Why is determining abnormal behavior or a mental disorder so

Challenges in Identifying Mental Disorders

Most mental disorders lie on a continuum with “normal” behavior at one end. For example, nearly everyone has a fear of something, but it does not rise to the level of a phobia. A behavior may seem abnormal in one context, but completely normal in another context. These two aspects show why it can be challenging to properly identify mental disorders.

Note particularly the diversity of views and the challenges of identification. Based on your research, write a reflective essay. Use the following question to direct your thoughts and organize your essay:

  • Why is determining abnormal behavior or a mental disorder so difficult?

To develop your essay, keep in mind issues such as the

-role of social norms in defining the abnormal,

-the multiplicity of indicators of what is abnormal, the stigma suffered by those identified as abnormal, and finally

-the need for objectivity in dealing with the concept.


Write a 2–3-page essay in Word format.

Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

Use the following file naming convention:

Lastname, FirstInitial_M1_A3.doc.

For example, if your name is John Smith, your document will be named SmithJ_M1_A3.doc.


By Wednesday, December 24, 2014, deliver your assignment to the M1: Assignment 3 Dropbox.


Assignment 3 Grading Criteria

Maximum Points

Identified and analyzed theoretical and practical challenges in defining what is abnormal.


Identified and analyzed the consequences of identifying a behavior or person as abnormal.


Organized ideas in a logical structure and supported statements with reasons and research information.


Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.