AP Psychology : Psychological Abnormalities

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Treatments

Which of the following best identifies the primary tenants of Gestalt therapy?

Possible Answers:

All of these

Bring about the superego as the most important part of the individual's psyche.

Alter family dynamics to bring about change in the individual.

Help people become more aware of and adequately express their feelings.

Challenge people's core beliefs to bring about change.

Correct answer:

Help people become more aware of and adequately express their feelings.

Explanation:

Gestalt therapy, developed by Fritz Perls, combines the psychoanalytic emphasis of bringing unconscious feelings to immediate awareness and the humanistic emphasis of getting in touch with one's feelings. This therapeutic approach aims to "help people take responsibility for their actions and feelings."

Example Question #31 : Psychological Abnormalities

Dr. Andrews often assigns her clients “homework” to do between sessions, in which they are asked to practice newly learned therapeutic skills she hopes will help relieve their symptoms. Which of the following practices most accurately describes her methods?

Possible Answers:

Play therapy

Psychoanalysis

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Humanistic therapy

Correct answer:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Explanation:

Homework is an important part of some therapeutic styles and is most closely associated with "cognitive behavioral therapy" (CBT). As the question suggests, it involves asking the patient to put in extra work on a certain area of treatment outside of the actual therapy session. Examples of homework include: recording automatic negative thoughts, monitoring stress levels at specific times throughout the week, reading a brief manual about how a certain aspect of therapy works, etc.

Example Question #1 : Medications

What types of disorders have salts of lithium been used to treat?

Possible Answers:

Sleeping disorders

Eating disorders

Dissociative disorders

Multiple personality disorders

Bipolar disorders

Correct answer:

Bipolar disorders

Explanation:

Lithium is the most widely used and studied medications for bipolar disorders. They also have a role in treating depression and mania, acutely and long term. Once ingested, lithium becomes prevalent in the central nervous system (CNS), and can bind to a number of receptors in order to block norepinephrine production. It can also interact with neurotransmitters in order to cause a release of seratonin. 

Example Question #1 : Medications

Stacy would like to test whether an anti-depressant effectively reduces symptoms of depression. She gives depressed participants a questionnaire before administration of the drug. Half of the participants receive the drug for six weeks, and the other half receive a placebo sugar pill. She then gives the same questionnaire to assess any changes in symptoms. 

Which of these is most likely the drug that Stacy administers?

Possible Answers:

Xanax

Lithium

Vicodin

Adderall

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

Correct answer:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

Explanation:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used to treat mood disorders. The other choices are used for other types of mental illnesses.

Example Question #1 : Medications

For which psychiatric disorder are SSRIs most commonly prescribed?

Possible Answers:

Depression

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Somatoform disorder

Schizophrenia

Bipolar disorder

Correct answer:

Depression

Explanation:

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are commonly prescribed for depressed patients to increase the amount of serotonin in their bodies. Having a greater amount of serotonin is associated with experiencing more positive emotions.

Example Question #1 : Medications

What is the most popular psychotropic medication to treat bipolar disorder?

Possible Answers:

Lithium

Berillium

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Anti-depressant medication

Anti-anxiety medication

Correct answer:

Lithium

Explanation:

Lithium is typically used to treat the manic symptomology associated with bipolar disorder.

Example Question #1 : Medications

Which of the following mental disorders would not benefit from treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors?

Possible Answers:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Schizophrenia

Antisocial personality disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Bipolar disorder

Correct answer:

Antisocial personality disorder

Explanation:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors interfere with serotonin transport in the brain's synapses and can work to elevate mood. SSRIs are used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Treatment for personality disorders with SSRIs is not successful. 

Example Question #1 : Medications

Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax are used to treat panic disorders. These medications are considered to fall under which category?

Possible Answers:

Antiadrenergic agents

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Benzodiazepines

Lithium

Correct answer:

Benzodiazepines

Explanation:

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium, act like sedatives, but without their sleep-inducing effect. These medications can be effective in the treatment of panic disorders.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft, Paxil, and Luvox, are mood stabilizers and are used to treat depression. Nardil is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) useful in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder by reducing nightmares and insomnia. Catapres and Inderal, which are antiadrenergic agents, are also useful in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Antiadrenergic agents reduce startle reactions. Lithium is a mood stabilizer used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Example Question #1 : Medications

Which of the following is not a depressant drug?

Possible Answers:

Cocaine

Benzodiazepines

Alcohol

Barbiturates

Opiates

Correct answer:

Cocaine

Explanation:

Depressants are drugs that reduce neural activity and slow down bodily functions. Cocaine is a stimulant, which increases neural activity and speeds up bodily functions. All of the other answer choices are depressants. 

Example Question #1 : Medications

Which of the following is a commonly prescribed antidepressant?

Possible Answers:

Selective acetylcholine reuptake inhibitors (SARIs)

Olanzapine

Xanax

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Lithium

Correct answer:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Explanation:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain to help ease depressive symptoms. Some of the most popular SSRIs are Zoloft (Sertraline) and Prozac (Fluoxetine).

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