Abnormal Psychology and Therapy Paper
Jennifer Sisson, Mariflor Custodio, Johnnie Marry, and Jessica Kirby Psychology/300
November 10, 2014
Abnormal Psychology and Therapy Paper
Psychology is defined as "the scientific investigation of mental processes and behavior" (Kowalski and Westen, 2011, pg. 3). This paper will examine normal and abnormal psychology. It will tackle two mental disorders and two mental illnesses. Lastly, it will identify therapies used for each school of thought in psychology. "Normal psychology creates a frame of reference from which inferences about typical behavior and thought patterns can be drawn" (Ellis, 2014, paragraph 2). It is the study of mental process and behavior of those that are considered by society as normal or average (Ellis, 2014). It also involves the study or examination of general psychological and behavioral responses of a certain population (Ellis, 2014). Abnormal psychology studies abnormalities or atypical behavior compared with those of the same society (McLeod, 2014). It has four different types: statistical infrequency, violation of social norms, failure to function adequately, and deviation from ideal mental health (McLeod, 2014). Statistical infrequency defines one's traits, thinking, or behavior as abnormal if it is deemed rare or unusual due to statistics (McLeod, 2014). Rarity and infrequent trait are based on the norm, which should be known first. The violation of social norms is defined abnormal if it violates the unwritten rules that are accepted in that social environment (McLeod, 2014). Failure to function adequately entails those that cannot cope with the everyday stresses in life (McLeod, 2014). Lastly, deviation from ideal mental health is anything that deviates from that of what is viewed as normal or ideal behavior (McLeod, 2014). Dissociative disorder is defined that the individual experiences disruptions in consciousness, memory, sense of identity, or perception; the person may experience periods of amnesia; dissociation is a response to overwhelming psychic pain, as a result from severe physical abuse or rape (Kowaski & Westen, 2011). Dissociative Identity Disorder also known as multiple personality disorder, when two or more separate personalities are in one person; individuals that have dissociative disorders typically come from chaotic home environments and have suffered physical and sexual abuse in childhood; females are a vast majority of individuals with dissociative disorders (Kowaski & Westen, 2011). Panic disorder is characterized by attacks of intense fear and feelings of doom or terror not justified by the situation (Comer, 2011). The attacks typically include physiological symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations, trembling, and chest pains (Barlow, 2002). Psychological symptoms include fear of dying or going crazy (Comer, 2011). Lifetime prevalence for panic disorder is in the range of 1.4 to 2.9 percent cross-culturally in countries as diverse as Canada, New Zealand, and Lebanon (Weissman et al. , 1997). Schizophrenia is an umbrella term for a number of psychotic disorders that involve disturbances in nearly every dimension of human psychology, including thought, perception, behavior, language, communication, and emotion; most forms of schizophrenia begin in the late teens and early twenties (Kowaski & Westen, 2011). Schizophrenic symptoms can be categorized into positive and negative symptoms (Crow, 1980; Strauss et al., 1974). Positive symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, and loose associations, are most apparent in acute phases of the illness and are often treatable with antipsychotic medications; negative symptoms signal that something is missing, such as normal emotions; they are relatively chronic symptoms of schizophrenia such as flat affect, lack of motivation, socially inappropriate behavior and withdrawal from relationships,...
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