What is Normal Anyway?”
Let’s consider: Welcome to our first discussion assignment. For this week’s discussion, it will be helpful for you to first read Chapter 1, especially pages 4-19. As you are probably already observing in your reading this week, there is so much to learn about mental health and mental disorders. As our text’s authors remind, “abnormal psychology has implications for all of us” (Kearney & Trull, 2015, p. 4).
While it is important for a clinician to recognize and learn to diagnose abnormal behavior it is also important to heed the author’s advice that “Abnormal behaviors are not simply present or absent but exist along a continuum in everyone in some degree” (2015, p. 9).
Note that there are three important criteria to remember when determining whether or not some behavior is “abnormal” (p. 5).
Those three are:
Deviance from the norm,
Difficulties adapting to life’s demands or difficulties functioning effectively (including dangerous behavior), and
Experience of personal distress (2015, p. 5) Chapter one provides several examples of what might be labeled “abnormal behavior.” Look at these cases in your textbook: Travis (p. 4) and Treva Throneberry (p. 5).
Let’s discuss: Now, for your initial post, think of a particular life difficulty (one of your own or someone you know) and share it with your classmates for discussion. (Remember to share at your comfort level. You are not required, and do not need to share anything that is too personal.)
Think about and list the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that are associated with this difficulty. Use the continuum chart on pages 10 and 11 and describe the behavior, emotions, and cognitions that are associated with this difficulty.
(Where did they fall on the scale of normal, mild, moderate, mental disorder less severe, or mental disorder more severe?) Using the three criteria on page 5, describe whether or not the life difficulty resulted in “abnormal behavior.” List any cultural norms or factors that should be considered.
Remember to post two additional response comments interacting with at least two of your classmates. Give a substantial response to his or her posts. Do you agree or disagree with your classmate or can you relate to his or her opinion in the post? Can you add any thoughts or additional information that you may have found concerning their topic? It is certainly ok to disagree with a classmate, but just remember to be respectful of each other in the discussions. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.
** Be sure to use in-text citations and cite at least one additional resource besides your textbook in your initial post. Don’t forget to type your resource citations at the end of your post as well.
Citation: Kearney, C. & Trull, T. (2015). Abnormal psychology and life: A dimensional approach. (3rd ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
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