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5 Abnormal Psychology Case Studies That Are Worth Your Attention 

abnormal psychology case studiesIf you find people remotely interesting (and who doesn’t), you probably find unusual patterns of behavior and conditions such as schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder somewhat fascinating. For psychology students, these topics in abnormal psychology are particularly interesting. Behaviors that are statistically deviant have long been a point of interest in psychology, and the ability to understand unusual behaviors, emotions and thoughts is the work of specialists in this field.

Most psychology students study abnormal psychological conditions in terms of the patterns and behaviors associated with each one. Short case-studies may be used; however for a more profound understanding of these conditions, a deeper look into the cases is necessary. One excellent source used for this purpose is Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology, 9th Edition. Written by four professors, each case outlines the events leading up to the patient initiating therapy, the patient’s family and social history, the treatment, the discussion of the condition and etiological considerations. These in depth cases make excellent options for psychology students looking for some data to include in essays and presentations. There are five cases in particular that are worth looking into:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Rape Trauma
    This case study tells the story of a young woman who was raped by a TA of a class she was taking at university. PTSD has been a more recent topic in abnormal psychology and, thus, is of a particular interest for students looking to contribute to the field. Furthermore, the case considers issues important to women such as the reactions of people in her social network and her ability to make decisions regarding reporting the rapist, etc.
  • Hypertension in an African American Man
    This case is particularly interesting due to the etiological and treatment implications since the patient was African American. The patient struggled to deal with pressure and the desire for success and perfection, resulting in a serious condition. The patient also expressed struggles of being a black man in a largely white man’s world, especially at the time of the study. Difficulties of difference of the race between the therapist and patient are discussed.
  • Major Depressive Disorder
    This case is particularly interesting as explanations for gender differences are discussed considering this disorder. In this case study a woman’s struggle with depression is outlined along with the causes including grief and sadness over the loss of a marriage and stressful events, which particularly affect women.
  • Parasomnia: Nightmare Disorder and Isolated Sleep Paralysis
    Sleep disorders are also relatively new to abnormal psychology, and an interesting case in an area that has not yet been researched very deeply proves it. This area has received more attention recently due to the large number of people affected by sleep disorders.
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder
    This area of abnormal psychology hasn’t been heavily researched, making this case study an interesting and helpful one for students looking to understand more about this disorder. This case study outlines the life of a man who exhibits a paranoid personality disorder, but doesn’t complete the therapy which is typical of people who exhibit these behaviors.Use these case studies to make your writing more proficient and interesting at the same time. After all, your professors are usual people who want to read juicy papers with challenging facts. So, while writing, think about them too.

About the Author

Steven Arndt is a passionate writer, educator and a former History teacher. He tends to reconsider the role of modern education in our society and watches with awe the freedom the youth now has.

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