Unraveling the Intriguing World of Abnormal Psychology (History of Abnormal Psychology)


Discover the fascinating field of abnormal psychology, exploring disorders, causes, and treatments, to gain insights into the human mind. #Psychology #AbnormalPsychology

Abnormal Psychology

Personality disorder is a general term for different types of mental illness, which affects a person’s social, family and work life. Many times people suffering from mental illness do not realize that they are suffering from such a disorder.

The scientific study of psychological disorders is known as abnormal psychology. When one deviates from a norm, or accepted behavior in a society or culture, people call it abnormal behavior. It is studied, researched and treated by a clinical psychologist, psychiatrists and social workers. Personality disorders are similar to physical illnesses. There are different types of psychological conditions that can affect an individual. The many myths belong to the term “mental”, since one can not see the chemical imbalance in the brain. The person who suffers such psychological imbalances does not realize, what is wrong with him. History shows how people misinterpreted abnormal personality disorders and imprisoned or expelled patients from the main society.

History of abnormal psychology

Abnormal personality disorders were not understood as clinical manifestations, but as the work of demons, ghosts and evil spirits. This resulted in stories of witches and wizards, witchcraft and magic. These personality disorders were treated with a method known as “trepanation”. Trepanation was practiced in the prehistoric era, the classical and Renaissance periods. The procedure for this cooling procedure of the spine was to drill a hole in the skull and expose the dura to treat the personality disorder. This process was used to treat seizures and many more mental illnesses.


Hippocrates was the first to point to the brain as the main cause of these abnormal psychological personality disorders. Patients with mental illnesses were treated as outcasts and were socially abolished. They were kept in inhumane conditions and treated with demonological methods. Patients died or were permanently disabled due to the cruel methods adopted to treat personality disorders. The Salem Witch Trial in 1692 is proof that many innocent people with or without mental disorders are sentenced to prison or death. The Bethlehem Hospital in London was the first hospital to be converted into mental asylum. Philippe Pinet (1745-1826), a Frenchman who was then the head doctor of the La Bicetre nursing home in Paris, believed that patients with mental disorders were ill and needed kindness and care. He is one of the great humanitarian who ordered to eliminate the chains of patients in the asylum of Paris for crazy women. The other humanistic psychotherapists were Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Ivan Pavlov, J.B. Watson and B.F. Skinner.

What is personality disorder?

The fourth edition (1994) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) defines personality disorder as “permanent patterns of internal experience and behavior that are sufficiently rigid and profound to lead a person to repeat itself”. conflicts with their social and work environment “.
Each person has a personality. The way a person thinks, behaves and expresses emotions is specific to each individual. These traits, specific to an individual mentality, become disorders when the behavior becomes extreme and inflexible. Most of these conditions begin in childhood and develop into a full-fledged personality disorder in adulthood. Any traumatic or mental emotion, suffered during childhood, can lead to it. These people are affected by their own thinking about themselves and the world around them. They experience emotions different from the normal pattern and function differently in society. They can not control their impulses at times and become a danger to themselves and to those around them.

Types of personality disorders

  • Group A: personality disorders that are strange or eccentric are grouped in group A. These disorders include suspicious behavior such as:
  • Group B: personality disorders that are related to emotional or erratic disorders are grouped in group B. These emotional and impulsive behavior disorders include:
  • Group C: anxious or fearful disorders are grouped under Group C. These anxious behaviors include:
    Obsessive compulsive

It has been found that a person can belong to several categories. Therefore, they need treatment for several disorders simultaneously or an unconventional line of psychotherapy.

Abnormal Psychology

CLUSTER A ~ People with a difference

Paranoid personality disorder

People who suffer from this condition show distrust and distrust of the people around them. These people will suspect every movement of others. Everything that one says, wants or wants, will be suspected of deceiving, damaging or exploiting. They tend to hold a grudge and will not lose the opportunity to inflict insults, slights and injuries to others. They will suspect and doubt the loyalty of their partners and will not show confidence in them. However, these people do not suffer from auditory hallucinations, and their beliefs are far below reality.

Schizoid personality Disorder

A schizoid person is separated from social interactions and relationships. The emotional expression of these people is restricted. They have no desire and do not form a close relationship like being part of the family. They are mostly loners and have little interest in sex. You will find them extremely distant and emotionally cold.

Schizotypal personality disorder

This behavior is marked by a generalized pattern of interpersonal behavior. The person faces discomfort in social environments and has a reduced capacity for close relationships. His power of thought and perception is distorted and exhibits eccentric behavior. They form strange beliefs and fantasies. These people have a strange way of talking or thinking. They have a strong notion about telepathy or sixth sense.


CLUSTER B ~ I, Me, Myself

Antisocial personality disorder

People who suffer this personality have little or no respect for others and violate the rights of the people around them. In general, they are referred to as psychopaths or sociopaths. They do not comply with a given norm and they will break all the rules that lead to their arrest. They are used to lying, cheating people and using aliases mostly for personal gain and gain. They never show remorse for their actions and never respect any emotional or financial obligation.

Borderline personality disorder

Patients show instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, moods and impulse control. They often feel confused about their professional goals, personal values ​​and even their sexual orientation. These people often threaten to attempt suicide. Their interpersonal relationships are often unstable. Their own identity is unstable and they often have different points of view about themselves. They have suicidal tendencies and inclination toward self-mutilation behavior. These people often have a chronic feeling of emptiness and tend to show dissociative personality symptoms. These people are extremely manipulative and have little or no empathy. They have the ability to draw people to them, then neglect them and bring the same person close to them. One is confused about their real nature, as they continue to change their personality as if one changes clothes.

Histrionic personality disorder

Patients with this condition are eager for attention, more emotional and dramatic. They attract people to them because of their flirtatious or seductive nature. But they themselves are emotionally superficial. They get bored easily and live in their own romantic and sweet world. They become extremely uncomfortable when the center of attention changes from them. These patients show extreme dramatization and can easily influence anyone with their exaggerated emotional expressions. These people often show sexually seductive or provocative behavior that is beyond the limit of appropriate interaction.

Narcissistic personality disorder

In this disorder, patients long for admiration, personal importance and lack of empathy. They can not stand criticism or lose someone. These people often exaggerate their talents, accomplishments and feel superior to others. They feel they are special, and can only be understood by people who are equally talented or unique. They will take advantage of any person or situation until they get what they want. They feel that others envy them and that they will show signs of greater envy. Haughty behavior sprinkled with arrogant attitudes can be a sign of narcissistic personality.

Abnormal Psychology

CLUSTER C ~ I’m not sure, I’m nervous … Do you think I look good?

Evasive personality disorder

Such patients have feelings of social inhibitions and rejection of fear. They avoid developing close relationships. They fear criticism and humiliation. These patients are often unwilling to engage in relationships or activities, as they fear humiliation and rejection. They feel they have an unattractive personality or are inferior to others in some way. These people are shy and uncomfortable, they want to make friends and be part of a social structure, but they fear rejection.

Dependent personality disorder

Patients with this condition are afraid of being alone. They develop a behavior of submission since they do not want to upset or hurt people. They are anxious about separation and often ask for guidance from people and do not make decisions for themselves. They often give up their responsibilities to others because they can not handle it. Often they will do things they do not like because they want support or acceptance from others. When they lose a relationship, they will be willing to jump to form another one that gives them attention and support.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

These patients are concerned about maintaining order, achieving perfection, cleanliness, mental and interpersonal control. They spend their time following a strict schedule, rule or plans and will not be flexible or open to changes. They face problems in their personal and professional lives, because they want things to be done in their own way. These people are often inflexible when it comes to morals, ethics or personal values. They will find it extremely difficult to delegate tasks because they fear that others will not do exactly as they should.


Most of the causes of a patient’s personality disorders are in their infancy. Parenting, social pressures, personality and physical, mental or sexual abuse germinate these problems in childhood. The other causes may include hereditary traits transmitted by parents such as shyness or anger. Antisocial personality disorder, which usually has a biological cause, is more common in men. Women tend to suffer from a dependent personality disorder. Certain biochemical imbalances in the brain also lead to personality disorders. Environmental factors and family history also contribute to the causes of personality disorders.


The symptoms of personality disorder are specific to each type of abnormal psychological personality disorder. The symptoms of general personality disorder are classified as:

  • Frequent mood changes
  • Unstable relationships
  • Isolating yourself from social interactions
  • Outburst of anger
  • Mistrust and suspicion of family and friends
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Poor impulse control
  • Suicidal tendency
  • Inflict harm on others without provocation

The treatment has changed drastically over the years. Patients no longer receive inhuman treatment. The treatments currently available are aimed at controlling the disorder and introducing the patient back into society. Because personality disorders are mostly chronic disorders, a patient may require lifelong treatment. The treatment includes:


Psychotherapy is talking to the patient about the condition and the problems related to the disorder. The patient learns about their moods, feelings and behavior during psychotherapy sessions. Different types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoeducation. Psychotherapy can be group sessions or individual sessions.
Drug therapy: Doctors prescribe medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilizing medications, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotic medications to help treat and manage these conditions.
Hospitalization and rehabilitation: some extreme conditions may require psychiatric hospitalization. When a patient becomes extremely violent or can not take care of himself, hospitalization is recommended. Many times people who receive treatment for psychological disorders need rehabilitation before entering the social structure.


One needs to improve coping skills to overcome it. The patient needs to establish reasonable goals to achieve in life. Talk to the therapist, family and friends to deal with the changes. Maintaining a daily dairy where one can write down all the pain, anger, ill-will and negative emotions can also help control personality disorders. Participation in social gatherings and the gathering of friends will help a person overcome social anxiety and stay away from feelings of social isolation. Support groups help connect with people with a similar disorder and help each other to overcome similar challenges. Following a healthy diet and giving up alcohol and other substances are among the other things a person can do to improve their condition. If someone you know suffers from personality disorder, it overcomes all myths and fiction and helps the person seek medical attention. With love, support and understanding one can help patients overcome their abnormality.

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