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Abnormal Psychology Reflection Essay

The objective of the course was for a better understanding of mental disorders. This course has given me the ability to apply information learned about human experience, and relate it to psychopathology. During the semester I have learned various types of psychological perspectives and diverse treatment plans; and by taking this class I have been given the tools, and skills to think critically about mental disorders.

The course of abnormal psychology is a branch that deals with the description, causes, and treatment of abnormal behavior patterns. Abnormal psychology is the thoughts or behavior that cause social, cognitive, emotional, and various other tribulations for an individual. When there is an abnormal behavior pattern disrupting one’s psychological functioning or behavior, it is due to a psychological disorder. I have realized that to be able to distinguish when a person has a psychological disorder, it is vital to be able to determine the definition of the abnormal behavior. The characteristics that classify abnormal behavior are unusualness, social deviance, faulty perception, significant personal distress, maladaptive behavior, and dangerousness, all traits that need attention and diagnosis. Abnormal behavior can bring unhappiness, conflict, or even discomfort in the individual’s everyday life not only impairing one’s lifestyle, but can affect others.

However, behavior that is normal in one region may be considered abnormal in another, henceforth I must also be refined in the cultures around the world and of the patient. Each culture approaches mental disorders differently, and have different forms of normality’s, and solutions for one’s behavior. In this class I was taught how American and western cultures approach mental disorders. Throughout the course I learned about different perspectives of psychology and different approaches to treatment. The perspectives that I consider to best explain abnormal behavior is the biopsychosocial model. The biopsychosocial model is an integrative model, which explains abnormal behavior through the interactions of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. The reason why I believe this model is the most accurate is because it takes into account that there is not just one factor that can cause a mental illness.

One of the most interesting ways it approaches disorders is that it comes up with the diathesis-stress model. This model is a way of explaining how people end up suffering from mental disorders, by assuming that mental disorders come from the interaction of two things, genetic and life experience. A person that is genetically susceptible, minimal stress from the environment can trigger a mental illness; in contrast a person can withstand immense environmental stress and withstand mental illnesses. I find this model to be conclusive because it explains how all three factors contribute to different mental disorders.

The treatment that I found most efficient and effective for mental disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy treats a maladaptive-learned behavior through applying the behavioral principles of learning. This gives the individual the ability to reconstruct his or her thoughts in a more positive matter. Disorders tend to make a person feel hopeless and maladaptive, but this treatment allows the person to have control of their thoughts and feelings.

Mental illnesses can lead to disturbances in a person’s thoughts and may be an emotional experience. Mental illnesses tend to make life difficult because a person may find it hard to sustain relationships, keep a job, or motivate oneself to do daily activities. Without treatment, they can and often do make life intolerable to live. From this class I have a better understanding how mental disorders can affect one’s life and what one can do to change their life. Furthermore, this class has given me a better understanding of the various psychological disorders, and how to diagnosis, as well as treat them. This has guided me so that one day I can help other people, and make their lives enjoyable and fulfilling.

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