The Concept of Abnormal Psychology

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Abnormal psychology is referred to as a division of psychology that deals with the remarkable pattern of thought, conduct, and sentiment (Barlow 2004). There are several causes for diverse conditions that have been recognized in the field of abnormal psychology. This field makes use of assorted theories from the field of psychology in general (Barlow 2004). The discipline of abnormal psychology studies two categories of conduct: maladaptive and adaptive conduct.

In Andrea Yates’s story, it was legal to have Yates held in custody or in a mental health facility despite the arguments by some psychiatrists that she was mentally ill. This was a way of controlling her actions as well as helping her with treatments. This is clearly elaborated by the fact that she had been planning to kill her children for the last two years. This was prevented by her being monitored by doctors and by the various medications she received every time she attempted the evil actions. In the case study, it is ethical that Yates was committed to a mental health facility rather than a death penalty as was proposed by the court during her trial (Bennett 2003). This was aimed at helping her regain their mental situation which had begun out of depression.

Civil commitment is a procedure in which an arbitrator comes to a decision if a person who is suspected to be mentally ill ought to be obligated to agree to mental health treatment or to go to a psychiatric health facility (Bennett 2003). The civil commitment may refer to a lawful process via which a person indicating harsh mental sickness is court-ordered to management in a health facility as an inpatient or in the society as an outpatient (Hamsell 2005). While criminal commitment is an authorized process by which an individual who is not found responsible for an offense on a basis of insanity ought to be restricted in a psychiatric facility. In Yates’s case, civil commitment comes in where she is taken to a low-security state hospital from the prison and criminal commitment is where she was confined to a health facility although her actions were like those of a normal person. This is because she waited until she was alone to commit the crime.

The insanity defense is defined as a situation where the defendant maintains that the accused is not accountable for his/her actions as a result of mental health problems (Hansell 2005). In Yates’s case, her defendant claimed that she was not responsible for her deeds but this was driven by her insanity. Competency is the aptitude of a person to carry out a task appropriately. In her case, Yates performed her evil act appropriately and, therefore, ought to face the trial. Information is said to be confidential when it can not be released to the public by a clinician. The duty to warn may involve the therapist where he/she is needed to inform the third party if the client poses a danger to the public or to herself. In case I came across such a person, I would try and get to the depth of the cause of his/her situation. This would help to know the kind of treatment for him/her before it gets to a worse situation like that of Yates.

In conclusion, Yates states of depression lead to the tragedy that occurred. This could have been prevented by treating the initial cause of her lunacy. Yates’s story is a good example of what happens to those with mental problems and the kind of treatment one should undergo in case of mental illness.


Barlow, D. 2004. Abnormal Psychology. USA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Bennett, P. 2003. Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. UK: Open University Press.

Hansell, J. 2005. Abnormal Psychology. Saint Louis: Von Hoffman Press.

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PsychologyWriting. "The Concept of Abnormal Psychology." April 26, 2022.