Author Pamilla Ramsden presents a thorough understanding of abnormal psychology for undergraduate students with a focus on the integration of psychology, biology and health. Understanding Abnormal Psychology: Clinical and Biological Perspectives goes beyond a descriptive overview of clinical disorders to provide a critical appreciation of the multifaceted aspects of mental illness. Each disorder is clearly and succinctly explained with the support of case studies. These examples are then used to introduce students to the debates surrounding current research, the biology of abnormal disorders and standards of treatment. The bridge between the biological elements of brain functioning and the psychological mechanisms that are responsible for coping and adjustment is thoroughly explored. This valuable consideration of the range of elements involved in the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders gives students a broad and critical understanding of this complex and fascinating field.

Psychology of Disorders

Psychology of disorders

Learning aims

At the end of this chapter you should:

  • Understand how stress affects physical and mental health
  • Understand the positive and negative aspects of having a mental illness
  • Understand suicidal behaviour and how it affects mental illness
  • Be aware of the various issues surrounding care and the community


Case Study

Sara is a 42-year-old successful solicitor at a well-established law firm. She has been employed for 11 years and is married with two children aged nine and seven. She was referred by her GP because of her history with ulcer disease. In the past five years she has had nine separate attacks and three required hospitalization. Her upper gastrointestinal tract shows evidence both of an active ulcer and of scarring secondary to previously healed ...

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