Core Concepts of Psychopathology and Abnormal Behavior

The significance of context in understanding and defining abnormal behavior

Abnormal Behavior needs to be considered in the conditional perspectives in which it happens e.g heartache reaction or the emotional response in the effect of a fearful situation. Abnormal behavior will be more understandable when it is viewed in the context of life’s history and life events.

Demographic Context: age, gender, culture and class influence the definition, classification, explanation, and treatment.

The Continuum between normal and abnormal behavior

All human behavior happens along a continuum ranging from mild to severe (weight been lose in eating disorders). Abnormal behavior is an extension of normal behavior so all human responses happen on a scale.

Many types are overstated versions of normal behavior, feelings, thought, and emotions (e.g feeling slightly depressed and anxious in normal life). The exact difference between normal and abnormal behavior was never totally clear. There are particular standards which have been thought up to make a division between normal and abnormal behavior.

Cultural and Historical Relativism in defining and classifying abnormal behavior

Classifying and definition of abnormal stimulus diverge significantly crosswise different culture and across dissimilar with historical periods, e.g people of the same sex. Culture-specific conditions: these disorders have existed in any specific culture. There is no unconditional and common declaration about abnormality. Even regarding the cognitive-behavioral model of relaxation, one needs to be always careful while viewing the concept of abnormality.

Advantages of Diagnosis:

Professionals in this field depend on the method of classification to identify abnormal behavior. These methods of arrangement have an advantage in diagnosing, interacting, exploring, research and handling of psychopathology.

Limitation of Diagnosis:

Reliability (consistency with which a diagnostic category is applied) and validity (accuracy of diagnosis) complexity of abnormal behavior have made it difficult to develop reliable and valid systems of classification. The main criticism of diagnosis is that after labeling no further diagnosis is done and no one goes beyond that. Oversimplification of complex problems, diagnosis can be stigmatizing (fears, prejudices, and related emotive-anger behavior), demoralizing the person: Self-fulfilling prophecy which can adverse the situation even more.

The Principles of Multiple Casualty:

Psychopathology can result from a variety of causes: predispositions (e.g. childhood experience, personality, biological vulnerabilities, heredity, parenting), precipitating (triggering, situational) factors, psychological, biological or neurological, social, some internal vs external factors, some may result due to an interplay of many factors. Several perspectives exist in the field of abnormal psychology: psycho-dynamic, cognitive, behavioral, humanistic etc.

The connection between Mind and Body:

Human behavior is an interplay of connection between mind and body. Brain abnormalities can cause emotional and behavioral symptoms and vice versa. It is important to understand and acknowledge the interrelationship between a person’s psychological and physical functioning in order to explain and treat psychopathology. These core concepts would help facilitate understanding of abnormal, including ADHD cognitive behavioral therapeutic aspects, promote critical thinking, and understand controversies in the field of psychopathology.

Mental health professionals:

Professionals of mental health are:

  1. Psychiatrist
  2. Clinical Psychologist
  3. Neuropsychologist
  4. Psychiatric social worker
  5. Psychoanalyst

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