In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.
Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:
Would any of these behaviors be rightly considered "abnormal”? Read through each and post your thoughts on at least two of the scenarios below, ideally choosing DIFFERENT scenarios than your classmates. What additional information would help make a case as to whether the behavior(s) should be considered "abnormal”? Under what conditions might some of these behaviors be considered “normal”? Are there instances where cultural differences might have an important role in your decision?
1. Your brother consumes a six pack of beer per day; he sometimes misses class or goes in late to work on Monday mornings.
2. One of your graduate school classmates spends 15 or more hours per day conducting experiments or doing library reading and records observations on color-coded index cards.
3. A woman at your job has vague physical complaints and sees 2-3 doctors a month.
4. Your neighbor sweeps, washes, and scrubs his driveway daily.
5. Your cousin is pregnant and is dieting (1400 calories per day) so that she will not get "too fat" with the pregnancy.
6. A man's wife died within the last three months. The widower appears to talk to himself in the yard, wears the same clothes each day, and has lost some weight.
7. A Secret Service agent steps in front of the President of the United States, prepared to be killed or injured if the President's safety is threatened.
3 days ago
Forum post response #1
I chose 1 and 6 for discussion. In the scenario in 1, my “brother’s” drinking can be perceived as deviant, because this behavior operates outside the norms of our society. His actions are certainly dysfunction because his drinking interferes with his daily functioning (i.e., work and school). While it may be considered normal in some cultures to assume large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, my brother is operating outside of the norm. Additionally, his drinking could be a symptom of a larger problem such as depression, or other psychopathology. It is not uncommon for person suffering from, say, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia to “numb” their symptoms through alcohol.
In scenario 6, this widower’s behavior, at least in our culture, is considered abnormal. While grief is a complex emotional experience, there are some red flags provided in the brief description. Talking to oneself may be interpreted as deviant behavior. While this poor man may be talking to his dead wife, it is unclear whether or not be understands that she is deceased. From a societal standpoint, talking to oneself is not perceived as deviant behavior. While it could be that his gentlemen is “thinking out loud,” something that I often do, his disheveled appearance and obvious weight loss, point to psychopathology. Also, his behavior is dysfunctional. Since he is not taking care of himself, this interferes with his daily functioning and overall well-being. Lastly, he appears to suffer from grief-related depression.
Forum post response #2
Number 4 describes a neighbor who sweeps, washes, and scrubs his driveway daily. I would say this behavior is a bit abnormal (deviant) as it is different than most people behave in society. This behavior does not cause distress, dysfunction nor is it dangerous, therefore I would not really consider it to be abnormal. Depending on the culture the neighbor grew up in this could be a normal behavior for him, or perhaps he just takes pride in his home and taking care of his possessions. To the neighbors who do not do this same behavior may however feel that he is abnormal.
Number 6 describes a man who is grieving the loss of his wife, he talks to himself, wears the same clothes and is losing weight. His behavior could be seen as abnormal as he is behaving in a deviant way by changing his clothes and talking to himself. He may be in distress, but without talking to him it would be hard to judge just by his actions, one would need to find out if his feelings are negative in order to determine his level of distress. He could probably be described as dysfunctional based on his behavior because it would appear as though he is not able to perform every day functions properly such as eating and conducting proper hygiene. I would not say he is dangerous as he doesn’t seem to behave in a violent manner. His behavior could be considered normal, as there are many stages of grieving and each person deals with death a bit differently, he could still be grieving and just need a bit of assistance to work through those stages. I do not think this specific scenario is influenced by culture.
Forum post response #3
The “4 Ds” of abnormal behavior include deviant, distressful, dysfunctional, and dangerous. Scenario number one describes a young man that drinks six beers each day. This young man also misses class often and is sometimes late for work on Monday mornings. It is implied in the given scenario that the young man is an alcoholic. An over consumption of alcohol could explain why he frequently misses class as well as why he is often late for work on Monday mornings. Consuming six alcoholic beverages per day may be considered deviant as many individuals do not drink on a daily basis. However, it is important to consider the young man’s current surroundings as well as his background. The description of the young man missing his classes indicates that he is a college student. It is common for many college students to drink often and have many late nights. Therefore, when compared to many other college students, the young man’s behavior may not seem so deviant. It is also important to consider his family’s drinking history. If his family members drink frequently, then his excessive drinking seems to be less deviant as it is most likely a learned behavior. It is important to consider that there may be other reasons aside from drinking for the young man to miss class and arrive late for work on Monday mornings. Perhaps he does not feel that attending classes on a regular basis is necessary. In addition, he may be late for work on some Monday mornings as he is simply tired from the previous week. Also, there may not be any repercussions for his tardiness. Therefore, he may not be motived to arrive to work on time. As for distress, there is no clear signs of distress. However, his drinking habits as well as his lack of motivation to attend classes and arrive to work on time may be the result of depression. Regardless of the reasoning behind the young man’s drinking habits and tendency to miss class and be late for work, these behaviors can be considered dysfunctional. In terms of danger, the effect the daily consumption of alcohol has on the young man’s body may be considered dangerous. Although the young man’s behaviors may seem normal from certain perspectives, daily consumption of a significant amount of alcohol as well as lack of motivation to attend classes and show up for work on time can be considered abnormal.
Scenario three describes a woman who has vague physical complaints and typically sees several doctors each month. It is difficult to determine whether or not the woman’s behavior is abnormal. Although seeing two to three doctors a month sounds a bit out of the ordinary for most individuals, it may be considered common/ normal for people who have had certain medical complications, engage daily in physical activity, or who have worked as laborers. However, assuming that the woman has no previous illness and has not worked as a laborer or engaged in various physical activities, then her vague complaints of physical pain and excessive doctors’ appointments would most likely be considered abnormal. It is difficult to determine if the woman’s behavior should be considered deviant and dysfunctional. If the woman did engage in work or activities that caused her physical pain, then her behavior most likely would not be considered deviant or dysfunctional. However, if the woman had no real reasons for her complaints, then her complaints and excessive doctors’ appointments would be viewed as deviant and dysfunctional. As for distress, it is evident that the woman feels distress as she has physical complains and goes to the doctor frequently. In terms of danger, it appears that there is really no potential danger in the woman’s behavior.
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