The field of psychology is a fascinating field for anyone who loves to study behavior in children and adults. It is especially rewarding for those who want to work in a branch of psychology that helps people deal with problems that interfere with their daily lives. One fascinating subject students in a psychology degree program will study is abnormal psychology.
There are different levels of abnormal behavior as defined by renowned psychologists, based on their study of people exhibiting any type of behavior they believe is outside of the norm. The three main levels of abnormal behavior are: bizarre or extreme behavior, behavior that causes disturbances to others, and behavior that interferes with basic daily functions.
Obsessive-compulsive behavior is one example of extreme behavior. Many people are able to lead normal lives outside of the home and may succeed in hiding their extremeness from others. Bizarre behavior may include delusions or hallucinations, as in schizophrenia or manic depression. Uncontrolled violence is an extreme type of abnormal behavior. Two examples of abnormal behavior that affect other people are drunken driving and child molestation. These behaviors are also against the law, and those who commit these acts must seek therapy from a psychologist, in addition to serving out a punishment laid out by the courts.
Abnormal behavior categorized as personal distress includes depression, extreme stress, and feelings of panic. These behaviors make life extremely difficult as they often lead to physical ailments. Many people who suffer from any of these behavioral disorders recognize that their behavior is not normal and therefore seek help by discussing these issues with their primary doctor.
Behavior that interferes or prevents people from functioning normally on a daily basis includes phobias and different types of neurosis. Some people develop phobias to specific items and are capable of leading a normal life as long as they can stay clear of these items. These behaviors may prevent people from leaving their home and holding down a job.
Abnormal behavior encompasses other dimensions as well. Addiction and alcoholism fall under the character of abnormal behavior because they are psychological dependencies. Some forms of personality disorders fall into the category of erratic behavior when those disorders disrupt one's own life, or interfere with the lives of one's family or friends. Many people suffering from personality disorders often develop addictions in an effort to feel normal with the use of alcohol or drugs.
Ways in which psychologists gauge and then diagnose abnormal behavior varies. Some use a statistic model based on studying different people in different situations. Others believe that using statistics provides a model that is too vague or too broad to define this type of behavior. A combination of statistics and others tools is probably the most effective way to study different people in varying situations.