Abnormal Psychology

Treatments of mental disorders have had a broad array from super harsh to super soft in the popular culture, which is traced back to 19th century and earlier. This kind of disorders is not limited by age, religion or race, as long as one is exposed to the threshold amount of the causative agent. The disorders are referred to as abnormal, since the behaviors, which initially give rise to it, cause impairment in a person’s life. The discussion will be based on the understanding of popular culture as referring to be a practice occurring in different societies, in groups within and among different societies, and also groups occurring in different historical periods. The main objective of this essay paper is to discuss the treatment of abnormal behavior, which is associated with abnormal disorders, in a popular culture by referring to a reality based television show, Interventions.

Withdrawal from an abnormal behavior can be as distressful process as the habit itself. The therapy measures used may seem to aggravate the situation to an extent a victim, such as of OCD, may easily recoil to the former painful experiences, if the family, friends or the physicians attending him/her are not keen. It is, therefore, true that withdrawal involves therapy, which is a proved uncomfortable experience, but it is done for a reason and that can be seen in the former OCD people, who have gone through the process. On the other hand, tolerance is the easier thing to choose, since one doesn’t have to go through the painful experiences of the therapy process, which, of course, involves isolation from other members of the society and put together with other OCD suffers. The problem is that the tolerant person will have to suffer for the rest of his/her life (Juzwiak, 2010).

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The attitude of a community towards mental illness may be influenced by its culture if the illness is mainly defined in the context of culture. Withdrawal or tolerance depends on the attitude of those, affected by OCD. For instance, in a research conducted to investigate attitudes towards mental illness, the Orthodox Jews did not perceive OCD as either psychological or medical mental illness problem, but they were ready to give religious explanations. Those, who may choose withdrawal, will welcome help from either psychological/medical therapists or religion. However, those, who believe in neither of the two schools of thought, are likely to live the children untreated, which will lead to major disabilities (Pirutinsky et al., 2009).

There are types of impulsive behaviors; for example, contamination obsessions associated with compulsions to wash or clean. In this case first  of all, one is usually uncomfortable of being contaminated and, therefore, will tend to wash and clean excessively, so as to get rid of the feelings of distress. Secondly, some have harm obsessions, in which the victims constantly have intense thoughts or fears of being harmed themselves or others being harmed. Checking compulsions to make sure no harm happens. Thirdly, obsession without compulsive behavior is about aggressive themes, such as sexual and religious activities, for example, one can have invading thoughts about raping someone. Fourthly, there is a symmetry obsession, in which one always develops a strong desire to order, count or arrange. Finally, hoarding involves obsession, in which one is always filled with thoughts to collect items judged by others to be of limited value, such as old magazines, containers and clothes (Kelly, 2010).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one of the mental disorders, which impair psychological functioning. It is a major cause of disabilities among the young people, and for its treatment families matter, if the physicians do not treat it early (Nakatani et al, 2009). Several therapeutic ways have been invented since industrial revolution, which believed to be the beginning of the popular culture. The early pioneers supported different methods of treating abnormal behavior. For instance, Wolpe, Lzarus, Eysenvk, Beck, and Bandura supported systematic desensitization, multi-modal behavior therapy, conditioning therapy, cognitive therapy and social learning/cognitive behavior therapy respectively.

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 Institutionalization is one of the treatment methods for abnormal psychology in 1900s -1950s. There were large state-run hospitals for severely mentally ill and severely developmentally disabled. The problem with this method is that treatment was limited to provision of water and food only; hence, it does not give the real meaning of treatment. In the course of custody of the patients their rights were frequently violated. In 1950s-1960s theatment involved administration of antipsychotic medications, such as Thorazine and Haldol. From 1960s to the present deinstitutionalization method was used, in which the number of patients in psychiatric hospital populations were reduced or discouraged to give the highest degree of freedom, so that the patient can fully participate in the treatment receive services (Abnormal Psychology, 2012).

The Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) was administered according to the developmental sophistication of the patient of the patient. The treatment was to be done 8-12 sessions, each taking one hour per week. When the treatment was done on Children’s Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CYBOCS), the mean percentage population of CYBOCS was moved from baseline to post-treatment. In case medication was used, in which some patients received clomipramine or a SSRIs in addition to CBT, showed a similar reduction in the percentage of CYBOCS, when related to the patients lacking the history. There are different scores obtained by the CYBOCS, which enable the therapists to classify the patients to different severity groups to identify those having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) after the treatment (Nakatani et al., 2009).

Treatment methods used were a few but believed to be effective. The prescribed treatment methods are uncomfortable to the sick people, in which six of the individuals are placed in a house in an attempt to treat them. These people have to preserve through the withdrawal symptoms and also the side effects of the therapy used. Thus, this exposure therapy used does not make someone sicker of develops the disorder itself, but increases the distress level of an individual. More surprising, for Kevin, a prayer is said to have worked in alleviating this disorder from his life, although Dr. David Tolin does believe it to be an effective method of treatment (Juzwiak, 2010).

Although the show is meant to be informative, the events that build up the themes are unfortunately traumatizing. One of the shows demonstrates vividly how life is so difficult for the victims of OCD, and also shows the efforts that the family and friends should make to help such individuals. In the program, the OCD Project contains tragic events involving people going through intense pressures and treatments. The OCD sufferers, as observed in the show, may also be having several other psychiatric issues, which may not be noticed and treated, since the therapists are only focused on treating OCD. The debilitating experience of the OCD victims is so dehumanizing, especially when people seem to be deprived of their total control of their life. The frightening discussions that go on are meant to find the source of the patient’s behavior. I feel that parents need to watch with their teenage children to explain the episodes as they unfold, since the program mostly manifests itself in childhood (Juzwiak, 2010).

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Treatment of abnormal behavior in a popular culture is a rigorous process, which has undergone a lot of revolutions since the birth of industrial revolution itself. Focusing on the reality television show, the OCD Project, in which people, who suffer from the Obsession Compulsive Disorder, are treated and their disorder is being controlled, shed a light on what form of suffering the victims undergo. Those, who choose to go there or their kinsmen chose for them, have to be ready to go through the various methods of treatment offered, for instance, exposure to chemotherapy. Otherwise, tolerance is not easier and cheaper in the long run. Actually, watching the film, one can always tell that the OCD suffering people have a very difficult life, lack a total control of their life, and, hence, have to be watched all the time or else they are a danger to themselves and the community at large.

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