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5 Examples of Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology Disorders

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders

Abnormal Psychology refers to the study and treatment of those mental and emotional disorders that interfere with a person’s ability to feel themselves and carry out the functions of daily living. These disorders can be the result of physical or emotional trauma, genetic inheritance, or imbalances in brain chemicals. People experiencing these disorders usually require treatment by medication, psychotherapy, or both. There are 5 categories of Abnormal Psychology.

1. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety refers to unfounded fear of the unknown or of nonthreatening stimuli. There are 5 Anxiety Disorders. Phobias are fears of specific things. Panic Disorder is the example of recurring and obtrusive Panic Attacks, periods of intense fear accompanied by a wide range of physiological symptoms similar to those of a heart attack. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a constant fear with no identifiable cause. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a cycle of obsessive worry that can only be relieved by a compulsive action. Acute Stress Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder refer to recurring panic and anxiety symptoms in response to a particular traumatic experience.

Read: 10 Most Affordable Counseling Psychology Online Programs

2. Dissociative Disorders

To dissociate is to separate from one’s self and surroundings. Dissociative amnesia is the loss of memory without a medical cause. Dissociative fugue is when a person travels to a different place during the period of dissociative amnesia. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is the experience of personalities during periods of dissociation. DID was formerly known as “Multiple Personality Disorder,” a term that the psychological community no longer uses due to the negative stigma it places on those experiencing these symptoms. The recent film Split misrepresented DID, as explained by CNN.

3. Mood Disorders

Mood Disorders are those that affect one’s emotions. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is marked by frequent and severe periods of depression. It is accompanied by a wide range of physical symptoms, as well. Dysthymia is a milder form of MDD. Bipolar Disorder is a frequent and debilitating fluctuation between severe depression and either manic episodes (Bipolar I) or hypomanic episodes (Bipolar II). Mania refers to periods of intense energy and lack of sleep that can be exuberant or violent, and often involves hallucinations or delusions. Hypomania is a milder form of mania without delusions or hallucinations. Cyclothymia is a milder form of Bipolar Disorder, involving fluctuations between Hypomania and Dysthymia.

4. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disorder marked by frequent and severe disruptions in daily mental and physical functioning. Some forms of Schizophrenia primarily involve positive symptoms, or psychosis in the form of hallucinations and delusions. Some forms of Schizophrenia primarily involve negative symptoms, such as lack of emotional expression or even long periods of ceased physical activity.

5. Personality Disorders

Finally, Personality Disorders are those that influence one’s personality. There are 7 different types: Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic, Avoidant, Obsessive-Compulsive, Schizotypal, and Dependent. In essence, these disorders represent milder versions of the 4 categories above. Personality Disorders are less intrusive to everyday functioning; they interfere mostly with a person’s ability to form and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.

These disorders can all be scary and unpleasant for those suffering the symptoms, as well as those close to them. Fortunately, all are manageable with a commitment to seeing treatment. Some can maintain recovery on their own after a brief period of treatment to overcome a particular incident. Others require ongoing and consistent treatment, but they can enjoy results that are just as consistent.