Definitions of abnormality: failure to function adequately

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  • Created by: AnnabellP
  • Created on: 25-11-17 10:46
How does this definition see mental disorders?
resulting from an inability to cope with day-to-day living
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When is behaviour is percieved as abnormal?
when individuals become so distressed with the pressure of everyday life that their behaviour becomes dysfunctional
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Why are harmful behaviours indulged in?
due to an inability to cope with life
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What are these behaviours known as?
dysfunctiona but also contribute to further declines in personal functioning, leading to a diagnosis of abnormality
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What did Rosenhan & Seligman 1989 propose?
That personal dysfunction has 7 features and that the more of these features an individual has, the more they are classed as abnormal
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What are the 7 features?
personal distress, maladaptive behaviour, unpredictability, irrationality, observer discomfort, violation of moral standards, unconventionality
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What is personal distress?
seen as a key feature of abnormality and involves such things as depression and anxiety disorders
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What is maladaptive behaviour?
consists of exhibiting unexpected behaviour that prevents people from realising their life goals, both socially and at work
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What is unpredictability?
consists of exhibiting unexpected behaviours characterised by a loss of control, like mutilating oneself after a relationship is terminated
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What is irrationality?
consists of exhibiting behaviours non-explicable in any rational way, like heavy drinking in response to work pressures
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What is observer discomfort?
entails the exhibition of behaviours that cause discomfort to others, like behaving in an aggressive manner
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What is violation of moral standards?
consists of exhibiting behaviours that go against society's ethical standards, like being naked in a public place
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What is unconventionality?
entails the exhibition of non-standard behaviours, like dressing in the clothes of the opposite gender
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How is an overall assessment of how individuals can cope with life made?
using the Global Assessment of Functioning scale.
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What is the Global Assessment of Functioning scale?
rates levels of social, occupational and psychological functioning
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What do clinicians focus on using the definition?
individuals' perceptions of their own mental health and is judged through criteria such as 'can hold down a job', 'is able to dress themselves' etc
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How many strengths are there of this definition?
4
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Why do most people seek clinical help?
they see themselves as suffering from psychological problems that interfere with their ability to function normally, both socially and at work
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Why is this a strenght?
sufferers' perceptions of their problems match the criteria of the definition, giving it support
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How is the GAF scale scored?
on a continuous scale
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What does this allow?
clinicians to see the degree to which individuals are abnormal and helps them to decide who needs what degree of psychiatric help
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What does the definition permit?
judgement by knowledgable others, as to whether individuals are funcitoning properly as it focuses on observable and therefore measurable behaviour
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What does this allow?
the formation of a practical 'checklist' of factors that individuals can use to assess their own level of abnormality
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What does the definition recognise?
the importance of the role of the personal experience of individuals
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What does this permit?
mental disorders to be regarded from the personal perspective of the individuals suffering from the disorders, therefore giving a greater depth of understanding to the definition
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How many limitations are there of this definition?
3
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Although an individual's behaviour may be distressing to others and perceived as an inability to function adequately, what might happen for the individual?
it might bring no distress to the individual and be perceived by them as perfectly functional
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What is Stephen Gough known as and why?
the 'naked rambler' for his long-distance walks that he conducts in the nude.
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What happened to Stephen Gough?
He has been jailed many times or his behaviours, which he sees as perfectly normal and which causes him no distress
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What are mental disorders not always accompanied by?
personal dysfunction
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What did Harold Shipman display?
an outwardly normal disposition, while over a 23-year period as a doctor he murdered at least 215 of his patients before killing himself in prison
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What are some of the features comprimising 'adequate functioning'
subjective and difficult to define and measure objectively
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What does this also apply to?
individual differences between people; what is normal behaviour for introverts, like wearing non-flamboyant clothes, would be completely different for extroverts
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What does the definition fail to do?
incorporate this
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What is the practical application?
it permits a large element of self-diagnosis by individuals
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What does a checklist of factors to asses their own level of abnormality allow the individuals to do?
seek clinical help through self-recognition that this is necessary
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What have most people receiving clinical help done?
sought it themselves in the first instance
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Card 2

Front

When is behaviour is percieved as abnormal?

Back

when individuals become so distressed with the pressure of everyday life that their behaviour becomes dysfunctional

Card 3

Front

Why are harmful behaviours indulged in?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are these behaviours known as?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did Rosenhan & Seligman 1989 propose?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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