Lisa Mac Donald-Clark
December 19, 2011
Abnormal psychology, also known as psychopathology, is the branch of psychology that deals with abnormal behaviors and mental illness (Hansell & Damour, (2008). Although psychopathology is a fascinating field of study it can be equally challenging, covering a broad range of disorders, illnesses, and symptoms. Defining abnormal psychology also poses a challenge. The fundamental concept of abnormal would seem simple in that it would include anything that falls outside of what societies considers normal. Narrowing the group association is essential in defining the behavior as normal or abnormal. As one develops and experiences new cultures, religions, and environments he or she will come into contact with customs that may seem unusual. Unfamiliar is not the same as abnormal, distinction between these two is vital to understanding psychopathology and those affected by mental illness. As abnormal psychology evolves and progresses in treatments, therapies, and research the central theme of the six core concepts continues to guide researcher. These six concepts define and provide understanding of abnormality. The concepts also illustrate the range between normal and abnormal behavior of individuals experiencing personality disorders. Another concept is studying cultural and historical relativism in defining and classifying abnormality in relation to environment. Pointing out the advantages and limitations of diagnosis is an additional concept. The fifth concept shows the principle of causality. The final concept is the connection between mind and body (Hansell & Damour, (2008).
Origins of Abnormal Psychology
Personality disorders and mental illness always have existed in societies. These abnormal disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive, and schizophrenia were misunderstood and misdiagnosed for centuries. Prior to medical research individuals suffering...