Abnormal Psychology

11 November 2016

Abnormal psychology is the branch of psychology that studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion and thought, which may or may not be understood as precipitating a mental disorder. The science of abnormal psychology studies two types of behaviors: Adaptive and Maladaptive behaviors. Clinical psychology is the applied field of psychology that seeks to assess, understand and treat psychological conditions in clinical practice. The theoretical field known as ‘abnormal psychology’ may form a backdrop to such work, but clinical psychologists in the current field are unlikely to use the term ‘abnormal’ in reference to their practice.

Disability or dysfunction. (Is there a loss of normal functioning? ) People who suffer from psychological disorders may be unable to get along with others, hold a job, eat properly, or clean themselves. 3. Personal distress. (Is the person unhappy? ) The personal distress criterion focuses on the individual’s own judgment of his or her level of functioning.

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4. Violation of norms. Is the behavior culturally abnormal? ) The fourth approach identifying abnormal behavior is violation of, or nonconformance to, social norms, which are cultural rules that guide behavior in particular situations. The standard abnormal psychology and psychiatry reference book in North America is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. The current version of the book is known as DSM IV-TR. It lists a set of disorders and provides detailed description on what constitutes a disorder such as Major Depressive Disorders or anxiety disorder.

It is used or relied upon by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy makers. The current version is the DSM-IV-TR (fourth edition, text revision). The current DSM is organized into a five-part axial system. The first axis incorporates clinical disorders. The second axis covers personality disorders and intellectual disabilities. The remaining axes cover medical, psychosocial, environmental, and childhood factors functionally necessary to provide diagnostic criteria for health care assessments.

Common Axis I disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and schizophrenia. Common Axis II disorders include personality disorders: paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; and intellectual disabilities.

Ridicule, degradation, destruction of personal belongings, torture or killing of a pet, excessive criticism, inappropriate or excessive demands, withholding communication, and routine labelling or humiliation Effects:  abnormal or disrupted attachment development, a tendency for victims to blame themselves (self-blame) for the abuse, learned helplessness, and overly passive behavior Child neglect is the failure of a parent or other person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm.

This has got to be the silliest phobia ever. A morbid fear of strings! I am sure, all the cats in the world do not have it. Euphobia: This is the fear of hearing good news. Now why in the world would anyone be fearful of that, beats me! Vestiphobia: Commonly known as the fear of clothing. Well, for all those people getting ideas, the phobia does not really seem to affect single, young, athletic women. Syngenesophobia: The fear of relatives could certainly be more common than we think, especially if you have those zany aunts and uncles. Aphenphosmphobia: The fear of being touched.

I am sure my cat suffers from this. However, I am not sure that a person afflicted with this phobia would be good romance material. Cacophobia: The fear of ugliness, cacophobia, can easily gain sympathetic ears. The people suffering from this will withdraw, react strangely, or limit their responses to ugly characters, people, inconsistent or asymmetric objects and other strange items that they may encounter. I am sure this phobia makes many plastic surgeons around the world, very happy. Novercaphobia: Also known as the fear of stepmother, Novercaphobia, is an unusual phobia that may have originated from fairy tales.

I guess the people with this phobia read ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ a few times too many. Epistemophobia: This is also referred to as the fear of knowledge. I am assuming these people took the words ‘Ignorance is bliss’, quite seriously. It can also be a very handy excuse for all those people in high school, who want to cut class. Panophobia: I think we should all spare a thought for the people with a fear of everything. Well, what can I say, phanophobes seem to fear everything, from fearing the fear to the fear of managing the phobia. And you thought only you had the bad days?

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