This book is an overview of the field of psychopathology, or the study of mental illness. It looks at what mental illness is, gives a brief history of how it has been viewed, and describes the methods used in evaluating abnormal behavior. The largest portion of the book is devoted to exploring the range of common (and not-so-common) types of mental illness and their symptoms.
This book is ideal for students whose future careers may put them in contact with mentally ill clients (like nurses and lawyers) as well as psychology students who want a brief summary of abnormal behavior. Also, anyone who wants a brief description of the most types of mental illness will find this a good introduction.
Jack is 19 years old and a recent high school graduate. For the past year or so, he has been spending less time with his friends and more time in his room, listening to heavy metal music, which he claims gives him a unique perspective on life. He doesn t allow his parents to enter his room. When his friends visit, they notice that his conversation is disjointed and sometimes hard to follow. He looks (and smells) like he hasn t taken a shower in several days. In short, he is very different from the popular, well-groomed guy he was a year ago. His dad says it s a typical adolescent phase, and he ll snap out of it.
Stacy has had several incidents of losing time . She woke up and didn t remember how she got where she was. A mutual friend said he saw Stacy in a neighboring city, but when he greeted her, Stacy acted like she didn t know him. Even more strange, Stacy was dressed in very revealing clothes, something she would normally never do. The friend says this is a classic case of schizophrenia.
Did Jack s dad and Stacy s friend correctly identify what was going on with them? By the time you have finished this book, you should have recognized descriptions of what was wrong with Jack and Stacy, and have a better understanding of their behavior.