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Diagnosing Abnormal Behaviors

            In the Abnormal Psychology Level of Analysis, it is very difficult to define what behavior is considered abnormal, and even more difficult to objectively diagnose someone with a specific condition or disorder that results in their abnormal behavior. What is supposed to be a total objective assessment can become a very subjective evaluation because of the many factors that influence classification/diagnosis systems which include both cultural and ethical considerations that will affect both the patient and the person making the diagnosis. Not all diagnosis is highly subjective. If a patient displays abnormal behavior where the psychologist can clearly identify the condition/disorder, suitable treatment can be applied accordingly without complications. Still, the likeliness of subjectivity can still be increased with cultural considerations. Concepts of normality and abnormality differ from culture to culture and what may be considered abnormal behavior in one culture can be considered totally normal in another; therefore, clinicians must take these considerations into account when diagnosing. .
             Abnormal behavior cannot be approached universally because there are Culture-bound Syndromes, meaning that a specific condition is only found in a specific culture. For example, Koro is a culturally-bound syndrome in China where men believed that the penis can shrink, become impotent and sterile then cause death. Symptoms include reduction of penile volume due to vasoconstriction in cold temperature and intense anxiety. Because this disorder only occurs in China, other diagnostic manuals may not have it. Same with depression, which is more of a common disorder in western culture while absent in Asian cultures because Asians usually consult their doctor for physical rather than emotional problems. .
             Another cultural consideration in diagnosis is culture blindness, where the clinician is unaware that what is abnormal in their culture may be completely normal in the patient's culture.

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