Share
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: 19

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: 78

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: 36

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: 45

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: 68

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: 33

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: 34

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: 124

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: 147

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.

Juvenile Sex Offenders - critical analysis

I need help with another Critical Analysis of JSOs for MS Psychology Capstone Course Text: Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2013). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking 9/e (Custom Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Chapter 10 To prepare: • Review the list of identified causes and

Addictions Disorders for Client Evaluations

Complete the following requirements: •Evaluate, in detail, the pros and cons of using DSM diagnoses as the primary classification structure for clients with substance use disorders. •Examine the assessment types used to diagnose clients with substance use. Choose two of these assessments that would not only help to diagno

The impact of treatment setting on client resistance

I need help understanding when dealing with clients who are resistant, please explain how the treatment setting matters and give examples of such settings. A peer review source to review will also be helpful.

Article Review Help: Research Purpose

Can Someone please review my answer? Am not sure if I know how to identify quantitative research and mixed methods.. also some of the questions I wasn't sure how I am supposed to answer. Week 4: Research Purpose This week, you will continue to analyze the interrelated elements of a research study, now turning to the pur

Psychological Theories, Program Policies, Justice

I am seeking help with explaining the gender-specific policy and programs for impact on lowering the rate of recidivism of female offenders. Evaluate procedural or moral justice. In addition to, justifying which type of programs and policy is most useful based on psychological theories. this is research and preparation for compl

Nail biting references

Select a minimum of three (no more than five) different research reports on a relevant topic of interest in the field of psychology (nail biting as a mental disorder). Make sure to use scholarly sources in your bibliography (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, specific research studies reported in academic books, etc.). In add

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

• Value: 40% of final grade. • Due: o Part 1: Literature Review Proposal is due end of Sunday of Week 3.  10% of Literature Review grade (4% of final course grade) o Part 2: Literature Review (Final submission) is due end of Sunday of Week 5.  90% of Literature Review grade (36% of final course grade) • Note

Capstone Project: Resolutions (Teen Alcohol Abuse)

Introduction Once again, congratulations are in order. You are now ready to complete the last part of the Capstone Project. This week continues the problem resolution that began last week. Specifically, this week you will select one of the problem resolutions generated in Week 8 to include in your Capstone Project. You will c

Capstone Project Help: Critical Analysis and Resolutions

For those identified problems/issues with many causes and effects, there are potentially many solutions, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The solutions may impact just one of the effects or may impact several effects. The goal this week is to generate as many solutions as possible based on the critical anal

Critical Thinking Application on DUI Research

Week 6 involved the identification of several causes and effects of your identified problem/issue. This Application Assignment requires that you integrate the top four causes and effects into a critical analysis narrative. A critical analysis narrative includes a thorough discussion of each cause (fully describe the source) and

Capstone Project Help: Critical Analysis

Often there are many contributing causes in the development of a specific problem/issue. These causes may be complex and may involve individuals, institutions, and/or environmental factors, for example. This complexity increases the difficulty in creating a solution for the problem. Thus, prior to developing solutions, there mus

Teen DUI: Causes

Now that you have critically analyzed the problem/issue, it is time to present your findings to others in the course. Feedback from others is useful in ensuring that the critical analysis is on target. Select one of the causes deemed most influential in the development of the problem/issue a an analysis of one cause/effect of

Synthesis of Resources for Capstone Project (Sample)

. Synthesis and integration involve succinctly summarizing the main points of the chosen resources and combining the summaries into a coherent narrative. Synthesis and integration require skills that improve with experience. Cite the four resources you have chosen to synthesize and integrate into a narrative. (You

Capstone Project Help: Literature & Resources

The literature review provides the empirical justification for the project. Literature reviews involve collecting resources directly related to the selected problem, critically analyzing those resources, and synthesizing them into a coherent narrative. The critical analysis not only considers the validity of the argument, but th

Capstone Project Help: Topic Discussion

Refining the Problem Statement Now that you have chosen a topic, this Discussion provides the opportunity to share with your classmates your choice of topic and the problem that you have identified. Note: Please complete the Application Assignment prior to the Discussion question this week. To prepare: Develop a su

On Critical Thinking

You cannot have critical thinking without the need and awareness to ask questions. Essentially, critical thinking is our ability to take information, know when to question it and how to use those questions to learn and gather more information (Browne, & Keeley, 2013). As individuals we all learn in different ways, some individua

Sample Capstone Timeline Project

Planning a major project requires organization and planning. Creating a time line is useful in planning the various stages of the project. This Application Assignment will assist you in planning and completing your Capstone Project by having you identify the various stages of the Project and create the time line for its completi

Forensic Psychology: Hostage Negotiation

taking situation and the negotiation process. The forensic psychologist works as consultant and even assists as an intergrated member by providing the necessary information and techniques that needed in order to resolve the situation peacefully (Ainsworth, 2002). Furthermore, the psychologist will identify the various needs of

Police Alcoholism & Depression: Richard Walker Case

Potential Psychological Intervention Points for Richard Walker Police suicide is often linked to stress of the job, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and alcohol use. In Officer Walker's case alcohol consumption may have played a large part, but the stress of the job seemed to motivate him to be better. His temper, on th

Introduction and Literature Review

Select a family related issue (i.e. substance abuse, domestic violence, military deployment) and locate an existing program in Texas that addresses this issue. In order to identify a program within your community, do an internet search for marriage and family counseling/therapy programs. Then, write an introduction to the progra

Police and AlcohPolice and Alcoholismolism

Although, suicide is three times greater in police officers than the national average, I believe alcohol abuse is a more likely response to stress. Primarily, because a large number people of legal drinking age consume alcohol casually to relax from a stress. So it would seem to be more of a natural recourse that progresses. Res

On Police Wellness (Psychology)

Forensic psychology professionals face the same emotional, psychological, and physical risks and stresses as police professionals when it comes to wellness and self-care. Ultimately, forensic psychology professionals are exposed to the same crimes, criminals, victims, environments, and traumas as police professionals through the

Police Psychology Support Challenges

Reactions to stressful situations can lead to physiological, mental, and emotional changes. In the early 1930s, Dr. Hans Selye (1978) documented a "stress response" that is experienced by the body because of stress. As a person deals with a stressful situation, the brain responds to perceived danger by producing chemicals that p

Analyzing Police Work Risk Outcomes

As police professionals progress through their careers, they encounter a variety of potentially stressful situations related to their job duties and the communities they protect. Through the process of recruit training and probationary assignments, police professionals are influenced by several factors that define their identiti

Forensic Psychology Professionals and Racial Profiling

In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Terry v. Ohio (1968), ruled that, even without a search warrant, police officers could search a person for a weapon if they have reason to believe that the individual could be armed and dangerous. However, when police simply use the individual's race as reasonable cause for search or arrest, t

Police & Prison Forensic Psychologist Roles

In addition to institutional and organizational knowledge, a forensic psychology professional working with police and police operations must be familiar with laws that relate to each of the roles they may have as well as how these laws may be applied. Police professionals interact with the public daily and must be aware of th

Forensic Psychology: Police Operations Support Role f

examined how forensic psychology professionals assist police administrators with the staffing, interviewing, evaluating, and training of police professionals. In addition to assisting police professionals in their administrative capacities, forensic psychology professionals assist them in operational functions as well. Police pr

Police Recruitment, Abuses and Other Issues

You have highlighted some extremely valid points in the areas of training that forensic psychology professionals operate in within police organizations; one especially being fitness-for-duty assessments as they help identify those individuals most suitable for police work, they help determine if policing officials can continue a

Police Psychology: Role Challenges

Analyze the special challenges related to your selected role. Explain how a forensic psychology professional would address these challenges. Analyze and evaluate your conclusions drawn and insights gained as a result of completing this project.