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1.outline.abnormal.lsu.f.09

1.outline.abnormal.lsu.f.09 - CHAPTER ONE ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR...

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CHAPTER ONE ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT Myths and Misconceptions About Abnormal Behavior No Single Definition of Psychological Abnormality -what we consider normal in our culture, might be the opposite in another. No Single Definition of Psychological Normality Many Myths Are Associated With Mental Illness -people that are lazy or dumb are sometimes believed to have mental illness by some -weak in character -we tend to think that there are people that are dangerous to self or others. (eg. Schizo) -Many think that mental illness is a hopeless situation. (not true) I. Understanding Psychopathology A. The Case of Marc Summers: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder B. Psychological disorder, or abnormal behavior - some psychological dysfunction associated with distress or impairment in functioning that is not a typical or culturally expected response. 1. Psychological dysfunction is a breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning. Cognitive – Marc Summers had faulty beliefs that if he did not perform these ritualistic behaviors, bad things would happen to him or people he cared about. Emotional – These faulty beliefs contributed to heightened anxiety and guilt. Behavioral – The rituals took up a lot of time that could have been spent elsewhere. 2. Distress occurs when a person is extremely upset. While this seems self-explanatory, it isn’t really that simple. It’s a perfectly natural reaction to feel distressed when you lose a loved one.
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3. An atypical or not culturally expected response refers to those behaviors or attitudes which do not occur in a society very frequently. Atypical is useful for pointing out that something is unusual, but this cannot be the only criteria used. It is even more complicated to speak of “not culturally expected”. While this may be a good starting point to help identify disorders, it can quickly become a ridiculous measure. For example, In 1851, Dr. Samuel Cartwright published an article in the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal describing drapetomania – a disorder in which slaves tried to escape slavery. 4. Disability or dysfunction - Maladaptive behavior : Two aspects to this: 1) Maladaptive to one's self - inability to reach goals, to adapt to the demands of life, and 2) maladaptive to society - interferes, disrupts social group functioning. 5. Deviation from an ideal: This perspective requires specification of what the "ideal" personality is. Falling short of this specified ideal is an indication of mental illness. (Certain Psychological theories attempt this specification, especially the humanistic and existential orientations). Thus a person may be seen as "abnormal" even if they seem to be functioning alright. C. An Accepted Definition of a Psychological Disorder – drawing the line between “normal” and “abnormal” is very complicated.
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