Mental Disorder/Illness, Concepts of abnormality, Misconcepts of mental illness

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MENTAL DISORDER (ILLNESS)
Mental illness is maladjustment in living, It produces a disharmony in the person's ability to meet human needs comfortably or effectively and function within a culture.
Definition of mental disorders
Mental and behavioural disorders are understood as clinically significant conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood (emotions) or behaviour associated with personal distress and/or impaired functioning (WHO,2001)
Concepts of abnormality
Research criteria of  abnormality:- Scott ( 1958) reviewed 5 criteria for abnormality which has been used for research purposes.
·         Psychiatric diagnosis
·         Presence in a mental hospital
·         Social maladjustment
·         Subjective unhappiness
·         Objective psychological inventories
1. Abnormal as deviation from social norms: Abnormal is simply a label given to behaviour that is deviant from social expectations. Behaviour is abnormal only if the society labels it as such, It is social acceptance that makes behaviour normal
2. Abnormal as maladaptive: The defined mental behaviour- includes the more traditional categories of mental disorders like alcoholism, neurosis, psychosis, prejudice and discrimination against person, because of race, sex, wasteful use of natural resources air and water pollution, irrational violence and political corruption all represent maladaptive behaviour that impairs individual and group well-being.
3. Abnormality as personal distress: According to this abnormality in terms of the subjective feelings of distress rather than individual behavior.
Symptoms of abnormality
·         Suffering & unhappiness
·         Certain specific manifestation that is not present in healthy individuals
·         Impaired efficiency
·         Impaired ability to enjoy work
·         Lack of adequate insight or conscious knowledge
·         Excessive defensiveness in the form of isolation
·         Disturbance in the feeling of security & self esteem
Misconcepts of mental illness
·         Most of the time mental illness is characterized by superstitions, ignorance and fear. Some about the mental illness are:
·         Belief that abnormal behavior is bizarre
·         Belief that if one person is a mental patient he is unstable and dangerous
·         Belief that mental health is not related to physical health
·         Belief that prevalence of mental illness are low in our country  
·         Belief that mental illness once acquired is life long
·         Belief that the only place for the mentally ill is an asylum
·         Belief that no effective treatment is available
·         Belief that mental disorders are something ashamed of
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References
l . Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ. Synopsis of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences/ Clinical Psychiatry. 9th ed. Hong Kong: William and Wilkinson Publishers; 1998.
2.Sreevani R. A Guide to Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Publishers;  2010.
3.Neeraja KP. Essentials of Mental health and Psychiatric nursing. Voume l . New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical publishers; 2008.
4.Mary TC. Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing - Concept of Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Publishers; 2002.
5.Ahuja N. A Short Text Book of Psychiatry. 5th Ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Medical Brothers Publishers;  2002.
6. Fortinash. Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Publishers; 2008.
7.Bhatia MS. A Concised Text book on Psychiatric Nursing. 3rd ed. New Delhi: CBS publishers; 2004.




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