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  1. #1

    Pyschology gives out the message that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    Hi.. just outa curiosity..
    psychology is the study of behavior, of actions, of personality etc and it's relation. It's an attempted explanation of mankind..
    What with psychology trying to explain everything and coming up with 'new' disorders almost yearly.. in a sense, what is 'normal' then?
    everyone has ups and downs.. everyone has 'unique' actions they do in different situations.. sometimes when you apply 'psychoanalysis' of people, then you start finding this, that that, this, lotsa weird 'abnormal acitivity' related to something that was probably actually '100% normal'.. okay.. if say, a simple action of checking a locked door.. check it more than once or twice each time and bam, you might have obc.. go into an unexpected situation(maybe its your unique personality that you dont like to be in the center of a crowd) you feel like you have butterflies in ur stomach and get so scared you start getting dizzy, bam you 'might' have anxiety..
    Does psychology help explain things to make ppl normal.. or could it actually make 'normal' activity/behavior turn into 'abnormalcy' because the person believes what he/she is doing isn't 'normal' and makes it that way? there isn't really a real answer on this.. but what do you guys think?
    Friendship is a virtue, a link to the future, a link to the past, one that will never break

  2. #2

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    My 2 cents...Many moods and behaviours are distributed in Nature like a bell curve where most of the population has some of the trait while other segments of the population simply have less or more. I think most psychologists are not concerned about how common a particular behavior is, but rather how that behavior or way of thinking interferes with one's subjective happiness or ability to function. All of the psychologists I have seen seem to be the most open minded and least judgemental people I have ever known. At least a few psychologists seem to use a more general term like "adjustment issues" when the patient's symptoms seem like normal reactions to a particular stress. Also, the more I read about other primates like baboons with social anxiety and chimpanzees with depression, the more "normal" I feel. Fear is the most common emotion animals share, so anxiety seems pretty normal to me, such as when my dog will seem very anxious at the vet's office.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    actually,my own point of thought is that people who are branded with psychological disorders are not much different from normal people,their just people who have ,as said before, different forms of behaviour that is legally recognized in the medical sector.

  4. #4

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    Also, what is normal is often not good or bad, just what has survived from human evolution:

    It was the failures who had always won, but by the time they won they had come to be called successes. This is the final paradox, which men call evolution.
    -- from the "The Inner Galaxy" by Loren Eiseley
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    I spend a lot of my time reassuring people along the lines of what Daniel has said here. I don't think psychologists as a rule "pathologize" people or behaviors or symptoms. In truth, I never even give a diagnosis unless I have to...

    Examples: OCD and ADD -- both are dimensions in my opinion, not discrete categories, and there are elements of both that if properly channelled can be quite adaptive. It becomes a diagnosis only when it is interefering with one's life.

    Another example: Depression -- I have said frequently that the traits and personality characteristics that make one vulnerable to depression are often the same as those that make you a sensitive, considerate human being and attract other people to you as a good friend and romantic partner...

    As for psychoanalysis, there aren't a lot of mental health practitioners who are psychoanlysts any more and even fewer who are psychologists... most are psychiatrists.

  6. #6

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    I guess I'm an oddball, but I define the term "normal", as it refers to human beings, their personalities and their behaviors, as that which allows you to live the life you wish to live, interact with others without major difficulty, and accomplish that which you want to accomplish with your life. Things like being able to hold a job, take care of your responsibilities, get along with those close to you the majority of the time, and live a generally happy life (this does not mean a life of bliss with no problems and no slip-ups).

    Nobody's perfect, so "normal" certainly doesn't mean "perfect" to me. :o)

  7. #7

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    Along those lines, here's a fascinating site:

    Born to Explore- The Other Side of ADD
    Positive and alternative information about attention deficit disorder, including
    creativity, giftedness, and temperament diversity.

  8. #8

    Pyschology gives out the msg that 'normality' doesn't exist?

    Interesting responses... I would tend to agree with normal meaning something like "pretty effective in most daily aspects of living most of the time," especially if you broke it down into things like working, socializing, home life, etc.

    I do know some people who would fit into that, but I think the majority do not. At least, heh, the majority of people I know. I hardly know anyone who isn't acting out on some weird relationship he had with one of his parents, and even if the people weren't particularly abused, they have become way codependent and aren't aware of it, or have other behaviors that seem really strange to most people but are "normal" to the person himself.

    Society is so tricky, too, because some disordered behaviors are indirectly encouraged and lead to the person being successful in many areas of life... at the expense of himself, of course.

    And then some people are really disordered, but if they are "happy" and functional in most areas of living, people hardly notice. They may be "closet unhappies" or just have a big front going about pretending to be happy all the time.

    I think all of that affects the perception of normal, because aren't we basing it on what we observe in the people around us? (Whether directly or in the media or whathavewe.) There may be a lot less "normal" out there than appearances would suggest. It must help tremendously to be in mental health care and be able to see through some of the facade. The rest of us are just like stabbing at normal in the dark.



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