25 Pages

People as deviant

Psychiatry and the construction of madness

In the case of personality, 'deviants' are either those who score at extreme ends of dimensional scales such as introversion–extroversion; neuroticism–stability; or those who display behaviours/patterns of thinking which would lead them to be judged as having a particular psychological disorder. In the difference between deviants and non-deviants is quantitative: introverts display many more introvert traits than extroverts; in the difference is qualitative: for example, someone either has schizophrenia or they don't. At first, the 'mad' were incarcerated with all kinds of social deviants, but, increasingly, specialist asylums developed; this reflected changes in attitudes with regard to how such individuals should be treated. The symptoms and pathologies of mental disorders appear to be highly responsive to a wide variety of neurobiological, interpersonal, cognitive, and other mediating and moderating variables that develop, shape, and form a particular individual's psychopathology profile.