Mental Illness

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Individual differences

Key terms

  • Statistical Infrequency
  • Deviation from social norms
  • Uni-polar Depression 
  • Bi-polar Depression
  • Phobias
  • Schizophrenia 
  • ADHD
  • Chemotherapy
  • Implosion/Flooding
  • Systematic Desensitisation
  • ECT - Electro Convulsive Therapy

Statistical Infrequency

Under this definition of abnormality, a person's trait, thinking or behaviour is classified as abnormal if it is rare or statistically unusual.

However this definition obviously has limitations, it fails to recognize the desirability of the particular behaviour.

Deviation from social norms

Under this definition, a person's thinking or behaviour is classified as abnormal if it violates the, unwritten, rules about what is expected or acceptable in a particular social group. 

Social norms change over time. Behaviour that was once seen as abnormal may, given time, become acceptable and behaviour that was once seen as acceptable, given time, may become unacceptable. 

Behavioural vs Biological treatment for mental illnesses

Behavioural: Implosion/Flooding for phobias, Systematic Desensitisation.

Biological: Chemotherapy treating with chemicals not just cancer, Psychosurgery, ECT - Electro Convulsive Therapy.

Uni-polar Depression

Uni-polar Depression is a serious clinical mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, fustration, loss, or anger interfere with a person's everyday life for weeks or months at a time.

Symptoms of Uni-polar Depression include:

  • Irritability 
  • Changes in appetite
  • Worthlessness
  • Self-hate


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