|MadSci Network: Neuroscience|
Aberrant As defined by Merriam Webster: Function: adjective Etymology: Latin aberrant-, aberrans, present participle of aberrare to go astray, from ab- + errare to wander, err Date: circa 1780 1 : straying from the right or normal way 2 : deviating from the usual or natural type : ATYPICAL Aberrant can be used in psychiatry and would mean essentially the same thing as the dictionary definition and would apply in the context of aberrant behavior meaning behavior which is not within the normal limits. It is not used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C., 1994, the main diagnostic reference of Mental Health professionals in the United States of America. DSM-IV includes the Diagnostic Criteria for the most common mental disorders including: description, diagnosis, treatment, and research findings. The difficulty in applying the term aberrant in psychiatry is that what is considered aberrant in one setting may not be aberrant in another. For example criteria for determining what constitutes a delusion (a bizarre belief) has the qualifier that: “The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture (eg it is not an article of religious faith).” Thus, in summary, the term can be used in psychiatry though normally it is not used and it would mean the same as the standard dictionary definition. hope this helps, gabriel vargas md/phd References: DSM-IV APA Sadock and Sadock Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry Merriam-Webster Dictionary
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