According to Durand abnormal behavior is defined as a psychological dysfunction within an individual associated with distress or impairment in functioning and response that is not typical or culturally expected. In fact abnormal behavior is influence by biological factors (brain processes), psychological factors (emotional turmoil), and by social factors (inadequate relationships) A well-known psychological disorder is abnormal behavior; it is classified into four categories that are statistical deviance, cultural deviance, emotional distress and dysfunction. Each behavior has specific characteristics as reasons for their classification. Statistical deviance is sometimes wrongly classified such as being extremely intelligent or being very good athlete. According to statistical deviances as the textbook explain, a behavior is abnormal if it occurs infrequently among members of a population. Besides that cultural deviance classifies abnormality to be behavior that would be considered abnormal if it violets standards of a society or who are unhappy and who feel as they are lost or breakdown of normal functioning. People classified with dysfunction may have thinking impairment and be unable to adopt in their environment.
Besides that as we know ladies are diagnosed more than men because woman is more likely to behave in ways that others call it as mental disorders. According to a research females are taught to express their emotions, while males are trained to control them. For example females have greater discrimination and unfair job positions, infact they are exposed more too sexual arrestment especially in their working place or studying place. In other word abnormal behavior is an applied subfield of psychology involving the scientific study of abnormal experience. In fact people have tried explaining and controlling abnormal behavior for 1000 years. Historically there have been 3 main approaches to abnormal behavior, first of all the supernatural where abnormal behavior is attributed to agents outside human bodies.
According to this factor demons, spirits or the influences of the moon, planets and stars cause abnormal behaviors. In fact during the story age, trepanning was performed on those who had mental illness to literally cut the evil spirit out of the victim’s head. However this tradition has been successfully replaced in western academia by the biological and psychological traditions. In the biological tradition, psychological disorders are attributed to biological causes and in the psychological traditions; disorders are attributed to faulty psychological development and to social context. According to the Greek physician Hippocrates who is the father of Western Medicine, abnormal behavior can be treated like any other disease. In fact according to him brain worked as the seat of consciousness, emotion, intelligence and wisdom plus believed that disorder is involving these functions would be logically located in the brain. brain worked as the seat of consciousness, emotion, intelligence and wisdom plus believed that disorder is involving these functions would be logically located in the brain.
Explain what is the key feature Of a specific abnormal behavior
First of all, behavior that goes against what is considered normal by society is abnormal; there are four general criteria that psychologists use to identify abnormal behavior. In general, psychologists look at four different criteria for defining abnormal behavior. Each has its strengths, and each has its problems. The first criterion is violation of social norms. Behavior that goes against what is considered normal by society is abnormal. As we just saw, culture plays a role in social norms, as does age. For example when a guy dance in front of the shopping mall out of sudden is likely to be seen as weird, whereas a four years old boy who does it might just be seen as cute. Violating social norms can be very interesting for the person who is doing it but sometimes people around us can get angry or irritated with our behavior. For example violating personal space, studying in elevator, wear clothes upside down, wearing short skirt and heavy make up during gym classes.Another criterion for identifying abnormal behavior is statistical rarity. A person who has an extremely low IQ, for example, might be classified with some type of mental retardation. Because there is only a small percentage of the population with mental retardation, it is consider rare and therefore abnormal. Of course, the problem with statistical rarity is that people who are exceptionally intelligent are just as rare as those with mental retardation. So according to this criterion, Albert Einstein would be abnormal
For an example one may say that an individual of above or below average IQ is abnormal. This example, however fails to recognize the desirability of the particular incidence. It also implies that the presence of abnormal behavior in people should be rare or unusual but any specific abnormal behavior is not unusual for people to exhibit some form of prolonged abnormal behavior at some point in their lives.
The third criterion will be personal distress, where the behavior can be seen to be abnormal if a person experiences distress over their own thoughts and behaviors. Distress involves anxiety, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, worry, discomfort and all those negative feelings. Examples of distress includes low performance in academics or at work, feeling sad, feeling low, over thinking about a situation about what it could have been rather than what it actually is. Besides that. Experience of personal distress occurs when a person is concerned, upset, abnormal behavior dysfunction, distress, at danger and so on
In addition personal distress considers abnormality in terms of the individual’s subjective feelings, personal distress, rather than his behavior. Most people diagnosed as “mentally ill” feel miserable and suffer from different symptoms. Personal distress put simply, if the person is content with his/her life then he/she is of no concern to the mental health field. If, on the other hand, the person is distressed, then those behaviors and thoughts that the person is unhappy about are abnormal behaviors and thoughts.
However personal distress is the name for the low moods or discomfort that results when empathetic people become too deeply involved in others’ pain. It is often the result of negative life experiences, including divorce, sexual dysfunction, job dissatisfaction and more. Personal distress can often result in eating disorders, substance abuse and suicide attempts. After ruling out medical and psychological causes, it is important that individuals who have become too involved in negative situations seek positive solutions, whether through counseling, changing their behavior patterns or releasing negative emotions.In fact when a friend and family members are going through negative life experiences, individuals who show sympathy and empathic concern are often greatly appreciated.
Fourth criterion will be maladaptive behavior where maladaptive behaviors are actions or tendencies that don’t allow an individual to adjust well to certain situations.
Maladaptive behavior is abnormal behavior where it can be said to be maladaptive if someone cannot perform their normal daily duties such as going to work and paying their bills. This can be considered to be a problem and indicate that the behavior is abnormal in some way.
Here are some maladaptive behavior examples:
1. SUBSTANCE ABUSE
This is the use or dependence of legal and illegal drugs or medication that when practiced for a long period of time can be chronic and turn to drug addiction. People who use drugs or medications excessively often turn to this to ease pain, anxiety and get temporary relief from problems and bad experiences. Other people also use drugs out of peer pressure and curiosity. However, this can lead to changes in the function of the brain and how drug-users behave.
2. ATTENTION-SEEKING BEHAVIOR
This is the type of maladaptive behavior in which an individual seeks attention or want to be the center of attention by making excessive actions that can draw attention to them. These behaviors can be seen in different situations like when an individual wants to be always seen a rescuer of sorts so they will be in the limelight. Manipulation and even admitting to crimes or wrongdoings one did not really commit just so the spotlight is on him or her are also examples of maladaptive behaviors. Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen Proxy are also ways used by a person to get attention from other people.
3. SEX ADDICTION
Although gaining physical pleasures and intimacy are normal behaviors of human beings, too much desire to have sexual relations is also an example of maladaptive behavior. People who are sexual addicts have enormous desires to engage in sexual intercourse and activities that can result to severe stress on loved ones, family and friends. These people rely on sex to escape, relieve pain and even manage stress. If these actions lead to harming other people and oneself to the point of losing jobs, missing school and engaging in unprotected sex with numerous individuals, these are considered maladaptive behaviors.
They are typically disruptive and dysfunctional behaviors can range from mild to severe in scope. Maladaptive behaviors are typically used as a means of reducing mental discomfort and anxiety but are not effective in this regard and can sometimes even make it worse. Substance abuse is a type of maladaptive behavior in that individuals typically are using substances like drugs and alcohol to reduce anxiety and depression but end up
compounding the problem and making it worse.
Attention seeking behaviors such as Munchausen Syndrome are also a type of maladaptive behavior. There are particular types of maladaptive behaviors associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders such as rituals (repeated behaviors such as compulsively washing hands), self-harm, tantrums, and aggressive behaviors. and behaviors such as scratching, pacing, and rocking.
Finally, if the synonym “maladaptive” is used as the primary reference point, then anything that causes harm or increases the risk of harm to self or others serves as an indicator of abnormality. Physical injuries, suicide attempts, substance abuse, indiscriminant sexual behavior, and extreme sensation seeking could all be easily seen as maladaptive behaviors, because they all represent a high level of severity and risk.
Discuss what causes the abnormal behavior.
The causes of abnormal behavior are very complex, and it is not always possible to isolate and evaluate the multiple factors involved. Various bio-psychological factors can interact to cause psychological disorder. In examining biologically based vulnerabilities, we must also consider genetic endowment, biochemical and hormonal imbalances, temperament, and brain dysfunction and neural plasticity. Investigations in this area show much promise for advancing our knowledge of how the mind and the body interact to produce maladaptive behavior. As we know biological factors influence all aspects of our behavior. For example diseases, malnutrition, injuries and other conditions that interfere with normal development and functioning are potential causes of abnormal behavior. According to a case study, when the chromosomes are deficient in specific genetic information the result may cause color blindness or Down syndrome. Secondly about half of the patients in mental hospitals are suffering from mental disorders associated with toxic or organic brain pathology. As we know our body produces antibodies to defend itself against invading viruses and other microorganism. Similarly the brain has special forms to react to the stress conditions in comparison with other organ. In fact stress can disrupt the delicate biochemistry of the brain with adverse consequences for certain predisposed individuals. Other causes for abnormal behavior will be psychological factor where people with this problems are also stigmatized by the people around them, resulting in shame and embarrassment, as well as prejudice and discrimination against them. Thus the understanding and treatment of psychological disorder has broad implications for the everyday life of many people. (5) http://open.lib.umn.edu/intropsyc/chapter/12-1-psychological-disorder-what-makes-a-behavior-abnormal/(5)
One of the psychological factor that influences abnormal behavior is pathogenic family pattern where it causes parents and child to have bad relationship. For example when a parents often reject a child’s request or favor, eventually it can cause stress to the child. Secondly maladaptive family structure is the inadequate family structure where this type of family is characterized by inability to cope with the ordinary problems of family living. In fact a child who has been separated from mother or father most of them will be having very bad childhood where they need to face a lot of challenges such as lack of love, attention and most of them will be having discipline problem, eventually they will be mentally disturbed with all the stress around them. Another example will be the disrupted family where the family are incomplete whether as a result of death, divorce, separation or any other conditions. In this kind of situation the kids will be either very aggressive or sensitive as they do not have proper care and love from their love one. All this kind of problems can lead into psychological depression or trauma which can never completely heal by the child.
Lastly social factor also play an important role in abnormal behavior where the person will be having pressure of modern life, competition in working place or college, educational,occupational and family demands. For many people who are employed, a major
Discuss how a psychologist can help
people to face the abnormal behavior
Abnormal behavior is one of the common type of mental health but also a serious mood disorder, it affects how we feel, think and act in negative manner. People who is suffering from abnormal behavior would normally experience difficult in coping with daily routine, difficult in making decisions and loss interest in activity they enjoy
There are many effective treatments for abnormal behavior from the psychologist one of it will be talk therapy where it involves discussing the person’s problem and how they feel with a trained psychologist. In fact an experienced psychologist can help a patient to detect patterns of thought or behavior that contribute to their depression. For example the patient might be given homework, such as tracking their moods or writing in journals. Besides that the psychologist also will teach the patient some exercise to reduce stress and anxiety and help them to understand their illness.
Secondly psychologist can use psychotherapy to identify conflicts in the client’s relationship in their early stage. According to International Psychology Centre, when there is a marital problem in the relationship, the client will seek help from them through the center for couple and marital therapy. For the first session the psychologist will detect whether the client is suffering from severe anxiety. If yes the psychologist will explain to the client that everyone has normal reactions to stressful situations. In fact it is normal to have anxiety, yet it affects daily life if it persists for a period.
Through psychotherapy the client leant to identify negative thoughts that trigger negative emotions and behavioral responses and to challenge those dysfunctional thoughts by coming up with alternative rational ways of thinking. In fact the client able to take control of her life, alleviate herself from anxiety and cope with future life stressors. Furthermore through behavior therapy, the psychologist uses the principles of learning to address abnormal behavior. For example systematic desensitization can be used to treat phobias. The person is gradually exposed to fear inducing stimuli while remaining deeply relaxed. This helps the individual associate the fear inducing stimuli with more positive feelings.
However in cognitive therapy, it focuses on changing maladaptive thinking. The psychologist challenges irrational thoughts and help the client develop more positive way of thinking. For example psychologist to help a client with depression, and identify self-defeating thoughts that are perpetuating the depression and then will have the client change those thoughts to positive ones. Besides that according to humanistic therapy, it focuses on the individual’s conscious, personal, subjective experiences. The main form of humanistic therapy is Carl Roger’s person centered therapy. A psychologist uses this type of therapy expresses unconditional positive regards to create an environment of acceptance where the person can work towards full filling a natural drive towards growth. Empathy is a primary tool used in humanistic therapy. By expressing empathy the psychologist can demonstrate to the psychologist and then will have client that she/he understands his/her feelings and experiences. In the other hand psychodynamic therapy is based on Sigmund Freud’s theories, and focuses on helping individuals resolve unconscious conflicts. A psychologist using this type of therapy will use transference relationships in therapy to help individuals resolve emotional conflicts. For instance a client in psychotherapy will react to the psychologist in a way she/he reacts or interacts with other important individuals in their life, like a mother or father. The psychologist will use this in order to help the client process emotions that have been repressed.