Psy 390 Week 2 Individual Paper

1424 words - 6 pages

Defining Abnormality Paper
This paper will be about the challenges in defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. There are several challenges that arisen when defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. The challenges that will be elaborated will be situational context, culture, and mind and body. Efforts to understand, clarify and control challenging behaviors can be found back to more than a few years. Influences can range from age and gender to culture and situational contexts. When bearing in mind the age of an individual, experts have their work cut out for them, anyone from any age group can experience from abnormal behaviors, this makes it challenging to make ...view middle of the document...

4). For instance, if a person cries belligerently because of the death of a loved one this is a legitimate reason, but if a person cries belligerently out of the blue this could be considered abnormal. Another consideration is the context in which the abnormality occurs. One must consider the circumstance for the behavior, such as the death of a loved one, a close out sale on cars, or shopping in a mall. One last consideration is the demographic context characteristic of the person: age, race, gender, or class (Hansell et. al.). For example, if a baby is crying in a shopping mall that would be considered normal but if a male adult is crying in a shopping mall this would be considered abnormal. Basically the thing to remember is not to judge a person by his or her actions. The reason for the actions could be unforeseen circumstances that no one is aware of. Also what is considered abnormal in our culture or society may be considered normal in another person’s culture or society.
Mind and Body
According to Hansell and Damour (2008), “the mind and the brain are fully interconnected and interdependent” (p. 7). There are many biological and physiological aspects to explaining and treating abnormal behavior and the connection of mind and body must consider. The body has a wide-ranging group of adaptive responses to when it feels threatened. Physiological responses are involved in the experience of anxiety. The pathological or normal experience of fear and anxiety are typically combined with the deployment of the autonomic nervous system, including the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Within these involuntary bodily systems contained are regulated and survival response to threats provoked. This determines whether an individual feels the need to abscond or oppose the threat. The limbic system located in the middle of the brain plays a vital role in determining how important the provocations are. Once the threat has passed, the parasympathetic system transposes the work completely by the sympathetic nervous system rendering the body to its pre-anxiety state. It is up to the parasympathetic system to maintain the body’s energy by regulating blood sugar and the heart rate (Hansell & Damour, 2008, pp. 135-136).
The physiological models center on the cognitive and behavioral outcome of abnormal behavior and the biological models center around the physical aspects. Biology plays a key role in the cause of mental disorder, genetics must be considered in determining the cause of abnormal behavior. Medical conditions such as brain damage or environmental stimuli also can be a factor in causing a person to behave abnormally. The ingestion of toxic substances or allergens can cause abnormal and emotional changes in behavior. Dramatic changes in feelings or behavior result from life troubling or traumatic life events, such as the loss of a loved one or relationship. Disturbances in any biological or physiological functioning influence...

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