deviation from ideal mental health

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Definitions of abnormality- deviation from ideal mental health
In order to be mentally healthy and therefore not abnormal we should have all of
these features of ideal mental health:
Self attitudes- strong sense of self esteem and sense of identity
Personal growth and self actualism- the extent to which an individual
develops their full potential
Integration- being able to cope with stressful situations
Autonomy- being independent and self regulating
Having an accurate perception of reality
Mastery of the environment- including the ability to love, function at work
and in interpersonal relations, adjust to new situations and solve problems
If any of these features are absent then it indicates abnormality.
Problems with this definition
Who can achieve all this criteria?
According to this definition most people would be classed as abnormal. We
need to know how many need to be missing before being classed as
Is mental health the same as physical health?
Health is detected by problems in physical health such as a high
temperature, and physical illnesses have physical causes such as a virus, so
they are easily diagnosed.
Most mental illnesses aren't caused by physical factors therefore it's
unlikely that we can diagnose mental health in the same way as physical
Cultural relativism
Many ideas of the criteria of mental health is culture bound. If these
criteria are applied to no western social groups we may find a higher
amount of abnormality.
For example, the criteria of self actualism is relevant to members of
individualist cultures but not to collectivist cultures where individuals work
for the greater good of their community.


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