What is mental illness? A group of mental disorders that causes severe disturbances in thinking, feeling and relating. People with mental illness often have difficulty dealing with daily life.
What is mental illness? Changes in thinking, mood, behavior Decreases ability to function Leads to: pain disability injury loss of freedom death
“The Four Ds” – 1) Deviance Deviance from what? From behaviors, thoughts, and emotions considered normal in a specific place and time and by specific people From social norms Stated and unstated rules for proper conduct in a given society or culture 39% People who confess to snooping in their hosts’ medicine cabinets 27% Those who admit taking more than the maximum number of items through a supermarket express line 23% Those who confess to not flushing the toilet all the time 10% Those who believe they have seen a ghost 5% Those who have sunbathed nude
2) Distress According to many clinical guidelines, behavior must be personally distressing before it can be labeled abnormal Consider the Ice Breakers, a group of people in Michigan who go swimming in lakes throughout the state every weekend from November through February. The colder the weather, the better they like it. One man, a member of the group for 17 years, says he loves the challenge. Man against the elements. A 37-year-old lawyer believes that the weekly shock is good for her health. “It cleanses me,” she says. “It perks me up!” Another Ice Breaker likes the special bond the group members share. “When we get together, we know we’ve done something special, something no one else understands. I can’t even tell most of the people I know that I’m an Ice Breaker.” Certainly these people are different from most of us, but is their behavior abnormal? Far from experiencing distress, they feel energized and challenged. Their positive feelings must cause us to hesitate before we decide that they are functioning abnormally. \ Dysfunction ¨AbnDysfunctionEven functioning that is considered unusual does not necessarily qualify as abnormal. According to many clinical theorists, behavior, ideas, or emotions usually have to cause distress before they can be labeled abnormal.– it interferes with daily functioning ¨Culture has an influence on determinations of dysfunction as well ¨Dysfunction alone does not mean abnormalityormal behavior tends to be dysfunctional – it interferes with daily functioning ¨Culture has an influence on determinations of dysfunction as well ¨Dysfunction alone does not mean abnormality
3) Dysfunction Danger ¨Abnormal behavior may become dangerous to oneself or others Behavior may be careless, hostile, or confused ¨Although cited as a feature of psychological abnormality, dangerousness is an exception rather than a rule Abnormal behavior tends to be dysfunctional; that is, it interferes with daily functioning. It so upsets, distracts, or confuses people that they cannot care for themselves properly, participate in ordinary social interactions, or work productively. Brad, for example, has quit his job, left his family, and prepared to withdraw from the productive life he once led. Then again, dysfunction alone does not necessarily indicate psychological abnormality. Some people (Gandhi or César Chávez, for example) fast or in other ways deprive themselves of things they need as a means of protesting social injustice. Far from receiving a clinical label of some kind, they are widely viewed as admirable people—caring, sacrificing, even heroic.
4) Danger Perhaps the ultimate in psychological dysfunctioning is behavior that becomes dangerous to oneself or others. Individuals whose behavior is consistently careless, hostile, or confused may be placing themselves or those around them at risk. Although cited as a feature of psychological abnormality, dangerousness is an exception rather than a rule Brad, for example, seems to be endangering himself by his diet and others by his buildup of arms and ammunition.