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Psychopathology and Addiction - Essay Example

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Over the past half-century the definitions of psychopathological disorders have become muddied as new research takes place and personality traits once thought to be psychopathological have become more tolerated by society as a whole.
Whilst some traditional analysts such as Freud and Klein posited useful theories and practices in their time, therefore founding the art and science of psychoanalysis, raging debates have taken place since in attempting to determine the origins of psychopathology (nature vs…
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Psychopathology and Addiction
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Download file to see previous pages Typically, abnormal behaviour is defined as behavours that are in violation of the culturally accepted norms (social interactions, nonverbal codes of conduct, method of dress, appropriate responses/empathy, treatment of pets/animals, respect of personal property and physical space). This definition can be deemed inappropriate in and of itself by simply asking the questions, "According to whose standards"
Whilst abnormal behaviour has its own set of observable symptoms, which may or may not be biological in origin, psychopathy is deemed, in a nutshell, behaviours and actions, which are harmful to oneself and others.
Specifically, one very good definition of psychopathology is: 'a constellation of affective, interpersonal, and behavioral characteristics including egocentricity; impulsivity; irresponsibility; shallow emotions; lack of empathy, guilt, or remorse; pathological lying; manipulativeness; and the persistent violation of social norms and expectations' (T. O'Connor, 2005). In the same article it is emphasized that 'most psychopaths are antisocial personalities but not all antisocial personalities are psychopaths.'
Characteristics of psychopathy include: superficial charm, narcissism, excessive need for stimulation, deceptive behaviour and lying, manipulation, little or no remorse or guilt, poor self-control, predatory or parasitic attitude, early behavioral problems and criminal activity (Michael G. Connor, Psy. D., 2001 - 2005).
Psychopathy can be divided into several sub-categories (Quantum Future Group, 1997 - 2004): Primary (do not respond to punishment, do not seem to have any sense of direction in life, are incapable of experiencing any genuine emotion) and Secondary (risk-takers, prone to worry and guilt, little impulse control). These two types can be further divided into: Distempered Psychopaths (fly into rages, sexually insatiable, powerful cravings such as alcohol/drugs) and Charismatic Psychopaths (charming, attractive liars who can easily persuade even intelligent and reasonable people into abhorrent or sacrificial acts, strong belief in their own stories).
A long history of defining and treating psychopathology precedes the 21st Century, as does the various theories explaining how psychopathology occurs.
In examining these theories, we must begin with Freud, whose work laid the foundations of modern psychotherapy.
If we look at the core of Freud's theories regarding repression and the unconscious, it is relatively easy to see how the effect of alcohol can exacerbate psychotic behavior in individuals who are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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