Our lexicon of mental illness is immense: There currently are hundreds of classified disorders and an extensive assortment of medications and therapies. This course explores the history of this productive science -- its discoveries, classifications, and treatments of psychiatric distress. The excursion begins with a general introduction and proceeds to explore 4 kinds of mental illness: neurasthenia, depression, attention deficits (ADD/ADHD), and narcissism. Each kind is examined in terms of its scientific research and classification; treatments developed to cure or alleviate its symptoms; lived-experiences of those so diagnosed with the disorder; and critical reflection on the diagnosis.
Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand. With our distinctive scholar-teacher culture, creative programming, and commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Wesleyan challenges students to explore new ideas and change the world. Our graduates go on to lead and innovate in a wide variety of industries, including government, business, entertainment, and science.
This specialization provides an introduction to the study of abnormal psychology, with a survey of various mental health concerns through both a modern and historical lens. It concludes with an opportunity to practice effecting behavioral change in your own life through an overview of scientifically-supported treatment strategies. The specialization is not intended to be a replacement for therapy, nor a replacement for formal psychiatric training, but - through a series of lectures, readings, and reflective projects - you will learn many of the basic tenets of how diagnosis and treatment have been applied throughout the existence of the discipline of psychology, how to empathically respond to people in distress, and some basic tools to make desired changes in your own life.