Discussion 1 Essay

606 words - 3 pages

Abnormal psychology describes, classifies, and offers an explanation concerning unusual or out-of-the-ordinary behavior/consciousness (Bridges, 1919). Abnormal behavior or consciousness typically strays significantly from the normal or central tendency symbolizing normal behavior (Bridges, 1919). Normal behavior is that which is acceptable in one’s society, culture, religion, work place, among those of the same gender, sexual orientation, economic status, social class, and so forth (Laureate Education, Inc., 2007).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) provides information and symptoms about 16 diagnostic conditions considered by professionals to constitute abnormal behavior (Ferguson, 2007). According to the American Psychiatric Association, each of these 16 disorders are characterized by a clinically weighty psychological or behavioral pattern exhibited by a person, a syndrome or pattern which creates distress or incapacity and a dramatic rise in the risk that that a person with one of these disorders will suffer, die, experience pain, be disabled, or experience a loss of freedom (Ferguson, 2007). Also, according to the American Psychiatric Association, abnormal behavior is behavior or responses to a particular event that are not expected or sanctioned by a person’s culture and normal behavior would be actions and responses that are culturally sanctioned (Ferguson, 2007).

For each disorder the DSM delineates the main features, subtypes, specifiers, recording directions, related features, typical patterns, course, customary pattern, distinctive diagnosis, and features exclusive to age, gender, culture, religion, and so forth for each DSM-IV disorder (Ferguson, 2007). Work groups and task forces developed the current DSM-IV; these developers extensively read and reviewed literature, scrutinized and analyzed data, and did extensive investigation into field trail to provide validity for the diagnostic guidelines and criteria published in this manual (Ferguson,...

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