Abnormal Behavior : Abnormal And Normal Behavior

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Abnormal/Normal Behavior When I think of abnormal behavior, the first thing that comes to mind is one of my aunt’s. She committed suicide when I very young, so early 1970’s. As I got older, inevitably stories of her would arise during holiday get togethers. She was married with three children and in her early thirties, residing in Florida, when she walked out and away from her husband and small children. For over a year, no one knew what happened to her, she made no effort to contact anyone. Eventually, the Salvation Army somewhere in Michigan called my grandmother and they sent her home on a bus. She never returned to her husband or children. The doctors diagnosed her as a paranoid schizophrenic. My mother told me that when she was on her medication she was fine, but once she felt “fine”, she would stop her medication. When the medication left her system, she became anxious and afraid. She once chased my grandmother, who was in her late sixties down the driveway with an ax, because she thought her mother was trying to kill her. After several inpatient stays in mental hospitals, she came back home again and she was doing good. She left my grandmother’s one night while everyone was sleeping, made it approximately fifteen miles away to a lake. She left her shoes, scarf, and handbag at the lake’s edge and she drowned herself. I have no memory of her, but I remember the funeral, and I remember our family behaving as if they were embarrassed/ashamed because of her mental illness even years afterwards. I have often thought about my aunt, and how mental illness would have been treated in the 70’s and how far we have advanced from then. She obviously had not displayed “normal” behavior. I cannot imagine how she accomplished a 1400-mile t... ... middle of paper ... ...a physical examination, neurological testing, behavioral and personality testing (Hooley, Butcher, & Mineka, 2014). Fundamental components of an assessment include the client’s presenting problem, recent stressors, history of problems, environmental demands, and a counselor’s cultural competence (Hooley, Butcher, & Mineka, 2014). A possible challenge to an assessment is self-report, Hooley, Butcher, & Mineka (2014) state that self-report data may not be true or factual. Clients may not be able to self-report accurately enough for a counselor to gain the knowledge they need for a diagnosis. If I were to ask my next door neighbor a series of behavioral questionnaires, I doubt her responses would match the behavior our neighborhood has witnessed from her. Therefore, self-report has limited value and presents a challenge to assessment (Hooley, Butcher, & Mineka, 2014).
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