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Michael J. T. Leftwich

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 77: Abnormal Psychology

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Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal psychology

The study of abnormal psychology (also sometimes called psychopathology) often captivates many students, because it is one of the most interesting and provocative topics in psychology. Descriptions of the wide variety of mental disorders and related symptoms can include combinations of bizarre and illogical actions, thoughts, and feelings that may look somewhat like a comic tragedy to the outside observer. However, this may be due in part to the descriptions and perceptions of the cases chosen for presentation to begin with. Various forms of media often portray people with mental disorders in an entertaining yet unrealistic and overly dramatic manner, further reinforcing stereotypes and misconceptions about mental illness. Yet for people suffering with mental illness, without diagnosis and treatment, theirs can be ...

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