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PSYCH 650 Assignment 1 Perception and Causes of Psychopathology

Perception and Causes of Psychopathology

Psychopathology, also called, abnormal brain research, is the investigation of causes, characteristics, and treatment of mental health problems (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). Society has tried to understand and treat mental health problems from the beginning of time. Several theories exist concerning factors that impact the advancement of psychopathology. The causes of these circumstances can be classified into two sorts: ultimate and proximal (Brüne, 2015). Ultimate factors, also known as evolutionary factors, include developmental challenges and physiological characteristics, as well as, emotional and cognitive factors. Proximal causes allude to the interaction between hereditary factors and life-altering situations like trauma (Brüne, 2015).

An individual’s way of life has a profound impact on the presentation and perception of psychopathology. Professionals should consider cultural factors while assessing, diagnosing, and treating individuals with explicit mental health conditions. Since the beginning of time, the perception of the causes and appropriate interventions have changed dramatically. The following will address how culture is a determining factor in the expression of psychopathology, the causes of psychopathology from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, and changes in the perception of psychopathology in the public eye as a function of a historical period.

Cultural Factors in Determining the Expression of Psychopathology

While some mental health conditions display similar side effects across societies, many don’t. For example, symptomologies like aggressive behavior, hallucinations, antagonism, and self-harm are relatively reliable across societies for the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). The expression of side effects generally varies across various societies and conditions. For example, Major Burdensome Problem is perhaps the most normally diagnosed issue, yet the prevalence and presentation of the issue wander greatly among various cultural conditions because the normal side effects associated with this problem, like negative feelings, have totally different connotations in various social orders and languages (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014).

PSYCH 650 Assignment 1 Perception and Causes of Psychopathology

The idea of culture continues to advance and adapt meaning. Cultural factors include financial status, language, values and morals, religions, food sources, inclinations, and social construction. A few behaviors may appear to be phenomenal or abnormal in certain societies, while in others the behavior is viewed as an everyday event. Points of view are learned and taught contrastingly in various societies as well. For example, suicidal propensities are restricted in many societies and religions, however in a few Japanese commonalities, self-destruction is viewed as an honorable act (Hassim and Wagner, 2013).

Professionals should take care to perceive and consider cultural factors that impact diagnoses and treatment. In circumstances where language is a barrier, clinicians should examine the generalizability of psychological assessments intended to assist in diagnosing patients. Translation blunders or words that compare with various meanings in other languages may negatively influence the diagnostic cycle; therefore, the chance of prescribing treatments that are ill-advised for the patient.

Causes of Psychopathology from a Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective

The cognitive-behavioral approach centers around learning and the improvement of cognitive cycles that add to a particular behavior (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). This perspective involves perception, critical thinking, emotional parts like versatility, and adaptation of one’s reactions to external upgrades. Self-schemas are individualized perspectives of self-identification (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). These self-identifying aspects often include cognitive mutilations that add to mental health conditions and the improvement of maladaptive coping strategies.

PSYCH 650 Assignment 1 Perception and Causes of Psychopathology

The cognitive-behavioral approach operates from the perspective that psychopathology is caused by thought mutilations that arise from a lack of cognitive processing, navigation, and critical thinking (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). Because of these twists, we can notice explicit behaviors related to these inadequacies, like aggression, withdrawal, lack of motivation, and substance abuse. Theories of personality also give insight into the improvement of psychopathology. Certain psychological characteristics of personality are accepted to be supporters of the improvement of explicit mental health conditions and leave individuals possessing these characteristics more vulnerable to the advancement of psychopathology (Andersen and Bienvenu, 2011).

Changes in Societal Perception as a Function of Historical Period

All through human history, psychopathology has been seen from a variety of various standpoints like negative supernatural substances, physiological inadequacies, and developmental factors. Greek specialist, Hippocrates, was quick to propose that psychopathology was not caused by supernatural elements, yet rather by issues of the brain (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). Sadness was recently alluded to as melancholia and has been concentrated on by many historical social orders in several unique aspects. As treatments advanced, symptomology was isolated into various categories by various physicians all through antiquity, consequently leading to the improvement of a clearer understanding of factors that add to the advancement of psychopathology (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014).

Treatments have advanced from barbaric and inhumane treatments to individual-focused therapeutic interventions. Current medication therapy has also been a later treatment and when utilized related to other therapeutic interventions, for example, cognitive-behavioral therapy, yield significant advantages to individuals struggling with mental health problems. In the late 1700s, there was a change in viewpoints about the nature of psychopathology. Mental patients were seen as criminals and were basically secured asylums where they were typically treated inhumanely. French physician, Philippe Pinel, began treating these patients as one would with a physical ailment. Subsequently, these patients were treated in a therapeutic climate that was more helpful for physical health and mental prosperity, rather than the filthy and physically abusive conditions already existing in asylums before that time (Butcher, Hooley, and Mineka, 2014). This technique gave insight into the advantages of additional humanitarian treatments as proven by the patients in Pinel’s care making vast enhancements in their demeanor and behavior.

PSYCH 650 Assignment 1 Perception and Causes of Psychopathology

Today, psychopathology is seen from many standpoints and professionals perceive psychological and physiological factors in the advancement of these problems. While there is no definitive determinant of an individual’s advancement of explicit mental health problems, many characteristics and encounters have been perceived as conceivable contributing factors for an individual’s movement of psychopathology.


Modern theories take into account a variety of factors in the development of psychopathology. Although none of the current theories on their own fully explains all aspects of the development of mental disorders, they can be used in combination to provide an understanding of the development of specific disorders; This enables professionals to offer the most appropriate treatments for the individual needs of their patients. Historically, many scars have been linked to the diagnosis of certain mental illnesses. Although this stigma has diminished in recent decades, it still persists. Because mental health diagnoses and treatments have evolved so dramatically throughout history to what they are today, hopefully, these improvements will continue well into the future. These improvements will continue to help people with mental health issues support their mental and physical health and remove the stigma associated with certain mental health diagnoses.


Andersen, A. M., & Bienvenu, O. J. (2011). Personality and psychopathology. International Review of Psychiatry, 23(3), 234–247.


Brüne, M. (2015). Causes of psychopathology. In Textbook of Evolutionary Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine: The Origins of Psychopathology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 Feb. 2020, from


Butcher, J.N., Hooley, J.M., & Mineka, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology (16th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Hassim, J., & Wagner, C. (2013). Considering the cultural context in psychopathology formulations. South African Journal of Psychiatry, 19(1), 4–10.


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