Abnormal Psychology and Addiction Explained
The following page details what Abnormal Psychology is and its relevance to the field of addiction. Abnormal Psychology provides a comprehensive understanding of abnormal behaviours with a focus on biology, health and psychology. It goes beyond a descriptive overview of medical disorders to offer essential insights into mental illness.
Disorders are reviewed with the support of case studies, and these examples are then used to dispute current research, including the biological views of mental disorders and existing treatment options.
The bridge between the biological brain functioning and the psychological mechanisms that are responsible for coping and change are explored in detail — the ultimate goal is to revolutionise treatment for those suffering from mental health problems and addiction.
What is Abnormal Psychology?
Abnormal psychology is the study of human behaviour that differs from the norm in substantial ways. The field studies the causes and manifestations of routines, behaviours, thoughts or drives that differ from others, and usually, lead to significant impairment in daily life. Abnormal psychology implies specific behaviours can differ from the norm.
Clinical psychologists focus on whether or not a person’s thoughts and behaviours trigger distress and social problems. Some abnormal psychological conditions can cause illogical or harmful actions towards self or others.
In the context of OCD, obsessions frequently make no sense to healthy individuals. For example, repetitive hand-washing, hair-pulling, or repeatedly checking to ensure a door is locked.
Similar patterns of abnormal behaviour can be witnessed in those with eating disorders. Eating is a primary function required for living. To avoid food entirely or view eating as a negative routine can be considered abnormal behaviours since they contradict the primary purpose of eating.
Psychologists can evaluate the intensity of OCD or Eating Disorders by interviewing the sufferer. They can also recommend lifestyle modifications and continuous psychotherapy to manage the condition.
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How Does Abnormal Psychology Relate to Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic disorder with biological, psychological, environmental and social foundations which affect development and maintenance.
Genes affect the degree of reward that people experience when initially using substances, or partaking in compulsive behaviours (such as gambling).
It is also true that environmental factors can impact addiction rates. Individuals growing up in dysfunctional families are more likely to develop addictions, as well as those growing up parent addicts.
Since addiction is defined as a compulsive action in the face of negative consequences, addiction can be defined as abnormal behaviour.
Abnormal psychology is not concerned with making everybody fit into a narrow definition of “normal”. Generally, it is concerned with recognising and dealing with issues that might be triggering distress or trauma in some facet of an individual’s life. By better understanding what “unusual” really is, researchers and therapists can develop new ways to help individuals deal with addiction.
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