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ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY IN THE MEDIA
Abnormal Psychology in the Media
Abnormal psychology or psychopathology is a division of psychology that deals with emotional and mental disorders. It specializes in diagnosing and offering therapy to people exhibiting abnormal behavior. The disorders include dreams, neurosis, hypnosis, mental deficiency, and psychosis. Sexual deviation, obsessive compulsion, and depression are also significant areas of concern in this field of psychology. Some psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors use several approaches when treating psychological disorders, but some prefer to focus on a single approach.
The media exhibits and highlights abnormal psychology through films and television shows, for example, in the television series The Sopranos. This American show premiered in the television network and premium cable Home Box Office (HBO) between January 10, 1999 and June 10, 2007. The show illustrated Major Depressive Disorder, which is a common mental disorder, through a lead character in the show named Anthony Soprano, Jr., otherwise known as A.J. He was the son of Carmela and Anthony Soprano, and was born on July 15, 1986. His Italian family lived in New Jersey, and his father belonged to a mafia, which he later joined.
A.J’s problem was inherited as it was depicted in the show since there was a history of psychiatric disorders in his family tree. For instance, A.J‘s father paid several trips to the psychiatrist since he was diagnosed with depression, and later, panic and antisocial personality disorders. His behavior was also unacceptable since he belonged to a mafia and participated in organized crime. In addition, his marriage became rocky, and the marital problems developed to separation, which adversely affected him. His father pressured him to take up responsibilities in life so that he may not become a failure. A.J’s father did this by organizing a job for him at a construction site so that he could be more productive now that he was grownup. He flourished at his construction job, and was lucky to meet a Puerto Rican girl named Blanca while working at the site. The two developed a close relationship and started dating, and as time went by, he proposed to her. However, Blanca had different thoughts on the proposal and decided to break up with A.J. This was the beginning of his depression, and could not even stand the site of Blanca talking to other men. It was so frustrating for him that he quit his job at the site. A.J. tried to nurse his frustrations by associating with his childhood friends, which proved therapeutic. He also enrolled for therapeutic sessions where a therapist helped him improve.
The story line elaborates that A.J suffers from anti-social personality disorder, which is depicted by his behavior. For instance, A.J is involved in murder by strangling somebody and behaves as if nothing happened as he drove to pick up his daughter from school just on time. In addition, he developed some unusual behavior after his break up with Blanca. He started sleeping a lot and locking himself up in his room, experiencing energy loss, and his appetite decreased. On a separate incident, he incites the destruction of his friend’s restaurant and denies being in knowledge of the arson. A.J. even cheated on his wife and continuously proclaimed that he loved her despite his infidelity. These acts are evidence of antisocial behavior that is against the society’s social norms. Anti-social personality disorder is also evident in the character A.J. since he became deceitful and cold-hearted for personal privilege. Worse still, A.J became suicidal and had attempted to suffocate and drown himself to death were it not for his father who found him in the act and rescued him. All of A.J’s behavior points to an abnormal psychological disorder.
There are various perspectives to human psychology, which are beliefs and perceptions of the human behavior. They include psychodynamic, cognitive, humanistic, behavioral, and biological approaches. Behavioral approach f.............
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