Aspect(s) of abnormal psychology

For this assignment, you will reflect on how an aspect of abnormal psychology has affected your life. This may be a personal reflection or you may address how a disorder has impacted a friend or family member. You may also discuss how mental health disorders have or will affect your career (past, current or future). Finally, you could choose to discuss how mental health disorders affect communities if you do not have personal experience with abnormal psychology in your life. The important thing is to make this paper your own. EVERYTHING YOU DISCUSS WILL BE KEPT COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL – THAT IS MY PROMISE TO YOU!

The essay should be 3-5 pages in length (not including the title page and references). The paper should include the following information:

Introduction (10 points): Please introduce yourself and the aspect(s) of abnormal psychology you will be discussing in your paper. Give a brief overview of how any aspect of abnormal psychology has or will affect your life.

Body of the Paper (60 points): This part of the paper will vary greatly by individual. There is no specific order to the paper – the outlined requirements may be integrated throughout the body of the paper. Do what works best for your individual situation, experience, etc.

● EXPLAIN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND/OR MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS (20 points). This should be the bulk of your paper. You may integrate other aspects of the paper into the body of the paper (e.g., integrate DSM criteria into your descriptions.)

○ What has been your experience with abnormal psychology/mental health disorders in your life? In your introduction, you should have given a brief overview. This is the place to expand on your experience(s), but at the same time, I don’t want you to be overwhelmed. I realize for some, this may be a lifelong experience (e.g., my husband has with anxiety his entire life), so instead of explaining a lifetime of struggles, you may choose to explain the disorder and then one or two specific experiences with the disorder. (For reference, please check out my post in the Personal Stories Discussion Board on a specific example of my husband’s struggles with anxiety.)

○ No personal experiences? (e.g., As a nurse, I will be working with patients with mental health disorders in the future) This is completely OK, but you may need to do a little research – pick a specific disorder and explain the types of cases you may see in the future. Or if you are currently working in an environment where aspects of abnormal psychology affect your work, explain a specific case.

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● Neuropsychosocial approach to Abnormal Psychology (30 points – 10 points each factor):

○ Please address how NEUROLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, and SOCIAL-CULTURAL factors play a part in the disorder(s) you choose to discuss. If you are taking a broader approach to the

topic (e.g., homelessness and mental health), focus on the disorder you chose above.

○ You can integrate this information with your experiences. For example, when discussing my

husband’s anxiety, I could explain how he perseverates on the smallest details when his anxiety is at its worst, and the effects this has on his well-being (this is a psychological factor).

● DSM-V Criteria for the Disorder(s) you choose (10 points). As with the neuropsychosocial factors, you may integrate this into your other descriptions. But you will need to demonstrate understanding of the specific criteria for the disorder(s) you choose to discuss. If it’s easier, you may use a paragraph to discuss specific criteria to ensure you have this covered. For example, page 159 in your textbook lists the criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. For the sake of the this assignment, I might say that my husband meets the criteria for GAD, and then list the required criteria.

Conclusion (10 points): Wrap up your paper in a clear and concise conclusion. APA and References (10 points):

● APA: The paper should have a title page and reference page. Proper spelling and grammar, 1” margins, and in-text citations where necessary.

● Citations: At the least, you will have a reference for the DSM-V (in using the criteria for the disorder). Please make sure to cite any other sources you use. Because this is a personal reflection, you may only have one reference and that is OK.

Finally – just some things to think about to get your writing. These aren’t required elements – just ideas:

➔ What social factors play a role in mental health todaythings to think about

◆ Community

◆ School

◆ Mass Media

◆ Families

◆ Religion

◆ Politics

➔ Has the healthcare system played a part in the mental health disorder you are discussing (this could be positive or


➔ What treatments have been helpful (if any)? Or maybe you work in a healthcare setting or school or clinic now

and you have some insight into what is helpful and what is harmful.

➔ How can a person move from a disorder taking over their life to becoming a part of who they are without

consuming them?

➔ Think about relationships when describing the disorder – from a personal standpoint, my husband’s anxiety, at

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times, has caused difficulties in our relationship – this may be an experience you could discuss.

➔ Be yourself, be honest and open. Sharing stories can be so powerful.

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