Abnormal psychology has its roots in neurology and neurologists often study abnormal behaviors in patients with brain abnormalities and psychiatric illnesses. However, since these disorders often involve abnormal behavior that can be difficult to understand or explain, many psychiatrists feel they cannot adequately treat patients suffering from such conditions with conventional therapy or medications. A psychiatrist may seek to treat patients using psychiatric treatments such as antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapies (ECT), behavioral therapies, and even psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists are not alone in dealing with abnormal behavior; some psychiatrists feel that such behavior can only be treated by psychiatrists, and that they can never fully understand or adequately treat it on their own. Others feel that doctors cannot successfully treat patients suffering from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, without an understanding of the underlying neurophysiology. They argue that psychiatry can only deal with such disorders in the context of a patient’s life, and that psychiatric medications cannot be used to treat them in isolation.
Abnormal behavior is often associated with mental illness, but there is no scientific evidence to prove this. The most common reason for treating unusual behaviors is that they interfere with the patients’ ability to function normally within their lives.
Abnormal behavior can also be the result of a personality disorder. Personality disorders are not always serious and can result from childhood traumas, abuse, trauma or neglect. Most personality disorders do not lead to mental illness, but they may have serious implications for your ability to function within society and sometimes can lead to criminal behavior, substance abuse and mental problems.
Personality disorders may also be caused by the onset of a mental illness, but this is less likely than physical illness. Most mental illnesses result in symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts, paranoia and other mood and behavior changes. While psychotic disorders can be particularly dangerous, they are often much more difficult to diagnose accurately.
As with physical health conditions, people suffering from mental illness often exhibit abnormal behaviors atypical of their personality traits and mental illness. This may be a sign that the condition itself is not severe enough to warrant a treatment, but it may indicate that the individual needs further evaluation and testing for more serious problems. There is a growing awareness that abnormal behavior may be indicative of other conditions as well, so some psychotherapists are now focusing more on this type of analysis.
In most cases, a personality disorder will involve several of the following symptoms: extreme mood swings, self-destructiveness, a distorted self-image and obsession with one specific thing or activity. Sometimes, the behavior may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, trouble breathing, sweating or feeling sick. In many cases, the patient is so obsessed with his/her problem that the disorder interferes with their social interactions, their jobs and their family relationships. It may interfere with everyday living and have a profound effect on the patient’s ability to function within their community and society in general.
Because of the complexity of this disorder, many treatments have been developed to help individuals with personality disorders overcome their problems and to live normally. In many cases, these methods are behavioral and cognitive, meaning that the patient learns new coping strategies to address the disorder in an attempt to return to healthy functioning. The most effective treatment involves learning positive coping skills and techniques that they can use to avoid repeating the behavior pattern of the disorder. Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the most effective methods for helping individuals with personality disorders control their behavior and overcome their difficulties.
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing a person’s thought patterns and replacing negative thoughts with more rational ones. This is an individualized approach that involves identifying the sources of the problem and then trying to change those beliefs and replacing them with more realistic ones. Once the underlying reasons for the behavior are identified, it is possible to modify the behavior to avoid repeating the behavior and instead, learn to accept responsibility for their behavior.
While this form of therapy is often used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and bipolar affective disorder, it has also been successful with other personality disorders. and is increasingly being used for many more conditions as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy for abnormal psychology can help people with a host of conditions ranging from obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression to eating disorders.