Share
Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

Abnormal Psychology

Image Source: FrameAngel

Abnormal psychology is a branch of psychology dealing with the definition and discussion of abnormal behaviour and how abnormal behaviour can be an indicator of mental illness. What is considered abnormal can be determined using statistics, social norms, and functioning, and is made up of disorders of cognition, disturbances of affect, and problem behaviours.

Worldwide, the prevalence of mental illness over an individual's life is estimated at 18.1 - 36.1%1, demonstrating its occurrence through different cultures. However, even though mental disorders occur cross-culturally, differences in cultural beliefs are important when examining behaviour.

While in the past abnormal behaviour was often seen as caused by supernatural forces such as evil spirits or witchcraft, a biological approach emerged in which mental illness was treated more as a health issue like any other ailment. Modern theories of abnormal psychology now focus primarily on biological, psychological, and social theories, including psychoanalytic theories, behaviourism, cognitive approaches, and interpersonal theories.

Within abnormal psychology, careers often include psychiatry, clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, clinical social work, psychiatric nursing, and counselling psychology. Individuals in these careers create treatment programs for those with mental illness, including assessment and diagnosis, drug therapy, and other methods such as cognitive-behavioural therapy. Treatments for individuals with mental illness can occur in private practices, mental hospitals, and community-based treatment centres.

The main topics examined and researched in abnormal psychology include stress disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform and dissociative disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, childhood disorders, cognitive disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, and substance-related disorders.

Abnormal psychology is a highly used topic on BrainMass, with answers available in the library related to various disorders, treatment, assessment, theoretical models and historical perspectives. There are also free quizzes available in this subject along with eBooks created by our experienced Experts.

 

Reference:

1. Kessler, R. C., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Chatterji, S., Lee, S., Ormel, J., et al. (2009). The global burden of mental disorders: an update from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 18(1), 23-33.

Image Credit: jml2art.

Categories within Abnormal Psychology

Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders

Postings: 20

Somatoform disorders involve a physical malady with seemingly no physiological cause while dissociative disorders consist of a disruption in normal cognitive functioning, including memory and sense of self.

Mood Disorders

Postings: 80

Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, are very common disorders that involve unhappiness, loss of hope, feelings of worthlessness, and in bipolar disorder, this is accompanied by periods of mania.

Suicide

Postings: 38

Suicide is often associated with various mental disorders and can be a result of these disorders, as well as stressful life events or drug abuse.

Schizophrenia

Postings: 46

Schizophrenia is a disease associated with an impairment in cognitive functioning and a disruption in typical emotional states, including symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

Cognitive Disorders and Life-Span Issues

Postings: 70

As aging occurs, various cognitive disorders may develop, including Alzheimer's, dementia, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse, and the treatment behind these disorders must be provided with special consideration of the individual's age.

Eating Disorders

Postings: 30

Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa involve negative views towards one's own body and feelings of the need to control one's weight, which may consist of restricting food intake or episodes of binging and purging.

Sexual Disorders

Postings: 33

Sexual disorders can involve dysfunctions with the sexual response cycle, like sexual arousal disorders, as well as paraphilias and gender identity disorders.

Substance-Related Disorders

Postings: 113

Use of substances such as depressants, stimulants, and opioids can eventually lead to substance abuse and dependence, which results in addiction to the substance and withdrawal when the substance is not taken.

Mental Health and the Law

Postings: 144

When an individual is suffering from a mental illness so severely that they cannot be held responsible for their actions and cannot function in society, they may qualify for an insanity defense in a court of law or be civilly committed into a hospital for treatment.

Annotated Bibliography in APA format

Prepare an annotated bibliography in APA format with 5 to 7 sources from your research in preparation for providing testimony below: My research information is below: The system for the mentally ill consists of a health care system that often does not see its "patients" as consumers. In a system where the mentally ill are a

Suicide Prevention Program Implementation Issue

Within a correctional institution all mental health services including suicide prevention services are built on three legs. Institutions get themselves in trouble when they ignore or forget one of the legs. The legs being 1.assessment of lethality.2. classification of risk and development of a treatment plan 3. communication of

Preventing Prison Suicides

In every forensic treatment setting, the forensic psychology professional must be aware of the role that suicide prevention plays in the larger system inside and outside forensic institutions. Both incarcerated offenders and individuals awaiting sentencing pose potential suicide risks. In addition, offenders on probation or paro

Challenges in Treating Mentally Ill Offenders

In the study of forensic psychology, emphasis typically is placed on the individuals being served and their specific traits relevant to treatment. Forensic psychology professionals in forensic treatment settings must be familiar with symptoms of the myriad mental illnesses described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Me

Paranoid Schizophrenia Case Review

The treatment of forensic populations, as with any clinical population, must be tailored to the individuals as well as to their mental illness. There are specific treatment protocols for particular mental illnesses that need to be paired with individuals based on the unique traits of the individuals, and augmented with particula

Youth Gangs: Chicago

Class in Chicago it is well known that adult gang members recruit juvenile to commit crimes and tell then that if they are apprehended their sentence will be less harsh that an adults even in the case of murder. The juveniles are very vulnerable to this influence. Some do commit murder. Any thoughts?

Bernie Madoff: Lone Wolf Fraudster

Class Bernie Madolph and his 50 million dollar ponzi scheme is a perfect example of a white collar criminal. What profile type does he appear to fit into?

Case study: Classroom control for teachers

NEED HELP WITH A DISCUSSION 500 WORDS You have been asked to consult with a classroom in a day treatment facility for children and teens who are receiving treatment for psychiatric issues. Nearly half of the students also have a learning disability diagnosis or an identified developmental delay. This week, you pick the age of

Role of Family in Juvenile Delinquency Treatment Programs

Children often are defined by the relationships they have with others—they are sons, daughters, cousins, grandchildren, students, or wards. These relationships are dynamic, and as children age they establish their identity and individuality independent of others. At the same time, children typically rely on others for guidance

Juvenile vs. Adult Offender Treatment Approaches

Theorists such as Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson have documented the psychological skills and psychosocial needs of juveniles as being different from those of adults. Studies in developmental and child psychology reveal that there are significant differences between children and adults in terms of treatment processes and that chil

White Collar Offender - about, treatment, outcome

White-collar crime is not a new type of offense, though advances in technology have altered the scope and appearance of the crimes in this category. For example, in the past, credit card theft was accomplished by stealing the actual card or compromising the card by obtaining carbon copies of credit transactions. In addition, a l

Sex Offender Classification and Civil Rights

The classification of sex offenders is key to appropriate treatment efforts as well the protection of the community. There is always a struggle between civil liberties and community safety when managing risk. Please comment.

Feeding and Eating Disorders

1. Complete a diagnosis for the male client in the attached case study and explain your rationale for assigning these diagnoses on the basis of the DSM-5. 2. Then explain how gender impacts the presentation of an eating disorder. Be specific. 3. Then explain how culture impacts the presentation of an eating disorder. Be speci

Treatment of Young Sex Offenders

Treatment of sex offenders occurs in various forms and settings: group settings in a correctional environment, individual therapy in the correctional environment, group settings in the outpatient setting, and individual therapy in the outpatient setting. While many sex offenders are mandated to complete treatment, some sex offen

Sexual Offender Types: Child Abusers & Rapists

Sex offenders are some of the most feared and despised offenders in the criminal justice system, yet they are also some of the least understood. Due to the nature of the crimes that sexual offenders commit and the media saturation that can be related to these crimes, American culture has been considerably affected by Megan's Law

Interdisciplinary Team Break Down Issues for Connor Needs

Case Study: Connor You are an ABA professional on a wrap-around team that works with Connor Brown, an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with Autism, Speech Delay, Gross Motor Delay, Mild Mental Retardation, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Connor is currently receiving in home ABA services from you, and you are currently focusing on sel

Research Design for Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and family systems. Because their work involves human subjects, conducting research presents many challenges in the areas of ethics, research design, and implementation. Select and analyze two challenges marriage and family therapists confront when designing and impl

Family Therapy Benefits From Research

•Describe three ways the practice of marriage and family therapy benefits from research. •Analyze two characteristics of family systems that create unique challenges for the researcher designing a study.

Violet Behavior

In your opinion is violent behavior primarily the result of external or internal attributes?

Autonomous Practice and the Professional Team

There is an idea that many practitioners are geared towards autonomous practice, despite being taught the importance of professional teams. Describe the difference between autonomous practice, multidisciplinary teams, and interdisciplinary teams. Describe how you are currently preparing to work on an interdisciplinary team versu

Teen ODD Behavioral Issue Strategy

Unit 1: Cultural Competency and Linguistic Diversity - Discussion 2 of 2 500 words Case Study: Sara Sara Smith is a 13-year-old young lady who has been referred to your office by her parents. Sara's family is African-American and they describe themselves as a two income, professional family. • Sara has one younger broth

Cultural Sensitivity in Practice: Self-Assessment

Help with a discussion 450 words min Unit 1: Cultural Competency and Linguistic Diversity - Discussion 1 of 2 1. Complete the Promoting Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competency Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Behavioral Health Services and Supports to Children, Youth, and their Families. (Goode, 2009).

Anger, Stress, and Aggression in Violent Offenders

Article: Seager, J. A. (2005). Violent men: The importance of impulsivity and cognitive schema. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32(1), 26-49. Whether clinicians work in an outpatient setting, a community setting, or a correctional setting, they need to consider how the variables of anger, stress, and aggression relate to vio

Violent Offender Treatment in the Field

When violent offenders are referred to treatment, it is imperative that treatment providers recognize treatment process challenges and their impact on the selection of effective treatment strategies and approaches. Recognizing challenges to successful treatment allows providers to adapt their treatment approaches and the desired

Article Review: Drug Addiction & Criminality Treatment Model

When it comes to treating drug offenders, forensic psychology professionals must have a solid understanding of desired outcomes in order to select a suitable treatment approach. Drug abuse often results in uncharacteristic behavior and may actually generate complications related to the mental health treatment and physical well-b

Professional Malpractice Law

* I need a brief review of Weathers V. Pilkinton, or Adams v. Carter County Memorial Hospital * I need a focus on one aspect of the case chosen that can be explained in entirety with at least 3 scholarly references. * Please describe a variation on the case that might have gotten a different outcome

Levels of Measurement and Concepts of Validity

Selecting a method to accurately measure variables can be a complex task. Some data can be transformed from one level of measurement to another, and other data cannot. Measurement instruments must also be validated to prove they accurately measure the variables in question. Consider the measurement of data and compare measuremen

Treatment Outcome Models in the Field

Before beginning treatment, practitioners are required to address treatment goals. Goals can be specific or broad, and range from cessation of substance abuse and regularly checking in with authorities, to compliance with medication requirements and avoiding specific locations and environments. Goals are usually developed in col