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What is psychopathology?

We explain what psychopathology and psychological disorders are. The biomedical perspective and examples of psychopathological disorders.

  1. What is psychopathology?

Psychopathology is the discipline that analyzes the motivations and particularities of mental illnesses . This study can be carried out with several approaches or models, among which biomedical, psychodynamic, socio-biological and behavioral can be cited.

The word psychopathology can refer to:

  • That area of health that describes and systematizes the changes that occur in the behavior of human beings and that cannot be explained through the maturation or development of the individual and that are known as psychological disorders .
  • To the area of ​​study of psychology that focuses on studying those unhealthy states of mind of individuals, as we have already mentioned.

It follows that any behavior that causes discomfort, some impairment or disability as a result of the deterioration of cognitive brain functions is likely to be referred to as psychopathology.

Psychopathology is a discipline that studies the abnormal, the deviant, the maladaptive, the upset, the disorganized, etc ; whose interest is focused on the nature and causes of abnormal or psychopathological behavior and the main objective is to discover laws that regulate abnormal or pathological behavior through the scientific method .

The interest of psychopathology lies in the nature and causes of abnormal or psychopathological behavior. However, it is difficult to establish absolutely and with total precision what should be understood by abnormal or psychopathological behavior, so it is useful to know what are the criteria or parameters that will allow us to enter the field of the abnormal or psychopathological.

  1. Biomedical perspective of psychopathology

The biomedical perspective of psychopathology addresses mental disorders like any other kind of disease , considering that psychopathological alterations are generated by underlying biological abnormalities (genetic, biochemical or neurological). Therefore, the treatment should be focused on the correction of said organic root abnormalities.

In this sense, it can be said that abnormal behavior is a disease suffered by the pathological functioning of some part of the organism. These diseases are related to alterations in the cerebral portion, which can be anatomical (the size or shape of certain brain regions are not within normal canons) or biochemical (when the biochemical elements that contribute to neuronal functioning have their function altered)

Psychopathology understands that mental disorders can be:

  • Organic : Those who have obvious physical causes, as with Alzheimer’s
  • Functional : Nuclear abnormal behavior patterns that offer no concrete evidence of organic disorders in the brain.
  1. Examples of psychopathological disorders

In the case of psychopathological disorders that develop during childhood, childhood or adolescence of an individual, we can establish that there are several types , among which are:

  • Mental retardation.
  • Communication disorders (phonological, stuttering, etc.)
  • Generalized developmental disorders.
  • Disorders of the learning .
  • Tics disorders.
  • Eating and eating behavior disorders.

In the case of developmental disorders  , those that assume that the individual in question suffers from disability at different levels are included. Within this category, for example, the autistic disorder stands out, which begins in childhood and results in a series of disabilities in what is the psychological area and also in the behavioral.

The five senses are affected by anomalies in autistic people who, in addition, are characterized by being quiet, just laugh, have limitations in terms of language and communication and physically have a series of deficiencies in lateralization.

Also, within the psychopathological disorders of development, is also known as Rett disorder, which occurs in the female gender and resembles autism to some extent. A mental retardation as well as a condition in motor coordination are the two hallmarks of patients with this syndrome, which means that they have a severe disability in many ways.

Finally, it is interesting to highlight that the behavioral model of psychopathology does not make a difference between pathological behaviors and normal behaviors, since both are the result of learning conditioned by the environment or environment . Therefore, great importance is attached to environmental influences rather than biological or genetic ones. The treatment in this model revolves around the modification of both manifest and inferred behavior.

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