Abnormal

History, Assessment, and Therapy

Psychological Disorders: History of Mental Illness

The Discovery Channel provides a brief history of mental illness. What are the different types of mental illness discussed in the clip? What reasons were given for mental illness or “madness”? What happened in 1951 that reduced symptoms of schizophrenia to allow sufferers to be “accepted” in society?

back to top

Lobotomy – PBS documentary on Walter Freeman

[Video contains some disturbing images] PBS shows Walter Freeman and his experiments with lobotomies and how it was used in the treatment of mental disorders. Thorazine, however, was marketed as a “chemical lobotomy” and offered a safer solution to surgery. What were the various conditions Freeman “treated” with a lobotomy? How many lobotomies did Freeman perform before being stripped of his hospital privileges? Are lobotomies still common in treating mental disorders? (For more clips from this program, visit PBS's website.)

back to top

Rorschach Test by Adam Lore

In this brief film, Adam Lore sets 10 of Roschach’s original inkblot plates to music. Visit the Fox Illinois website regarding the controversy over the availability of this reference testing on the internet. What concerns do psychologists have considering the way in which a Roschach test should be administered?

back to top

Remembering Columbine

10 years later, CBS news reports commemorate the tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School. Patrick Ireland discusses his experiences amidst the chaos created by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, who murdered 12 classmates and 1 teacher and wounded 2 dozen others before committing suicide. What coping strategies are necessary to overcome such a tragedy? What is Rachel’s Challenge?

back to top

Person-Centered Therapy

The Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (AIPC) provides an example of person-centered therapy. The counselor in this clip attempts to build a relationship with her client in order to make him more comfortable discussing difficult issues. The client discusses his marital difficulties. What does the counselor do after the client explains the specific issues? In other words, how does she show that she’s actively listening?

back to top

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

The Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (AIPC) provides an example of cognitive behavior therapy. Marcia explains that she feels overwhelmed with school, work, and her upcoming wedding. She keeps telling the counselor that she’s there because she wants to leave school. What is included on the list that the counselor hands to Marcia? What does the counselor do to help alleviate Marcia’s anxiety?

back to top

Personality Inventories

Intelecom covers personality assessment tests, its origins, test items, and purposes. Personality inventories have become an increasingly common assessment tool in determining the basic underlying dimensions of an individual's personality. The use of these inventories may help a person understand and utilize their abilities. What place do personality inventories and assessment tests have in the workplace? In psychological assessments?

back to top

Anxiety Disorders

Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder?

AnswersTV.com discusses anxiety disorders and what symptoms to look for. They cover the five types of anxiety disorders and discuss how a doctor might determine which anxiety disorder you may have. What are the five types of anxiety disorders and what are the basic ways to tell them apart? How does OCD manifest itself outwardly?

back to top

How Anxiety Affects the Body

Did you know anxiety disorders are more common than depression in the U.S? Anxiety has both an emotional and brain-body/neurological component, and is often associated with low levels of serotonin. Neurotransmitters control movement, heart rate, thinking, sleep, mood, and reasoning. What is the primary function of serotonin? How are serotonin levels an important factor in both anxiety and depression?

back to top

Anxiety Treatment: Drugs

There are three classes of drugs used to treat anxiety disorders: anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, and beta blockers. Anti-depressants balance hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels. Benzodiazepines affect areas of the brain that control emotional reactions, memory, thinking, consciousness, and coordination. They are prescribed for shorter periods of time. Beta blockers are sometimes prescribed for anxiety disorders. They keep physical symptoms under control and are often used for people with social disorders. How is the correct drug treatment chosen for an anxiety disorder patient? What alternative therapies are recommended for anxiety disorder?

back to top

Anxiety Disorders in Children and Teens

Dr. Catchpole interviews a fellow psychologist, Dr. Jane Garland, specializing in separation anxiety phobias. When anxieties become too intense and too prolonged, they become a problem. Symptoms fall into three categories: body, mind, and behavior. Anxious children will have headaches, upset stomachs, muscle tension, and racing hearts. They are more emotionally fragile, and may be irritable, avoidant, and throw tantrums. How are anxiety and fear different? How are anxiety disorders treated? How might treatment for children with anxiety differ from treatment for adults?

back to top

Agoraphobia Featured on Secret Lives of Women: See the CTRN Cure

Secret Lives of Women explores the hidden areas of women’s lives, including their fears such as agoraphobia and panic attacks. This documentary shows therapists and phobic patients alike explaining their experiences. One mother, Melissa, was unable to leave her house for years at a time. Melissa was strongly motivated to leave her house to attend her daughter’s wedding, but was terrified to be outdoors. She contacted CTRN for agoraphobia. Name some other common phobias. What are causes of phobias? What treatment is recommended?

back to top

Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders

Hypochondria: Diagnosis

Dr. Jon LaPook talks about hypochondria and when it becomes a problem. Dr. Bill Fisher explains that hypochondria is an overwhelming fear of having a serious disease. It must cause extreme distress and or dysfunction and last for at least six months. Another man explains how he thinks he has hypochondriac tendencies. How much of the U.S. population is afflicted with hypochondria? What are treatment options?

back to top

Conversion Disorder

This is a clip from an episode of The Pretender that outlines the causes and effects of Conversion disorder. Conversion disorder can't always be cured and often takes weeks of therapy. There are no medical symptoms for the disorder, but the problems in the patient are very real. What are the symptoms of conversion disorders? What are possible causes of conversion disorder?

back to top

Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder – Herschell Walker

Former star NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker discusses his experiences with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), otherwise known as multiple personality disorder. In this conversation with Maxine Williams, Walker recounts going to a minister who recommended an exorcism. He then saw a doctor who explained the symptoms and Walker realized (after seeing differences in his own handwriting over time and in a hospital) he had DID. What are some causes for DID? Why is DID sometimes misdiagnosed? What other psychological disorders often co-occur with DID?

back to top

Numb – Depersonalization Disorder

This trailer for the film Numb shows one man’s experience with acute depersonalization disorder. He seeks treatment from therapists but is unable to find solace. He tries using drug therapy and becomes completely numb. How common is this condition? What are some possible causes?

back to top

Mood Disorders and Suicide

Depression Theories and Treatments

This Discovery Channel clip explains theories about what may cause depression and what treatments are available. Scientists evaluate electrical impulses in the brain and how they affect emotions. Evie, a woman who was so depressed she attempted suicide, exemplifies how Prozac keeps depression at bay. What are some of the events that can spark depression? How does Prozac work?

back to top

Choosing a Psychotherapist

AnswersTV.com offers advice on how to choose a psychotherapist for treating depression. They explain that it is best to use a program of psychotherapy combined with medication. There are three types of psychotherapists: psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers. Choose a therapist you feel comfortable with, ask what their therapy style is, and ask for a “schedule” for when you are likely to see results. What kind of disorder is depression? What are the symptoms of depressive disorders?

back to top

Bipolar Overview

Once known as manic depression, bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million adults. Risk factors, symptoms, and latest treatments available are discussed in this AnswersTV.com clip. One in five bipolar patients commits suicide, but many are able to live a “normal” life using a combination of medications and psychosocial interactions. Bipolar disorder consists of two mood states: energized mania and deep depression. Either mood can last for months or years at a time. What is the difference between bipolar I and II disorders? What is cyclothymic disorder?

back to top

Dysthymic Disorder

This short film shows the life of a man with dysthymic disorder. He seems lethargic, unhappy, and disconnected. He routinely goes through the motions of the day and is easily bullied. He finds a picture of a girl he admires but he’s only seen in passing. After a particularly rough day, he considers jumping from a building. What kind of disorder is dysthymic disorder? What characterizes this disorder? Does this video accurately show those behaviors and attitudes?

back to top

Suicide Trend in Palo Alto, California?

Recently, four students committed suicide in Palo Alto, CA, within six months of each other. All of them threw themselves in front of a commuter train. Three attended the same high school. John Blackstone reports on the incidents and the community’s reaction. Some parents and students think depressed students (or those desperate for attention) see suicide as a way to get the attention they crave. The Annenberg Public Policy Center sent letters to the media to consider what they report before they do. Name some risk factors related to suicide. How often do teenage suicides occur in clusters?

back to top

Teen Commits Suicide with Live Web Audience

A south Florida college student took his own life in front of a live web audience. His sister said when he was around people he seemed very happy. Abraham Biggs took pills and lay down on his bed while viewers watched him die. Biggs struggled with bipolar disorder and told others of his suicide plans. How does suicidal behavior differ across cultures?

back to top

Physical, Eating, and Sleep Disorders

Nutrition and Diets: How to Build Up Your Immune System

Christine Marquette explains that there are many things that can be done to build up the immune system, including stress management, physical activity and nutrition. Marquette explains that stress can depress your immune system, and that you should get lots of fruits and vegetables (especially those with antioxidants), and lean protein. She also recommends probiotic-rich yogurt, milk, or cheese. How does the immune system function? What is psychoneuroimmunology?

back to top

AIDS Documentary

The Fire Within is an illuminating story of two people with singular spirit. Bob Bowers is a long-term AIDS survivor. Shawn met him 10 years ago and in spite of his disease, she married him six months later. To this day she remains HIV-negative. This clip records Shawn's participation in a 7-day, 575-mile bike ride as she tries, in some measure, to replicate Bob's everyday battles and victories. What are the psychosocial effects of AIDS? How can stress-reduction treatment affect the emotional and physical state of someone with AIDS? How do programs like the one featured in this video (now called AIDS/LifeCycle) help motivate people infected with AIDS?

back to top

Children’s Cancer Hospital Ranks High for Cancer Care

The Children’s Cancer Hospital at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has been ranked as one of the best hospitals in the nation for treating children with cancer according to a world report survey. The survey measured reputation of pediatric oncologists and care-related measures. This hospital uses new therapies and supportive programs to treat children. They have adopted a family-centered approach to care; staff partners with parents on treatment, facility designs, and other projects impacting families at the hospital. What psychological procedures help reduce pain and stress for children with cancer? How might the family-centered approach help the child’s experience and recovery?

back to top

Overcoming Binge Eating – The Secret Food Diaries

The Secret Food Diaries is a short film which follows Dinutta as she comes to terms with her eating disorder. Dinutta binge eats and keeps very little in her cupboards to thwart her overeating. She will not eat with her son because she worries he will mirror her eating habits. Mary goes shopping with Dinutta to help her select food for four days (she ordinarily only purchases for one days’ worth of food). Dinutta is distressed when selecting food, but Mary keeps her on track by choosing foods that were explicitly on the list and helping her make decisions. Dinutta discusses her history with food and inability to maintain a satisfactory weight. For eating disorders in general, how does self-control play a major part? What anxiety and mood disorders co-occur with eating disorders?

back to top

Intervention – Nicole

This clip from Intervention shows Nicole’s story and her struggle with an eating disorder (dysphasia). She describes being molested as a young child and her “inability” to swallow as a result of the abuse. She chews food for the flavor and spits it up into a cup (sometimes feeding herself through a tube in her stomach). Name some social, biological, and psychological reasons of eating disorders. What has caused Nicole’s eating disorder? What are the physical consequences of eating disorders? What treatments are recommended for those suffering from eating disorders?

back to top

Night Eating Syndrome

Steve Tromans discusses the night eating syndrome. He explains what it entails, how it is received, and how to stop. Tromans advises eating appropriately through the day and sleeping through the night. He uses a combination of techniques to re-train the mind (including hypnosis). In night eating syndrome, people eat what percentage of their daily food intake after their evening meal? What are causes and treatment for night eating syndrome?

back to top

Do I Have a Sleep Disorder?

AnswersTV.com discusses the prevalence of sleep disorders, what sleep disorders exist, and what symptoms make a sleep disorder. Also, they give an overview of different kinds of sleep disorders. What do sleep analysts look for when doing a sleep study? Describe the following: dyssomnia, parasomnia, insomnia, hypersomnia, and narcolepsy.

back to top

Narcolepsy Girl

In this clip, a man (in cahoots with his brother) surprises his fiance who has narcolepsy. His brother bursts into the room and the woman screams then falls over asleep. How common is narcolepsy? What are the DSM criteria for narcolepsy? Does this woman exhibit narcolepsy appropriately, or does this look like a stunt?

back to top

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time during their sleep. The most effective way to treat this condition is with continuous positive airway pressure, also known as CPAP. Ann, a heart transplant patient, was referred to a sleep clinic and discovered she had sleep apnea. Patients who have cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea are at a risk 2-1/2 times higher of dying. What are the types of apnea? How does circadian rhythm sleep disorder differ from sleep apnea?

back to top

Substance-Related and Impulse-Control Disorders

Obsessed: Ryan Park Exposure

Ryan, who was also on MTV’s True Life: I Have OCD and has obsessive-compulsive disorder, discusses his attempt to stop his compulsions on A&E’s Obsessed. Ryan performs “rituals” like hand washing, tapping, and brushing his teeth and discusses how therapy has helped him stop ritualizing. What therapeutic affect might being on the show and journaling his experiences have on Ryan’s condition?

back to top

Hoarders on A&E

Hoarders documents American men and women who are unable to dispose of anything even though they continue to accumulate more. Hoarding habits greatly affect the person’s relationships, lifestyle, and health. Psychologists specializing in treating those with hoarding problems go into the hoarder’s home and review what is being hoarded and why, and offer support in disposing much of their belongings. Why would someone hold on to so much “junk”?

back to top

A&E Intervention – Tim Part 1

[Please note that this clip includes footage of crack cocaine use.] Tim, a formerly successful music producer and musician, exposes his addiction to crack cocaine on A&E’s Intervention. He explains his downward spiral into drug use; his girlfriend and her parents discuss Tim’s drug use and how it affects their lives. What disorder was Tim diagnosed with and how may that have attributed to his drug abuse?

back to top

A&E Intervention - Kim Part 1

Kim discusses her battle with anorexia, bulimia, and cutting on A&E’s Intervention. Kim and her family discuss how her childhood affected her self-image, and she sought to control her own actions as she could not control her home environment. What evidence exists that links eating disorders with physical and emotional abuse? How are anorexia and bulimia differentiated?

back to top

Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Dr. Phil Show – “Little Boy Lost”

In this clip, a mother of a transgender boy provides evidence that contradicts the expectations of reparative therapist Joseph Nicolosi. Dr. Nicolosi describes his belief that transgender males are overly enmeshed with their mothers and distant from their fathers or other male figures. Toni, the mother of the transgender boy, says she was not close with her son and that the step-dad was close. Focus on the Family researcher, Glenn Stanton also provides commentary. Is Dr. Nicolosi’s argument valid? How do nature and nurture play a part in gender identity development? What are some causes of gender identity disorder? How did Toni’s daughter (formerly son) show signs of gender nonconformity?

back to top

20/20 My Secret Self - Part 1

Barbara Walters reports on some of the youngest transgender kids, including a six-year-old girl who was born a boy, a 10-year-old boy who lives as a girl and a 16-year-old-boy who was born a girl. Walters talks to these transgender children, all diagnosed with gender identity disorder (GID), as well as to their parents, who are allowing their children to live in the gender they identify with in order to save them from a future of heartache and pain. They are sharing their personal stories to increase future understanding of transgender children. What are the DSM criteria for GID? How does someone with GID qualify for sex reassignment surgery?

back to top

Alexis Arquette on Larry King

Alexis Arquette is one of the panel members on Larry King, guest hosted by Dr. Drew Pinksy. Arquette, formerly Robert Arquette, is recognized for her role in films like The Wedding Singer, Bride of Chucky and in the reality TV show, The Surreal Life. In this clip, Arquette discusses becoming transgender under public scrutiny as a celebrity. They discuss Chaz Bono’s, Sony and Cher Bono’s daughter, transition to become male. Having dealt with the media her entire life, Arquette felt comfortable making a transition. How does family support affect someone who is transgender? How might Arquette’s exposure of her own transition in the documentary Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother expose the prevalence of transgendered people and understanding of transexuality?

back to top

Low Sexual Desire – ISD (Sex Health Guru)

According to this clip, 20% of the population has ISD (inhibited sexual desire). It can be primary or secondary. Sexual aversion disorder is less frequent and is an avoidance of genital contact. What are some other sexual dysfunction disorders? How do those disorders relate to the sexual response cycle?

back to top

Sexual Fetish and Psychology

Sandy discusses sexual fetishism, including some of the most popular fetishes. She provides the DSM-IV criteria. She distinguishes between a shoe fetish and a foot fetish (inanimate versus animate objects) and the word’s history. Paraphilia are also described; Sandy defines some paraphilias. What is frotteurism? What is known about the causes of paraphilias?

back to top

Secretary Trailer (2002)

Starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary is a story about a young woman recently released from a mental hospital because she self-mutilates. She gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one. In this clip, who is the sadist and who is the masochist? What characterizes sadomasochistic behavior? What is hypoxiphilia?

back to top

The Secrets of The Austrian Cellar – Josef Fritzl

The story of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was locked in a cellar and repeatedly raped by her father over 24 years, has stunned the world. Her father, Josef, stands accused of imprisoning Elisabeth and using her as a sex slave in an underground bunker beneath his house in the provincial Austrian town of Amstetten. Over nearly a quarter of a century Elisabeth bore him seven children. Three of these children were kept in the cellar with her, three were taken to live upstairs with her father and his wife, and one baby was incinerated in the cellar furnace when he died a few days after birth. What kind paraphilia does Josef exhibit? How prevalent is this kind of sexual abuse in the U.S.?

back to top

Personality Disorders

Cable Guy Playin’ Basketball

In this clip from the film The Cable Guy, Jim Carrey plays basketball according to “prison rules” by being physically and verbally aggressive. He elbows, pushes, and trips others to benefit his team. Throughout the film, Carrey’s character fails to conform to social norms, uses aliases, and disregards the safety of himself and others. Of the disorders in Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic), which does Carrey exemplify best? How is this personality disorder predictive of criminality?

back to top

Conduct Disorder Song

This song attempts to use musical therapy to understand conduct disorder. Described are an “adolescent’s” actions, which are features of conduct disorder in the DSM. The song also covers conduct disorder treatment and desired outcomes. The chorus is “Conduct disorder, conduct disorder also called CD / it doesn’t mean that a person is bad, they just need help from therapy.” How do conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder differ (according to the DSM)? How can conduct disorder be prevented? How can it be treated?

back to top

Borderline Personality Disorder

This clip shows Becky, who has borderline personality disorder. The disorder is briefly described. Becky discusses her interactions with others, including her need for physical contact from trusted friends and family, and her physical manifestation of her unhappiness—self-mutilation (cutting). Therapy has helped Becky develop healthier ways to cope with her anxiety. She discusses her self- versus public image and how they differ. Is self-mutilation common in those suffering from borderline personality disorder? How do therapists practicing dialectical behavior therapy treat borderline personality disorder effectively?

back to top

Jessica Rabbit – Why Don’t You Do Right?

Analyze the character Jessica Rabbit, an animated seductress, in this clip from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Jessica sings to a room of men who show their admiration in whistles and stares; Jessica uses her beauty to manipulate those around her and presents herself as a victim. What criteria of histrionic personality disorder does Jessica exhibit in her interactions with the audience? As a suspect in the framing of her husband, Roger Rabbit, how might she evade suspicion using qualities of someone with histrionic personality disorder? What histrionic personality disorder criterion are not recognizable in Jessica?

back to top

Social Networking Sites and Narcissism

San Diego State University: According to a national poll of over 1,000 college students, 57% agreed that that people in their generation use social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and MySpace) for self-promotion, narcissism and attention seeking. Dr. Jean Twenge (associate professor of psychology) utilized YouthPolls to ask questions about the student generation and social networking sites. The survey asked: 1: Do you agree that your generation is more narcissistic and attention-seeking than previous generations?; 2. Name reasons for these characteristics.; and 3. Do you have a Facebook page? When does narcissistic behavior become narcissistic personality disorder? What are the DSM criteria? What therapy is recommended? Is the sample size of this survey large enough to make conclusions from? Considering this survey was done online, might there have been some self-selection?

back to top

Avoidant Personality Disorder

This animated student project shows the lifespan of someone with avoidant personality disorder. An animated character, a junior park ranger, seems distraught as he goes about his work. His telephone has cobwebs on it and his appearance (in person and in photos) expresses his unhapiness. It rewinds to his childhood, showing a parent who harshly scolded him as a child. He has difficulty approaching his peers and interacting in play. When invited to a party, he attends and notices an attractive girl but doesn’t pursue her because he lacks confidence. He describes his feelings in a journal entry. What aspects of avoidant personality disorder are not shown in this clip?

back to top

Bob Wiley: The Man with Dependent Personality Disorder

In this clip from What About Bob?, Bob Wiley sees Dr. Leo Marvin, a psychiatrist, because he is unable to make any decisions, among many other issues. Bob seeks Dr. Marvin out and disrupts a Marvin family vacation by joining them in New Hampshire. Does Bob exhibit signs of dependent personality disorder? What features of the disorder, according to the DSM, were not shown in this clip?

back to top

Howard Hughes – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Leonardo DiCaprio impersonates Howard Hughes in the film The Aviator. He shows considerable obsessions with control over his food, environment, etc. Not only does his own appearance bother him, but he also is disturbed by others around him who are slightly unkempt. What obsessive compulsive symptoms did Howard Hughes exhibit in this clip? What are the DSM-IV criteria for OCD?

back to top

Freak Out This Summer With All New MONK!

Adrian Monk, a former San Francisco police detective, suffers from OCD as he helps solve various crimes and murders around the city. As shown in the clip, Monk is compelled to make everything (including himself) clean and orderly. How and why does someone become phobic of so many everyday situations? Why do people often develop OCD? Monk always had issues with OCD, but got much worse after his wife died. Why would a traumatic event affect a seemingly unrelated disorder?

back to top

Schizophrenia

Living with Schizophrenia

Robert Lundin, a man suffering from schizophrenia, discusses his experiences. He explains his upbringing and when he first began to have symptoms. Lundin once thought there was a nuclear holocaust and drove himself (accidentally) to a medical facility. He mentions delusions of grandeur and reference. He believes the world’s actions revolve around him. Lundin manages the Encore Shop where many of his co-workers also suffer from mental illnesses. What medications is Lundin likely taking? What are some of the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia? What types of schizophrenia have been recognized in DSM-IV?

back to top

My Sister’s Keeper – Part 1 of 9

My Sister’s Keeper (2002) is a poignant and sensitive portrayal of a real-life story of two sisters and their search for a common ground between their very different worlds. This clip shows Chrissy as an unhappy and combative adolescent alongside her sister, Judy, who attempts to have normal interactions with peers. The girls’ mother sends Chrissy to Catholic school; she is not there long before the school decides she is “disturbed” and can no longer stay. What are the signs of Chrissy’s schizophrenia? What is schizoaffective disorder? What are some courses of treatment for schizophrenics?

back to top

Simulated Schizophrenia

Included in this clip are two versions of what a schizophrenic hears and sees when going to a pharmacy and at home. The first of two simulations is a slide-show of images with voice-overs. As “you” wait for your prescription to be filled, you hear various voices (including the pharmacist) talking about you and making threatening comments; you are afraid that they are trying to poison you and are unable to concentrate. In the second simulation, you are at home and hear voices telling you that others are out to get you. You watch the news and hear voices tell you how useless you are; you don’t take your medicine and think the coffee is bubbling with poison. You think the weather man on TV is speaking directly to you. Did these simulations help you understand how a schizophrenic hears and sees the world? Why do so many people suffering from schizophrenia end up on the streets?

back to top

Schizophrenia as Sound: Listening to the Dynamic Brain

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data is converted to musical sound. Brain images are preprocessed into 20 distributed ensembles, "Independent Components," and each is assigned a tone on a pentatonic scale. The loudness of each note corresponds to the intensity of activity in the corresponding regions of the brain. In this video, you can listen to soundtracks of healthy subjects alternating with schizophrenia patients. At the end, there are a few comments about statistical differences that may explain some of the audible variation. What did a normal person’s brain image sound like as opposed to a schizophrenic patient? How has dopamine’s activity been linked with schizophrenia? What controversies exist about this relationship?

back to top

What Does Schizophrenia Do?

Dr. Gerald Chodek discusses biological factors and their key role in schizophrenia. Neurotransmission is briefly covered, explaining the “normal” brain’s activity. Dr. Chodek explains that schizophrenics have unbalanced levels of neurotransmitters, including glutamate and dopamine. Abnormally high levels of these have been linked to psychotic symptoms, like hallucinations. Dr. Chodek also explains that the hippocampus in some schizophrenics shrinks over time. What kinds of studies have been done to determine genetic influences of schizophrenia? What have adoption studies shown?

back to top

Developmental and Cognitive Disorders

ADHD and the Brain

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common behavioral disorder that emerges in children before the age of 7 and can extend into adulthood. It was discovered in 1902 and thought to be a symptom of brain damage. The occurrence of ADHD is closely tied to biological factors such as the size and density of various brain structures and their chemical reactions. Which part of the brain is different in children with ADHD and how is it different? Why might this play a role in ADHD symptoms? How is ADHD distributed across age and gender? How is ADHD treated?

back to top

Learning Disorders

This preview to NYU’s Child Study Center shows two young people and Dr. Dominick Auciello who explain how the center benefits those with learning disorders. The first patient, a teenage boy, explains that his teachers don’t see his struggle because he seems normal in class. The second patient, a young girl, has difficulty reading. How are learning disorders recognized in the DSM? Name some learning disorders. In the U.S., what are the statistics regarding those with learning disorders? Which learning disorder is most common? Is dyslexia a learning disorder?

back to top

Stuttering is a Neurological Condition

Now there's new hope for a life-altering condition. Growing evidence suggests stuttering is neurological, not emotional, as so many have thought. And help may soon be on the way. CNN documents people’s struggle with stuttering, its prevalence, and a new treatment. As a former stutterer, Dr. Jerry Maguire discusses his difficulty overcoming stuttering and his research on the brain-speech centers to understand and control stuttering. What other forms of treatment are common for stuttering?

back to top

Expressive Language Disorder – Sariah Age 10

Expressive language disorder occurs when an individual has problems expressing him or herself using spoken language. Expressive language disorder is generally a childhood disorder. There are two types of expressive language disorder: the developmental type and the acquired type. Developmental expressive language disorder does not have a known cause and generally appears at the time a child is learning to talk. Acquired expressive language disorder is caused by damage to the brain. It occurs suddenly after events such as stroke or traumatic head injury. The acquired type can occur at any age. Is treatment necessary for children with this disorder? How prevalent is this disorder in children?

back to top

Selective Mutism

This clip from ABC News discusses selective mutism. Children with selective mutism are able to speak regularly when at home but are unable to do so at school or in unfamiliar situations. The Galie family is documented; seven-year-old Morgan is a chatterbox at home, but does not speak in class. Morgan feels afraid and is unable to function socially, emotionally, and academically. In some situations, Morgan is able to respond but not able to ask questions. What is the goal of Morgan’s therapy? What is contingency management and how is it used in therapy of children with selective mutism?

back to top

Heather from America’s Next Top Model Talks to Jason C.

Heather, a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. She was Cover Girl of the Week almost every week (a viewer-selected nomination). A combination of her comments, her edgy beauty, and her unique challenge (Asperger's) made Heather a popular and polarizing Top Model contestant. She talked with Jason C. about the toughest challenge, her feelings about elimination, and how she's working on her confidence. Why is Asperger’s sometimes called the “little professor syndrome”?

back to top

I Am Sam trailer

This trailer for I Am Sam shows Sam, who is mentally retarded, and his struggle to support his young daughter, Lucy. Because her intellectual maturation exceeds his by the time she reaches age eight, Lucy is taken away from Sam. He hires a prestigious lawyer who attempts to help Sam get custody of Lucy. How prevalent is mild mental retardation in the U.S.? What causes of mental retardation have been discovered?

back to top

Up Syndrome

University of Texas student Duane Graves chronicles his charismatic childhood chum Rene Moreno, a San Antonio native with Down syndrome, in this playful, stirring, remarkably unique portrait documentary titled “Up Syndrome”. Duane, in his childhood, had difficulty understanding Down syndrome and hoped to make Rene “up” by making him smile and laugh. Duane and Rene were inseparable. This multi-award-winning documentary has garnered international acclaim and includes interviews with Rene, which are “interpreted” by Duane. What causes Down syndrome? How can Down syndrome be detected?

back to top

Fragile X Documentary Trailer

Living with Fragile X takes a rare and intimate look at the lives of several families who live with a member affected by Fragile X Syndrome. Fragile X is the leading cause of inherited mental disability and the leading known cause of autism. Living with Fragile X explains what fragile X is and how it is passed, exposes the day-to-day challenges faced by those who have fragile X, and reveals the frustrations of parents and their fears for what the future holds. How should everyday skills be taught to those with mental retardation like Fragile X?

back to top