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Psychopathology (psychological abnormality)

Definitions of abnormality
Deviation from social norms:
Social norms are the implicit and explicit rules that a society has concerning what are acceptable
behaviours, traits and beliefs. Deviation from such norms is recognised as abnormal.

Limitation Explanation
of definition
Eccentricity It is difficult to distinguish between…

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Deviation from ideal mental health (Jahoda, 1958)
Ideal mental health includes the following criteria:

1 ­ Positive attitude towards self: high level of self-confidence
2 ­ Self-actualisation: strive to fulfil potential
3 ­ Resistance to stress: good coping strategies
4 ­ Autonomy: reliant on themselves and stable when experiencing…

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Psychodynamic approach to psychopathology

·Id, ego, superego: Unresolved conflicts ­ fixation
·Early experiences ­ trauma ­ repression
·Stages in psychosexual development : oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital
·Ego defence mechanisms ­ distort reality and have an unconscious influence upon behaviour
e.g. repression , projection, denial, regression, displacement, sublimation.…

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Drug treatment
·Anti-anxiety (Benzodiazepine): increase GABA to reduce levels of serotonin.
·Anti-depressants (SSRI): increase levels of serotonin
·Anti-psychotic (tranquilisers): decrease levels of dopamine

Advantages Disadvantages
Fisher and Greenberg: Anti-psychotics are fast Drug treatments often have side effects such as
and effective for schizophrenia. heart issues.
Only cures the…

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· Awareness of repressed thoughts leads to insight concerning underlying causes. This allows a cure
of neurotic symptoms.
·Dream analysis: this is used to uncover the unconscious which is revealed in dreams in the form of
·Free association: patient says everything on their mind where thoughts are…

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Aversion therapy
·Association of an undesirable habit with unpleasant consequences -
·Can be used for smoking and alcohol addictions. e.g. Alcoholic drink is combined with an emetic (a
drug which causes vomiting), where eventually alcohol is associated with illness and is consequently

Advantages Disadvantages
Baker and Brandon (1988):…


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