Defining Seasonal Affective Disorder

Abnormalities have been found in the human race for a long time now. Humans over this time period have illustrated these abnormalities, how to understand these abnormalities, and how to reduce these abnormalities. Humans have understood that the only way to deal with these abnormalities is by gaining as much knowledge as possible about them. The perception of issues eventually becomes understood, and gives off responses to these problems. According to King(2017), “Abnormal behavior is understood as behavior that is deviant, maladaptive, or personally distressful over a long period of time”(King, 2017, p.499). 

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However, in the past people understood mental health problems differently than the extensive research and technology that is available in today’s world. In the past they had an understanding of disorders through supernatural, biological, and psychological contexts. The perspectives have been part of the foundation that has advanced the growth of knowledge in psychology. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, “The ICD-10 and the DSM-IV both diagnose Antisocial personality disorder as a mental problem”(NCBI,1970). The NCBI states “ The various terms of describing those who exploit others and infringe on societies norms, …including antisocial personality disorder, sociopathy, and psychopathy” (NCBI,1970). Without these three perspectives, mental health problems can be determined through researching the disorder, assessing and evaluating the disorder, and identifying the psychological processes related to the behavior of the mental health problem.

In the past, mental health problems were looked at through three different perspectives. Starting in the stone age, the supernatural perspective looked at abnormalities as a source of spiritual possession. For these “possessed” people, treatment was limited to the release of these spirits in order to get rid of them. Trephination was created to release these people from the spirit that possesses them. This treatment is performed by cutting a hole in the top of the mentally ill person’s head to liberate the spirits from the person’s body. Frances stated, 

“The greek physician Hippocrates viewed abnormalities through biology if there was an imbalance of humor: in the body”(as cited Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p. 18). Hippocrates saw abnormalities as imbalances in the humor. His practices included the releasing of fluids due to their imbalance. However, in the 19th century, Phrenology was invented to determine a person’s defective brain structure through feeling their head. As the development of science advanced, psychological perspectives began. Psychological perspectives wanted to explain abnormalities through psychological rather than supernatural or natural causes(Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p. 19). These perspectives and the advances in science, psychology began to take different pathways into approaches of these mental health problems.

With psychology branching off in different ways, a variety of approaches were created. These approaches are different in what they primarily focus on and how they diagnose abnormalities. The three main approaches in psychology are biological, psychological or psychoanalytic and sociocultural. According to King(2017),” The biological approach focuses on the brain structure, genetic factors, and neurotransmitter functioning as sources of abnormality”(King, 2017, p. 11). The American Psychological Association states(2018), “The psychological approach or psychoanalytic emphasizes the contributions of experiences, thoughts, emotions and personality characteristics in explaining psychological disorders”(American Psychological Association[APA], 2018). King also states (2017), “The sociocultural approach focuses on the social context in which a person lives, including individual culture”(King, 2017, p. 11). All three of these approaches are used to treat people with mental health illnesses. Although the approaches establish treatments, treatments can not happen without researching the disorder that is being dealt with.

Research is valuable when it comes to diagnosing someone with a disorder. Without knowing what the disorder is, possible forms of certain treatments will not have any positive effect on the person diagnosed with the mental disorder. When doing research on a mental disorder, it is important to know the frequency of the people with the specific mental illness within the population. Frequency can be split up into ABCs: amount of time, behavior, and curve (Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p. 10). The amount of time is the frequency of how long the behavior has lasted. The behavior is the frequency of how often the behavior occurs.

 The curve is the frequency is the bell curve, or how many other people are affected by this unusual behavior. Psychological science has four main objectives: describe, predict, explain, and control(Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p. 99). Using these objectives, the mental illness can be diagnosed and the proper plan of treatment can begin. According to the NCBI(1970), “Antisocial personality disorder(ASPD) can be described by its symptoms of a person feeling no remorse for others, is deceitful, and disregards social laws”(NCBI, 1970). By knowing the symptoms of ASPD, by examining how the patient reacts and interacts with outside forces can help in predicting how they will react in the future (Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p. 99). From there the behavior can be explained and then controlled to where the person with ASPD does not become a threat to society.

When research has been done on patient with ASPD, assessing and evaluating their mental illness gives opportunities for treatments. An assessment is crucial in order to provide treatment for the patient. Having an accurate assessment and an accurate diagnosis it can lead to effective treatments; with poor assessments and misdiagnosis, it can lead to harmful treatment(Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p. 61). However, the diagnosis of a person has to be an impairment of functioning for the individual, in order to define the problem as a mental illness. So it is important to accurately assess someone with ASPD because their impairment of functioning can change how well treatments work in the future.

For identifying the behavior of someone with ASPD, their behavior must relate to their psychological processes. A number of people with psychological disorders have evidence of feeling pain due to their mental illness. The pain can be physical, emotional, or even psychological. With this pain reflects how their behavior will be, this pain is not eccentric, but something that is putting a burden on the person. Being put in fatal situations is also is a reflection of the person’s behavior. For people with ASPD, they may not experience the feeling of pain because they have no remorse for their actions, but they can put others into fatal situations(Curtis & Kelly, 2017, p.14-15).

Individuals with mental health problems have a responsibility to keep themselves healthy physically and mentally. It’s important for the families of mentally ill people to keep that person motivated to get better and as well keep them healthy through treatments. A way to get better is to be motivated to get better. Lacking the motivation to help the illness that is being a burden would be dangerous to not only the person with the illness but for others around them. Abnormalities have been found in the human race for a long time. It is the reason that we use perspectives to determine mental health problems through researching the disorder, assessing and evaluating the disorder, and identifying the psychological processes related to the behavior of the mental health problem.


  1. American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association,
  2. Curtis & Kelly(2017) Abnormal Psychology: Myths of ‘Crazy’[PDF File].
  3. King, Laura A. The Science of Psychology: an Appreciative View. McGraw-Hill Education, 2017.
  4. National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). “ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970,
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Defining Seasonal Affective Disorder. (2021, Nov 29). Retrieved October 5, 2022 , from

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