Failure to function adequately


Failure to function adequately

  • Can no longer cope the demands of everyday life
  • Unable to maintain basic standards of hygiene and nutrition and hygiene
  • Cannot hold down a job or maintain relationships with people around them

When is someone failing to function adequately

  • Rosenhan and Seligman
    • When a person no longer conforms to standard interpersonal rules, maintaining eye contact and respecting personal space.
    • When a person experiences severe personal distress.
    • When a person's behaviour becomes irrational or dangerous to themselves or others.

Example: intellectual disability disorder

  • Individual must also be failing to function adequately before a diagnosis would be given.
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Patient's perspective

  • Does attempt to include the subjective experience of the individual
  • Difficult to assess distress but at least acknowledges that the experience of a patient and/or others is important
  • Captures the experience of many people who need help
  • Useful criterion for assessing abnormality
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Is it simply a deviation from social norms?

  • We might think that not having a job or permanant address is a sign of failure to function adequately but what about people with alternative lifestyles?
  • Those who practise extreme sports could be accused of behaving in a maladaptive way while people with religious or spiritual beliefs may be seen as irrational.
  • Risk limiting personal freedom and discriminating against minority groups.
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Subjective judgements

  • Someone must judge whether a patient is distressed or distressing.
  • Some patients may say they are distressed but might be judged as not suffering.
  • Methods for making such judgements as objective as possible. (Global assessment of functioning scale)
  • Principle remains that someone has the right to make this judgement.
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