failure to function

2nd defintion of abnormality and some evaluation points

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Individual differences definitions of abnormality- Failure to function
Abnormality can be judged in terms of not being able to cope.
For example, if a person feels depressed this can be coped with as long as
they are able to go about their day to day routines. However when
depression interferes with day to day living the behaviour can be seen as
Problems with this definition
Who judges?
Someone has to decide if a person is functioning adequately not to be
classed as abnormal.
For example, a patient may believe that they are experiencing depression
that means they are unable to cope with day to day life, so they class their
behaviour as abnormal. However, if an individual is unaware that they are
not coping then it's down to others to class their behaviour as abnormal.
Schizophrenics do not feel their behaviour is abnormal but their strange
behaviour can be distressing for others, making others see them as
Adaptive or maladaptive
Some abnormal behaviour can be adaptive and functional from the
individual such as some eating disorders leading to welcome attention for
some people.
Cultural relativism
Definitions of adequate functioning are related to cultural ideas of how we
should live our lives. Therefore this can result in different diagnoses when
applied to people from different cultures because the standard of one
culture is used to measure another.
For example, lower class and non white patients are more often diagnosed
with a mental illness as their lifestyles are non traditional leading to a
judgement of failing to function adequately


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