Spring 2023

PSY 320 Psychopathology [CRN 21071]

Overview of Course

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between normal, everyday problems and a serious mental disorder? About the difference between mental health and mental illness? About how these definitions and boundaries differ between cultures? If so, Psychopathology is the class for you.

Psychopathology studies unusual patterns of behavior, cognition, and affect. This class will focus on the major mental disorders described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM 5). Categories covered include, but are not limited to, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, and child/adolescent disorders. This includes the symptoms of each disorder and the influence of factors such as culture, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and age. Possible causes and common treatments will also be discussed, as well as various definitions of mental health and mental illness and how these differ across cultures. The course will examine culture and the DSM, including the DSM as a cultural document, how the DSM attempts to address culture, the appropriateness of using the DSM across cultures, and comparison/contrast with other diagnostic systems, such as the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10).