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For Jamal, learning about abnormal psychology has been fascinating. Despite what hes read on the internet, Jamal now realizes that abnormal behavior isnt simply weird, nor does it necessarily indicate that a person has a mental illness. Given his own lived experiences with depression, Jamal now acknowledges the fact that he, too, has suffered from varying degrees of mental illness throughout his life. In fact, for many years, Jamal has felt as though he should seek mental health support to learn how to better manage his depression. Several of Jamals family members and friends have been diagnosed and treated by mental health professionals for various psychological issues in the past, which has inspired a question: How does someone know that the time has come to seek the therapeutic support of a mental health professional?
Jamals research led him to discover the Four Ds, a diagnostic paradigm that practitioners often use to conceptualize psychological disorders, which consists of the following factors: distress, dysfunction, danger, and deviance. In his review of the literature, Jamal noted that the linkages between these constructs arent always linear or mutual (e.g., a psychological problem may be considered dysfunctional, but not necessarily distressful; a psychological problem may be considered distressful, but not necessarily deviant). As Jamal considered the importance of diagnostic accuracy in the treatment of psychological disorders, he thought about his own mental health and wondered, My depression may cause feelings of despair, but to what extent does it actually impair my ability to function?
Anxiety: A psychological response to a stimulus that is perceived as threatening
Example: Avoiding interaction at a party due to discomfort in social situations
Depression: A persistent feeling of sadness and despair that can result in a loss of interest in various life activities
Example: Excessive crying
Dissociation: A psychological detachment and separation from self and environment
Examples: Daydreaming, highway hypnosis
Mania: A period of intense energy expenditure that may involve delusions and engagement in high-risk behavior
Examples: Excessive spending, reckless driving
Obsessive thoughts/compulsive behaviors: Persistent and undesirable thoughts or urges and ritualistic behaviors often driven by preoccupation with a negative outcome
Example: Frequent hand washing that is motivated by a fear of being contaminated by germs
Panic: An intense period of fear combined with physiological symptoms (e.g., rapid speech, sweating, nausea)
Example: Stomach gets upset and hands shake while speaking in front of a group (public speaking)
Phobia: A fear of a specific, often nonthreatening stimulus
Examples: Seeks an escape route when in a crowded area (Agoraphobia: fear of crowded spaces)
Psychosis: A psychological state in which one experiences hallucinations, delusions, and/or a persistent and unchangeable belief in something that is obviously false
Example: Acting suspiciously due to suspecting that food is being poisoned