Discuss ethical issues in psychopathology.
This essay will discuss specific disorders that, both historically and currently, have engrossed immense research interest, including often the most controversy and debate within and outside of psychiatry. Mental disorders can be described as behaviour that falls outside the ‘normal’ parameters of any given society. However, what is ‘normal’ behaviour for our society may be vastly different from others. This leaves the question of what constitutes mental illness, and whether we can ethically assume that behaviour that falls outside the norms of a given society can truly be justified as an illness.
Emotional disturbances are perhaps the most common forms of psychological distress. According to Lilienfeld (1998) “it is the mismatch between the severity of individuals emotional reactions and of objective stressors that makes panic disorder psychopathological” (Gross 2010, pg. 700). Phobias are a common form of anxiety disorders. A phobia, meaning ‘morbid fear’, is an extreme, irrational fear of explicit situations, people, activities, objects and animals. The main symptom of this ‘disorder’ is the unreasonable and excessive desire to avoid the feared stimulus. Although an individual acknowledges the feared stimulus is harmless, the irrational element is that the fear is experienced nonetheless (Gross, 2010).
Almost anything can be a phobic object, although, some phobias are more common than others such as, agoraphobia or social phobias (Gross, 2010). An individual with a phobia experiences panic and fear when confronted by their phobia, including other clinical features such as; palpitations, breathlessness, trembling and a strong desire to escape from the fear immediately (Surgery Door, 2008).
Like many psychopathological disorders, phobias are also cause for most controversy, with many theories surrounding the area of debate. Although there is no definitive explanation, there are numerous theories as to how...