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Abnormal Psychology

Essay by 24  •  November 7, 2010  •  1,785 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,103 Views

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In order to discuss if the three scenarios are actual instances of abnormal behavior and if is should have a diagnosis, one has to be able to recognize the presence of disorders. Some mental disorders exhibit several psychotic symptoms, and other disorders are more subtle variations on normal experience. Most mental disorders are typically defined by a set of characteristic features; one symptom by itself is seldom sufficient to make a diagnosis. Each symptom is taken to be a fallible, or imperfect, indicator of the presence of the disorder. The significance of any specific features depends on whether the person also exhibits additional behaviors that are important. Many unusual behaviors and inexplicable experiences are short lived; if we ignore them, they go away, but some forms of problematic behavior are not transient and they eventually interfere with the person's social and occupational functioning.

Looking at the first scenario with the young solider back from Iraq, who is experiencing some symptoms similar to a depressed mood to possibly clinical depression. The soldier has difficulty sleeping because of nightmares, consumed with guilt of killing, he does not want to talk about it, and avoids anything that would remind him of it. These symptoms are clearly related to clinical depression, which is a very severe depression, especially the extreme guilt, the sleepless and overt behavior. However, I believe that there is more of a traumatic stress that the solider is feeling. Since traumatic stress is defined as an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury to self or others and this then creates intense feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror. A primary example, would absolutely be military combat, and the passage clearly states that the solider was in face to face combat in which he killed several Iraqi soldiers with a machine gun. So it is expected that both survivors and witness have a great deal of distress as part of normal response to traumatic stresses. Which make it even harder to determine whether to diagnosis him as clinically depressed or is this just a normal reaction to a traumatic event. This could definitely simply be a direct reaction to the traumatic event, however, but then you still must decide if this is an Acute Stress disorder or Posttraumatic stress disorder. An Acute stress disorder happen within four weeks of exposure to traumatic stress, with dissociative symptoms, re-experiencing of the event, avoidance of reminders trauma, and marked anxiety. There are some key points that stick out here for instance the solider feel alienated from friends and family, and he is have nightmares about the event. The nightmares were cause him to loses sleep which is why originally the thought was depression but the with more researched about the symptoms one begins to lean more towards the traumatic stress. However, the disorders are all so close in similarity that it would be difficult to make a distinct diagnosis without more information about the case. For example, the Acute Stress disorder happen within four weeks, and with Posttraumatic stress disorder the symptoms either are longer lasting or have a delayed onset. However, there is no way to determine exactly which one of the disorders the solider is experiencing because there is no time frame given about the period of the symptoms. Also it would be better to know how he was before he went to Iraq, there is the possibility that he was already very introverted, and a standoffish person before. However, if it were possible to diagnosis using more research it would defiantly benefit the solider, because these disorders are treatable. No one would want to in a traumatic stressed state for any amount of time, that simply pointless and not necessary with all the new treatment in this day and age. For instance, treatments for Acute Stress disorder in an effort to prevent Posttraumatic stress disorder. Emergency treatment of trauma victims is critical incident stress debriefing. This debriefing is structured into several phases where participants shear their experiences, and group leader offer education, assessment, and referral if necessary. Research has shown that early intervention with solider in combats really does help. It is especially hard to be in war and this treatment should be used a lot more. Intervention with soldiers who dropout of combat have been based on three principles such as; offering immediate treatment, the proximity of the battlefield, and with the expectation of return to the front line upon recovery. If the young solider would have had this kind of experience it may have not totally prevented stress, but at least minimized the stress level. The environment in which the solider was placed could serve major impact on his disorder, because it is a war zone and killing another human being in it a natural occurrence. Also his coping skills obtain through his family may not be as developed as they should, or his biological make-up could just be a be depress and introverted.

The second scenario is definitely quite different from the soldiers, but also interesting. This looks more like a case of low self-esteem and search for acceptance via alcohol. Actually alcohol use can be a disability, however, in the passage it only suggest that he uses alcohol on the weekends which is usually when there is a party. When people drink in excess they usually become a different personality and if they are normal quite they may become more outgoing. Therefore, since everybody loves the life of the party, and he wasn't popular in high school this gives him the opportunity to create a whole in identity. Although, it would be better to know how much he drinks during the week. Also the fact that he is engaging in risky behavior could be seen as cause harm to one self, which is a part of an abnormal behavior diagnosis, but just having one symptom dose not necessarily mean that there is a disorder present. There obviously a lack of self-control in his internal rules for guiding appropriate behavior, and this an important concept for abnormal behavior. Since the college student was not very popular in high school he may not have been able to learn socialization through peer interactions. In addition to, the lack of peer interactions most likely effected his self-worth so his feelings of being worthy or capable are nonexistent with his own personality, and this is where the alcohol personality plays a part. Self-worth is very important for someones mental health. Consequently,

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