For questions about this branch of psychology which seeks to classify and characterize mental disorders. Aberrant or socially maladaptive thought patterns are the earmarks of many of these disorders, but the extent to which they are socially abnormal is evaluated subjectively based on customs and ...

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5answers
2k views

What is the psychology behind trolling?

For those new to the internet, trolling is an activity where one person intentionally tries to upset other members of the same community, presumably for entertainment. This has been informally ...
17
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3answers
16k views

Is extreme empathy and compassion considered a disorder?

Can extreme empathy and compassion get to a point where it is considered a disorder? For example, if someone is so empathetic, when feeling someones pain it negatively affects their life to the same ...
17
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2answers
444 views

Do the neural substrates behind motivation to retain/dispose of property govern whether certain people view their friends and partners as possessions?

I'm trying to understand why people have sometimes have the ability to sever ties with valuable connections, e.g., people that have up until that time meant a lot to them. Colloquially, people use ...
15
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4answers
7k views

Is pedophilia a sexual orientation or a mental disorder?

There are some different claims being made that pedophilia is a sexual orientation rather than a mental disorder. At the moment there seems to be a growing group of psychologists advocating that ...
14
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1answer
139 views

How effective is court imposed therapy?

People are frequently court ordered to some form of therapy, whether it be in the form of a course, group therapy or individual therapy. Some examples being; road rage, anger management, drunk ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Why is Asperger Syndrome poorly recognised in France?

Asperger Syndrome is quite well-known in psychiatric circles, as well as (to a lesser degree) the general public, in many countries the western world. However, in France, Asperger Syndrome is ...
11
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1answer
229 views

Is dissociative identity disorder a medical condition or artifact of psychotherapy?

The popular media has offered such examples as "Eve" (based on Chris Costner-Sizemore) and "Sybil" (based on Shirley Ardell Mason) as sufferers of dissociative identity disorder (at one point known as ...
10
votes
4answers
361 views

Is the mathematician's activity psychologically healthy?

I am a professional mathematician, and I regularly meet other mathematicians. I have come to wonder if there is something like a slight neurosis, specific to this activity. To be more precise, let ...
10
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2answers
240 views

What causes people to feel depressed without there being a problem?

I have noticed that some people have lives that appear perfectly fine, yet they feel depressed. In my specific case the feeling typically lasts for a few days and then magically disappears, only to ...
10
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1answer
184 views

At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What is the effect of viewing pornography on children?

It is generally accepted that porn shouldn't be seen by children, and we even sometimes punish parents who fail to stop their children from finding porn. How much are these laws based in science? Can ...
8
votes
3answers
175 views

Is serotonin conclusively linked to depression?

Some highlights from this article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/01/28/the-depressing-news-about-antidepressants.html ever since a seminal study in 1998, whose findings were ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Is there a psychological condition which promotes literal and overly complicated thinking?

Quote from Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory IMDB Leonard: You convinced me. Maybe tonight we should sneak in and shampoo her carpet. Sheldon: You don't think that crosses the line? Leonard: ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

How do Hemispatial Neglect patients react when told of their disability?

Hemispatial Neglect patients are known to have Anosognosia meaning they don't recognize their disability. These patients neglect either their left or right field of vision entirely, as if they ...
7
votes
4answers
301 views

What is the difference between a psychopath and sociopath?

The Internet is of course full of memes from Sherlock Holmes show, based on one of the episodes having Sherlock self-diagnose: I'm not a psychopath, I'm a highly functioning sociopath But what ...
7
votes
1answer
123 views

What is a more modern interpretation of the terms egosyntonic/egodystonic?

Egosyntonic thoughts/ideas are those that are consistent with self-image, and egodystonic thoughts are recognized as inconsistent. For example, in obsessive compulsive disorder, the patient will ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Are IQ tests “biased” against individuals with Asperger's Syndrome?

One person makes the claim over at his response to the Quora question Do people with Asperger's have above-average IQs simply because the ones with below-average IQs simply get diagnosed with autism ...
7
votes
1answer
858 views

What is the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and fugue states?

The introduction of the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders ("DSM-5") is on the horizon. With it are coming some new, evidence-based diagnoses for dissociative ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

Why does strobe lighting trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy?

Photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

The relationship between narcissism and self-esteem

Given that personality disorders are rooted in abnormal experience and development. There has been much discussion about the aetiology of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Having a concept of the ...
7
votes
1answer
252 views

For depression diagnoses, does one make a clear distinction between endogenous and exogenous causes of depression?

Roughly speaking, we might imagine that people have depression predominantly for one of two reasons: Endogenously induced: The person has some inherent inballance between different ...
7
votes
2answers
134 views

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Limitations

In treating people with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Which people can't be helped by therapy? How are some people more treatable than others? Additional Info In the comments of a blog post ...
7
votes
2answers
131 views

The manifestation of OCD with the use of information technologies

There have been many studies on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Typical OCD behavior in day to day life has been well documented. Repeatedly checking that the stove or iron has been turned off ...
6
votes
2answers
239 views

Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?

I'm wondering if there is a scientific term that describes when you fall asleep or pass out after some traumatic event? This effect happens when people witness something gruesome (a friend being ...
6
votes
1answer
522 views

What are the purported mechanisms of eidetic memory and why is it comorbid with autism?

Eidetic memory, often called "photographic" or "flashbulb" memory, is often associated with amazing feats of recall. Is the mechanism behind this phenomenon an aberration of the visualization of a ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

What is a neurobiological explanation of borderline personality disorder?

In other words, how do the brains of those with BPD differ from those who don't have BPD? The Wikipedia article doesn't even contain any possible explanations whatsoever.
6
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1answer
171 views

Savant syndrome and Cognitive bias

Take the case of an autistic savant with exceptional memory skills. Is this person less prone to cognitive biases involving memory skills such as availability heuristic bias than a normal person due ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

How effective is cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders?

How effective have cognitive behavioral therapy type techniques been shown and proven to work for anxiety based on published literature? Citations please.
6
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1answer
197 views

How can prolonged stress lead to a sustained reduction in cognitive functioning?

Background: Ten years ago or so I went through a traumatic period which resulted in a lot of stress and anxiety. I initially assumed there was some depression but cognition and short term memory was ...
6
votes
1answer
325 views

Do children follow parents' phobias genetically or by learning?

Children's personalities come from two sources: Parents' genes and the environment. Is there any research showing adults acquiring phobias as a result of being exposed to parents with the same ...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

What is the correlation between the development of the sense of self and the senses?

Children develop different senses of self at a couple of different ages. Normally developing children pass the 'Sally-Anne' test at about 4 years of age and the 'Mirror test' at around 18 months. My ...
6
votes
1answer
394 views

Can hypomania be induced by just thinking quickly and variably?

Emily Pronin and Daniel Wegner have shown that fast and variable thinking induces positive affect. This is independent of thought content. Sheri Johnson has noted that the key things that might start ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the psychology behind the need to be the centre of attention?

In conversations, there are often times when a member of the group will consistently divert the conversation back to their own topic (often to do with them). A 'pseudo-conversation' example: ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Is there any empirical support evaluating the fast phobia cure?

There have been several papers going against the effectiveness of NLP. One aggregate paper is referenced in the Wikipedia article on NLP, namely Witkowski (2010). However, NLP seems to encompass a ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Prevalence of mental health problems in medical professionals caused by exposure to death?

Some medical professionals work in areas where they are exposed to death often (say, E.R, O.R, Cancer Treatment, etc.), specifically in an area where they bond with the patient and the patients' ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Is sluggishly progressing schizophrenia recognized outside of Russia?

I've been trying to look up information about sluggishly progressing schizophrenia, but the only source accessible to me was a Wikipedia article, that states that the term “sluggish schizophrenia” was ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the relative effectiveness of self initiated versus therapy approaches to repairing damaged body schema?

Several studies discuss the damaged body schema of amputees and people suffering from CRPS. By damaged body schema I mean where the body their mind constructs doesn't match up with the body that is ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any standard tests to measure psychopathy?

While looking into another question on how to measure the adoption of norms, I came to wonder whether there are any standard tests to measure psychopathy. What are the accepted standard tests to ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

Is perfectionism related to OCD?

Is it right to say that a really strong attitude and stubbornness to do something is really similar to an obsession? I'll try to explain better what I mean. Let's take a really good developer or a ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Mental illness developing in midlife

There is much research about personality development and childhood. The onset of many mental disorders and illnesses, will occur in early adulthood. Studies are done to link certain childhood ...
5
votes
1answer
669 views

How do you know if it's psychosomatic or not?

"It's in your head" is often true and often offensive. But as your head can invent any number of psychological and physiological symptoms how can you distinguish whether something is or isn't ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

Why does a person get obsessive for those who don't take interest in him?

Why does a person get obsessive, Specially towards those who don't accept his love or attraction towards them? Self esteem has such an impact on human life that he wants to preserve his esteem in any ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Inferring relationships between psychological variables in clinical samples and issues in generalisation

Context I sometimes speak to researchers studying the relationship between variables in clinical psychology samples. A typical example is as follows: 100 patients with diagnosed depression many ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

In which situation should structural dissociation theory be applied?

In which specific situation you think is most appropriate to apply Van der Hart's SDT?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Current theories of the psychology of ambivalence

This question querying the authenticity of people's words and actions and the resulting commentary after this answer, has led me to ask this question. Ambivalence is a state of having simultaneous, ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

How are hallucinations generated, is it related to dreaming?

I was thinking how powerful auditory and visual hallucinations must be, for the individual experiencing them to be unable to distinguish them from reality. I, personally, have not experienced a ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Psychopaths' Response to Expected Losses?

It has been observed that psychopaths will accept positive expected values past some sort of notion of risk aversion by non-psychopaths. Are there any observations of psychopaths' responses to ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Does medication to treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder reduce associated cognitive deficits?

Some studies point to existence of cognitive deficits in OCD (it seems that these deficits are not comorbid but have the same neurological roots as OCD). Unfortunately I found no studies with positive ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

What is the longer term prognosis for women in their early 20's with Schizoaffective disorder?

I am asking as I have this condition and I am hoping to gather more data about my particular demographic, in order to give me a better idea as to what they are doing, as well to lead me to how those ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

Is the logic of self-reported thoughts related to psychological disorders?

Depression seems to be a disruption in thought patterns. In particular, it is characterized by repetitive thoughts. Is it possible to characterize psychological diseases by looking at the logical ...