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Understanding the Impact of Obsessions and Mental Diseases on Abnormal Psychology

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Addictions and mental illnesses are the primary parts of abnormal psychology. Abnormal psychology is misunderstood among people of the world today. Most people do not understand the scientific reasoning or actual illness behind the symptom(s). People also tend to judge or mock things that they haven’t experienced or do not understand.

Kleptomania is a rare condition that appears to occur in less than 5% of identified shoplifters. Females appear to be much more prone to be a klepto then males. The main cause of Kleptomania is failure to keep themselves from stealing things even though they have no personal use or value to what they steal. Individuals with this disorder will generally avoid stealing when they see a police officer standing around somewhere and think they will get caught and go to jail. They usually do not preplan the thefts or think about the consequences. The stealing is done without assistance of other people. Kleptomania should be distinguished from ordinary acts of theft or shoplifting. Ordinary theft (whether planned or unplanned) is motivated by greed and coveting something of worth. Some individuals, especially adolescents, may also steal on a dare, as an act of rebellion, or to get into a clique.

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Some sexual behaviors might be viewed as obsessive or compulsive if they are not viewed within their developmental context. Adolescents, for example, can become “obsessed” with sex for long periods of time. In adulthood, it is common for individuals to go through periods when sexual behavior may take on obsessive and compulsive characteristics. For example, in the early stages of romance, there is a natural developmental period where an individual might be obsessed with their partner and compelled to seek out their company and express affection. These are normal and healthy developmental processes of sexual development and must be clearly distinguished.

Behaviors that are in conflict with someone’s value system may be problematic but not obsessive-compulsive. Having sexual problems is common. Problems are often caused by a number of non-pathological factors. People can make mistakes. They can at times act impulsively. Their behavior can cause problems in a relationship. Some people will use sex as a coping mechanism similar to the use of alcohol, drugs, or eating. This pattern of sexual behavior can be problematic. Problematic sexual behavior is often remedied by time, experience, education or counseling. Obsessive and compulsive behavior, by its nature, is much more resistant to change.

Compulsive overexcersize is often another behavior used to purge or accelerate weight loss. Those who may have symptoms of Compulsive Exercise have episodes of repeatedly exercising beyond the requirements of what is considered safe will find time at any cost to do the exercise (cutting school, taking off from work, staying awake to exercise, hiding in the bathroom and exercising, etc.). The main goal of the exercise can be burning calories and to “relieve the guilt” from just having eaten or binged, or to give them “permission” to eat. The difference between normal exercise and compulsively over exercising is this: if a person does exercise to stay healthy and fit, they are normal. If they exercise as a compulsion (“I have to exercise or I can’t do —“), than it is not normal. For example, working out for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week is totally healthy and normal. Someone with an exercise disorder, however, might doing hundreds of crunches, run uncountable miles, and do push-ups until their arms feel like rubber.


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