Idea Of What Is Normal Psychology Essay

To be able to categorize and label something as an illness, disorder or an abnormality we first must think about what 'normal' behavior is and how it could be identified. The dictionary state governments that normal is 'conforming to the typical or the common type; normal; not unnatural; regular; natural'. As is seen, the definition of normal itself is very vague, ambiguous and open to interpretation therefore labelling behaviour as unusual should be considered a very delicate, complicated technique. Labelling someone as 'unusual' is potentially a life changing experience and the stigma fastened could be damaging to the individual.

Psychologists take this notion of 'what is normal' further and also have four meanings to define abnormality; deviations from interpersonal norms; deviation from statistical norms; failure to function adequately; and deviations from ideal mental health. Furthermore, psychologists and psychiatrists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to classify mental disorders. This supposedly provides standard standards for the individuals that have to diagnose an individual with a mental condition. Despite these standards and classification system being generally accepted with wide open biceps and triceps by experts and patients alike, both have limitations.

Deviating from communal norms means someone is not complying with the socially made values and idea systems set up. An example of this may be inappropriate dress, travelling on the incorrect side of the road and or not wanting to eat a whole lot. A restriction for using deviating from socially built cultural norms as a conditions to define unnatural behaviour is that the majority of socially created things depends on the situational context; for example, wearing pyjamas inside your home is a cultural norm, whereas wearing pyjamas to a opera would be observed as deviant. Furthermore, cultural norms change as time passes; previously it could have been socially deviant to be homosexual however now it is a perfectly acceptable erotic orientation. Furthermore, this standards also reveals cross-cultural issues, for example if you are in an Indian rainforest and speak to spirits, you are a shaman; if you are in England and speak to spirits, you are most likely experiencing psychosis.

Deviation from statistical norms is based on the ratio of the populace who have a particular trait, personality or behavior. Among a statistical norm is shoe size. Most female men and women - statistically - have a footwear size between four and seven. If a person falls either area of the, their shoe size could be classed as unnatural, statistically. However, this description of abnormality definitely reveals some limitations. One limitation is exactly what characteristics do we prefer to get abnormal? An example of when deviation from interpersonal norms is when looking a folks I. Q. and sport. When a person has a statistically high I. Q, they aren't labelled unnatural, but a 'genius'. Furthermore, if someone runs faster than what's statistically normal, they become a top sportsman and a head in their event, somewhat than irregular or an anomaly. Another problem with taking a look at abnormality through statistical deviations is: where does one draw the line? I. Q. reference point graphs suggest divide intelligence into amounts and categories. If someone obtained 84 by using an I. Q. they might be classed as 'borderline emotionally disabled', but if indeed they have scored two more items, they might then be classed as 'average'. When information present such concrete categories, there is absolutely no room for the fluidity and manoeuvre that should be involved when classing an individual as 'unnatural'. Another problem with this statistical description of abnormality is that there are some conditions a lot of the inhabitants have. In American, approximately 75% of men and women have to work with some form of vision modification (Jobson Medical Information LLC and Perspective Council of America, 2006). On this circumstance it could be seen that the rest of the 25% of people which do not need any aid to help them see and also have perfect vision, are in reality 'unnatural'.

Deviations from ideal mental health are essentially a deviation from what's considered normal ideal mental health, including the criteria submit by Jahoda. The six criteria she put forward are: positive attitude towards the personal; self-actualisation; level of resistance to stress; personal autonomy; correct perception of truth, and; adapting to the surroundings. There are several problems with the criteria she suggests. For instance, it is difficult to ever before achieve the kind of self-actualisation Maslow proposes. Furthermore, there are multiple reasons a small level of stress could actually be more beneficial for your wellbeing; with accurate stress management and specific could actually be healthier. Also, as known in deviating from social norms, there may be a large difference as to what is a deviation from culture to culture.

The final deviation is the failing to function adequately. This is when an individual is unable to live a 'normal' life. This may be because they do not experience a normal range of thoughts, or have a normal range of emotions. You can find five indicators to choose when a person is failing to function sufficiently: Dysfunctional behaviour/maladaptiveness; personal distress or irritation; observer discomfort unpredictable behaviour and; irrational behavior. However, this isn't a reliable definition of abnormality; it's very vague and is definition specific problems. Furthermore, context needs to be studied in to profile. If students is restless because associated with an essay, this may be uncharacteristic for the student, but this might not be excessive.

The DSM IV TR provides definitive conditions used to classify mental ailments globally. Clinicians examine a patient's condition by using five individual axes prior to making a complete examination. Axis 1 looks at clinical syndromes which might cause significant impairment, the most frequent of the are anxiousness and feeling disorders. Axis 2 talks about mental retardation and personality disorders; patients are usually identified as having either something on Aix 1 or Axis 2, however, this isn't always the truth. Axis 3 talks about other medical ailments, e. g. diabetes. Axis 4 talks about psychosocial and/or environmental problems, for example university and property. Finally, Axis 5 is a worldwide assessment of performing (GAF). G. A. F. looks at the psychological, interpersonal and occupational performing over all. As the DSM IV TR is multi-axial, it offers a more thorough and detailed notion of how to take care of the patients; however, there are still many problems with this notion.

Zimmerman (1988) argues that change in classification do not always indicate changes in knowledge. For instance, in 1973, homosexuality was no more considered a mental concern; this classification essentially modified over-night. This as a result makes the classification seem to be arbitrary and questionable. Also, we should remember the 'continuum idea'; to what extent is certain behavior just an addition to 'normal'. Furthermore the DSM IV TR presents us with problems associated with validity. When a analysis predicts the course of an illness, this is a valid prognosis. Rosenham and Rosenham (1973) suggest that identification can have good trustworthiness yet poor validity as often doctors misdiagnose patients whose symptoms can be faked. Ways to combat this could be to use both the DSM IV TR and the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) to cross reference and find out whether the classifications acknowledge; however, when 1500 were evaluated, it was found there is good arrangement on depression, anxiousness and substance dependence, but only 35% arrangement on PSTD and a 68% contract overall (Andrews et al, 1999). There is also multiple issues with the trustworthiness of diagnosis. A way used to try and increase reliability is 'Inter-rated consistency'; this is when more than one psychologist diagnoses the condition and when two psychologists consent, the prognosis is more reliable. However, Beck et al conducted a report which confirmed that psychiatrists only agreed 54% of the time. Also, examination is subjective as patients may give different information, or the evidence gathered is not sufficient. Additionally, cultural factors impact trustworthiness. The DSM IV TR may not be useful for other cultures and it depends if the phenomena is absolute, universal or culturally relative. It's important that psychiatrists know about ethnical factors and Sabin (1975) further shows that language barriers may cause over-diagnosis of mental condition. Lopez (1989) disagrees with Sabin's advice and feels that if we take every ethnic belief into consideration we would under-diagnose. However, Cooper et al (1972) conducted and review which recommended psychiatrists in the U. K and U. S. over-diagnose; the U. S. psychiatrists diagnose patients with schizophrenia twice as often as their U. K counterparts, and in the U. K bi-polar disorder is diagnosed twice as often.

Labelling can have some advantages, for example people prefer to know what is wrong with them, and a identification can provide them that confidence and 'finding' a certain illness brings new finding and treatment, therefore advances the medical expression. However, labelling can also have negative effects (Goffman, 1968), as there are often certain connotations with certain illness. Previously in Japan, schizophrenia was hardly ever diagnosed because of the stigma in support of 20% of patients with it were aware (Kim & Berrios, 2001). In 2002, japan Contemporary society of Psychiatry and Neurology altered the old term for the disorder into a fresh term which means 'integration disorder', which a "shift from the Kraepelinian disease theory, to the vulnerability-stress model" (Mitsumoto, 2006)

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