Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What is Psychopathology?

What is Psychopathology?
Psychopathology is the systematic study of abnormal experience, cognition and behavior: the study of the products of a disordered mind. It includes the explanatory psychopathologies where there are assumed explanations according to theoretical constructs, and descriptive psychopathology which is the precise description and categorization of abnormal experiences as recounted by the patient and observed in his behavior.

Researcher has described two formulations of descriptive psychopathology in the 19th century. Psychologists and brain scientists, predominantly, tended to regard morbid phenomena as quantitative variations on normal mental functions – the continuity view. Psychiatrists, working directly with the mentally ill (alienists), considered that some symptoms were too bizarre to have a counterpart in normal behavior – the discontinuity view. Both formulations have contributed to the current state of descriptive psychopathology. Undoubtedly the quality of empathy shown by the doctor contributes to an understanding of the patient, but there is a limit, for example with psychotic phenomenon where the patient’s notions and behavior may no longer be understandable using empathy and patient and doctor may be mutually alienated.
What is Psychopathology?
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