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Abnormal Psychology Essay

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Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal psychology in the area within psychology that is focused on maladaptive behavior-its causes, consequences, and treatment. Abnormal psychology deals with how it feels to be different, the meanings the get attached to being different, and how society deals with people whom it considers to be different. The spectrum of differences is wide, ranging from reality defying delusions and severe debilitations to worries and behavioral quirks that we would be better off not having but do not significantly interfere with our daily lives. An example of the milder end of the spectrum is a man who was an eminently successful district attorney, was elected governor of New York on three occasions, and was almost elected
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Joan was a very successful business women working for a major stock broker firm. She was quickly moving up the ladder and had just received a big promotion on what she hoped would be her way to the top. Houghton's normal life was abruptly interrupted one day when she broke down and began to see things and also hear things that did not exist. She had been in and out of mental health care her entire adult life, but now she had reached the breaking point. She began to lose touch with everyone in her life. She stopped showing up for work and eventually was committed to a mental institution by her family. Houghton's break with reality required an intense treatment during a long period of hospitalization. There are many possible explanations for Joan's break down. Her life had been fairly normal expect when she was 6 years old her father molested her. Joan told her mother a few weeks later. Knowing that her husband probably did molest her she tried to convince Joan that it was just bad dream. She just could not imagine asking her husband if her had done this horrible act. She was very much afraid of him. So the molesting continued for another three years. These events haunted her entire life, and most likely were the cause of her mental break down. (Houghton, 1982,pp. 548-549) Governor Dewey and Joan Houghton might be described as
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