The first introspection will be titled: Making it Abnormal


Ready to be all-powerful? This first introspection requires you to build an abnormal “person.” That’s right, a pure abnormal human-being from every significant perspective of psychological human experience. Specifically, you’ll be building a person that is affectively, behaviorally, cognitively, and perceptually abnormal. Additionally, you’ll address WHY this person is abnormal.

Whoa! What exactly do you want me to do?

1. Describe and introspect (i.e., why) on the affects, behaviors, cognitions, and perceptions of your absolutely abnormal person.

2. Come-up with a technical name for your syndrome.

3. Describe this abnormal person’s environment. That is, address this person’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development, up-bringing, family, and current living situation.

4. Describe a typical day (a full 24-hour period) in this abnormal person’s life.

5. Lastly, make a multi-axial (i.e., DSM-IV) assessment of your person (see pages 107-110 in Comer & the Multiaxial Assessment Handout):

Axis I: Clinical Disorders and other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention
Axis II: Personality Disorders / Mental Retardation
Axis III: General Medical Conditions
Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems
Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning


The format of this introspection will be simple.

3 to 5 pages in length. Double spaced. 1 to 1.5 inch margins. 10 to 12 point font.

You may use any format. You may write it as a formal introspection. You may write it as an informal introspection…

Do NOT use jargon! Write the introspection in your own words, using your own language.

One STRICT format item is required. I DO want you to write an American Psychological Association (APA) formatted title page for a research paper to-be turned in for publication. You may find examples of this format in any library that carries the book: The APA publication manual: Version 5. The rest of the format is pretty much up to you!
DSM IV Explained

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition™ (DSM IV) is the manual physicians, psychiatrist, psychologists, therapists, and social workers use in order to diagnose mental illness. This manual spells out the specific diagnostic criteria. An example of this can be seen in the diagnosis of a major depressive episode. A person must exhibit at least five or more of the listed nine characteristics and the symptoms must be evident for at least the last two weeks for that person to be diagnosed with this disorder. When diagnosing a client the American Psychological Association recommends that the clinician use a multiaxial Assessment System. As follows:

Axis I Clinical Disorders
Axis II Personality Disorders and Mental Retardation
Axis III General Medical Condition
Axis IV Psychosocial and Environmental Factors
Axis V Global Assessment of Functioning

The global assessment of functioning is on a scale from 1 to 100 with 1 equalling this person cannot take care of themselves at all and is likely to kill themselves or others–and 100 equalling superior functioning, this person can take care of themselves and others too.

Axis I includes all the mental health conditions except personality disorders and mental retardation. If the client does not have a mental health diagnosis that belongs on Axis I, V71.09 is placed in the diagnosis spot to show there is no diagnosis. A person could suffer from more than one Axis I disorders and all are listed. Axis II is for reporting
Mental Retardation and personality disorders. Axis III is used for reporting any major medical conditions that may be relevant to treatment of the mental health disorder. Axis
IV is used to report psychosocial and environmental factors affecting the person. Some of examples of these factors include: (1) problems with primary support group (divorce);
(2)problems with social environment (death of a friend); (3) educational problems; (4) housing problems; (5) economic problems; (6) occupational difficulties; (7) legal difficulties; and (8) transportation difficulties. These are some categories a clinician will look at to see how the client is doing in life situations. And Axis V, Global Assessment of Functioning, is the clinicians best guess of the client’s overall level of functioning. For example you would not expect a depressed severely retarded client to keep an elaborate journal of his feelings. An example of what a typical diagnostic assessment might be

Axis I 296.21 Major Depressive Disorder , Single Episode
Axis I 303.90 Alcohol Dependence
Axis II 301.6 Dependent Personality Disorder
Axis III None
Axis IV Recent Divorce, unemployment
Axis V 58