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PSY __300 week__ 5 DQ 2

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Week 5
DQ 2 What factors should be considered in distinguishing between normal and
abnormal behavior? What relationships of importance might exist between social
psychology and abnormal psychology?
The environment involved in the situation should be looked at closely, there are times
when a person can appear to have something going on that abnormal but if the situation
where the actions are taking place in are abnormal then there is reason to believe the
problem is with the environment and not necessarily with the persons psychological
health. For example I was diagnosed depressed with Schizophrenic tendencies once
and medicated for this. but the problem was not getting better. Come to find out the
problem was not in my head it was the ding bat boyfriend who was trying to kill me. As
soon as he went to jail and I moved the problem was gone. I still think it was funny that
the expensive medication did not help but a U-haul truck and the cops did wonders,
hehehe. The biggest issue with abnormal psychology is trying to figure out what is the
definition of abnormal. for example in some tribes in Africa it is normal for parents to cut
their childrens faces hundreds of times in a design pattern. This is their initiation of the
child into the culture. In America the parents would be thrown in prison and medicated in
all sorts of ways. there would be diagnosis thrown around like beads at Mardi Gras, but
this does not make the behavior abnormal for that area and culture. Social psychology
has a significant role with abnormal psychology for this very reason. Cultural taboos tell
us what is normal and abnormal. An other example are people who choose to gain their
food from dumpster's, or from road kill, these people feel that they are doing what is
needed to prevent leaving a carbon foot print on their environment. There are people
out there who get all the things they own from the garbage, this would be seen as
abnormal and therefore these people would possibly be subject to mental evaluation but
what if they are perfectly normal and have never gotten sick from the foods they eat. So
for abnormal psychology to be a useful science it is essential to take into consideration
the culture and social setting of the people being studied or helped. There have been
issues that have reached the media in the past, that touch on this subject. There was a
child whom had an illness (I believe it was cancer) and the parents refused medical care
because it was against their religion to use anything other then gods prayer. Does this
deep belief if God make these people mentally ill if it places the health and well being of
their child at risk? I am not even sure how to answer this question myself. but it shows
that a persons culture and social back ground are a significant factor in who they are
and thus needs to be taken into consideration when diagnosing what is abnormal and
what is not.
Response 2

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