factors in explaining the difference.
  • Nolen-Hoeksema’s theory of rumination and the support that there is for her theory.

Next week we look at another aspect of prevalence of disorders – culture.  Make sure you are reading Crazy Like Us…