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Course Description

Abnormal Psychology is a highly complex and fascinating field of study. The modern psychological community has made tremendous strides in better understanding, diagnosing and treating abnormal disorders of the mind compared to centuries and even decades ago. While there is still much stigma attached to this branch of mental illness, it is less so than in the past.  This course will introduce you to the many faces of abnormal psychology. It will discuss old and new ideas surrounding this branch of psychology and will offer general information about how abnormal psychologists and psychiatrists identify and treat these types of mental illnesses.  


There are fifteen comprehensive lessons written in an easy to follow, informative manner. The end of each lesson will provide you with multiple summary review questions as well as an assignment so that you may effectively test your new found knowledge. We encourage you to use these self-test questions to determine whether you are ready to move on to the next lesson or if you should review portions of the preceding lesson before taking the next step. Do not rush yourself. Take the time to read all portions of the lessons and complete the exercises and self-tests.


There is a comprehensive bibliography at the end of the course which lists all texts and Web sites used as reference materials in the creation of this course.  It is a valuable resource in finding more in-depth information on specific topics that are beyond the scope of this course.


Whether you are considering an education or a career in abnormal psychology or if you are simply interested in learning more about this fascinating field of study, this course will introduce you to a better understanding of the intricacies of the human mind and the ever evolving study of Abnormal Psychology.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics

Lesson 1: “Introduction to Abnormal Psychology” topics:

  • Definition of the Term
  • How is Abnormal Psychology different from other branches of psychology
  • Educational Paths in Abnormal Psychology
  • Career Paths in Abnormal Psychology



Lesson 2: “History of Abnormal Psychology” topics:

  • 19th Century Views
  • 20th Century Views
  • 21st Century Views
  • Going forward; The future of Abnormal Psychology


Lesson 3: “Overview of Abnormal Psychology Types” topics:

  • Summary and Introduction to the major types of Abnormal Psychology
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Mood Disorders
    • Personality Disorders
    • Schizophrenia  
    • Sexual Disorders
    • Delusional Disorders
    • Substance Abuse Disorders
    • Dissociative Disorders


Lesson 4: “Anxiety Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of anxiety disorders
  • Identification of AD’s
  • Treatment options of AD’s
  • Medications to treat AD’s
  • Anxiety Disorders verses feeling anxious


Lesson 5: “Mood Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of mood disorders
  • Identification of MD’s
  • Treatment options of MD’s
  • Medications to treat MD’s
  • Mood Disorders verses feeling moody


Lesson 6: “Personality Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of personality disorders
  • Identification of PD’s
  • Treatment options of PD’s
  • Medications to treat PD’s
  • Personality Disorders verses healthy personality changes


Lesson 7: “Schizophrenia Up Close” topics:

  • What is schizophrenia
  • Identification of schizophrenia
  • Treatment options for schizophrenia
  • Medications to treat schizophrenia



Lesson 8: “Sexual Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of sexual disorders
  • Identification of SD’s
  • Treatment options of SD’s
  • Medications to treat SD’s
  • Sexual Disorders verses healthy human sexuality


Lesson 9: “Delusional Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of anxiety disorders
  • Identification of DD’s
  • Treatment options of DD’s
  • Medications to treat DD’s
  • Delusional Disorders verses healthy fantasizing


Lesson 10: “Substance Abuse Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of substance abuse disorders
  • Identification of SAD’s
  • Treatment options of SAD’s
  • Medications to treat SAD’s
  • Substance Abuse verses recreational alcohol, marijuana or prescription medication use


Lesson 11: “Dissociative Disorders Up Close” topics:

  • Types of Dissociative disorders
  • Identification of Dissociative Disorders
  • Treatment options of Dissociative Disorders
  • Medications to treat Dissociative Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders verses healthy detachment


Lesson 12: “Treatment Options for Abnormal Psychological Illnesses” topics:

  • When to get help and why
  • Psychologist v. Psychiatrist
  • Talk Therapy
  • Treatment with medication only
  • Vitamins, Diet and Exercise
  • Alternative and experimental treatments


Lesson 13: “Medications, Past and Present “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”” topics:

  • Medications used in the past to treat abnormal mental illnesses
  • Modern medications used to treat abnormal mental illnesses
  • The future of medications for abnormal mental illnesses
  • The best in modern medications
  • Which medications to avoid


Lesson 14: “The Personal Impact of Living with Mental Illness” topics:

  • The personal difficulties of dealing with mental illness
  • The impact on family and friends
  • Relationship complications
  • Dealing with the stigma of mental illness


Lesson 15: “New Discoveries and Hope in Identification and Treatment” topics:

  • The newest studies on the human brain concerning Abnormal Disorders
  • Information gathered from those who currently suffer from Abnormal Disorders
  • Treating and addressing previously “untreatable” disorders
  • The future of treatment for Abnormal Psychology

Course Materials

All course materials is provided in this class. There is no need to buy additional resources.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a written and practice assignment that will directly apply what you have learned.

A brief 25 pt. quiz will follow each lesson. Students will successfully complete this course with an overall grade of 70% or higher.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe what abnormal psychology is.
  • Know the history of abnormal psychology.
  • Recognize abnormal psychology types.
  • Identify anxiety disorders up close.
  • Identify eating disorders up close.
  • Identify mood disorders up close.
  • Identify personality disorders up close.
  • Identify schizophrenia up close.
  • Identify sexual disorders up close.
  • Identify delusional disorders up close.
  • Describe substance abuse disorders up close.
  • Describe dissociative disorders up close.
  • Know the personal impact of living with mental illness.
  • Identify treatment options for abnormal mental illnesses.
  • Recognize new discoveries and hope in identification and treatment, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction1
Lesson 1 Exam9
Lesson 2 Exam10
Lesson 3 Exam10
Lesson 4 Exam10
Lesson 5 Exam10
Lesson 6 Exam8
Lesson 7 Exam10
Lesson 8 Exam10
Lesson 9 Exam10
Lesson 10 Exam9
Lesson 11 Exam10
Lesson 12 Exam9
Lesson 13 Exam10
Lesson 14 Exam10
Lesson 15 Exam10
The Final Exam97
Total Points:243

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