AP Psychology : Defining Abnormalities and Disorders

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #2 : Bipolar Disorder

How many manic or depressive episodes do those with rapid cycling bipolar disorder experience in one year?

Possible Answers:

At least 4

At least 2

At least 50

At least 20

At least 10

Correct answer:

At least 4

Explanation:

Those with rapid cycling bipolar disorder are classified as such when they have at least four manic or depressive episodes in one year.

Example Question #1 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following best describes the symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder?

Possible Answers:

At least seven episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed states, all within a year.

Four or more episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania within one year

A pattern of depressive episodes with some hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic episodes

Six or more episodes of mania within two years

Manic episodes that last at least a week, usually alternating with depressive episodes of 2 weeks or more

Correct answer:

A pattern of depressive episodes with some hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic episodes

Explanation:

Bipolar disorder has several sub-types. Bipolar I is defined by manic episodes that last at least a week, typically alternating with episodes lasting at least 2 weeks. Bipolar II disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes with some hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic episodes. Four or more episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania, all within one year, is called rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Alternating episodes of depression and hypomania that last at least 2 years (but do not meet criteria for Bipolar I) is known as cyclothymic disorder. 

Example Question #1 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following options is NOT true about bipolar disorder?

Possible Answers:

None of these

While some people with bipolar disorder will feel invincible during a manic episode, others may feel anxious.

A bipolar person's depressed episodes may be very similar to the experiences of a person suffering from unipolar depression.

People with bipolar disorder experience both depressed and manic episodes.

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

People with bipolar disorder experience both depressed and manic episodes, which can be variable in severity and managed in many ways. Bipolar I is characterized by extreme episodes of both mania and depression. Bipolar II is characterized by episodes of hypomania and severe depression.

Example Question #3 : Bipolar Disorder

A patient diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder without any comorbid diagnoses is most likely to be prescribed __________.

Possible Answers:

A hallucinogen

A mood stabilizer

A tranquilizer

An opiate

An antipsychotic

Correct answer:

A mood stabilizer

Explanation:

Mood stabilizers are effective in stabilizing patients experiencing a manic period, and in maintaining symptom remission when the manic period has ended. While antipsychotic medication can also be prescribed to quell psychotic symptoms (e.g. hallucinations) that may occur in manic periods it is not the most common course of treatment.

Example Question #32 : Types Of Disorders

Jenna's parents have noticed that she has frequent mood swings. At one moment, she will be energetic and cheerful, but then later for no apparent reason she will be gloomy and depressed. She will often alternate between episodes of each throughout the week. Her parents are concerned that she may likely have which psychological disorder?

Possible Answers:

Disassociative Fugue

Schizophrenia

Disassociative Identity Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Correct answer:

Bipolar Disorder

Explanation:

Bipolar Disorder is the disorder in which someone alternates between episodes of mania and depression. Schizophrenia refers to a category of disorders involving delusional thoughts, paranoia, distorted thinking, hallucinations, and more. Generalized Anxiety Disorder refers to a condition in which the person suffers from constant, low-level anxiety. Disassociative Identity Disorder is a rare disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct, alternating personas. Disassociative Fugue is a condition in which one finds themselves in what they perceive to be an unfamiliar environment when in reality it is not.

Example Question #1 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following is most likely to happen during a manic episode?

Possible Answers:

Increased need for sleep

Increased risk taking

Lowered self esteem

Decreased speed of speech

Lack of sexual drive

Correct answer:

Increased risk taking

Explanation:

A manic episode is one of the two elements of bipolar disorder (the other being depression) and it is characterized by heightened arousal and goal-oriented actions, including increased risk taking. Other symptoms of a manic episode include inflated self esteem, increased sex drive, increased speed of speech, and decreased need for sleep. 

Example Question #1 : Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder entails both mania and depression, rotating in cycles. There are different types of cycling-- what is "cyclothymia"?

Possible Answers:

Dysthmia lasting for years at a time before mania

Rapid cycling back and forth

Depression and mania experienced at the same time

The cycle between dysthmia (mild depression) and hypomania

Correct answer:

The cycle between dysthmia (mild depression) and hypomania

Explanation:

Dysthemia (mild-grade depression) and hypomania (which is not as drastic as some other frank mania experiences) can cycle back and forth in "cyclothymia."

Example Question #31 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

Which of the following is a treatment for bipolar disorder?

Possible Answers:

Lithium

NMDA antagonists

MAO inhibitors

Benzodiazepines

Correct answer:

Lithium

Explanation:

Lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder. The primary function of Litium in the treatment of bipolar disorder is to help control the frequency and severity of manic episodes.

MAO inhibitors are used to treat depression, benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, and NMDA antagonists are used as anesthetics.

Example Question #32 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

At dinner, Jerry was overly enthusiastic about his plan to use all of his savings to purchase a new car. He kept talking about how he was the smartest guy in his class and that he would easily be able to make the money back at any job. Which of the following best describes Jerry’s behavior?

Possible Answers:

Grandiose delusion

Hallucination

Disordered thought

Hypomanic episode

Depressive episode

Correct answer:

Hypomanic episode

Explanation:

In individuals with bipolar disorder, hypomanic episodes cause symptoms such as excessive elation, impulsiveness, and inflated self-esteem. Jerry’s dinnertime behavior exhibits all of these symptoms.

Example Question #32 : Defining Abnormalities And Disorders

What is the difference between Bipolar I disorder and Bipolar II disorder?

Possible Answers:

Bipolar I disorder means at least one manic episode, while Bipolar II disorder means at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but no full-blown manic episodes.

Bipolar I disorder and Bipolar II disorder are only different in that in Bipolar II disorder, hypomanic episodes occur more often.

None of the other answers is accurate.

Bipolar I disorder means at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but no full-blown manic episodes, while Bipolar II disorder means at least one manic episode.

Bipolar I disorder means at least one major depressive episode and at least one manic episode, while Bipolar II disorder means at least one hypomanic episode.

Correct answer:

Bipolar I disorder means at least one manic episode, while Bipolar II disorder means at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but no full-blown manic episodes.

Explanation:

The correct answer provides the definition of the two differing Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders.

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