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Abnormal Psychology

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Abnormal Psychology and Therapy

One of the main focuses of psychology understands psychological disorders. Psychologists want to understand psychological disorders so that they are able to give patients treatments, therapy, and diagnosis. Although, psychology has positive psychology and the humanistic perspectives, the field is most important for the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders(Kowalski & Westen,2005).Studies have shown that a person with a normal behavior and mental processes are able to adapt and cope with adversity, has a correct perception of reality, accepts self, avoids danger , and experiences continual psychological growth and development (Kowalski & Westen, 2005).A person with abnormal behavior tend to have unusual patterns that show in their behavior, thought process, and expression of emotion, patterns that are normally associated with distress or disability and can cause harm and an unreasonable response to a particular situation. Some of the most commonly studied psychological disorders are schizophrenia, mood disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and personal disorders.

Normal psychology occurs when an individual is within certain limits in intelligence and development. Individuals with normal psychology are able to adjust to emotions, have educational success, knows the reason for behavior, are capable to change actions when situations requires it, are oriented to time, place and person. Abnormal psychology is also known as psychopathology. Abnormal psychology is the study of mental disorders. A sign of abnormal psychology occurs when a behavior causes impairment in the person's life. When this behaviors or symptoms occur together, they can also constitute a psychological disorder. Generic models of mental disorder suggest that psychopathology is inherited from parents, and there is certainly evidence for the familiar transmission of many disorders (Blackwell Publishing).

Mental disorders can also be cause by different factors such as brain defects, and biochemical imbalances. Some of the major psychological disorders are schizophrenia, mood disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and personal disorders. Culture can define what is normal or abnormal psychology, what is considered perfectly normal in a particular culture can be abnormal for another culture. Culture is a very important factor when diagnosing or treating a person with mental disorder.

While more recent information concludes that mental illness is caused by biological effects, there are still some causes of the illness that cannot be understood by just biology. Some would say that mental illness originates from structural abnormalities in the brain that result in pattern of maladaptive behavior. Mental illness emerged back in the eighteenth century and was seen as a condition which caused individuals to engage in irrational thinking. The psychological viewpoint of mental illness suggests that people with mental illness are not "ill" but have developed a series of maladaptive behaviors based on irrational pattern of thinking and perceiving. The psychological approach tends to be on what it feels like to be different and how society deals with people who are different (Darley, Glucksberg, & Kamin, 1981).

For instance, postpartum depression is one mental illness that is looked down on in society. Postpartum is a severe depression after a woman has given birth. It can occur soon after or up to a year later of delivery but most times it occurs with the first three months after delivery. Some factors that can cause this illness are non-hormonal such as, changes in work and social relationships, lack of sleep, changes in your body from pregnancy, and worries about being a good mother. Another mental illness would be OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). This is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations, or behaviors that make them feel driven to compulsive actions; for example, washing your hands repeatedly because he/she are afraid of germs (PubMed Health , 2010). Both of these mental illnesses can sometimes be looked upon as not serious illnesses but society cannot be further from the truth. These illnesses can be very debilitating to the person and their family and friends. It can also impair their ability to manage in society. There are several treatments for mental illnesses.

The approaches to psychological disorders are formed through the therapies of the school of thoughts. Psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral are two of them. Psychodynamic tries to alter personality configuration through approaching and bonding with the individual with problems. The individual with the problem interact with the therapist by lying on a couch or sitting face-to-face. Psychodynamic therapies are very thorough and the patient say whatever comes to mind using free association. Cognitive- behavioral tries to alter the behaviors and cognitive processes. Cognitive therapies concentrate on altering dysfunctional cognitions that cause psychological disorders. Another treatment of disorders is the humanistic



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