For our final project we chose to study Abnormal Psychology. Before we could start this study we first needed a good idea of what exactly defined something or someone to be abnormal. Psychologists struggle to precisely distinguish from normality and abnormality. Many definitions are used to define abnormality but all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. “Abnormality as deviation from the average” is one definition that is used. This definition is based on that we observe and what behaviors are rare or that don’t occur frequently in a specific environment. These are the ones said to be abnormal. The problem with this definition is that some of these behaviors that are said to be different than the norms of the society aren't actually abnormal enough to be considered a mental disorder. If this concept was believed one hundred percent than those with an unusually high IQ would have a label saying they were mentally disabled because a high IQ is statistically rare. (Feldman 503-534) Just because something is rare that does not necessarily mean that it is automatically abnormal.
In earlier psychology abnormality was linked to superstition and witchcraft. People who would show signs of being abnormal were accused of being possessed with the devil. Now that sciences and technology has advanced these disorders are better understood, and treated in a more humane manner. There are six major perspectives used today that suggest the different causes and treatments of such abnormalities. They are the Medical Perspective, the Psychoanalytic Perspective, the Behavioral Perspective, the Cognitive Perspective, the Humanistic Perspective and the Sociocultural Perspective. All of which refers back to basic psychology.
For our project we are going to focus in on a specific disorder being the Bipolar Disorder. Every year 5.7 million Americans over the age of 17 are affected by this disorder, that is about 2.6% of the American population. This disorder cannot be properly diagnosed until the age of 18. (" Bipolar Disorder Statistics"). The Bipolar disorder is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world, with Arthritis being the first. 1 out of 3 people will suffer from some sort of disability by the time they retire whether it’s a mental disability such as Bipolar or a physical disorder such as Arthritis.
All of us have those days where we experience mood changes, some days we feel very irritable and easily frustrated and other days we are very happy and excited. Individuals with this Bipolar disorder experience these mood changes but in a more severe manner than any average person would on a day to day basis. These mood swings usually impairs their daily life and negatively affect their relationships.
These mood swings include “highs” being the mania stage where the individual is experiencing periods of great depression, and “lows” being the depressive stage which causes the individual feeling hopeless. Which explains why it was...