In psychology abnormal behavior is viewed in terms of deviation from statistical and social norms or making assumptions that a certain percentage of humans can be considered to be abnormal such as about 2% of the population which was historically the percentage of mentally sick humans about a hundred years ago.
The problem is that statistical norms can also be said to be indicators of individual uniqueness of behavior or looks which can’t be classified as a characteristic of mental illness. So what makes someone unique and not mentally ill? Based on statistical and social norms very few can define or tell the difference.
All of abnormal psychology is really subjectively determining what behaviors or symptoms a human has way too much of and what symptoms a human has way too little of. Further there is the question of frequency of the behavior which answers whether the behavior or symptom is way too frequent or not frequent enough to be considered normal or abnormal.
The duration and frequency should be determined for each symptom but psychological tests do a very bad job determining this because most information is dependent on unreliable patient opinions and self revelations which are often not very accurate at all. Even the psychological tests are badly constructed with absolute yes or no answers without a time reference so test results are statistically very unreliable measures of the actual mental and physical behavior of the patient. Guessing and ball park assumptions are rampant in the psychiatric profession.
Patients don’t count how many times a day or week they feel sad nor are they aware of how long the sadness lasts each time. Patients do not time their behavior or feelings so all answers are just ball park inaccurate estimates. How frequent is your sadness? How long does your sadness last? and How intense is your sadness? are three questions which I have not seen on psychological tests. Patient bias is added to doctor bias and this often results is misdiagnosis of the severity of the symptoms or behavioral dynamics.
This inaccurate biased diagnosis has increased the diagnosis of mental illness to 25 to 30% of the population which is really criminal behavior on the part of psychotherapists, doctors, and the drug industry who have addicted patients to psychoactive, mind altering pills, or medications and are making a financial killing doing so.
Adaptation: n. changing to achieve a goal(s) which is no longer possible to achieve without change and/or adjusting to changes in the environment
Maladaptiveness is suggested as a symptom of abnormal behavior which is basically an inability of a human to make goals and achieve them.
Physically an inability to pick up an object from the table or physically bumping into a door and fumbling to open it are sure signs of an inability to reach physical goals and this hints that there may be abnormal brain behavior.
Trying to say one thing and saying something else which seems irrational may be another sign of an inability to reach verbal goals and a sign of brain abnormality. Unpredictable, irrational, and emotionally inappropriate verbal responses may all be signs of brain abnormality but no psychological test can determine this and it is purely the subjective evaluation of the clinician or doctor that there is speech abnormality or maladaptiveness.
Determining the degree, length, and frequency of personal distress or mental disorder is seldom done accurately. Yes, inability to concentrate, insomnia, racing thoughts, hallucinations or hearing voices, delusions or feeling one is Napoleon or Jesus Christ, and frequently wanting to commit suicide are all potential signs of serious mental illness. Very few exhibit all five symptoms simultaneously and having only one symptom does not automatically mean that you are totally dysfunctional in society or can’t lead a relatively normal life.
In this day and age if you emotionally upset others too frequently, behave weirdly and upset others, or if you are extremely unconventional then you run the risk of being labelled mentally abnormal and can be medicated by the psychiatric profession.
A diagnosis of depression is the most common mental illness. Here are the 12 symptoms which only potentially show that you may be depressed:
Your always tired,
everything and everyone annoys you,
you sleep too little or too much,
you constantly overeat or eat too little,
you’re in pain everywhere,
you don’t care if you look messy,
your isolating yourself,
nothing interests you,
your forgetful or have trouble concentrating,
you wallow in pessimistic thoughts,
you feel numb or empty, and
you think about dying.
How many of the above symptoms do you have to have before you are labelled depressed? Is it 3, 9, or all 12? No one can answer this question with certainty. In order of priority which symptoms are more indicative of depression? No one can answer this with any degree of certainty. What is the duration, frequency, and intensity of these symptoms? No psychological test or doctor can answer these three fundamental questions with any degree of certainty.
Add to this one more question. How do you determine the severity of the depression or whether the patient is a little depressed, normally depressed, greatly depressed, or severely depressed and maybe needing medication? No psychological test can determine this and it is purely a subjective conclusion reached by a clinician or doctor.
“Everything and everyone annoys you” is an absolute unrealistic statement because if it really was everything then eating, driving, shitting, pissing, sleeping, talking, moving, etc. would annoy you. Associating with lousy friends and a bad boss can make you feel that you are with annoying humans all the time. This symptom is highly subjective and not a clear sign of depression.
“Nothing interests you” is another unrealistic absolute statement which is like saying everything does not interest you like eating, driving, shitting, pissing, sleeping, talking, moving, etc. If I said you inherited $10,000 dollars then I bet this would almost interest everyone. This no interest in anything symptom is absolute and highly subjective and not a clear sign of depression.
“You don’t care if you look messy and you sleep too much” may just be a symptom of a very lazy personality and certainly not a clear sign of depression.
“Your always tired” is another absolute statement and may be caused by unhealthy eating habits, partying too much, not enough movement or exercise, alcoholism, or sleeping too little. Certainly not a clear sign of depression.
It is almost never determined what the intensity, duration, and frequency of your pessimistic thoughts, feelings of emptiness, and thoughts about dying are. If we are very old, our lives seem to have no purpose or are boring, and we aren’t very active in our lives then pessimism, thoughts about dying, and emptiness or a numb sensation may logically be present. We may seem depressed to an observer only because our thoughts and activities are severely decreased and we are not leading a normal active life.
So far we have analyzed 7 potential indicators of depression and all seven are no guarantee that you are severely depressed enough to need medication in your life.
Your isolating yourself, you have trouble concentrating and are overly forgetful, you are constantly in physical pain, you are constantly sleeping, and you are almost always unhappy are mostly signs that you should get your rear in gear and do something constructive during the day instead of just lounging around doing nothing much.
Trouble concentrating is perhaps a sign of brain abnormality but constant physical pain is not a psychological problem but a physical one which can only lead to severe depression if it stops you from normal functioning at home and on the job too.
Depression is in reality severely decreased physical and mental activity which also means minimal exposure to other humans and the environment or a form of extreme isolation from the world of humans and things. Yet functioning human beings are often diagnosed with depression who have not isolated themselves from others and the world.
Humans with lousy friends, a terrible spouse, a lousy job, and bad relationships in general are very unhappy or sad and are encouraged to take happy pills by psychiatrists to elevate their mood. The result is medicated humans with bad side effects returning to the environment which made them unhappy or sad in the first place and they are not cured of their “depression”.
Depression diagnosis is largely a scam which can be cured by interacting with motivating humans and the natural world and doing things in the world which give a sense of enjoyment and achievement. It basically means getting off your lazy butt and doing valuable things alone and with good quality friends or relationships.
You basically have to be selfmotivated to actively do things and this is almost impossible to create with external motivators or expert advice only. To cure depression you basically need a radical change in environment and relationships and interests which most humans can’t afford to do because of ongoing life commitments and the lingering trap of very bad habits.
That is the tragedy of modern life that those supposedly suffering from depression don’t have enough money to go elsewhere and eliminate the depressive symptoms and get well or become cured. A depressed or very lousy, very boring, very unhappy life is the fate many humans now have and are stigmatized by the diagnosis and treatment for depression with addictive happy pills which often make the situation worse with bad side effects and results in no cure.
Some depressed women have been helped with eco therapy which is basically going out with the family for half hour walks in the woods every day. This is just further evidence that the key to curing depression is to change a dysfunctional lifestyle into a functional one by changing your bad habits into better ones.
If you continue to marinate in your bad dysfunctional habits and just take happy pills or medications then there is no cure but just further dependence on the irresponsible psychiatric profession indefinitely. An abnormal lifestyle of bad habits must be changed into a more normal lifestyle of good habits if any progress is to be made with decreasing depression in the modern world.
It is also a fact of life that in a society of increasing diversity in behavior that statistically significant norms are hard to come by or define. In a traditional relatively uniform culture it is far easier to make normative statements than for a diverse cultural situation. The reality is that the apparently clear historical distinction between normal and abnormal begins to greatly blur and a true consensus or overwhelming majority of agreement no longer exists.
There are also no longer normative psychiatrists who diagnose subjectively the same way because there is such a diversity of backgrounds for the psychiatrists themselves all biased in their own unique subjective ways. In an increasingly chaotic and diverse modern world the boundaries between normal and abnormal are almost non existent or at least very vague and unpredictable to a large extent.
If you feel very unhappy or sad I would highly recommend that you go to a psychologist first or a family counselor if you are married. Before you accept a diagnosis of severe depression from one psychiatrist and start popping pills, make sure you get a second, third, and maybe fourth opinion from other psychiatrists.
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