Two attempts of defining abnormality

But how do we know which condition they might have? How can we diagnose specific mental illnesses?

Two attempts of defining abnormality

Symptom Like some of the other symptoms this can swing either way. Sometimes patients report insomnia, other times a desire to sleep all the time As above, sometimes patients lose their appetite resulting in weight loss, others engage in comfort eating and show noticeable weight gain.

This usually decreases except during a manic phase of bipolar and patients can be lethargic. Usually energy levels take a sharp decline with general lack of interest A major symptom is the negative feelings experienced by most patients.

All of these in the absence of bereavement. Also as with schizophrenia, symptoms and severity vary between patients. Some unipolar patients experience delusions and hallucinations more common in bipolar.

Sometimes patients diagnosed with depression will respond better to a combination of antidepressants and anti-psychotics such as chlorpromazine.

This all tends to suggest that like schizophrenia, major depression should not be seen as a unitary disorder but rather a collection of related disorders with some overlapping symptoms, but with different causes and prognoses. Demographics Age of onset of depression appears to have fallen in the second half of the twentieth century.

Increasingly adolescents are beginning to display symptoms of depression. If depression goes untreated then each bout typically lasts about six months, although this can be reduced to a more typical three months following treatment.


Its last major revision was when DSM-v was published. Categories of depression Unipolar major or clinical depression This is what we normally consider to be depression and can comprise a combination of any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Minor depression occurs when the patient suffers the low mood but without any of the cognitive or other disturbances. The patients only needs three of the symptoms rather than the usual five to be considered to be suffering from dysthimic disorder.

Endogenous or reactive depression This is a second way of distinguishing between depressions that relates more to causes rather than symptoms. Endogenous depression as the name suggests comes from within and is thought to be caused by chemical imbalance and is explained and treated best by the medical model.

Reactive depression on the other hand is caused by external factors such as loss of job, death of relative etc.

The latter was formerly known as post natal depression. Depression and Anxiety Generally speaking the general population are accepting of depression but tend to be more concerned about psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. They are also far more common than psychoses.

There tends to be lots of overlap between depression and anxiety, both in terms of symptoms and in terms of diagnosis. Reliability and Validity of a Diagnosis of Depression Reliability Considers the extent to which a diagnosis of depression is consistent: If one of these items is seen as present on first test but absent on the second then such a fickle diagnosis can be altered.

Validity Considers the extent to which the different types of depression are really that distinct from one another. For example is it valid to distinguish between MDD and dysthimic disorder.

When these are compared there does appear to be plenty of overlap leading some to question whether they are distinct disorders.

Two attempts of defining abnormality

A major issue with diagnosis of depression, particularly in the UK is the GP making the decision.Spots. The most defining characteristic of the ocicat is its black spots. The spots are thumb print shaped and lay against a light background. The spots run in rows along spine and rear of the body and extend down the legs of the cat.

This has the great advantage of defining abnormality (and therefore deviance) in objective, mathematical terms. The problem is, it ignores how we feel about abnormality. Some things are very rare, but quite harmless and even rather precious. Other things are quite common but we still disapprove of them.

There are two diagnostic systems used. Defining abnormalityWhat is abnormal psychology?The distinction between 'normal' and 'abnormal' behaviour is not tranceformingnlp.comlogists have tried to define abnormality in several different interaction below shows four ways of defining abnormality but the explanations are jumbled up.

Drag and drop the definitions to the correct terms./**/Limitations of definitions of abnormalityAll. A further attempt at defining abnormality is the deviation from ideal mental health approach.

This likens mental health to physical health. This likens mental health to physical health. Jahoda () suggests that there is a criterion of positive mental health, and if a person deviates from one or more of these principles, they are susceptible.

Clinical pathology. Clinical pathology, also known as laboratory medicine, is the medical specialty concerned with diagnosing diseases based on the analysis of body fluids, such as plasma, urine, stool, respiratory or mucosal secretions, inflammatory exudates, and pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, synovial, or cerebrospinal fluid.

Defining Abnormality With Consideration of Cultural Differences Cultural differences are always a problem when defining abnormality. What one would consider completely normal in one culture would be considered abnormal in another, for example the island of Java often set fire to a ball soaked in petrol and then play football with it.

Models of Abnormality - Psych Tutor