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Abnormal Psychology

Question1: Looking back at the beginning of the summer, before I started this course on abnormal psychology, I thought I had a pretty good understanding on what this course would be about. I took AP introduction to psychology my senior year of high-school, therefore, I thought that that class would give me an overview of what this abnormal psychology class would be about. Originally, I thought abnormal psychology was about abnormal behaviors and thoughts. Therefore, with my previous knowledge I thought it would help me succeed in this course.

According to the syllabus and the schedule, I had a basic understanding of the different terms and disorders that we would be learning about. In particular, I knew a lot about obsessive-compulsive, mood, personality, and eating disorders. People typically hear a lot about these disorders, therefore, I knew general information about them. However, I knew that I didn’t know everything about it. I was intrigued to learn more about them to widen my knowledge about the different topics.

In particular, get a better understanding of the history of abnormal psychology and disorders featuring somatic symptoms because I honestly did not know much about it. However, I was very concerned and nervous about how this was an online class. I was not sure if I was going to be able to thoroughly learn the intended information as well as I would if I was in a classroom setting. Now that this course is nearly completed and I have evaluated the entire summer course, I can positively say that my understanding of the concepts has changed.

With the help of the many quizzes and discussion boards, I have gained more knowledge about abnormal psychology and its disorders. I, now, know a little more on the past and present of abnormal psychology. It is quite interesting to learn how abnormal psychology, or psychology just in general, has evolved in the past years. In addition, I now know about the different disorders featuring somatic symptoms are. I now can confidently talk about different disorders and explain what symptoms occur. Also, I like how the course incorporated real cases in the discussion boards.

This gave me the advantage to look up what really happen during the cases and compare it to what I thought should have happened. Regardless of this being an online course, I was still able to learn as if I was in a classroom setting. Question 2: If I think about my future, this course can certainly apply. Unfortunately, there are many people who struggle with different disorders. Therefore, I never know when I will come across someone who is struggling with a disorder. However, it will be hard to diagnose a stranger without using interviewing techniques, assessment, and DSM- 5 criteria.

In my own personal life, I have a friend who struggles with depression. She has her good days and bad, as a close friend I never really knew when she was at her worse or when she needed additional help. I never will truly understand how she feels or what she is going through. However, now I can apply what I learned to realize her symptoms and possibly help her feel comfortable. Specifically, I can ask her questions about how she is feeling, if she willing to share, and, by using what I have learned, I can probably conclude how severe her depression is and if we need to seek additional help.

I am currently a nursing student at Xavier University, I have had the pleasure to experience simulations and attend clinical within my first two years. Within my nursing courses, we are given different case studies similar to the case studies provided in this course. Although, I am seeking to find a medical/ nursing diagnosis there, perhaps, might be other psychological issues that need to be addressed for the patient. Therefore, I can evaluate their symptoms and see what symptoms apply to the DSM-5 criteria.

As far as my professional life, there are so many nursing fields I can pursue. Although, I am not interested in getting into psychiatric nursing in the future, I am sure that I will come across a psychotic patient. If the patient symptoms follow DSM- 5 criteria I can apply what I have learned in this course to properly assess and care for that patient. Question 3: Substance use disorder is a condition of which an individual repeatedly uses a substance that causes distress or maladaptive behaviors.

The overuse of the substance can cause tolerance to the drug and, therefore, may lead the individual to use a larger dose to compensate for the loss effect. Also, overuse can lead the individual to experience withdrawal reactions if they try to reduce the amount or eliminate the drug indefinitely. According to the DSM-5 checklist in our textbook Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, the individual must experience 3 of the following criteria. 1. A maladaptive pattern of substance use. This might lead to further impairments or distress.

2. The individual must present two or more of the following within 12 months: Substance taken in large amounts and used longer that anticipated, unsuccessful efforts to eliminate substance use, time spent trying to obtain, use, or recover from effects, individual fails to attain obligations at work, school, or work, continue use regardless of interpersonal problems, end attendance of activities, use when it can cause physical hazard, continue use regardless of physical and psychological problems, tolerance effect, withdrawal reactions, and cravings/ urges.

If I were to establish a rapport on an individual struggling with a substance use disorder I would first want to initiate a good relationship between the individual and I. A good rapport is beneficial to enable better communication. In order to establish this a good and healthy relationship, we would need to “break the ice” and get to know each other better. A person must have a warm and inviting personality to ease the unintended tension.

Therefore, I must ask non-threatening questions, make eye contact, and actively listen to initiate trust. Also, by showing empathy for the individual displays that you care about what they are talking about and saying. Once, I establish a rapport it will be easier for the individual to feel comfortable expressing deeper and more personal experiences. Eventually, this will allow them to talk about their substance abuse and how it has affected their life.

Although, not all people with substance use disorder believe they have an actual problem. But if an individual does want to seek help for their disorder then it is important for me to offer hope. I would offer hope by revealing significant reasoning to becoming clean. I would be honest and tell them that it will not be easy. However, I would make sure the individual knows that they are not alone and they have people supporting them the whole way. I would encourage them and tell them not give up when times get rough (through withdrawal).

Also, in order to get through it all they would need to believe in them self that they can do it. It is important to tell them the positives of becoming clean. I would share that substance use can lead to health risks and sometimes death. Therefore, by getting clean would decrease the chances of that happening. Depending on their circumstances, it would open new door such as job opportunities or perhaps allow them to start a family with marriage and children.

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