Psyc 3082 Exam 1 - Gros

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what is a psychological disorder?

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what is a psychological disorder?

dysfunction associated with distress or impairment that is not typical or culturally expected

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what are the 3 components of a psychological disorder?

- psychological dysfunction: breakdown in emotional, behavioral, or cognitive function

- typically causes some degree of distress or impairment

- atypical response

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what is dysfunctional distress?

occurs when a person is much more distressed than other would be; impairment must be pervasive and/or significant

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what is psychopathology?

scientific study of psychological dysfunction

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what is a scientist practitioner?

practicing mental health professional; do treatment, consultations etc based on scientific information so licensed professionals must keep up to date on the latest information

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what are the 3 branches of a scientist practitioner?

- consumer of science

- evaluator of science

- creator of science

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what 3 categories make up the study of psychological disorders?

- clinical description

- causation (etiology)

- treatment and outcome

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what is a clinical description?

- begins with he presenting problem, which is the chief complaint, or what brought the patient there

- includes symptoms

- aims to distinguishes common human experience from significant dysfunction

- also describes prevalence, incidence, onset, course, and prognosis

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what is prevalence?

the rate of a disorder; how common this disorder is; pre-existing cases

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what is incidence?

the number of new cases in a specific time period

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describe onset and its types

- when the disorder began

- acute: sudden

- insidious: gradual

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describe the course of a disorder

- what pattern the disorder takes

- episodic: comes and goes in episodes

- time-limited: only lasts certain amounts of time

- chronic: long term/stays

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what is a prognosis?

anticipated outcome

- guarded: unsure/cautious of outcomes

- good: certain it will work out

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define etiology

the origin or root of the disorder

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what is the difference in a psychiatrist and psychologist?

psychiatrist can prescribe medicine/ has an MD, psychologist cannot

- Louisiana has special rules though

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what are the 3 dominant traditions that have existed to explain abnormal behavior?

supernatural, biological, psychological

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what was the basic belief of the supernatural tradition, and its treatments?

- battle of good vs evil

- believed to be caused by demonic possession, witchcraft, sorcery

- treatments include exorcism, torture, religious rituals, death

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what was the competing view with the supernatural tradition?

-"insanity" caused by emotional stress, not supernatural forces

- treatments: rest, sleep, healthy environment, baths, potions

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what are a few examples of mass hysteria believed by the supernatural tradition?

- Saint Vitus's Dance: involuntary movements in most areas of the body - originally viewed as possession, later recognized as sever untreated strep throat/fever that would spread to the people around them

- tarantism: mass hysteria in Italy with involuntary that was inflicted by a spider bite, not possession

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what are some examples of modern mass hysteria?

emotional contagion, mob psychology

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what was another view of the super natural tradition created by Paracelsus?

- swiss physician that suggested that mental health problems are affected by the pull of moon and stars (almost like a horoscope)

- inspired the term "lunatic" because its root is lunar, like the moon

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who was the father of modern western medicine and what where his ideas?

- Hippocrates (460-377 BC)

- mental disorders understood as physical/medical disease

- hysteria of the wandering uterus: women get hysterical because their uterus is out of place

- linked abnormality with brain chemical imbalances

- first to say mental illnesses could be treated as medical disease

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who extended Hippocrates's work, and what were his ideas?


- humeral theory of disorders: functioning is related to having too much or too little of the 4 key bodily fluids (humors)

- blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow bile

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how did Galen treat mental disorders based on his humor theory?

- changing environmental conditions (like reducing heat) or bloodletting/vomiting, nutrition, rest

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what link was created in the later biological advances with general paresis (late stage syphilis)?

- linked with madness/dementia

- includes psychological and behavioral symptoms

- caused by a bacterium

- bolstered idea that mental illness=physical illness

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who believed that mental illness is always due to physical disease and should be treated as such?

- John P. Grey and the reformers

- mental illness had physical roots

- championed biological tradition in the US

- led to reforms or hospitals to give psychiatric patients better care

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what were some biological treatments from the biological tradition?

-insulin shock therapy

- electric shock

- crude surgery

- medication (available starting mid-20th century) like neuroleptics (major tranquilizers) aka antipsychotics and minor tranquilizers for anxiety and related disorders

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what were some consequences of the biological tradition?

when meds wouldn't work, the disorder was deemed untreatable and patients were permanently hospitalized

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who is the father of the classification of mental disorders?

Emil Kraepelin; done through observation of patients, consultations etc to publish a roughly 2500 page classification system

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what 2 major groups did Kraepelin's system have for mental disorders?

- dementia praecox psychosis

- manic depressive psychosis

- further divided into 18 mental disorders

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what French psychiatrist came before kraepelin that turned 5 forms of insanity? what are the 5 forms?

- Philip Pinel

- mania, melancholy with delirium, melancholy without delirium, dementia, idiotism

- increased role of science in psychopathology

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describe moral therapy

- treated institutionalized patients as normally as possible in a setting that encouraged and reinforced normal social interaction

- created because other models quit trying to treat patients if they weren't getting better so this created more humane living treatments, though there weren't more effective treatments

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why did the use of moral therapy decline?

due to to size and composition of the institutionalized population

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what was the mental hygiene movement and who pioneered it?

- focused on providing care to everyone who needed it, causing a large influx in patients (both institutionalized and in the community)

- led by Dorothea Dix who opened metal hygiene and mental guidance clinics and wanted moral guidance

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who is the father of psychoanalytic theory?

Sigmund Freud

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what were Freud's 3 levels of awareness in the structure of the mind?

- 1st level: conscious: things, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, that one is readily aware of at any given point in time

- 2nd level: preconscious: thoughts, feelings, internal conflicts that one is not consciously aware of but readily available to be brought to conscious (have to really think to notice)

- 3rd level: unconscious/subconscious: deeply rooted internal conflicts and feelings and drives that we are unaware of and its extremely difficult to being there into one's level of conscious awareness; most thoughts etc reside

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what are the 3 structures of the mind according to freud?

- id: operates on emotions/illogical/irrational and is motivated by the pleasure principle; not good at delaying gratification and not guided by morals

- ego: logical and rational, and operates on reality principle; uses reason

- superego: operates on conscience and moral principles

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according to freud, how can someone be mentally healthy?

have to resolve the conflicts between the id, ego, and superego

- intrapsycic because it happens within the mind

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what are defense mechanisms according to Freuds psychoanalytic theory?

egos attempts to manage anxiety resulting from id/superego conflict

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what is self-psychology?

focused on the formation of self-concept and the crucial attributes of the self that allow an individual to progress toward health or neurosis

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describe psychoanalytic psychotherapy

- designed to reveal the nature of unconscious mental processes and conflicts through catharsis and inside

- used free association, dream analysis, and analysis of transference

- research doesn't support the effectiveness of this, but support therapy in general

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describe psychodynamic psychotherapy

- most supported

- derrived from psychoanalytic approach

- focus on affect and expression of emotion, past experiences, interpersonal experiences

- identification of patterns in actions, thoughts, feelings, experiences and relationships

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describe the overall idea of the humanistic theory

- people are innately good and have morals and would naturally strive to become a better person

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what did Abraham Maslow create?

hierarchy of need beginning with out most basic physical needs and ranging upward to needs for self-actualization, love, and self-esteem

- followed humanistic theory

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what did carl rogers do?

- father of person/client centered therapy

- humanistic therapy emphasizing unconditional positive regard (no judgment - accepting as they are), empathy, and innate tendency towards growth

- people are naturally good and fully capable of feeling themselves

- emphasis on empathy so they can show they understand and are in tune with the persons feelings

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who is the humanistic theory most effective for?

individuals without psychological disorders who are dealing with the stresses of life

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what are the parts to Pavlov's classical conditioning?

- learning in which a neutral stimulus is paired with a response until it elicits that response

- unconditioned stimulus: stimulus that would naturally cause a response

- unconditioned response: response that would naturally happen in response to unconditioned stimulus

- neutral stimulus: paired with unconditioned response

- conditioned stimulus: same as neutral stimulus

- conditioned response: same as unconditioned response, but now its in response to neutral stimulus


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what did John Watson do?

little Albert experiment with the baby and the rabbit

- psychology is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science with foals of prediction and control of behavior

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what did Jospeh wolpe do?

- behavior therapy

- systematic desensitization

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what did B.F. Skinner create?

operant conditioning

- learning in which behavior changes as a function of what follows the behavior (reinforcement)

- influenced by Watson and thorndike

- all voluntary behaviors are a function of reinforcement and reward

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describe negative reinforcement

- a behavior occurs to avoid or remove something negative

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what were 2 crucial developments in the 1990s in terms of the scientific method and integrative approach?

- increasing sophistication of scientific tools and methodology

- realization that no one influence - biological, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or social- ever occurs in isolation

- no unidimensional approach to treatment

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describe the one-dimensional model

- explain behavior in terms of a single type of cause

- tend to ignore information from the areas

- like if someone develops a phobia of spiders because of one negative interaction with a spider

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describe the multidimensional integrative approach

- interdisciplinary, eclectic, and integrative system

- abnormal behavior results from multiple influences (biopsychosocial model)

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what are the parts of the biopsychosocial model?

biological, behavioral, emotional, social/cultural, developmental

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describe genes

- deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs

- dominant vs recessive genes that determine parts of physical and mental characteristics

- internal, coded, inheritable information

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describe inheritability factors

- scale ranging from 0-1.0 that expresses how likely a trait is to be inherited vs developed because of environment

- 0 means its all environmental

- 1 means its all genetic

- accent and language spoken are both a 0 on the scale

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what are almost always polygenetic? what percentage of variations in psychopathology are genes responsible for?

- development and behavior

- less than 50%

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what happens as a result of learning experiences?

genetic structures of cells actually change

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what is the diathesis-stress model?

- disorders are the result of underlying risk factors combining with life stressors that cause a disorder to emerge

- the greater the underlying vulnerability, the less stress is needed to trigger a disorder

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describe the 2 parts of the diathesis-stress model

- diathesis: one may inherit a genetic predisposition to developing a disorder; underlying genetic risk factor

- stress: something in the environment like a stressful life event

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describe the reciprocal gene-environment model

- assumed ones genetic makeup makes it more likely that the person would engage in certain behaviors and those behaviors make it more likely that a mental disorder would develop

- outcomes are a result of interactions between genetic vulnerabilities and experience

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what is epigenetics?

environmental influences affect the expression of certain genes both for the individual and descendants

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what are the key systems and structures in neuroscience?

- CNS and PNS

- neurons

- brain and its structures

- endocrine system

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what are the parts of the nervous system?

- CNS: brain and spinal cord

- PNS: somatic and autonomic branches

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what processes everything in the body?


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what are the pars of a neuron and what they do?

- soma: cell body

- dendrites: branches that receive messages from other neurons

- axon: trunk of neuron that sends messages to other neurons

- axon terminals: buds at the end of axon from which chemical messages are sent

- synapses/synaptic cleft: small gaps that separate neurons

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how do neurons work?

- operate electrically, but communicate chemically through neurotransmitters

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what is reuptake?

- recycling of neurotransmitters that are absorbed back into the axon terminals

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what are the 2 main parts of the brain structure?

brainstem and forebrain

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what are the parts of the brainstem?

hindbrain, midbrain, thalamus, hypothalamus (between brainstem and forebrain)

- hindbrain is primitive

- primitive functioning is in brain stem because that's where the brain first started developing

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what are the parts of the forebrain?

contains limbic system, basal ganglia, cerebral cortex (largest part of the brain, wrinkled outer structure)

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what are the parts of the hindbrain?

- regulates automatic processes

- medulla: regulates heat rate, blood pressure, and respiration

- pons: regulates sleep stages

- cerebellum: involved in physical coordination

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what does the midbrain do?

- coordinates movements with sensory input

- contains parts of the reticular activating system (RAS) which contributes to arousal and tension, which influences sleep and wakefulness

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how does the PNS communicate?

bundles of axons

- somatic branch communicates with skin and muscles

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what does the somatic branch of PNS do?

controls voluntary muscles and movement

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what does the autonomic branch of the PNS do?

- involuntary processes like heart beat, stomach, internal organs, adrenaline

- sympathetic: fight/flight

- parasympathetic: rest/conservation

-regulates cardiovascular system and body temp, endocrine system and aids digestion

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describe the thalamus and hypothalamus

- thalamus: major relay center for neurotransmission

- hypothalamus: just under thalamus and controls motivated behaviors like eating, drinking, sexual behaviors, fight/flight response

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what does the limbic system do?

- just above thalamus and hypothalamus that helps regulate emotions and includes hippocampus that is specific for memory

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describe the functions of neurotransmitters in general

- chemical messengers: transmit messages between brain cells

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what are other types of chemical substances in the brain?

agonists, inverse agonists, antagonists

- most drugs are either agonistic or antagonistic

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what are agonists?

- increase activity of a neurotransmitter by mimicking its effects

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what are antagonists?

- inhibit or block the production of neurotransmitter or function indirectly to prevent the chemical from reaching the next neuron by closing or occupying the receptors; not blocking reuptake, just blocking it

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what are inverse agonists?

produce effects opposite to a given neurotransmitter

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what are the major neurotransmitters?

- serotonin (5-HT)

- glutamate

- gamma aminobutyric acid (GABBA)

- norepinephrine

- dopamine

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what happens to neurotransmitters when there's an issue?

- they aren't being created more of, they are becoming more available by blocking reuptake

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describe serotonin

- also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)

- influences information processing behavior, mood, and thoughts

- dysregulated serotonin may contribute to depression

- very low serotonin linked to instability and impulsivity

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describe norepinephrine

- also called noradrenaline

- involved in alarm responses and basic bodily processes (like breathing)

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describe dopamine

- implicates in depression and ADHD

- link between excess dopamine and schizophrenia

- link between reduced dopamine and Parkinson's disease

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what is clinical assessment?

- systematic evaluation and measurement of psychological, biological, and social factors in a patient presenting with psychological issues

- typically leads to a diagnosis

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what is a diagnosis?

- identification of a mental illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms

- degree of fit between symptoms and diagnostic criteria

- determination if a person meets the criteria for a mental disorder

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what are the purposes of clinical assessment?

1. To understand the individual

2. To predict behavior

3. To plan treatment

4. To evaluate treatment outcome/progress

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how is clinical assessment analogous to a funnel?

-starts broad

-multidimensional approach

-narrows to specific problems and ruling out other diagnoses

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what are the 3 key concepts of clinical assessment?

reliability, validity, standardization

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describe reliability and the 2 types

- degree of consistency of a measurement

- inter-rater reliability: consistent between scores generated by different evaluators

- test-retest reliability: consistency in scores when test is administered repeatedly

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what is validity?

does the test measure what it's supposed to?

- comparison with other assessment

- how well the assessment predicts outcomes

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describe standardization

- process by which a certain set of standards or norms is determines for a technique to make its use consistent (reliable) across different measurements

- helps with reliability

- provides population benchmarks for a comparison

- ex: structured administration, scoring, and evaluation procedures

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describe the core of clinical work

- clinical interviews: most common clinical assessment method

- multifocal

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what are the domains the clinical interview addresses?

- presenting problem

- current and past behavior

- detailed history

- attitudes and emotions

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what is the mental status exam?

- involves systematic observation of an individuals behavior in an organized manner and includes:

- appearance and behavior

- thought processes

- mood and affect

- intellectual functioning


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