Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology: Misplaced Labeling Schizophrenia


Interpretation of behavior is a very important factor that entails the work of psychologists. While one may think that psychiatrists only need to have the knowledge and skills to interpreted behavior, this may not be the case. There is dire need for everyone from every profession to the ordinary folk to take heed and know the cues of psychological world lest they be misinterpreted or misinterpret other’s actions and behaviors. This will enable them to make informed decisions that will not only ensure that they are safe but also ensure that other people are not wrongly victimized.


This paper deals with a case study of a woman that was taken to a psychiatrist by a doctor to the husband. This was after the husband had complained that she was getting mad as she kept on saying she had talked to God. From the societal information, she was a very responsible mother to her kids and wife to her drunken husband. Every payday she would get to the pocket of her husband in the evening in a drunken state and get money that she would use in taking care of the family. The interrogation she had with the psychiatrist made the psychiatrist to refer her for treatment as she was diagnosed of Schizophrenia. She stayed in the hospital for treatment in discouragement until she met another physician that told her to tell the physician that she did talk to God literally but that God inspired her to do good deeds in the society. After doing this was then that, she was discharged from hospital.

The woman’s predicament brings many issues that concern psychology and the general conduct of professionals. Her interaction with the people she meets at the hospital brings out the general implications of wrong judgment and the labeling effect. At the end of the paper, we get to have the woman saved from ill-conceived illness and treatment by a physician. This case study provides a good analytical paper through which psychologists are able to learn new skills and ways of doing carrying out their activities.

Psychiatrically fit or not

This woman was not psychiatrically disturbed. Given the description of the types of lifestyle she was living, she was a very comfortable woman that took care of his children. The actions she takes to take care of her family especially children is a pin pointer to a person that is psychologically healthy. The woman was a product of a failed system given the analysis and the nature of the disease that she was diagnosed with. Given that schizophrenia is not an easy disorder to diagnose it was imprudent for the psychiatrist to use only one analytical question to verify if one is psychologically disturbed or not.

The psychiatrist also failed in her duties in trying to find out the psychological status of the woman. First, the dedicated time to the woman’s analysis of the disease was very short. For the case of psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, it is expected that a psychiatrist will take his or her time to interrogate and analyze the person’s behavior and actions before getting to a conclusion. This was not what the psychiatrist did. She rushed into a conclusion after asking one question hence leading to misplaced labeling. A Patient can only be diagnosed to be having schizophrenia if several characteristics have been weighed.

The psychiatrist messed up in the course of determination of the woman’s problem. The type of question used was very improper if it is to determine ones level of fitness psychologically. Religious based questions are not the best that one can use in determination of the health status of a person especially to do with psychology. This is because religious matters involve many abstract ideas that are likely to be misinterpreted if taken literally. What the woman meant by saying that she spoke to God was not meant to be taken literally. The religious perspective was probably borne with the fact that she had experienced good times under the guidance of God and not really, that she spoke to God. In religious terms speaking to God or God, speaking to you might not really mean the ordinary verbal communication. Had she known that it would have been literally interpreted, she would have answered this question differently.

Psychiatric analysis – Symptoms

The diagnosis of Schizophrenia is mostly based on the symptoms that the person suffering from them have. One of the symptoms that the psychiatrist used was false beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions). However, in reality, the woman was not having false beliefs but rather she was just being religious. She was answering the question from a religious perspective. This decision was totally made out of wrong medical analysis criteria. For a patient to be diagnosed to be having Schizophrenia there is need for thorough analysis of the person by a psychologist. The psychiatrist for this case failed to put this fact into consideration and instead came up with a conclusion without thorough analysis.

The decision was made based on single evidence being brought out by the psychology. This is not sufficient, as there was need for the psychiatrist to find out the behavior of the woman in a shorter span than rush into such conclusions. It is disturbing that the woman is in fact ranked by her neighbors as a very responsible woman that provided not only to her family but also to the society. Such characters cannot be displayed by somebody that has developed Schizophrenia. We are even told that she was the one that was taking cars of the children as her husband kept ion drinking. Her reason to cry we are told is being pushed by her thought of her children under her drunken husband. It is only a sensible person that can do all this.

Post Labeling Behavior, Effects and Relevance

Crying was the aspect that led to the woman being labeled as Schizophrenic. Crying is one of the symptoms of a person that has the Schizophrenic condition. The more she continued crying, the more the misinterpretation. The increase in the magnitude of crying could have been implying the worsening of the Schizophrenic condition. From this analysis, it is clear that the labeling effect can get worse if one is labeled wrongly and this is not changed. The woman’s conscience was very clear that she was crying out of the feeling for the suffering of her children. She did not put in mind the label that she had been diagnosed as being mad. Her emotions were just too much she could not hold.

The labeling effect has a tendency of analysis of one’s character based on the label or the previous character. The fact that she was already diagnosed as being mad made it clear on people mind that had the knowledge of the diagnosis that she actually was mad. This made the other people to look at the woman from the perspective of someone that is mad. As such, it is very difficult to get away with the labeling effect. This happens everywhere in the world today. People tend to believe that we will always behave the way we did the previous day. This may not be always true as humans are liable to change. For those persons that are wrongly labeled are likely to suffer from the message that the label holds.

This case study is very relevant to psychologists as it would help them deal with various situations without having to misinterpret or misguide in trying to make judgments. It is a clear show of what poor judgment can have not only in the short run but also in the log run. The psychologists have therefore to make informed judgments and this can only be well done by avoiding the labeling effect as it may hold or fail to hold water. From this, we learn that psychological work entails situational study from various perspectives and use of several evidences.

            To the medical practitioners, it is very clear that poor judgment can easily be actions hence having grave implications on the victims. For a patient to be diagnosed to be having a certain disease there is need for intrinsic analysis from different quarters to ascertain the health status of a person. The presence of the other clinician is what helped solve the problem. It also cones back to all humanity that they are likely to be judged by the labels they acquire from their actions. This will mean a negative label is likely to negatively impact on an individual. The woman was actually misinterpreted if we go by what she actually intended. This provides a challenge to psychologists that are fond of using interrogation as the only method of personal value and status.


Psychology work entails the observation of various aspects that that help in coming up with correct judgments. In doing, their work psychologists have to assertive the time factor in trying to come up with. The use of various methods and techniques in the analysis of why an action was taken is very necessary to avoid wrong judgment. Psychology entails that labeling should not form part of our judgment given situation a situation that is supposed to be analyzed. Were this to happen with all the medical officers, the woman would have cried for a longer period in the hospital as everyone would have looked at her and made a wrong judgment. From this case study, it is clear that psychology plays a great role in our daily activities and that we cannot avoid this issue. If the woman were psychologically sharp, she would have answered the question from a literal and not a religious/spiritual perspective.

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