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Origins Of Abnormal Psychology Essay

  • Submitted by: uzonwa
  • on March 15, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,221 words

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Below is an essay on "Origins Of Abnormal Psychology" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Origins of Abnormal Psychology
Uzonwa Iheukwu
March 12, 2012
University of Phoenix

Origins of Abnormal Psychology
When does behavior become abnormal? Surprisingly there is no clear answer to this question. There is considerably debate on how psychopathology should be defined.
Unlike physical disease, the presence or absence of mental disorder cannot be determined objectively. Individual behavior lies along a continuum, with most of us fairly well adjusted and experiencing only occasional maladaptive thoughts or behavior. At one end of the continuum are the unusually mentally healthy; at the other end are the seriously disturbed.
But where along the continuum does behavior become abnormal?
Most important, individuals, society and mental health professionals do not always consider abnormality from the same perspective. Society views abnormality in terms of conformity to the expectations of the society, while health professionals define abnormal behavior as either maladaptive life functioning or serious personal discomfort or both.
The truth of the matter is that the line demarcating normal from abnormal behavior is somewhat arbitrary. However some important elements are closely associated with some forms of mental disorder. Those elements include suffering, maladaptiveness, deviance, violation, irrationality and unpredictability and social discomfort. One commonly accepted definition of mental disorder was provided by the American Psychiatric Association (1994) in its now standard manual for categorizing such conditions, the Diagnostic and Statistical manual for mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV-TR).
Historical conceptions of mental disorders.
Several different perspectives on psychopathological disorders attempt to explain their causes and to recommend what they believe to be the best methods of treatment. The earliest explanation of psychological disorders was that disturbed persons were possessed by evil spirits or...

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