top of page

Subjective: The way that we internalize another person’s behavior.

A 35-year-old happily married man (to a woman assuming) wants to wear women’s clothes at times. This scenario of determining if it is abnormal is relative to the society and culture that is perceiving the scenario. I am somewhat familiar with the concepts of cross dressing in that it is a habit of curiosity and comfortability that an individual can choose to present themselves as another gender for brief moments in time. I am not aware of that being categorized as any type of psychological dysfunction. I would consider that to be a personal therapeutic practice to alleviate any stressors or frustrations related to societal norms or gender identity stemming from childhood experiences. There are other subcultures or demographics that are not so familiar with the concept of cross dressing though. If that were the case in perceiving the man’s acts, maybe it would lean toward the category of abnormal, if it does not fit into their definition of social construct and gender roles.

A ten year old girl who is black in a predominately white school, her first day was 4 weeks after almost every other child in her class. She’s quiet and sometimes unresponsive. After 5 days, the teacher would wonder if there is a something to be concerned about. She airs on the potential diagnosis and presents concerns for the new student based on the child’s choice to remain shy. Rather than pushing out ideas of a mental disorder or behavioral issue, maybe the teacher could have put in a little more effort in understanding the thought process of the child. Considering that she is the only one who doesn't look like others, and the only one who doesn’t know the routine of the day, or the names of her classmates, it could all just be a whirlwind of intimidation and possibly confusion. Giving attention to her to ensure she feels included and understood may have a drastic impact on how she interacts in classroom.

An individual who would demonstrate signs of abnormal behavior when sweeping, washing, and scrubbing his driveway daily. if there is not a rational reason as to why the person would choose to clean the driveway so extensively everyday. If the person chooses to do so even if it causes inconvenience in their day, or the act of cleaning that specific area is the only thing to helps the person feel at ease, then seeking psychological guidance could help in managing signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The act of maintains attention to detail, self discipline and initiative are apparent in this individual, all good qualities to have in an employee. So certain signs of what we may consider Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, could very well be applauded and celebrated in a certain work environment. I bring this up to show the range of acceptance in mental condition that our society as a whole may have in comparison to a physical condition.

Physical conditions have gray area kind of threshold when considering it’s functionality and

acceptance. Because it is generally apparent, others may be more considerate of how it is impacting the individual. However, depending on the environment, maybe the individual is still expected to work just as hard or just take their medication as prescribed and move on.

The military comes to mind hen I imagine a standard of hard work ethic in a wider range of physical health appraisal. I think in general though, there is a lot more consideration of a physical condition because of how obvious it is. A mental condition however, is not only more difficult to detect, it takes prior effort in knowing the individual, their background and their otherwise normal and somewhat consistent behavior.

To be stigmatized is to be prejudice or oversimplified in a way that generally is unfavorable or offensive to the subject. Regarding mental illness, stigmatization has a way of misnomer and relates mental conditions with certain personality types or general attributes of genders or races. That stigma is due to certain opinions learned through others’ in their own community, including family members and friends. It could also be learned through social media and entertainment. It could also possibly be due to certain thoughts that were carried over from past experiences with a “type” of person. To reduce the amount of incidents regarding prejudice and stigma, I recommend gaining experience and interaction with a wider variety of people of different backgrounds and personalities. Through interacting with many people, finding what makes us all similar should become easier and easier to identify. When knowing that, acknowledging the abnormal aspect of a person could be more

rational. It allows us to rid the mystery, misconceptions or misunderstandings of a person and become familiar with identifying the signs of something that is legitimately abnormal rather than what is just abnormal to one person based off of the lack of interest or effort into learning more about the person, their culture, and their personality.

Stigmas have a way of impacting the lives of many on a daily basis. The way that we internalize another person’s behavior could result in a friendship or an enemy. It could impact a career or a grade. Feeling understood is what so many of us wish for in life, so I find it so vital that we continue to address the importance of social expansion and exposure to other cultures and genders to better understand what makes us all similar. From there, know what is abnormal is less subjective and more factual based

with the help of psychological study and research.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page