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University of Toronto Scarborough
Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 1 Introduction: Definitional and Historical Considerations and Canadas Mental Health System Bretts Childhood Had difficulty in maintaining an erection when making love to his wife Had difficulty maintain an erection when making love to his wife He had a difficult childhood, his mother passed away when he was 6 and his father was a heavy drinker, diagnoses with manic depressive psychosis and could only afford to live in rundown neighbourhoods, thus he lived with his aunt for many weeks He managed to get to university with a loan, but then experienced bouts of sadness followed by manic elation (like his father) He was extremely nervous and self conscious He became a police, but his mood swings still bothered him In his thirties him and his wife wanted a family, but he was unable to achieve an erection He also became suspicious of his wife, for she was becoming more beautiful than ever One day she came home late, he was already drunk, he accused her of infidelity, she taunted him of his inability to make love, and he left and now is seeking professional help Psychopathology: the field concerned with nature and development of abnormal behaviour, thoughts, and feelings Another challenge of abnormal psychology is the need to remain objective What is Abnormal Behaviour? There is no single one definition that is adequate The best definition of abnormal behaviour includes such characteristics of; statistical frequency, violation of norms, personal distress, disability or dysfunction, and unexpectedness The following 5 characteristics provide a framework for defining abnormality Statistical Infrequency One aspect of abnormal behaviour is that its infrequent The normal curve, or bell shaped curve, places the majority o people in the middle in any characteristic (very few people are at either end or extremes) When someone is considered normal it is that he or she doesnt deviate much from the average This statistical infrequency is used explicitly in diagnosing mental retardation o When an individuals IQ is below 70 they are considered subnormal and considered mentally retarded But not all behaviours that are infrequent are abnormal (ex. great athletic ability) Violation of Norms
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