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Abnormal Behavior Is Ubiquitous Essay

2524 words - 10 pages



Name: Vera Smith

Course Title: Abnormal Psychology

Professor: Dr. Kannarkat

Abnormal Behavior is Ubiquitous

Abnormal psychology is often synonymous with mental disorders. It is common to find books defining abnormal as how much a behavior stray from what is considered a cultural norm. Cultures vary with what is considered "normal," creating more complication in what defines mental disorders. Being "normal" is usually defined as conforming to the present standard of behavior or appearance within our society.

Mental disorder is often established per groups of identifiable symptoms; people who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder can be prone to recognition by the general public. The general public seems to infer mental disorders from four different cues. These cues include psychiatric symptoms, social-skills deficits, physical identifiers, and labels.

Even though defining mental disorder is very difficult, mental disorders in our society is persistent and ubiquitous. In 2005, Hardcastle and Hardcastle wrote that 30% of all general practitioner consultations were regarding a mental disorder. They also established that one in four people, during their lifetime, will be diagnosed with mental disorder.

According to the National Alliance for the Mentally (NAMI), mental disorders

are considered brain disorders. There is continuum of severity among mental disorders. The most severe mental disorders impact between five to ten million adults in the United States. In addition, mental disorder is the main cause of disability in the United States. While mental disorders can occur anytime in the life of an individual, the young and old are more susceptible. Untreated mental illness can lead to sharp rates of disability, substance abuse, homelessness, criminalization of individuals with mental illness, unemployment, and suicide. NAMI states untreated mental disorders costs 100 billion dollars a year in the United States. However, severe mental disorders can be treated through psychotropic medications and psychosocial interventions. There is a 70 to 90 % reduction in symptoms among those receiving treatment. Finally, early

diagnosis and treatment increases the rate of recovery and long-term outlook.

The first case of mental disorder I`ve met in my community is a friend named Cynthia. She is a 26-year-old manager of the women's department in one of our community`s mall. She considered her younger years a sad one since her parents divorced so she developed a "too close" relationship with her mother, that she was the entire focus of her social life and thus preventing her from developing serious friendships. Cynthia knew that she was a moody person, she judged people unkindly and displayed irritation easily and, she believed, this discouraged potential friends. She suspected that she was...


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