Crazy is a word with a thousand and one connotations meaning everything from being wildly enthusiastic, to displaying wild or aggressive behaviour. Psychologists have come to the understanding that the pop culture word crazy is synonymous with abnormal behaviour. Abnormal behaviour is difficult to define as the question it faces is who has the authority to differentiate between what is normal and what is abnormal. There are many questions which aid psychologists to differentiate between normal and abnormal, but the following four are the most commonly agreed upon (Rieger, 2011):
1. Is the behaviour statistically rare? Is the characteristic rarely found in society?
2. Does the behaviour violate the norm? Is it socially unacceptable?
3. Does the behaviour cause distress to the person?
4. Does the behaviour interfere with the person's ability to meet the requirements of everyday life?
It must be noted that the questions contain qualifying words for whether or not there Is a universality to the abnormality across cultures; words such as ‘society’ and ‘everyday life’. These key words enforce the Idea that abnormality is not universal across cultures, what is abnormal in one culture is not necessarily abnormal in another. Depending on the school of thought, different psychologists believe the displaying of abnormal behaviour lends itself to suggest there is an underlying cause for the behaviour and in some cases the displaying of abnormal behaviour can be the signs of mental disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders has been the go to manual for all mental health professionals for near as makes no difference 50 years as it has always been developed by the professionals, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that Intend to use it. Its development and use, and misuse for that matter, has been the source of much controversy over the years.
Mental disorder and its classification has been a focus of the medical world for a long time, Hippocrates Is credited with developing the first classification of mental Illnesses, and the nomenclature of mental Illness was non-existent In the early 20th century with the New York Academy of Medicine spearheading a movement to develop an accepted standard of disease (Black & Grant, 2013). It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the APA Committee on Nomenclature and Statistics worked on a more definitive summation of mental disorders which led to the development of the DSM-I. This was the result of the standard reference for medical professionals the, Manual of International Statistical Classification of Disease, Injuries, and Causes of Death (ICD) published less than 10 years prior, was entirely unsatisfactory for psychiatric purpose. Since that first publication of the DSM It has gone through many revisions and editions determined by the growing research and societal Influences and the method of diagnoses. Brannon (1999) describes well the differences between the editions. In the time of the DSM...