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What is Normal There are several criteria for judging whether peoples thinking emotions or behaviors are normal But to explain clearly what is normal we must find out what is abnormal Abnormal is thought behavior feelings which are maladaptive disruptive uncomfortable to person those they are in relationship with It is known by consequences that include losing control over action thought emotion in personal social or work life If we define normality as what most people do an obvious criterion for abnormality is statistical infrequency that which is atypical or rare Another criterion for abnormality is personal suffering and norm violation Because no single criterion is entirely adequate for identifying abnormality mental health practitioners and researchers tend to adopt a practical approach that combines aspects of all the criteria This practical approach pays special attention to whether a persons thoughts behavior or emotions cause impaired functioning - that is difficulty in fulfilling appropriate and expected social roles Also normal people are people that are not suffering from psychological disorders In spite of differing definitions of abnormality within and across cultures there does seem to be a set of behavior patterns that roughly defines the range of most abnormality in most cultures In 1952 the American Psychiatric Association published the first edition of what has become the official North America diagnostic classification system the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM The latest edition DSM-IV contains more than three hundreds specific diagnostic labels It can evaluate a person on five dimensions The clinical syndromes personality or development disorders physical disorders psychosocial stressors and adaptive functioning assessment Some examples from DSM-IV are anxiety disorders somatoform disorder dissociative disorders personality disorders affective disorders schizophrenia disorders There are four types of anxiety disorders phobia generalized anxiety disorder panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder Phobia is an intense irrational fear of an object or situation that is not likely to be dangerous The phobic person usually realizes the
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