Abnormal Psychology

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The field of abnormal psychology engages with the obscure line between normal and abnormal behaviour. This blur is as a result of the dissonance that occurs when the two terms are defined for example, when cultural perspectives are taken into consideration-where behaviour (for example sake, experiencing hallucinations) considered deviant in one population is normalcy in another. In attempt to make the field comprehensive a middle ground was determined by drawing on the common elements or patterns of “peculiar” conditions, and converging them to ascertain this definition of abnormality: behavioural, psychological, or biological dysfunctions that are atypical and unexpected in their cultural context and associated with personal distress and impairment in functioning, or increased risk of suffering, death, or pain (Barlow & Durand, 2012). In brief, this is an applied field, interested in identifying and treating individuals whose symptoms trouble them and in many cases those around them, leading to difficulties in everyday functioning. This essay aims to discuss and apply the knowledge base of abnormal psychology to the plight of Regina; her case offers a template for which to problematize the aforementioned statement about the definition of abnormality, concomitantly determine the factors that have brought about her ailment and, finally, deduce the course of action to take in an attempt to alleviate her symptoms to retain and maintain stability. Keeping in mind the real-life problems faced by Regina, one shall critically interrogate each criterion for abnormal behaviour-psychological dysfunction, personal distress and impairment in functioning that is not typical or culturally expected-and map these on to the surface characterist... ... middle of paper ... ...onships between stressful life events and the onset of major depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 837-541. Maj, M. (2008). Delusions in major depressive disorder: Recommendations for the dsm-v. Psychopathology, 41, 1-3. doi:10.1159/00010994 Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill . Solomon, D. A., Leon, A. C., Endicott, J., Coryell, W. H., Li, C., Fiedorowicz, J. G., & Keller, M. B. (2009). Empirical typology of bipolar I mood episodes. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 195, 525-530. Retrieved March 02, 2012, from http://bjp.rcpsych.org Swartz, L., de la Rey, C., Duncan, N., & Townsend, L. (2008). Psychology: An introduction (2nd ed.). Cape Town, Southern Africa: Oxford University Press.

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