Recovery psychology/Sociological

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Sociology and Social Psychology both provide useful information, although the two do have separate focuses of study.

What is mental illness? [Sociological][edit | edit source]

Psychosocial(psy*cho/soc*ial)-pertaining to or concerning the mental factors or activities which determine the social relations of an individual...from Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language 1983

"Only a fundamental change of the very culture of the system will ensure that the changes made in policy, training, research, and services will lead to genuine recovery. Consumers/survivors must play a leading role in designing and implementing this transformation. Otherwise, we will see people who have recovered playing a secondary role and their work fit into the existing system, rather than their work leading the transformation to a recovery-based system."- from A Consumer/ Survivor Led Transformation of Today's Institutionally-based System to Tomorrow's Recovery-based System (J.Chamberlin/D.Fisher)

Before we get started[edit | edit source]

File:Disturbi mentali.jpg
Got carricture?

First of all Wikiusers are great...the following image is realistic impression of what the average Abnormal Psychology or Clinical Psychology Textbook would look like at a typical American university or college. With all due respect to others work and their cultural prespective; a poor translation, from a person lacking foreign language skills, the title may appear to be "Disturbing Mentality" Think: What kind of vibe do you get from viewing this picture? If textbooks present this kind of imagery or create this type of preception similar to the racist carricatures of Walt Disney cartoons during the 1930's. What is the sociological impact of psychological disorders? Are the mainstream educators on psychological disorders giving a hopeful impression of persons with these disorders?

How do you precieve this image?Duck or Rabbit?

This discussion first addresses sociology and social psychology concepts that should be known already to most psychology majors. All this information applies to people, human behavior and in general society. The question that arises in thinking from a position of mental health advocate is: why would an academic feel that it does not apply to persons with psychological disorders, if it applies to persons without a diagnoses of disorder? It would appear from the recovery oriented (psychiatric rehabilitation) literature and from the experiences of consumers of mental health services detailed there in; that of those whom seem to be to the consumers as being the elite high and mighty educated experts have forgotten most of the content of their prerequisite education, not to mention what may come to some as just common sense.

How "normal" would you say this person is?

Social concepts of deviation[edit | edit source]

  1. Prejudice
  2. Social influence on wikipedia, Introduction to Social Influence, Social Influence Theories, Social InfluenceNormative Social Influence
  3. The power of social intrepretation
  4. Subjectivity in the social situation
  5. Self-esteem
  6. Social Cognition and social expectations: How people think about themselves and the world. How a person uses this information to make judgments and decisions.
  7. Automatic thinking: Thinking that is unconscious, involuntary and without effort.
  8. Schemas
  9. acessiblity and priming
  10. Perseverance effect and stigma
  11. Self-fulfilling prophecy of schemas
  12. Judgemental heuristics: Availability heuristic and representative heuristic Anchoring and adjustment heuristic Social PreceptionSocial Cognition
  13. Communication
  14. Attribution Theory: Internal Attribution External Attribution
  15. Covariation theory
  16. Correspondence Bias and the fundamental attribution error
  17. Perceptual salience: This is the seemling importance of information that is the focus of attention. Such as if everyone in the office were to focus on a detail and make unusual comments drawing attention it..."Jon never talks about women"
  18. The Self in psychology and the Self in sociology
  19. self-conceptThe Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 1, Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 2 , The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 3, The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 4, The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 5, The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 6 , The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 7 , The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 8 , The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 9, The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 10, The Psychological Value of a Self-Concept 11
  20. Actor-Observer difference
  21. Norms
  22. Values
  23. Mores
  24. Folkways
  25. Impression Management: A persons attempt to get others to see them as they want to be seen
  26. Psychosocial Environment
  27. Inequities of us and them attitudes
  28. The meaning of Mental illness has changed from being Chronic Mental Illness, Severe Mental Illness, Severe and Presistent, and now SeriousMental illness
  29. Ron Schraiber: a real "wild and crazy guy" Ron Schraiber is one of the founding forefathers of the psychiatric survivor movement. His ground-breaking research project with Jean Campbell in 1987, the Well-Being Project, set the standard for the recovery movement. Ron left his legacy as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's Office of Consumer Affairs.
  30. Human Relations

Definition of "Abnormal" in psychological terms[edit | edit source]

  1. Distress
  2. Impairment
  3. Risk to self and-or others
  4. Socially and culturally unacceptable behavior
  5. Disruption in a persons ability to function or their dysfunction

What is social deviance?[edit | edit source]

Normality and Psychopathy[edit | edit source]

It is important to mention when discussing whom it is that stigmatizes persons with psychological disorders, that nobody can really define a "normal" population of people. As noted earlier the Hollywood horror movie genre has done its part in producing the stereotype of the dangerous murderer in which the typical person who needs mental health services is such an individual, however the case being exception more than the rule. In actuality, the "normies" (persons whom are regarded as "normal") can be quite frightening if looked at using the same psychological or psychiatric scrutiny used to diagnose persons with mental disorder. For an example in 1977 C.S. Widom ran advertisements in the local newspapers:

"Wanted: charming, aggressive, carefree people who are impulsively irresponsible but are good at handling people and looking after number one"


"Are you adventurous? Psychologist studying adventurous, carefree people who've led exciting, impulsive lives. If you're the kind of person who'd do almost anything for a dare and want to participate in a paid experiment, send name, address, phone, and short biography proving how interesting you are..."

C.S. Widom was interested in researching psychopaths, she found what she was looking for. Her research found that our society was full psychopaths, and that these psychopaths were not in prison or in treatment for mental disorders. That under the definition of "normal" most psychopaths live "normal" everyday ordinary lives. Widom found that this sample appeared to posess many of the same traits as imprisoned psychopaths. See functional sociopaths, psychopaths in the non-forensic community, subclinical psychopaths or psychopathic personality traits in noncriminal population. One of the major criteria of psychopathy is a lack of empathy. Logically, the lack of empathy is quality of persons who uphold stigmas and prejudices. It is known that the general population has more social acceptance for persons with criminal convictions than for persons with psychological disorders; this could be connected to fact that the general population shares the qualities of evil criminality with psychopaths, therefore having less in common with the persons who likely to be the victim (persons with psychological disorders are statistically more likely to be victimized.)

What is conformity?[edit | edit source]

  1. Is conforming to the posted speed limit normal? Is it dangerous to violate the speed limit? If the majority of people violate the speed limit represent a threat to self and others, is a person who has never recieved a speeding ticket abnormal?
  2. Stanley Milgram Obedience to Authority about how easy the human mind bends to the will of perceived authority. Also see Milgram study of obedience
  3. Solomon Asch about how people conform to group pressure and change their perceptions and behaviors
  4. Philip Zimbardo The Stanford Prison Experiment about how people fall in to assigned roles
  5. Jane Elliott : The Eye of the Storm or A Class Divided about how easily people are quick to change their perception of others.,FRONTLINE: A Class Divided - 3 of 5,FRONTLINE: A Class Divided - 5 of 5,
  6. See Rosenhan below for a psychosocial lesson on the nature of psychiatric conditions in the Rosenhan Experiment and Rosenhan Experiment on Wikia This study by David Rosenhan to many confirms that psychiatrists do not know the difference from persons with disorders from persons without disorders. This could cause a person to ask what is the distinction between normal and abnormal?
  7. Lauren Slater attempted to duplicate the Rosenhan Experiment in 2004, this being after the 1973 study. Although the pseudopatients this time were not "locked up" after 31 years, the educated staff failed to recognize the words "hallow," "empty" and "thud" or to notice the significance of the pattern. The psuedopatients were given referrals, appointments and prescriptions. --SEE Clinicality (Institutionalization in the community at Community Mental Health Clinics)--SEE Medical model
  8. R.D. Laing and Rosenhan 3rd part and 4th part

Four Possible types of Discrimination It would seem that there are four tiers of stigma. Again, here, mention of anti-psychiatry that recovery psychology openly observes, as well as pro-psychiatry beliefs. Recovery psychology as a scientific philosophy can only hold one pro- idealism, which would be pro-recovery. Otherwise it it either loses its philosophical foundation or it loses its scientific objectivity. Here the anti- -isms are discussed in the context of being sociological stigmas.

  • anti-psychiatry as in against psychiatry (this is only stigmatizing to those persons in recovery; whom feel psychiatry has helped them...more of an idealogical disagreement, but it can be a stigma) being anti-psychiatry does not necessarily mean against mental health
  • anti-mental health as in against mental health; this goes beyond being against psychiatry
  • anti-recovery as in Sally Satel and alot of those who doubt the recovery concept
  • anti-consumer as in against the person recieving services, this goes beyond the first three, it is more anti-recovery, prehaps the strongest stigma, it is hatred of the person with a disorder in particular

Essay Question Looking Forward To The Next Lesson[edit | edit source]

  • learned helplessness-in the next lesson there will be mention of learned helplessness, after you have read and studied about how social forces influence ones own behavior in terms of thoughts, emotioms, preceptions and motivations it is important to remember these concepts and how they apply to the concept of learned helplessness. Quite simply if Jane Elliot can turn a blue eyed person against a brown eyed person by simply speaking in front of a class room of people, Philip Zimbardo can turn some college students in to prison guards and others to prisoners, Milgram can turn the average person in to a cold hearted tormenter, and Solomon-Asch can alter peoples preception of reality, then what are the proceeding implications for how persons with mental illness are treated? How do we craft the reality of a person with mental illness, with our attitudes and our language? And are we truly treating such individuals with fairness?
  • Some persons refer to psychological disorders as the "God given gift of mental illness"and wear it proud, there by fighting the stigma assigned to the condition, groups like the Icaurus Project and the Neurodiversity Movement often feel they have been blessed or are unique in a particularly positive way, while studies in psychiatric rehabilitation find that a persons' functioning is optimized when they can speak proudly of who they are or what kind of condition or identity they have; so is it good for a person with a disorder to say "I am mentally ill?"
  • Read The Country of the Blind, is this science fact or science fiction?
  • When did an education on science ever become political? When did the concept of a person healing from an illness involve political philosophy? Why would a person believe that a disease would be concerned with a persons philosophical ideals?

Mental Health Care[edit | edit source]