Abnormal psychology studies, analyzes, explains abnormal behavior, and looks at the nature of psychopathology. Normal and abnormal psychology is just different ways of looking at one’s mental state, and finding reasoning for one’s actions or behaviors. Understanding and explaining the context in which the abnormality occurs, and abnormal behavior is profoundly influenced by demographic context categories such as gender, age, class, and culture (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Abnormal Psychology has developed into a scientific discipline because of technical accomplishment in biochemistry, brain function, and physiology (Frude, 1998). To appreciate the effect and impact that these features of psychology have had on this field, it is essential to identify the roots of abnormal behavior, the way it was diagnosed, and how it was treated. It is important to recognize how abnormal psychology evolved into a scientific discipline; the use of the theoretical models: psychosocial, biological, and sociocultural models; and these are related to the development of abnormal psychology.
Abnormal Psychology is the study that deals with the causes of mental dysfunctions, such as mental illnesses and any type of mental disturbances. To define and understand the meaning of abnormal psychology, it is necessary first to define the term “abnormal.” To most of us when we use the term “abnormal” we assumed the meaning is obvious; that it refers to something out of the norm of our society or surrounding. Nevertheless, it is important to consider that depending on an individual’s culture, life style or what is considered to be the social norms that are acceptable that we can define abnormal. Abnormal psychology fundamentally attempts to forecast, or explain any abnormalities or certain behavior patterns. On occasion defining the margin between what is normal and abnormal can be difficult to determine. The standards of normality differ from society to society and by tradition to tradition.
Abnormal psychology dates back approximately 100 years; however the perception of what people considered as abnormal behavior goes further back to primitive and pre-modern societies. In the attempt to explain and control abnormal behavior there three main approaches that were applied were: the supernatural, biological, and psychological traditions. In ancient times it was believed that abnormal behavior was caused by either divine or supernatural forces, known as animism. The treatment for animism was a surgical procedure called trephination, which consisted of drilling a hole or few holes in the skull while the person is still alive. The assumption was that this procedure will release the evil spirits that were causing the abnormal behavior. Another method linked with animism was the practices of exorcism, which is a ritual carried out by religious leaders to cast out the evil spirits that are causing the abnormal behavior. Abnormal psychology also known as psychopathology has evolved into a scientific discipline over centuries of research. The detection, diagnosis, and the action for treatment of the mentally ill have improved and change considerably over the course time. There are three theoretical models created to aid in the study of abnormal psychology. These models are used in the theoretical approach and classification for treatment of abnormal behavior. The models consist of the psychosocial, biological, and sociocultural models. Mental health professionals evaluate an individual using the three models in combination. Not one model by itself can describe all the characteristics of abnormal behavior.
Erik Erikson developed a theory to explain the psychosocial development to account for