Psychopathology revision


Definitions of abnormality

> Deviation from social norms

Social judgements about what is acceptable 

Can be applied with diagnosing APD. 

What is normal in one culture may not be normal in a different culture.

> Failure to function adequately 

Failing to cope with demands of everyday life e.g interpersonal rules.

Attempts to include subjective experience of the individua.

> Deviation from ideal mental health

Jahoda considered normality rather than abnormality e.g no symptoms of distress, rational and accurate self-perception

Sets unrealistic standard for mental health - abnormal to achieve all criteria for extended period of time. 


> Characteristics 

Behavioural: Lethargy, decreased/increased sleeping and/or eating, a change in agression levels, self harm. 

Emotional: Lowered mood, anger towards self and others, lowered self esteem. 

Cognitive: Poor concentration, nagative bias, absolutist thinking 

> Cognitive explanations (Beck)

Faulty information processing, negative self schema, negative triad. (world, self and future) 

Good supporting evidence: solid support that certain cognitions make us vunerable

Practical application in CBT: negative thoughts identified and challenged

Doesnt explain all aspects: cannot easily explain extremes of anger/hallucinations or delusions

> Cognitive explanations (Ellis) 

Activating negative event, overreactive beliefs, consequenses to overreaction.

Practical application in


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