What Is Abnormal?
Consider the following situations.
Most people would consider at least some of the actions of the people involved to be abnormal. What do you think?
Think about each one as you read through the list and then, talk with your class mates about your judgments.
Clearly describe why you did or did not consider each situation to be abnormal and give your reasoning for your response.
1. Your uncle consumes a quart of whiskey per day; he has trouble remembering the names of those around him.
2. Your grandmother believes that part of her body is missing and cries out about this missing part all day long. You show her that the part she thinks is missing actually is not, but she refuses to acknowledge this contradictory information.
3. Your neighbor has vague physical complaints and sees two or three doctors weekly.
4. Your neighbor sweeps, washes, and scrubs his driveway daily.
5. Your cousin is pregnant, and is dieting (800 calories per day) so that she will not get “too fat” with the pregnancy. She has had this type of behavioral response since she was 13 years old.
6. A woman’s husband died within the past year. The widow appears to talk to herself in the yard, doesn’t wash herself or dress in clean clothes, and has evidently lost a lot of weight.
7. A 10-year-old wants to have his entire body tattooed.
8. A 23-year-old female smokes up to five marijuana joints a day, is a straight-A student in college, has a successful job, and is in a solid long-term relationship.
9. A person experiences several unexpected panic attacks each week, but is otherwise happily married, functions well at work, and leads an active recreational lifestyle.
10. A 35-year-old happily married man enjoys wearing women’s clothes and underwear on the weekends when he and his wife go out on the town.