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Who is Not Abnormal?


 

 Who is not abnormal? What's this question telling us?

Waking up from a nap this evening I started ruminating about this concept of abnormality and I couldn't stop asking the question, 'who is not abnormal?' I have not stop questioning the definition of abnormality because to me, anyone or anything which is normal would mean that such a person or thing possesses some qualities that implies normality. These qualities are but not limited to some reasonable degree of:
1. Appropriateness
2. Absolute coping ability
3. Flexibility
4. Effectiveness
5. Efficiency
6. Social skills
and any other absolute variable that

may define normality to the rate of 100 percent because if not 100 percent, perhaps 99.999999999 percent of normality is still not normal but rather remains an abnormality.
   Normality I view as an absolute variable in itself since it lies along a level of continuum that has no ending line or demarcation from abnormality. So if there is a continuum or change that varies across a line in regard to what is normal or abnormal then, tell me, does normality exist? Does abnormality exist? 

   Psychologists and medical scientists discuss more about abnormality but it seems they give less importance to normality. To them, whatever is abnormal from neurosis to psychosis has to be corrected to a more appropriate medical or health condition. Normality may exist but it is unreachable. If you want to argue it does exist and at the same time reachable, maybe it is reachable in a yet-to-be-discovered world or planet, not here. The continuum definition of abnormality seems problematic but at the same time promising.
    Moreover, by reasonable degree of appropriateness, efficiency, coping ability, flexibility, effectiveness and social skill I mean 100 percent that is, absolute. If you say normality does exist or inherent in every human being then, why are behaviors inconsistent even with the relatively normal individual who are justified to be normal persons having passed the criteria of what is normal or abnormal? I do not know that rigid or stereotypical behavior that is consistent in itself, not even physiological changes for that is why the changes are indeed, changes just as it implies.
    If the statistical criterion of abnormality is genuine as painted in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM), it follows therefore that even abnormal conditions as defined therein may not exist since it is evident that a statistic set the criterion.   Come to think of it, what if that statistics are following the dictate of their culture but the cultural practices of the society in question is relatively abnormal in the face of other societies who differs in their own cultural practices? Wouldn't they label the society A as abnormal or sick?
    So how sure are we that the statistical criterion as defined in the DSM is at all times plausible or infallible? Then it seems the use of the concept called continuum would be a more appropriate definition. Consider the hypothetical cases of schizophrenia where the sufferers are said to vary in their manifestations of the psychotic symptoms such that a person A diagnosed of simple schizophrenia varies in regard to the symptoms of another person B diagnosed with hebephrenic schizophrenia to the more varying degrees, persons C, D, E, F..... Diagnosed of neurotic symptoms. Even relatively normal behaviors said to vary across this continuum and therefore abnormal. If person G could be happy at one point in time but moody or sad at another point in time then, is This person G normal?


   He/she might not be as the definition of abnormality according to the continuum criterion.
    Another thing to clarify is the difference between abnormality and mal-functionality. Abnormality does not at all time imply mal-functionality but mal-functionality might be an abnormality. For instance, if we are to go by the statistical criterion, a genius and gifted person is abnormal because the population of geniuses and gifted individuals is relatively lower than non-geniuses and non-gifted individuals if these two construct would be allowed any way. Should we now say that geniuses are always abnormal persons or are geniuses disappointed from genetic and sometimes environmental factors?
The question however still remain a puzzle, who is not abnormal?


Photo credits: slideshare.net

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