Psychopathology Paper

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George T. Jackson
University of Phoenix
Introduction to Psychopathology
Psych 515
Dr. Jacqueline Gatewood, Facilitator

Introduction to Psychopathology Paper

This paper will analyze the contemporary and the historic points concerning abnormal behavior, and psychopathology. In doing so I will reveal the origins of abnormal psychology and how over time it has evolved into a scientific discipline. Further I will briefly discuss the theoretical viewpoints and interpretations of the biological, psychosocial, and the socio-cultural factors.

The Origins of Abnormal Psychology.

Abnormal psychology is the in-depth study of all humans that cannot develop and function under normal circumstances. What causes abnormal behaviors in individuals, it varies form: genetics, physical conditioning, social interactions, learning, and reasoning (Butcher, 2010). The origins of abnormal behavior dates back well over a half million years ago and was practiced by Stone Age cave dwellers, who recognized that there was something transpiring in the brain of those individuals who complained of severe headaches, and oftentimes experienced convulsive attacks. The treatment that the Shaman or the medicine man that practice was known as “trephining.” This consisted of using a crude stone instrument that would chip away at parts of the skull forming a circular hole that would allow the evil spirit which was considered to be the cause of the trouble to escape (Butcher, 2010). These primitive beings could came up with such cleaver devises, shows the advancement of man, and his natural ability to develop. One would think that it was a lack of technology and scientific research made the individuals unaware of the chemical imbalance of an individual’s brain. This would further increase their religious belief, as people believed that abnormal behavior was the result of these three factors: spiritual, psychological, and biological (Strongman, 1987).

Abnormal Psychology Evolves

Abnormal psychology has shown itself as an improper brain function, which has led a more humane treatment of the disorder, and in-depth research. Hippocrates, who was a Greek physician, that developed his own theory of abnormal behaviors. Hippocrates became known as the father of modern medicine, received his training and was responsible for making substantial contributions to psychology (Butcher, 2010). Hippocrates was more advanced in his trainings did not believe that abnormal behaviors were not caused by demons or anything spiritual; he believed that the disorder was a result of natural causes (Butcher, 2010). His work has continued on by Greek and Roman physicians whose medical practices developed to a much higher level. As a result of these developments pleasant surroundings were created to support these therapeutic values. The mental patients had parties, dances, walks in the temple gardens, rowing along the Nile, and musical concerts (Butcher, 2010). In this type of environment people who were suffering with abnormal behaviors could feel more accepted by society and not labeled or made to feel like an outcast in society. This is why the role taken by the therapist is clearly defined and important into the care and well being of his or her patient. The therapist must find meaningful ways to connect with his or her patient, as the patient will feel more at ease, and gain a sense of safety when he or she enters therapy.

As time progressed inhumane treatment became the order of the day for individuals...
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