What does it mean to be “normal” or “abnormal,” and to what extent does your place in a given culture at a moment in history influence this?

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What does it mean to be “normal” or “abnormal,” and to what extent does your place in a given culture at a moment in history influence this?

Module 7 DQ 2
What does it mean to be “normal” or “abnormal,” and to what extent does your place in a given culture at a moment in history influence this?
Support your position.
Historical causes for abnormalities such as mental, physical or cultural were attributed to the supernatural, biological or psychological reasons (Zuern & Ashley, 2012). However, there various definitions for the terms normal and abnormal depending upon the benchmark used for measurement, the context in which the behavior is occurring as well as the cultural and societal influences acting on said behavior. For example, according to an article by authors Zuern & Ashley(2012), even Jesus himself was considered abnormal when he sat with the unclean and criminals as he was questioned by the Pharisees for his outrageous behaviors. Now, his behavior is seen by many Christians as the noble, correct way to treat others and is perfectly normal and acceptable in the Christian culture.
Furthermore, culture impacts the validity of diagnosing certain psychiatric disorders as demonstrated by the introductory chapter in the DSM-5 Cultural Issues Subgroup: Cultural Aspects of Psychiatric Diagnosis (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The goal of this specification is to include worldwide cultural and contextual factors such as social and environmental peculiarities where individuals develop.
Moreover, cultural systems include such as experiences and interactions, social structures (access to resources, racisms, and marginalization), local material environment (access to resources such as health) and individual circumstances that can vary from time to time (Lewis-Fernandez & Aggarwal, 2013). Additionally, the person’s interpretation of the situation as well as the pathology of the behavior according to others in the local setting, perceived severity, and persistence of the disturbance and availability of support systems or interventions is part of the validity and usefulness of diagnosis.

References
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Lewis-Fernandez, R. & Aggarwal, N.K. (2013). Culture and psychiatric diagnosis. Adv Psychosom Med., 33, 15–30. doi:10.1159/000348725.
Zuern, G. A. & Ashley, W. M. (2012). In quest of the meaning of normal and abnormal behavior
American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 2(9), 20-25.
Deborah Hill


 

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