Abnormal Psychology Background and Perspective Essay
Abnormal Psychology Background and Perspective
A lot of the human behavior and mental process could be explained by psychology. This course allowed me to view abnormal psychology in a bit of a different light. I was able to apply the information learned while relating it psychopathology. Taking this course has further improved my understanding of mental disorders/illnesses. I have also learned different treatment and many perspectives relating to abnormal psychology. This class has allowed me to think critically about mental disorders in addition to learning about scientific inquiry.
Abnormal psychology is the behavior or thought that cause social, cognitive, and emotional problems for an individual. Abnormal thought or behaviors that disrupt an individual’s functioning are due to a psychological disorder. It is important to be able to understand characteristics of abnormal behavior in order to distinguish a person with a psychological disorder. These characteristics deviate from what society deems to be normal. Some classifications of abnormal behaviors are social deviance, personal distress, unusualness, danger to one’s self or to others and maladaptive behavior. All these traits need attention and diagnosis. A person with abnormal behavior can have a lifestyle full of discomfort, conflict and unhappiness. This does not only have an effect on the individual but can also affect others.
A behavior that is normal in one region could be abnormal in another. Different cultures may consider a behavior in another culture abnormal and vice versa. Each culture also has a different treatment and approach towards mental disorders. There are different types of normality levels for an individual’s behavior. In this class the focus was on the approach that the western culture has towards mental disorders. Abnormal psychology could be explained by a number of different perspectives such as biological, psychological or sociocultural.
An approach towards mental disorder is diathesis-stress paradigm. This “paradigm is an integrative paradigm that links genetic, neurobiological, and environmental factors” (p.62). For example a person that genetically prone; stress from the environment could trigger a mental disorder. If there isn’t any environmental stress, than the mental disorder may never be triggered. This paradigm does a good job in explaining how these factors can contribute to mental disorders. Most psychologists believe that cognitive behavior therapy is the most effective and efficient treatment for mental disorders. “Cognitive behavior therapy incorporates theory and research on cognitive processes such as thoughts, perceptions, judgments, self statements, and tacit assumptions” (p.51). This therapy treats the disorder by applying behavioral principles of learning. This gives the individual to reconstruct his/her thoughts in a positive manner. Usually a disorder leaves a person hopeless, but this treatment helps the individual to have control over their thoughts or feelings.
Not only did I learn how to think critically, I also learned about different types of research method. Mental disorders is disturbs a person’s thoughts and which could lead to an emotional experience. Life can be difficult for a person with a mental disorder. They often have difficulty maintaining a relationship or keeping a job. The absence of treatment could make life unbearable for a person suffering a mental disorder. This class has helped me understand the different types of mental disorder and how to diagnose and treat them.
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