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Normal and Abnormal Behavior

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Normal and Abnormal Behavior

A psychologist must understand the challenges of diagnosing behaviors in a patient. Challenges in the mind and body connection, ethnicity, and culture are reviewed by the psychologist to understand what normal behaviors of a person are versus abnormal behaviors. The psychologist uses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition DSM-IV-TR in classifying the abnormal behavior in the patient. The situational issues force the psychologist to alter the diagnosis and treatment for each patient on an individual basis.

Abnormal behaviors and feelings are often exaggerations of the normal life of an individual; the field of abnormal psychology centers around two major paradigms for explaining mental disorders, the psychological and biological paradigms. "We now know that the mind and the brain are fully interconnected and interdependent, not separate realms as the philosophical "dualists" once believed"(Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 3). Any emotional experience an individual has will have an effect on how he or she behaves. The psychological paradigm focuses mostly on the humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral causes within the person. The biological paradigm includes theories that emphasize more on physical factors; genetics and neurochemistry are the main focus of the biological paradigm.

The connection between mind and body must be taken into account when explaining and treating abnormal behavior. Growing up, one would encounter individuals in his or her classroom that seemed to be different; those individuals were seen as weird or a little different compared to normal children. Years later those students who were seen and judged by people as weird or different are now receiving accurate diagnosis and treated with either therapy or medicine. "The challenges of defining abnormality do create some practical problems, such as the risk of labeling "mentally ill," and even persecuting, people who are simply different" (Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 14). Most modern philosophers of mind adopt either a reductive or non-reductive position; the philosophers believe and maintain that the human mind is not separate from the human body. "Nearly everyone now believes in the close interdependence of mind and body, a view known as monism in contrast to the dualism associated with the philosopher Rene Descartes" (Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 33). Descartes established his most lasting philosophical legacy the thesis that the mind and the body are distinct. Descartes established that he had a mind without assuming he had a body. Within the early studies of Descartes, the mind and body was established; the importance of studying genetics, cognitive psychology, behavioral psychology, and the effects of psychopathology give validation to the mind and body and its relation to abnormal psychology.

Ethnicity is an enormous element of every individual's life. Whether an individual lives in the United States or in Australia, ethnic and cultural practices differ. A person's place of origin and culture is defined as ethnicity. The definition of culture is a community of shared ideas or morals. Ethnicity itself is so diverse; the concepts of abnormal and normal behaviors may vary significantly across the nations. Many challenges are present when individuals attempt to define abnormal and normal behaviors.

One of the challenges to defining abnormal and normal behaviors may include an individual's ethnic background. With the groundwork in place, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition DSM-IV-TR efforts were made in awareness of the



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