Psychopathology | nurs6635 | Walden University

Respond to this discussion post. Do not argue. Just add points to either agree or disagree to the already made points. Do not repeat what is already said. 1 page is good. Learning materials and instructions for the discussion is below the discussion.           
  DISCUSSION  Psychopathology is defined “the study of psychological and behavioral dysfunction occurring in mental illness or in social disorganization” (Psychopathology, (n.d.)). There are many factors involved in the development of mental illness that include genetic and environmental factors. Genetics appears to account for 2/3 of a person’s intelligence whereas 1/3 is linked to the environment (Sadock, 2014, p. 132).

Many psychiatric conditions appear to have a link to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft, and can even have a familial link (Sadock, 2014, p. 2). Depression is thought to be related to diminished levels of the neurotransmitters Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine in areas of the Brain such as the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, Cingulate Gyrus, Hippocampus, Thalamus, and Frontal Cortex (Jackson & Milberg, 2018, p. 72). Many areas of the brain are also found to have been reduced in size with reduced number of neurons. There are similar size deficits found in certain areas of the brain as it pertains to other diseases such as Anxiety (cingulate cortex), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (hippocampus), and Schizophrenia (whole brain and hippocampus).

Psychologically there are theories of cognitive development occurring at certain ages as proposed by Jean Piaget (Sadock, 2014, p. 93) that seek to explain how humans must learn how to develop through the four stages (sensorimotor, preoperational thought, concrete operations, and formal operations). This theory has led to therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy that attempt to reshape the way the patient looks at the current situation. Cognitive processes are also dependent on learning concepts such as classical and operant conditioning that can influence how people react and can also be important in helping to change their behavior. Memories appear to lead to the creation of new synapses in the brain known as neuroplasticity (Sadock, 2014, p. 110).

Sociologically, the environment that a person grows up in can also play a role in their mental health. There is an associated higher prevalence of mental illness in people that are unemployed, poorly educated, and lower income (Cheung & Mak, 2018) as well as in lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals. Certain cultures may present for uncommon symptoms to certain diseases such as the somatization seen in Chinese patients with depression called shenjing shuairupo (Cheung & Mak, 2018, p. 133). A person’s ability to effectively communicate with others is known as interpersonal relationships. “The ability to navigate social interactions in an appropriately flexible and goal-directed manner is a major component of psychological health” (Girard, et al., 2017). When a depressed person withdraws and does not assert themselves, it can lead to furthering their depression. This can be true for people with many other mental health conditions as well.

When attempting to diagnose and treat a person suffering from a mental illness, it will be important to be able to incorporate the biological, psychological, social, and interpersonal factors into the treatment plan to achieve the best possible. Outcome for the patient.


Cheung, F. M., & Mak, W. W. (2018). Sociocultural factors in psychopathology. APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology: Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders., Vol. 1, 127-147. doi:10.1037/0000064-006

Girard, J. M., Wright, A. G., Beeney, J. E., Lazarus, S. A., Scott, L. N., Stepp, S. D., & Pilkonis, P. A. (2017). Interpersonal Problems across Levels of the Psychopathology Hierarchy. Comprehensive Pshcyiatry, 53-69. Retrieved from

Jackson, C. E., & Milberg, W. P. (2018). Examination of neurological and neuropsychological features in psychopathology. APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology: Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders., 1. doi:10.1037/0000064-004

Psychopathology. ((n.d.)). Retrieved from

Sadock, B. J. (2014). Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry, 11th Edition. (11 ed.). Retrieved from vbk://9781496311351
 Week 1:   History and Theories of Psychopathology  The history of the diagnosis of mental disorders is fraught with examples of how cultural norms and prejudices interfere with and warp a diagnosis. The result is that normal behavior and orientations have been pathologized as an illness or disease. An example of this would be the story of Alan Turing, the famous British computer scientist of the 20th century, who was instrumental in inventing modern computers and deciphering German code in World War II. He was convicted in 1952 in England of gross indecency for being gay. Turing was forced by the courts to undergo 12 months of hormone therapy and could no longer work for the British government. At the time, homosexuality was pathologized as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and was criminalized in most Western countries. It was not until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) finally removed homosexuality from the DSM.  Historically, the process of rendering a diagnosis has been used to pathologize those who fell outside what was considered the cultural norm of human behavior. This process often marginalized diagnosed populations and prevented individuals from receiving appropriate care. It is of utmost importance to consider cultural issues that influence how you as a clinician interpret a client’s behavior and how cultural issues influence how a client may express behavior. This week, you explore the history of psychopathology and the evolution of theoretical perspectives in the field.     Learning Objective  Students will: Analyze historical and currently recognized biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that inform the expression, course, and prevalence of psychopathology               Discussion: Factors That Influence the Development of Psychopathology  In many realms of medicine, objective diagnoses can be made: A clavicula is broken.  An infection is present. TSH levels meet the diagnostic criteria for hypothyroidism. Psychiatry, on      the other hand, deals with psychological phenomena and behaviors. Can these, too, be “defined objectively and by scientific criteria (Gergen, 1985), or are they social constructions?” (Sadock et al., 2015).      Thanks to myriad advances during recent decades, we know that psychopathology is caused by many interacting factors. Theoretical and clinical contributions to the field have come from the neural sciences, genetics, psychology, and social-cultural sciences. How do these factors impact the expression, classification, diagnosis, and prevalence of psychopathology, and why might it be important for a nurse practitioner to take a multidimensional, integrative approach?  To Prepare:  Review this week’s Learning Resources, considering the many interacting factors that contribute to the development of psychopathology.  Consider how theoretical perspective on psychopathology impacts the work of the PMHNP.   By Day 3 of Week 1  Explain the biological (genetic and neuroscientific); psychological (behavioral and cognitive processes, emotional, developmental); and social, cultural, and interpersonal factors that influence the development of psychopathology.   Reading:      Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry (11th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.    Chapter 1, Neural Sciences     Chapter 2, Contributions of the Psychosocial Sciences    Chapter 3, Contributions of the Sociocultural Sciences    Chapter 4, Theories of Personality and Psychopathology    Chapter 31.17c, Child Psychiatry: Other Conditions: Identity Problem      Butcher, J. N., & Kendall, P. C. (2018). Introduction to childhood and adolescent psychopathology. In J. N. Butcher & P. C. Kendall (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Child and adolescent psychopathology., Vol. 2. (pp. 3–14). American Psychological Association. Cheung, F. M., & Mak, W. W. S. (2018). Sociocultural factors in psychopathology. In J. N. Butcher & J. M. Hooley (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology: Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders., Vol. 1. (pp. 127–147). American Psychological Association. Jackson, C. E., & Milberg, W. P. (2018). Examination of neurological and neuropsychological features in psychopathology. In J. N. Butcher & J. M. Hooley (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology: Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders., Vol. 1. (pp. 65–90). American Psychological Association. Masten, A. S., & Kalstabakken, A. W. (2018). Developmental perspectives on psychopathology in children and adolescents. In J. N. Butcher & P. C. Kendall (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Child and adolescent psychopathology., Vol. 2. (pp. 15–36). American Psychological Association.   

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