What Abnormality and Mental Illness Looks Like

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How does one define abnormality or mental illness? The definition of an abnormal person varies across different parts of society. A behavior that is not understood or accepted by the majority of a society is considered abnormal by them. A very basic example of the mindset for abnormality is an introvert in a group of extroverts will be considered abnormal by the group. Each person of the group has accepted that being expressive is normal behavior and this is something which every other person practices.

Whereas watching the introvert being less expressive astonishes them and they are not able to accept such behavior which leads them to consider him/her as abnormal or a psychopath. Being considered abnormal by people around you does not necessarily mean that one is mentally ill. This is something people need to get aware of and be sensitive towards others before considering them abnormal or mentally ill, as even if the person is not abnormal, continuous poking can create distress in the person’s mind which can lead to an actual mental disturbance.

Now going beyond abnormality and understanding when it actually becomes psychopathological. There are four areas that need to be fulfilled before considering a person mentally disturbed. The four areas also known as the four Ds are deviance, distress, dysfunction, and danger.

Deviance refers to have feelings or emotions which deviate from what is common, for example having extreme confidence issues and feeling worthless.

Distress refers to discomfort within and also results in creating disturbance for people around.

Dysfunction refers to the inability of being able to perform the daily tasks of life. For example, a depressed person often finds himself/herself unable to get out of bed and difficult to concentrate on a regular day to day activities.

Danger comes when the person starts to have suicidal thoughts and tends to harm himself/herself or even others.

When the behavior of the person becomes extremely inappropriate and discomforting then obviously the relatives and family members consult medical help, but the key is early detection of a serious mental issue. As for example all of us have at some point seen a family member or friend deal with breakup and heartbreaks and being sad is completely normal. But the problem starts when one is not able to cope up with that even after months and also starts doubting their self-worth, starts getting annoyed easily and starts behaving in a way which is totally different from what their regular behavior was.

Detecting mental issues at a very early stage is actually very helpful as at an early stage even talking to the person and listening to their thoughts is a big relief for them. Being aware of your close ones’ mental health is a practice everyone should bring to their day to day life as in modern times everyday life is so hectic that mental issues are very common and almost every person today is prone to mental issues.

Read also: 8 Things About Cognitive Distortions


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