5 years from now...

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Although I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast the day before, I know I'll remember what I learned in discussion about abnormal psychology and what is classified as "abnormal." Although some things are abnormal according to social norms, it is not always classified as officially abnormal. In order for someone to be officially abnormal they must meet the 4 D's of abnormality: Deviance, Distress, Dysfunction, and Danger. If they do not meet all four of the D's then they are not considered officially abnormal. This really stuck with me because I did not realize that there were guidelines to follow in order to diagnose someone with an abnormal behavior. I just thought that if I thought it was weird, or unacceptable, then they were abnormal. As I was learning about some of the disorders people have, I felt very compassionate for them because they really do not have control over the situation. It was interesting to me to learn about schizophrenia as well. I always thought that schizophrenics had more than one personality and were violent and crazy, but after learning more about their disorder it's really truly sad. I would like to learn more about abnormal psychology and why people are born with these abnormalities.


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This subject stuck with me as well. I had no ideas about the "requirements" to be considered abnormal. I was never quick to judge somebody due to the old saying about running a mile in someone else's shoes. Either way, I was still able to tell when someone was different, but again, differences aren't bad, just misunderstood. In our discussion group when our teacher showed us the picture of the woman with many piercing and eccentric face paint, many people were "freaked out" or maybe just a little uncomfortable. I have a weird passion for hindu culture and their religious beliefs so seeing that I understood that it was normal for them. Many woman decorate themselves in intricate henna designs on the day of their wedding. Sure, the woman went "a little" over the top, but it is still relevant for her occasion.

I also thought this topic was very interesting because it definitely changed my opinion on what can be seen as truly "abnormal" behavior. It would be easy to say that any behavior that isn't common in our society is abnormal, but that would be overlooking social and cultural norms. We might consider practices we are unfamiliar with as "abnormal" but that would not be considering the 4D's. The 4D's of abnormality are: deviance, subjective distress, dysfunction, and danger. When considering this, practices we are not familiar with could be considered uncommon, but are not dangerous at all, or deviant from their own culture. Although the 4D's are not flawless, I think that they help us see between real mental abnormalities and different social and cultural contexts.

Yay! I have achieved at least some success!! :)

The concepts about abnormalities have left on me deep impression as well. Before learning about them, I kind of thought these concepts were constructed to identify people who were not accepted by society:somebody is abnormal because s/she is not behaving normally like others. Now I have realized that abnormality has a meaning far beyond that understanding. There are people with abnormalities that hurt themselves as well as others. These abnormalities are measured quite scientifically and should be given treatment.

I too was struck by this subject. So many misconceptions and fears come from not being informed about these disorders. People with these abnormalities lead extremely stressful lives due to their personal issues. They shouldn't have to deal with pressures from society on top of that.

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This page contains a single entry by lewe0040 published on April 25, 2012 12:33 AM.

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