User:Ktembo/The Thin Line Between Normality and Abnormality

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The medical model assumes that it is useful to view abnormal psychology as a disease. Often, it is difficult to draw a clear line between abnormality and normality. Three criteria are used in deciding whether people suffer from psychological disorders, deviance, personal distress, and maladaptive behavior. Link

What is the DSM IV and what has it got to do with Normality?

Well, the DSM IV answers questions such as these:

  • Who am i?
  • What's my story?
  • How can i define mood disorders?

and many more everyday questions.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM IV) was published in 1994 by the APA. it is called the bible of psychiatric diagnosis because it provides definitions, symptoms and characteristics for mental disorders that are recognized by clinicians from around the world.

There are 5 levels of the DSM IV called Axes in which disorders are grouped.

  • Axis 1 describes clinical disorders and other conditions which may be a focus of clinical attention.
  • Axis 2 focuses on personality and contains a rating scale for mental retardation. These problems may not require immediate attention but may need to be taken into account by any clinician who treats a patient.
  • Axis 3 labels any general medical conditions. These are important even when a problem seems to be mental or behavioral, because sometimes psychological problems are the byproduct of an illness such as diabetes or heart disease.
  • Axis 4 describes psychosocial and environmental problems such as poverty, dysfunctional families, and other factors in the patient's environment that might have some impact on the person's ability to function.
  • Axis 5 is labeled the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. It is an overall rating of a person's ability to cope with normal life. The rating goes from low scores such as 10 ("Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others") to 100 ("Superior functioning in a wide range of activities").

The axes can be read in detail on this link [1]

Symptoms of abnormality/retardation

Symptoms could include:

  • Developmental Delay
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Aphasia
  • Behavioral Problems at School
  • Impaired Self-Care
  • Tends to Lack Curiosity
  • Disorders of Communication
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Body Rocking
  • Speech Difficulty
  • Basic Learning Problem In Language