definitions of abnormality: failure to function

the second definition of abnormality with evaluation points

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failure to function

  • abnormality can be judged in terms of not being able to cope
  • for example, if a person is depressed this can be coped for as long as theya re able to continue with daily routine. however when depression prevents them from continuing with daily routine then they are classed as abnormal
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problems: who judges?

  • someone needs to decide if the behavior is abnormal
  • for example a patient may class themselves as abnormal if they have depression and are unable to cope with daily routine. however if the individual is unaware that they are unable to cope then its down to others to decide
  • for example a schizophrenic don't feel their behaviour is abnormal but they appear strange to others which can be distressing to other people
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Adaptive or maladaptive?

  • some abnormal behaviour can be seen as adaptive and functional for the individual
  • for example, some eating disorders may lead towelcome attention to the individual
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cultural relativism

  • definitions of coping are related to cultural ideas on how ones life should be lived
  • this can result in different diagonoses when applied to people from different cultures because the standard of one culture is used to measure another
  • for example, lower class and coloured patients are more often diagnosed with mental illnesses as their lifestyles are non traditional leading to judgement of them having a faliure to function
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