Many people struggle with the question that whether they or someone close to them are displaying abnormal patterns of behavior
The word ‘abnormal’ simply means anything that is away from the ‘norm.’ The movement away from the norm can be both in either a negative or a positive direction. Definitions of what constitutes normality and abnormality of human behavior have changed across times, cultures and perspectives.
Few criteria that can help us in determining whether a behavior is abnormal are:
- The behavior impedes the person to realize his or her potential?
- The behavior displayed by the person rare (in a negative sense) in terms of age, cultural norms and social expectations?
- It has a negative effect on the life of the individual concerned?
- It has a negative effect on the life of others?
- The behavior makes the individual suffer and disabled?
In contemporary times, there are two broad and related disciplines that treat abnormal behavior, clinical psychology and psychiatry. The field of Clinical Psychology attempts to understand the reasons for the existence of abnormal behavior and treat it through different kinds of psychotherapies and counseling. Also, besides treating abnormal behavior the focus is on promoting personal growth and well-being.
The clinical psychologist also uses a wide variety of psychological tests and questionnaires to understand the personality of any individual in a better manner.
Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behavior through medication and other modalities. Depending upon the disorder being treated the treatment maybe inpatient or outpatient. Both approaches play a complementary role in alleviation of abnormal behavior