Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook

By Paul Bennett | Go to book overview

3
Biological explanations and treatments
The basis of biological explanations and treatments of mental disorders is that behaviour and mood are regulated by brain systems. These allow us to perceive information, integrate that information with past memories and other salient factors, and then respond emotionally and behaviourally. Their disruption results in inappropriate perception, mood and behaviour. This may occur as a result of structural damage, or disruption of chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, responsible for activating different areas of the brain. By the end of the chapter, you should have an understanding of:
Basic neuro-anatomy as it relates to mental health disorders
The neurotransmitter systems and the key neurotransmitters that influence mood and behaviour
The drug treatments that are used to alter neurotransmitter levels and, hence, mood and behaviour
Three physical interventions used to treat mental health problems: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and psychosurgery.

The behavioural anatomy of the brain

The brain is an intricately patterned complex of nerve cell bodies. It is divided into four anatomical areas: the hindbrain, midbrain, forebrain and cerebrum.


Hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain

The hindbrain contains the parts of the brain necessary for life: the medulla oblongata, which controls respiration, blood pressure and heart beat, the reticular formation, which controls wakefulness and alertness, and the pons and cerebellum, which correlate muscular and positional information.

Above these lies the midbrain, which also contains part of the reticular system and both sensory and motor correlation centres which integrate reflex and automatic

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Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Part I - Background and Methods 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Psychological Perspective 29
  • 3: Biological Explanations and Treatments 62
  • 4: Beyond the Individual 86
  • Part II - Specific Issues 111
  • 5: Somatoform Disorders 113
  • 6: Schizophrenia 141
  • 7: Anxiety Disorders 170
  • 8: Mood Disorders 205
  • 9: Trauma-Related Conditions 233
  • 10: Sexual Disorders 262
  • 11: Personality Disorders 289
  • 12: Eating Disorders 318
  • 13: Developmental Disorders 341
  • 14: Neurological Disorders 370
  • 15: Addictions 392
  • Glossary 421
  • References 427
  • Index 485
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