Course Number: PSYC 230
Abnormal psychology is the study of abnormal behavior-behavior that causes suffering to the individual and others around him or her, and interferes with functioning in a significant way. Take, for example, the case of Lorne, 19 years old, who was part of a 25 car pile up during a blinding snowstorm. Eight months after the accident, he still has terrifying nightmares during which he relives the traumatic event. Rebecca, 32 years old, washes her hands about 50 times a day to make sure that they are clean. The skin on her hands is cracked and infected, but she can't stop doing it. Jeffrey, 54, told his doctor that there is a tape recorder in his brain. It was put there during an operation. The "organization", he says, did it. This course will examine cases such as these to learn about the factors, situations, and conditions that cause mental disorders and how they may best be treated. Through lecture, discussion, assignments and videos students will develop a more accurate and empathic view of these prevalent abnormalities and the individuals who experience them.