Abnormal behavior is one of the most difficult things to do. There are
as many interpretations of what may be considered abnormal and what
may not, as there are individuals. Although the different mental health
experts have not arrived at a consensus as to what constitutes abnormal
Deviation from statistical norms defines abnormal behavior according
to what is uncommon in a given population. Those who may be
considered to possess a statistically uncommon trait and who behave
accordingly are often seen as being different.
Social norms determine what is considered abnormal social norms
pertain to behaviors and characteristics that are acknowledged by a
given society. Any behavior that defies these generally accepted
standards may be deemed abnormal.
Maladaptiveness of behavior is the third, and probably the most
important criterion in defining the abnormality of a certain behavior. It
may include uncontrollable behaviors that are considered ineffective,
unproductive, of unlawful.
Level of personal distress a person may feel about his/her thoughts
and actions. Many people diagnosed as mentally ill often feel very
miserable. They may feel anxious or depressed with themselves.
Normality is even more difficult to define, as it encompasses a wide
variety as well as different degrees of behavior.

The Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM)
The Multi- Axial System

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders
is the most widely used classification system for abnormal behavior. It
recommends a multi- axial assessment that covers several
dimensions. Realizing that the presenting problem may not reflect all
the integral information needed to summarize clinical information, this
diagnostic procedure is accomplished in order to capture the
complexity of each client. The five axes cover the following areas:
Axis I - This is where the main diagnostic category is coded. It includes
the main focus of attention and often covers the primary reason
behind why client was referred.
Axis II – In some instances, more long- standing psychological
conditions need to be considered. Mental retardation and personality
disorders are coded in this axis.
Axis III – This axis contains any existing physical disorders/ conditions
that may need medical attention.

Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy. 4.Axis IV – The personal difficulties and stressful events that precipitated the current disorders are duly noted in this axis. childhood. or exposure to a toxic substance. Substance – related disorders – These include disorders caused by the excessive and/or habitual use of one or more psychoactive substances that alter behavior. The following 17 diagnostic categories: 1. the side effects of a prescribed medication. and other cognitive disorders – They cover the permanent or temporary impairment of the functioning of the brain as a result of aging. 3. . or adolescence – These disorders include mental retardation and delays in the various aspects in which children and adolescents are expected to develop. Mental disorders due to a general medical condition – The presence of mental symptoms is assessed to be the direct physiological consequence of a medical condition. or the ingestion of toxic substances. 2. Delirium. A scale of 100 points is used to reflect the quality of the general functioning of the individual in the past year. amnestic. dementia. Axis V – The global assessment of functioning is coded in this Axis. degenerative diseases of the nervous system.

induced starvation and/or binge eating. identity. memory. Sexual and gender identity disorders – Distress in these disorders is caused by problems with sexual identity. marked disturbances of thought and perception. . sexual performance. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders – These are characterized by gross impairment of reality testing. 8. physical symptoms have no biological basis. Eating disorders – These disorders include self. Somatoform disorders – In this group of disorders. 7. 11. or the direction of sexual arousal. or perception of the environment due to emotional problems. Dissociative disorders – These disorders are marked by temporary shifts in the functions of consciousness. usually accompanied by an inaccurate perception of one’s body image. 10. 9. Anxiety disorders – Feelings of anxiety are either the main symptom or play a crucial role in disorders of this nature.5. Factitious disorders – Feigning or intentionally producing physical or psychological symptoms to appear sick without any apparent gain to a manifestation of these disorders. 12. Mood disorders – These are disturbances of normal mood. 6. and bizarre behavior.

and negative reactions. Other conditions that may be the focus of clinical attention – They include problems and life events for which people may seek professional assistance. gamble. Sleep disorders – These disorders are evinced in pervasive and extreme problems in sleep patterns. Many individuals are likewise disoriented with regard to time. 15. Many people suffering from a psychotic disorder have disordered thought patterns and disturbances in emotionally. or pull one’s hair. These may manifest themselves in false beliefs about the person and the world around them (delusions). . 14. or thought and/or behavioral disorganization.13. conflicts. place. Adjustment disorders – these disorders cover emotional and/or behavioral difficulties due to an identifiable stressor. set fire. Majority of people suffering from certain neuroses are able to go to work and can establish as well as maintain relationships with others. Impulse control disorders – These disorders include the inability to control anger and the desire to steal. which are often not fully understood. Neuroses – disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety. and person. 16. Psychoses – indicate a loss of one’s contact with reality. false sensory perceptions (hallucinations). 17. Personality disorders – Long-standing and rigid patterns of inner experience and maladaptive behavior that constitute immature and inappropriate ways of coping with stress or solving problems are manifestations of this type of disorder.

many aspects in the Filipino culture need to be taken into consideration before a Filipino can be so labeled. the phenomenon of sanib or sapi is a relatively common form of dissociative disorder that is not found in the manual. While many of the diagnostic categories listed are widely accepted.explains mental disorders in terms of disturbed neuro-endocrine functions. There are certain mental disorders that exist in certain cultures which do not correspond to any DSM-IV-TR (2000) category. Some people have needlessly suffered from labels and categories that do not reflect the individual nuance of their behaviors. Explaining Abnormal Behavior Biological perspective . Psychoanalytic perspective – emphasizes the importance of unconscious conflicts and the maladaptive use of defense mechanisms. For instance. the categories employed help build an understanding of the possible causes of the disorders and effective treatment options. . At the same time. The fact that the DSM-IV-TR (2000) is American-made presents another serious disadvantage for users of the manual here in the Philippines. Pros and Cons of the DSM The use of diagnostic manuals like the DSM-IV-TR (2000) can surely help ease the communication of complex behaviors among mental health professionals.

In the category encompassing dissociative disorders. and obsessive-compulsive disorder are discussed. Major depressive disorder and manic episodes are classified under the mood disorders. Finally. specific phobia. These are meant to concretely illustrate the various disorders as seen in our society. Cognitive perspective – concerned with conscious mental processes that cover the areas of motivation. . emotions. which includes antisocial. and passive- aggressive personality disorders. Among anxiety disorders. schizophrenia. In the section on the disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy. autism and the attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder are illustrated. the cluster on personality disorders. childhood or adolescence. 2003) – interactionist perspective of understanding abnormal behavior. and personality disorders. or adolescence. is tackled. panic episode. dissociative disorders. Biopsychosocial approach (Santrock. mood disorders. anxiety disorders. and conflicts. The Psychological Disorders The disorders discussed in this chapter include the following classifications: disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy. only dissociative identity is considered. borderline.Behavioral perspective – focuses on abnormal behaviors as learned experiences. A discussion of schizophrenia as a general disorder follows. childhood.

and understandably.g. • Learning disorders – Disorders under this category are characterized by significant lags (considering age and academic exposure) in learning the three basic academic skills. as children do not learn basic academic skills until they are of school age. including the areas of social interaction. Childhood. communication. self-help skills. and motor skills. and poor impulse control. communication skills. Similarly. namely. reading.. social skills). For example. have had some school exposure (about 7 to 8 years of age). and mathematics. Disorders Usually Diagnosed in Infancy. the same 3-year-old child cannot be given a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder because children at this age are often physically hyperactive . writing. • Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD) – These disorders are characterized by severe and pervasive impairments in several areas of development. where the presence of odd stereotyped behaviors is observed. or Adolescence • Mental retardation – This disorder is demonstrated by poor performance in intelligence tests and by concurrent deficits in adaptive functioning(e. excessive and inappropriate physical activity. a child 3 years of age may not be diagnosed to have a learning disorder. Some familiarity with the normal course of child development is necessary. • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) – This disorder is marked by lack of focus.

Although early descriptions of children diagnosed with these disorders blamed the condition on the lack of parental emotional responsiveness. The most well- known among these disorders is autism. These disorders are lifelong conditions for which no known cure has yet been found. language development. a diagnosis may be warranted. for instance) and other genetic factors. and exposure to certain toxic substances can likewise cause severe learning disabilities. and motor skills. language as used communication. Before the age of 3 years. Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)  A cluster of disorders characterized by severe and sustained delays observed across the various areas in which children are expected to develop. Children with PDD may exhibit a limited amount of attachment to their primary caregiver. However. when this child turns 8 years old and still behaves in the same inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive manner. Head trauma. is known to be caused by some chromosomal abnormalities (as is evident in Down’s syndrome and the Fragile X syndrome. and the ability to engage in symbolic or imaginative play. . Primary among these areas are the following: social skills. Sadock and Sadock (2003) clarified that none of these claims have been adequately substantiated by studies.and cannot sustain attention. Mental retardation. children may be diagnosed to have PDD. This disorder is often marked by delays in social interaction. and parental reinforcement of autistic symptoms. parental rage and rejection. serious infections in the brain. for instance.

They may be consumed by spinning objects and may engage in hand flapping or twisting. mental retardation is not a criterion for diagnosis. Due to their delayed social skills.  For example. their language capacities often fail to reflect the social reciprocity of conversations. because they do not respond to calls and selectively ignore certain sounds. He may ask repetitive questions that do not seem relevant to a given situation. There are children with autism who are referred to as high functioning. Many of those diagnosed with autistic disorder have repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior and interests. When they learn to talk eventually. Many among these diagnosed with autism have cognitive limitations. They often have very poor eye contact and prefer to play alone. A number of children and adults diagnosed with autism exhibit exceptional skills in very specific areas. It is common among young children with this disorder to be mistaken as deaf.They may also not exhibit the usual separation anxiety when left in an unfamiliar surrounding with strangers. monotonous. The child may also manifest an attachment to certain inanimate objects. he/she is able to meet the demands of regular schooling and other demands of being more independent. The way such a child plays with toys ad objects likewise often reflects a rigid. and repetitive style. . They usually indulge in games that have no apparent theme but are mere repetitions of patterns. This term suggests that although the child exhibits behavior patterns associated with autistic disorder. they may say something totally different from what the other person is saying. a child with autism may arrange his toys in a line and be totally absorbed with this pattern.

They must persist for an extended period of time before a child turns 7 years of age. There is some evidence linking the disorder to generic factors. research has revealed inconsistent results. and impulsiveness. 2002. Although minimal brain damage has long been suspected to be a possible cause of this disorder. physical hyperactivity. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)  Characterized by these behavioral markers: lack of focus and attention span.These pockets of giftedness are called savant skills. All these symptoms/behaviors must be seen in the context of childhood development and should manifest deviation from what may be considered within the range of typical behaviors of children at certain ages. Some children with this condition are able to play the piano despite never having taken lessons. Others are able to tell the day of the week. These skills are often limited to certain areas only and hardly generalize to other skills. The main cause of AD/HD is not known. 2004). Some children diagnosed with this disorder may present primarily symptoms of being unable to focus on a task on hand and flit from one activity to the next whereas others may be diagnosed with primarily excessive physical or motor movements and impulsive behaviors. Melillo & Letsman. Many studies have suggested biological antecedents to this disorder (Barkley. given any calendar date of any year. Many of them also have symptoms of aggression and defiance. as there .

Researchers believe that an interactive process of multiple factors may actually be involved. Most of the causes of AD/HD being explored are biological in nature. Repetitive or significant family disruptions and prolonged emotional deprivation are some of the psychosocial factors that may contribute to behaviors linked to AD/HD. it is generally acknowledged that stressful events in young children’s lives may initiate and perpetuate symptoms of the disorder. Yet another area in the study of the cause of AD/HD focuses on comparing the blood flow and electrical activity on certain parts of the brain of people with and without AD/HD. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine have also been associated with AD/HD.appears to be a higher occurrence of the disorder among identical twins than fraternal twins. Many factors affect the behaviors of children. . as evidenced by the effectiveness of certain psychoactive substances in the treatment of certain symptoms associated with the disorder.

People with AD/HD .

Anxiety is also often accompanied by fear. tightness in chest. and mild stomach discomfort. Anxiety Disorders  All humans experience anxiety. increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. an alerting signal of impending danger or threat to oneself. This is an unpleasant emotion often accompanied by autonomic responses or physiological reactions such as perspiration. .

places. Biological theories – focus on the interaction of a number of neurotransmitters (including norepinephrine. These attempts at coping with the felt distress may cause a significant disruption of daily routines. and invoke principles of associative learning to explain some phobias. . •. particularly for the Tagalogs. . maladaptive behaviors often develop. Examples of these anxiety disorders: •. anxiety disorders are often referred to as nerbyos. and relationships. and distress. and situations. Behavioral theories – focus on anxiety as a learned response to external events.These are normal reactions in stressful situations: 1. Feelings of inadequacy and lack of control may have resulted from a punitive disciplining strategy during toilet training. serotonin. In the Philippines. In an attempt to lessen the overpowering anxiety. and gamma- aminobutyric acid) that regulate feelings of anxiety. apprehension. Anxiety disorders – a group of disorders characterized by persistent experience of fear. school or work productivity. •. Cognitive theories – emphasize the way anxious people think about potential dangers: their overestimation of the likelihood and degree of harm makes them tense and physiologically prepared for danger. Psychoanalytic theories – unconscious conflicts may be traced to early childhood. •. Biochemical abnormalities and genetic evidence have likewise been identified in panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorders. It is commonly heard that someone ill at ease was inatake ng nerbyos (having the case of the nerves). such as the avoidance of certain things.

People who experience panic attacks with agoraphobia will require the constant company of someone. sweating. These limited and identifiable objects or situations vary from person to person. When exposed to the feared object or situation.2. a panic attack is marked by “discrete period in which there is the sudden onset of intense apprehension fearfulness. shortness of breath. The person often has insight on the irrationality of the fear. Specific Phobia . the person suffering from the phobia may exhibit symptoms of a panic attack. or terror. and will avoid being in a crowd of people. seeing blood. seeing an animal or insect. but reactions are too persistent and too severe to simply brush aside. and other similar situations. often associated with feelings of impending doom”. They may be experienced with or without agoraphobia. etc. or where help may be unavailable when an unexpected panic attack occurs. in an elevator. A person will typically avoid the feared situation using every . Panic disorder – characterized by recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. and trembling. According to the DSM-IV-TR (2000). and may include the following: flying. Agoraphobia is the fear of being in places where escape may be difficult or embarrassing. These feelings are often accompanied by palpitations. A person suffers from a specific phobia when a marked and present fear is experienced when exposed to a known object or situation.

the avoidance strategies involved may often interfere with everyday routines. . As the mere anticipation of the anxiety can cause distress.means possible.

They may interfere with regular daily routines and cause the person to be less effective in other areas of functioning. and counting cracks in the street. . Despite this insight. including work and relationships.  Examples of compulsions are repetitive checking if the door has been locked. Obsessions are persistent thoughts and impulses perceived to be disruptive and anxiety- provoking and to be beyond what may be considered everyday worries. causing significant distress and interference with everyday functioning (Davison & Neale. The obsessions and compulsions of people suffering from OCD consume a significant amount of their time. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts performed according to rigid rules and rituals. however. 2001). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which the mind is flooded with persistent and uncontrollable thoughts and the individual is compelled to repeat certain acts again and again. the excessive washing of hands. and usually designed to alleviate specific obsessive thoughts. they have great difficulty correcting their behavior. Individuals with OCD recognized that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive.

An underlying sense of hypervigilance and being easily startled are constantly experienced.. Mood Disorders  Mood disorders include depressive disorders and bipolar disorders(when there are periods of mania). Symptoms are characterized by nightmares when asleep or during flashbacks of the incident while awake. . and flooding).g. and accidents(e. A general feeling of numbness and finding difficulty in experiencing everyday joys may likewise be observed. Many factors are involved in PTSD’s incidence among individuals. typhoons. This pervading lack of feelings of safety is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).g. One’s ability to cope with stressors in life in general and the availability of an external support system(e. volcanic eruptions. plane crashes and automobile accidents) is severe anxiety immediately after and long past the actual incident. severe abuse(e. friends and family) are two factors that have been known to affect its onset. physical or sexual assault).. Not all people who experience the same stressful event will develop PTSD. earthquakes..g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  One of the grave effects of acute stress that result from natural calamities(e.. war.g.

Helplessness. Men tend to mask their depression with other forms of behavior. and the lack of motivation. such as “physical illness. loneliness. whereas men are expected to be stoically strong in the face of pain and other negative feelings. loss of gratification in life. Whereas the former intend to end their miseries by ending their lives altogether. He strongly advocates that the present culture accept the fact that men do got depressed. the latter resort to suicide to impress others with the seriousness of their problems. Characterized by physical hyperactivity and an exceptional feeling of euphoria. negative thoughts. alcohol and drug abuse. While some people commit suicide do so because they find their emotional distress intolerable and unsolvable. domestic violence. He relates this tendency to the cultural expectation that depression is a woman’s illness because emotions are usually considered part of the woman’s domain. Bipolar disorders – distinguished by alternate bouts of depression and mania. and difficulties are some of the reasons why many people consider this option. . problems. In a book entitled I Don’t Want to Talk About It. self-sabotage in careers”. mania may often make a person do extraordinary feats because energy does not seem to run out. intimacy failures. for the men to be able to obtain proper treatment for it. Real (1997) shared that men may display depression differently from women.Depressive disorders – characterized by sadness. others may attempt suicide merely to get attention.  It is often in depressive states when people carry out plans to commit suicide or harbor the desire to do so.

present experiences. but to how they view themselves and the world around them. They become lethargic and have very little energy for anything. Major Depressive Disorder  Major depressive disorder may be diagnosed when sad feelings and a general loss of interest or pleasure is experienced for a period of at least 2 weeks. . It may also be seen as a kind of anger directed toward the self. One such theory was developed by Beck (1979) who views depression as a cognitive triad of negative thoughts about the self. In children and adolescents. A diminished sense of worth and guilt may likewise be present.e. Cognitive theorists insist that depression is not due to what people do. these feelings may also manifest through irritability.The psychoanalytic perspective interprets depression as a reaction to loss. The behavioral perspective sees depression as a reaction to the lack of positive reinforcements and/or the proliferation of negative experiences in one’s life. when there appears to be nobody else to blame but oneself. too much or too little).. and the future. whatever the nature of this loss may be. Mood disorders are greatly influenced by genetic predisposition. Many people who become depressed experience concomitant weight loss and disturbance in sleeping patterns (i.

As they fall from their highs. even invincible. the unbearable despair and pain (depression) that ensues consumes them. Bipolar Disorder  Bipolar disorder – characterized by extreme fluctuations of mood. they feel invulnerable. People who suffer from this disorder alternate between unusually high highs and severely low lows. they are full of energy and are convinced that they can do the most ambitious feats with little prior experience. forming a cycle. When they are feeling high (manic). In these euphoric moments. .

as measured through the electroencephalogram (EEG). behaving. . Macho who is stoic when in pain. the terms split personalities and schizophrenia are often associated. notwithstanding the fact that this information is too massive to be explained by simple forgetfulness. with women averaging 15 identities as compared to the eight identities of men. formerly known as multiple personality disorder. the Little Girl who keeps crying. Mr. Another feature of this disorder is that the person is unable to remember pertinent information about herself. a high preponderance of abnormal brain activity.  For example. The cause of DID is really unknown. When people talk about mental illness in everyday conversation. and the Flirt who goes out on sexual adventures with strangers. The two terms are actually distinct diagnostic labels that connote very different symptoms. is characterized by “the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states” in a person. Did is more prevalent among woman than men. and may have a name or may be labeled according to their main trait. These identities are also sometimes called alters (Hales & Hales. A personality or two dominate the person’s behaviors. 1995). No firm biological evidence has been established for DID. Dissociative Identity Disorder  Dissociative identity disorder (DID). These identities have their own patterns of thinking. and relating to others. has been reported. a great majority of those suffering from it have been noted to experience a chronic traumatic event such as physical or sexual abuse during their childhood. their own individual perceptions of reality and self. a woman with DID may have four personalities: the Judge who metes out punishment.

Painting of Mukti Alamsyah .

Disorganized thinking is often observed through the invention of new words (neologisms) or mixed-up sentences of incoherent words. The relative success of drug treatment in those diagnosed with schizophrenia contributes to the recognition of its biological basis. which may take on any of the following forms: auditory-hearing voices that are not present. People with schizophrenia are often observed to have difficulty relating with other people appropriately.  For example. There is reason to believe that schizophrenia has strong . Other biological causes that have also been studied include irregularities of neuro-chemicals (particularly dopamine) and differences in brain structure (decreased limbic system size and larger cerebral ventricles) between those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and those who have not. and their normal everyday functioning is usually severely deteriorated. and impaired functioning. loss of speech. bizzare motor activity. Schizophrenia  Schizophrenia – characterized by disturbances in the form of thought (disorganized and often irrelevant speech). in the content of thought (presence of delusions and lack of insight). or olfactory-smelling objectively absent odors). withdrawal from reality. inappropriate affect (intense fear or anger for no apparent reason). a person suffering from schizophrenia may be heard mumbling to himself/herself: “The world is endless in the sense of lightness with me in the middle of it all.” Other symptoms of schizophrenia also include perceptual disturbances (such as hallucinations. and in affective response (flattening of feelings).

 For example.biological causes. a person diagnosed with schizophrenia who may have delusions of grandeur may be reacting to an injured self-concept. This may be due to the tendency of those with such illness to move into or to fail from rising from a low socio- economic group. the incidence of their successfully committing suicide is high. The stresses of being poor may contribute to the development of the illness. In studies around the world. there seems to be a relatively more frequent occurrence of schizophrenia among people in the lower socio-economic classes than in any other groups. certain social and psychological factors cannot be overlooked. especially in industrialized countries. Because of the distorted thought patterns of people suffering from schizophrenia. Studies show that they are more likely to hurt themselves than other people. .

The Scream by Edward Munch .

Substantial evidence supporting biological factors as possible causes of these disorders has emerged. Personality disorders develop over the years. Other biological factors explored include hormones that regulate impulse control. as well as neurotransmitters responsible for aggressive behaviors. Twin studies have revealed similar interests and basic temperaments among monozygotic twins. Only adults are diagnosed with these disorders. . Their behavioral symptoms are difficult to isolate and study scientifically. people diagnosed with the three different clusters of personality disorders were found to be more likely related to people diagnosed with other similar mental disorders. culturally maladaptive behaviors that constitute immature patterns of coping with stress or solving problems. People suffering from a personality disorder may not see the necessity of changing their ways and may stick to their maladaptive responses despite feedback from others. Personality Disorders  Personality disorders – long-standing. The rigidity and immaturity with which a person employs a pattern of coping are hallmarks of these disorders. In other studies. whether reared together or apart. from childhood through adolescence and adulthood.

Seldom. and concern for others. One minute. and forget who they are. let alone other people’s security. do they feel remorse for offenses they have committed against others. Persons suffering from this personality disorder often have unstable moods. They may engage in self-injurious behavior. and passive-aggressive personality disorders.  Borderline Personality Disorder – marked by psychological instability and fear of abandonment. often disregarding their own safety. They are often interested only in their own gains and lack a guiding conscience. They are impulsive thrill seekers. antisocial. People who suffer from this disorder may have a fleeting concept of themselves. and interpersonal relationships. an inherent tendency to interpret vague social cues as prompting aggression may ensue. self-concepts. they may debase themselves. These individuals are also prone to transient episodes where they feel unreal. They are irritable and prone to temper tantrums for no apparent reason. They view people in characteristic instability.  Antisocial Personal Disorder – People diagnosed with this disorder tend to possess little sense of responsibility. they may feel good about themselves. lose track of time. which may lead to successful suicide. morality.Only three personality disorders will be discussed. As a result. namely. There is some evidence that points to genetic factors as leading to antisocial behavior mostly related to low levels of arousability and impulsiveness. thereby leading them to appraise one person . borderline. if ever. the next.

People who suffer from this disorder may have had punitive and hostile parents who discouraged them from openly expressing themselves.ideally one minute. They are often envious and resentful of other people’s successes. Persons said to be passive-aggressive usually refuse to confront their adversary. stubbornness. They characteristically engage in vengeful acts on their foes by simply doing nothing (passive resistance). and to attest to the exact opposite the next. They are not very good in dealing with authority figures and often vacillate between hostile defiance and guilt. . particularly at work. given the nonconfrontational aspects of the culture. Intentional inefficiency. They may be observed to constantly complain about the demands of other people on them and feel unrecognized for their achievements. is demonstrated through procrastination. The fact that a good number of those diagnosed with this disorder had histories of physical or sexual abuse further supports this cognitive-behavioral view. and forgetfulness. Filipinos tend to engage in behaviors that may be considered indicative of this pattern.  Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder – defined as a pattern of negativistic attitude and passive resistance to perform adequately. They are unable to maintain stable and meaningful relationship with other people. The present understanding of the cause of this personality disorder is unclear. An increased prevalence of certain mental disorders has been found among first-degree relative of those diagnosed with this disorder in the US.

and Rajab (2001) mentioned that while stressful events in one’s life. Suicide  Suicide – the act of hurting oneself with the desire to take one’s own life. and muriatic acid. Dr. Joiner. 8 December 2003). Panganiban added that attempts are frequently consummated right after a fight with a family member. Treating Suicide Behavior. Suicide is also attempted through hanging. and physical or cognitive ability” may trigger a suicide attempt. shooting oneself with a gun. whether successfully or not. Chairperson of the National Poison Control and Information Service of the Philippine General Hospital. such as the “loss of a job. 2001). The possibility of suicide is a reality to anyone. young or old. as cited in Rudd et al. has always remained a morbid fascination among us. An interview with Lynn Crisanta Panganiban. such as one’s parents: or with a significant other. whether rich or poor. financial status. rat killers. In their book. Rudd. relationships. there has been an apparent increase in the number of suicide attempts among individuals aged 10 to 35 years old (personal communication. She observed that the one attempting suicide usually takes these chemicals while locked in a room.. They cited Beck’s studies (1996. bleaching agents. She also shared that the substances most commonly ingested are those found in one’s home: paracetamol. stating that a person . educated or uneducated. or carbon monoxide poisoning. famous or ordinary. revealed that in the past few years. pesticides. sense of identity. certain cognitive beliefs may actually underlie these stressors that influence one to go into a suicidal mode. such as one’s boyfriend or girlfriend. MD . malathion. prescription drugs.

While the ordinary man on the street may think that one who commits suicide is crazy. and impulse control. . have a poor grasp of the following skills: conflict resolution. Statistics in the United States show that suicide among adolescents has quadrupled since 1950. I’m worthless’). usually. The number of suicide attempts among girls is thrice the number among boys. instead. to gain attention.. Rudd et al. These possibilities show that the decision to commit suicide may be an impulsive thought. regulation of emotions. or release tension. Those suffering from schizophrenia and those diagnosed to suffer from substance abuse have likewise been known to attempt suicide.who commits suicide may have a pervasive sense of hopelessness. (2001) added that although people may attempt to commit suicide. whereas the number of completed suicides is five times higher among boys than girls. especially depression and borderline personality disorder where suicidal ideation. the attempt is undertaken merely to hurt someone back. not all intend to die. ‘I don’t deserve to live. suicide attempts. or self-injurious behaviors are among the symptoms. anger management. as distinguished by having a sense of helplessness (e. ‘I can’t do anything about my problems’). feeling unlovable (e.g. At times. A suicide attempter may lack effective problem solving skills and may.g.. those who do attempt suicide are diagnosed to have mood disorders. The suicide attempter may also have self-perception problems. and poor distress tolerance (‘I can’t stand feeling this way anymore’).

Oster and Montgomery (1995) suggested that when a peer or classmate threatens to commit suicide. Helping Your Depressed Teenager. but are people who need help. immediate medical attention must be accompanied by consultations with either a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Suicide is not a disorder in itself but its inclusion in the chapter was deemed important as many of those who seriously contemplate or attempt suicide may be suffering from a mental disorder. One may fear that talking about the suicide attempt may encourage the teenager to think about it more. which inhibits such thoughts. talking to him or her about it may be crucial.The studies cited earlier will demystify suicide and show that people who attempt it are not “crazy” people. when actually. Much can be done when one is privy to another’s previous attempt or intention to commit suicide. talking about it communicates a message of hope and caring. . In their book. Sessions with a mental health professional may need to be sustained to obtain a comprehensive history and evaluation of the one who attempted suicide. When a person is found to have attempted suicide.