Abnormal Behaviour Essay

1916 words - 8 pages

Abnormal Behavior

Abnormal psychology is a branch of psychology that studies behaviors, thoughts, and moods that are outside the bounds of what is widely considered as normal in a certain culture. The concept of abnormality is defined differently in different cultures as behaviors of a particular culture may be abnormal to another culture. In order to clearly understand what abnormal psychology is, it is very imperative to first understand what is defined as abnormal. The concept of abnormality is defined in relation to norms of a particular group or culture and hence anything (behavior, thought, or emotion) that is outside the norms of a particular group of people, gender, or age ...view middle of the document...

Most people suffering or bearing pain are psychologically, emotionally, physically, and socially different from other people and hence are not able to be clustered under the average point in the normal curve. According to Durand and Barlow (2005: 8), a suffering person displays a great deal of unhappiness, depression, and anxiety and hence he or she is thought as exhibiting behavior as his or her own behavior distresses him or her. A suffering person is unable to intermingle with the rest of the society and hence fails to behave like the other members of the society. As indicated earlier, anything that is committed against the norms of a culture or a group of people is considered abnormal and hence the behaviors conducted by suffering people display abnormality.

The concept of suffering, as indicated by Durand and Barlow (2005: 9), is approached through different ways. In this respect a distressed person displays aspects of discomfort and hence he or she is not approached like a person who is happy. Suffering can be treated through psychological and physical means. An individual may be suffering because of psychological matters and hence this is treated psychologically through cancelling and comforting. On the other hand, a sick person usually feels pain physically and hence this can be treated through drug prescriptions.

Adaptation failure is generally defined as interference with the normal functioning. It should be noted that persons are considered abnormal when their conducts or performances are counter productive to their wellbeing. Maladaptivity is used in indicating abnormality or mental dysfunction since its evaluation is comparatively free from prejudice. Durand and Barlow (2005: 10) illustrate that maladaptivity is a type of behavior that even though in the short run may seem productive, it is usually non productive in the long run. For example, an individual may avoid situations because their unrealistic fears. This may initially reduce anxiety but it is not productive in reducing the real problem in the long term. The abnormal behaviors of an individual are usually detected by a person who is close to him or her or who is present in all his or her daily activities.

A person who keeps on repeating one behavior is considered as abnormal as this practice is against the norms of many social groups. For instance, most of mild mentally retarded children have to be taught on how to take care of their basic needs. Cognitive theory of abnormality shows that maladaptivity is solved by treating the brain especially for the mentally retarded individuals. Durand and Barlow (2005: 10) indicate that maladaptiveness is approached through looking at the daily behaviors of a person. For example a teacher is better positioned to identifying the behaviors of a student who is maladaptive. Maladaptivity is more reasonable than suffering but it has some shortcomings. This is because moral conducts that include rebel and...

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