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Abnormal Psychology

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1. What are three principles that are commonly used to define insanity? How is insanity most commonly defined today?

The term ‘insanity’ is used in legal practice and has nothing in common with the diseases listed in the DSM. Insanity means a condition of a person while committing some action when it is impossible to distinguish one’s fantasy from the current reality, to give reasons why the action is done, when person’s behavior is fully uncontrolled and is not recognized by the brain. The lawyers use this term to prove that one is not guilty even if the crime was committed. It is also very hard to prove the defendant to be insane. So in the late 19th century, the courts of the USA established three different standards of defining insanity - the irresistible impulse test, the M’Naughten test, and the Durham test (Kring, Johnson, Davison, & Neale, 2012). The irresistible impulse test shows the inability of a person to control the actions done. The M’Naughten test helps to prove the inability of a defendant to distinguish good and bad. The Durham test emphasizes that a person is not guilty if an action was committed as a result of mental defect or illness. In 1955, the American Law Institute decided to unite all these three tests into one, but lately they considered it too loyal. In 1983, it was decided to get back to the M’Naughten test. It is still used in all federal courts and the half of state ones. With the help of this test, the two thirds of defendants are qualified as patients having schizophrenia (Kring et al., 2012).

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2. Identify and describe the three subcategories of preventive interventions.

Preventive Interventions are divided into three subcategories – Universal, Targeted (or Selective), and Indicated. Universal ones are used to influence the whole population using the common techniques, all-encompassing programs, and widespread messages. Their purpose is to vanish or delay issue of behaviors. The targeted (seective) interventions use the outright methods to influence the specific groups of people who can face the mental disorders due to the environment they exist in or when they consider being in a group of risk. The indicated methods are applied to the individuals who show the early indications of mental disorders that aim to schedule them with needed programs to ensure that the further development of the disease will not influence the future of a person.

3. What are the three strategies that the United States government has used to address the drug abuse problem? How effective have these strategies been?

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In order to form a society where there will be no drug abuse, the US government established a program in 2007. The first part of the program aims to reduce the demand of drugs. This means that the numbers of actions must be done in order to prevent people from using drugs and work with vulnerable groups of the society, especially with kids and teenagers. This part should explain people the danger of using drugs and all the consequences they can face. The second part has to restrict the supplies of drugs, and it should aim to stop the spread of the drugs on the territory of the United States, to fight the organized crime, and to establish severe control for the medicine that can also be used as drugs. The third part supports the investigation of the new methods for fighting the problem and helping people to prevent the usage of drugs in cases of unemployment or family problems (The White House, 2007).

According to the annual report, in 2013 positive change in the community is seen: the schools gained support and investigation of drug-related incidents; healthcare appeared to be a mainstream; justice system was changed and made more effective. Moreover, the treatment for drug-involved people is provided systematically and with needed care; the circle of drug use and incarceration were broken; more than 23 million Americans are experiencing support in their fight with drug abuse. It is also notable that the international cooperation in ffighting the spread of drugs strengthens every day (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2013).

4. What principles guide the approach called milieu therapy?

Use of the milieu therapy envisages a set of actions for the benefit of the patients. In order to encourage necessary and appropriate actions, the staff of the hospital provides a bundle both of positive and negative deeds. The patients are encouraged to establish the self-government on the territory of the hospital in order to find the proper solutions of the occurring problems caused by the staff. The patients are also supported to form groups so they can use the power of the group to feel the certainty of their actions done. These social interactions are provided to help the patients to control their actions and adopt their behavior to the environment they exist in.

5. What have been some of the negative effects of deinstitutionalization?

The problem of usage of ill-suited hospitals for the people with special needs occurred because of the deinstitutionalization. After signing out from the hospital the person only seems to be normal, but the inner crisis is not overcome and it may cause complications. The other problem appeared after the deinstitutionalization is the lack of community-based support. These aspects cause the difficulties for mentally unstable people. They may have problems with housing and working processes, so in the future they have a risk to become poor and lose their home. The support is fully needed for these people so that they can lead proper lifestyle. The third problem is raising the risk of suicide. Without timely support, the mentally ill person can cause some harm for themselves without even understanding what they are doing. So it is crucial to give support for such patients but it became impossible because of the deinstitutionalization. It is also appeared to be hard to form the proportion of mentally disordered patients that experience these listed outcomes of the deinstitutionalization.

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