Updated: Mar 19
Abnormal psychology is a branch of psychopathology that covers the understanding of human behavior, the reasons behind it and how it can be treated. For instance, although higher levels of IQ are considered abnormal, they are also a sign of an individual who is a genius. Abnormal psychology studies the pattern and assess if the behavior falls within, or outside the norms of being good or bad. Understanding Abnormal Psychological can help you in your professional career and in your personal life as well.
The stigma associated with Psychological Disorders
Abnormal psychology aims to understand and identify emotional and mental disorders or aggressive behavior amongst both children and adults. Knowing what psychological disorders are and the causes behind them can help end the negative stigma attached to mental illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 450 million people or 1 in 4 will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. Historically we can see how societies across the world have subjected those with mental illness to heinous humanitarian crimes. Throughout history, people with mental illness were given a low social status, faced discrimination, harassment, false imprisonment and in extreme cases torture and death. All of these terrible things happened because of a simple lack of education and understanding regarding mental illness.
Illnesses and Topics you can Learn about in an Abnormal Psychology Program
Social anxiety and depression
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Substance Abuse and drug addiction
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) or Multiple personality disorder (MPD)
and the Assessment of Psychological Disorders
Abnormal psychology assesses these based upon the 4Ds known as dysfunction, distress, deviance, and danger that the behavior of an individual possesses to others. Upon identification, much of the treatment is done under the psychoanalytic, behavioral, medical or cognitive approach. Some known treatments and therapies include classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Careers in Abnormal Psychology
The robust field of psychology provides for various life-changing career options. By completing an introductory certificate program and getting a basic knowledge about types of disorders and their causes, an individual can use this information in many different fields such as in healthcare, educational institutions, business entities, wellness centers, and psychotherapy clinics.
Common Psychology Careers and National Avagered Salary
Clinical Social Worker: Annual Income: $49,470
Clinical Psychologist: Annual Income: $79,010
Mental Health Counselors (Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder): Annual Income: $44,630
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: Annual Income: $53,020
Survey Researchers: Annual Income: $57,700
Exploring the role of Clinical Psychologists
What do Clinical Psychologists do? As a clinical psychologist, you will be expected to treat patients with some form of a mental illness or those suspected to be at risk. Some of your duties and tasks may include:
Monitoring behavioral patterns of both adults and children,
Understanding culture and external environment for research and treatment,
Diagnose abnormal behavior and issues
Help relieve stress and depressive symptoms
Help patients move towards a healthier and mindful lifestyle
Monitor client progress and future abnormal behavior occurrence
Publish academic and professional research for evidence-based practice