Psychology Name: Institution: 1. The Meaning of Abnormality The concept abnormality can be described or defined from different grounds depending on the immediate context into which it is placed or used. Universally, there exists no generally accepted definition of the concept, except for the generalisation of the difficulties experienced when handling certain aspects…
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This is because it could be as a result of various difficulties such as suffering, deviancy, maladaptiveness, and social discomfort, violations of societal standards, irrationality and unpredictability. In all these aspects, psychologically, a person may be assumed to be abnormal (Butcher, Susan & Hooley, 2001). The explanation of the aspect of abnormality can be achieved through the classification of the same into three main categories; first, as a deviation from the social norms practiced in a society; second, as a deviation from the mental health considered ideal; and third, as a failure of an individual’s senses to function in the expected manner. In the first category, abnormality may be attributed to any violations to the existing social norms i.e. a violation of the implicitly set rules in a society on how people ought to behave. However, this should be appropriately justified as so depending on the perspective in which the individual behaviours are placed. In the second category, abnormality may imply to the possession of certain mental characteristics that do not prove any conformation to the ideal frameworks. This is because the society we live in recognises the great presence of mentally stable personalities; hence, all expected to attain self-actualisation, autonomy and self-esteem traits to be considered normal. In the third category, abnormality is explained based on the set obligations and expectations of how one ought to live their lives, as well as contributing to society. Failure to meet these obligations and societal expectations may make an individual to be described as abnormal. In the understanding of the aspect of abnormality, it is essential that the key elements of abnormality as recognised above be elaborated. However, I would like to note that these key elements arise when a person’s behaviour interferes with their wellbeing. In the case of maladaptiveness, the interference to the wellbeing will result in the decline, in the ability to enjoy relationships and work. With respect to deviancy, value judgments are involved as this will aid in the involving of statistically rare and undesirable behaviour such as mental retardation. The violation of the societal standards may involve both moral and social rules. Abnormality is realised in this when those around a person experience a sense of discomfort (Butcher, Susan & Hooley, 2001). Finally, it is essential to classify the point in time in which behaviour is considered as abnormal, and this entails the unpredictability and irrationality aspects. In this, the realisation of any form of unpredictable behaviour or one with no sense will result into its classification as abnormal. Therefore, when ascribing to abnormality aspects and even classifying the same, it should also be noted that this is linked to culture and might, therefore, vary from one place to another and one time to another. 2. The relation of heredity to the development of mental illness According to the reading article and material, the development of a disease, particularly a mental one may be as a result of environmental or genetic factors. As such, even illnesses that may seem far distantly different from each other, for example, schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder or even a major depression, may seem to have several genetic glitches but, result in the same thing – mental illness. Therefore, it may be right to conclude that heredity has
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