Psychological Disorder Paper

Psychological Disorder Paper–due Sunday by midnight at the end of Week 3.

Your Psychological Disorder Paper should be a research paper on the psychological disorder you chose during Week 1. It should be at least 750 words. This paper is worth 15% of your grade.  You will need to preview chapter 14 for some ideas on a disorder that interests you.  I also listed some websites below.  Please use the APA format and cite at least three (3) sources.  I have guidelines on using the APA format and citing sources in Student Resources for you.  To submit your paper click on the Psychological Disorder Paper link above. Then attach your paper. Follow the directions below for a step-by-step process.

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Psychological Disorder Paper
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A psychological disorder also referred to as mental sickness or disease is considered as a blueprint of behavioral or psychological symptoms that affects several life conditions and creates a condition of distress for the individual having these features. These symptoms might be unrelenting, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Consequently, psychological disorders are not only associated with just a particular societal group as they are noticed in the entire universe in each culture. Every culture has a different point of view on psychological disorders that comprise of different ways of managing and controlling these disorders. Regarding the religion of the person diagnosed with mental illness; it can typically reflect how they are incorporated into their society, offered treatment and sometimes even diagnosed. It is considered that culture of a person plays a significant role in kind of therapy, analysis, and integration with several psychological disorders without the knowledge of the other members of the given cultural setup. Therefore, the paper will look into seasonal affective disorder, its signs and symptoms, its causes and treatment.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

A seasonal affective disorder known as SAD is a form of depression in which the human being experiences depressive conditions during a specified period of the year. The most frequent seasonal pattern is for depressive states to being in the plunge or wintry weather and retreating in the spring. A less regular type of this order referred to as summer depression, typically starts in the late springs or early summer. The seasonal affective disorder may be linked to the constant changes that happen in the level of sunshine that a person acquires or gets on a daily basis (Melrose, 2015). This kind of disorder is not considered as a different ailment from other ailments, but instead is a kind of depression condition that has a persistent seasonal sample.  For a person to be diagnosed with a seasonal affective disorder, he or she must comply and meet the sequences for significant depression reflecting the specific seasons for close to two years. The person ought to experience seasonal depression symptoms much often that any non-seasonal depression. This kind of ailment is calculated to have affected over 10 million Americans with close to twenty percent having a mild seasonal affective disorder. The illness is five times more popular in women as compared to men with an onset age being estimated to be between seventeen and thirty. Various individuals may experience intense symptoms that may likely to affect the quality of life and close to seven percent needs immediate hospitalization. A majority of people affected by this kind of ailment reports nearly one close family member with a psychiatric disorder, most regularly severe depression disorder or alcohol consumption.


Not every person with the seasonal affective disorder has similar symptoms; however, symptoms regularly associated with the “winter blues” include the feeling of hopelessness and sadness, oversleeping, gaining more weight, change in the level of appetite, and reduction in the degree energy within the body. Also, some of the signs and symptoms associated with summer seasonal affective disorder include poor taste, loss of body weight, and lack of quality sleep, agitation and anxiety (Partonen & Pandi-Perumal, 2010). Either type of this ailment may incorporate some of the signs that are available in significant depression including the feelings of remorse, lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities, feelings of hopelessness, and other physical issues such as stomach problems and headaches. Typically, a majority of these symptoms happens to reoccur at about the same period every year and for a person to be diagnosed with this disorder, the alterations in mood ought to be a precise result of popular seasonal stressors. It is also essential to acknowledge that seasonal affective disorder can at times be misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism or as a viral infection such as mononucleosis.  


Typically, the purposes of these mental diseases are not yet known to scientists and researchers; however, there is a theory that states it is related to the level of melatonin in the human body that is charged with regulating the sleep. As the winter periods get fewer and darker, melatonin production within the human body rises and people happens to feel sleepier and more exhausted.  Also, there is a theory that states; people with this kind of disorder may have difficulties in controlling their levels of serotonin that is considered as a significant neurotransmitter engaged in the mood (Kramer & Weber, 2012). Other research conducted suggests that individuals with this disorder are producing inferior vitamin D that is responsible for any serotonin activity. Vitamin D shortage may be as a result of clinically significant depression signs.


Some of the treatment approaches used to reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder strategically comprise of combinations of anti-depressant tablets, light rehabilitation, Vitamin D, and proper counseling procedures. Since lack of sunlight can cause winter depression, the broadband light treatment is typically applied as the active option (Melrose, 2015). This treatment needs a light box or a light visor worn on the head, and the person either sits facing the source of the light or the light-box for a given period every day. Consequently, light treatment takes close to 40 minutes every day throughout the fall and the winter periods; however, the amount of time needed depends on every individual affected by the disorder. When the light therapy approves to be enough that can lower the symptoms and boosts energy level, the person continues to apply it until enough daylight is available probably in the springtime.


Kramer, L. A., & Weber, J. M. (2012). This is your portfolio on winter: Seasonal affective disorder and risk aversion in financial decision making. Social Psychological and Personality Science3(2), 193-199.

Melrose, S. (2015). Seasonal affective disorder: an overview of assessment and treatment approaches. Depression research and treatment2015.

Partonen, T., & Pandi-Perumal, S. R. (Eds.). (2010). Seasonal affective disorder: practice and research. Oxford University Press.

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