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Psychological Disorder Paper
Amanda Greco
University of Phoenix

Psychological Disorder Paper
According to The SAGE Glossary of Social and Behavioral Sciences a psychological disorder is defined as “a condition in which a person's thoughts, feelings, or behavior are thought to be in some way dysfunctional.” Psychological disorders are sometimes complex and must meet a certain criteria before being official categorized as a psychological disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, also known as the DSM-IV, includes over 300 manifestations of mental illness also called psychological disorders.
Seasonal Affective Disorder According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is:
"A depressive mood disorder that occurs at approximately the same time year after year and spontaneously remits at the same time each year." Seasonal Affective Disorder is more prevalent in areas farther away from the equator where there is a lack of sunlight. Individuals who live where seasonal variations of sunlight intensity occur are more likely to develop SAD. Approximately six percent of the U.S. population is affected by SAD and another 14 percent suffer from a milder form of SAD called winter blues. Individuals with a family history of depression or who have family members who suffer from SAD are more likely to suffer from SAD themselves. Some symptoms of SAD include craving starchy food, weight gain, drop in energy level, fatigue, tendency to oversleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and avoidance of social situations (Sesonal Affectve Disorder, 2000). There is treatment for SAD the most common treatment is light therapy. The theory is that SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight. Light therapy is a substitute for natural sunlight and may help relieve symptoms of SAD. Other forms of treatment include anti-depressant medication and psychotherapy.

Human Development The primary function of the hypothalamus is to maintain balance within the body. The hypothalamus is responsible for regulating body temperature, thirst, hunger, sleep, circadian rhythm, moods, sex drive, and the release of other hormones in the body (Hypothalamus, 2013). Circadian rhythms follow a 24-hour cycle responding primarily to light and darkness. Individuals affected by SAD usually have circadian rhythms which are out of synch. One’s typical sleep-wake pattern is to awaken in the morning after a recommended eight hours of sleep and remain awake for roughly 16 hours. When one is exposed to less sunlight his or her circadian rhythm may become out of synch. Physical, mental, or behavioral changes may occur if one’s circadian rhythm is out of synch. Circadian rhythms can affect important bodily functions such as, hormones, sleep-wake patterns, and body temperature. Circadian rhythms have a specific genetic component and have been associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bi-polar disorder, and SAD (Circadian Rhythms Fact Sheet, 2013). If one’s circadian rhythms remain out of synch for an extended period of time it may affect his or her normal human development.
Socialization
Socialization is an important aspect of human behavior. Socialization begins soon after birth and continues throughout one’s lifetime. Socialization makes it possible to fully function as a human being. Cultural rules and roles are learned through socialization. When individuals are isolated whether voluntarily, because of depression or another form of mental illness or involuntarily, through cases of abuse and neglect, those individuals have shown deficits in social abilities. Individuals affected by SAD have a tendency to avoid social situations thereby limiting their social skills. If social isolation becomes severe one should seek help to deal with the causes of social isolation.
Conclusion
Psychological disorders are caused by a wide range of reasons. The DSM-IV list over 300 forms of psychological disorders, some are very complex and must meet specific criteria. SAD or seasonal affective disorder is one of those psychological disorders. SAD occurs mainly when the season changes from fall to winter and the amount of sunlight decreases. The theory behind SAD is that one’s circadian rhythm becomes disrupted causing symptoms ranging from weight gain, drop in energy level, tendency to oversleep, craving starchy foods, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and avoidance of social situations. If symptoms persist one could see a change in development and ability to interact socially. There is treatment for SAD which may include a combination of light therapy, anti-depressant medication, and psychotherapy.

References

Sesonal Affectve Disorder. (2000, March 1). Retrieved October 10, 2013, from American Family

Physician: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0301/p1531.html

Circadian Rhythms Fact Sheet. (2013, June 12). Retrieved October 11, 2013, from National

Institute of General Medical Sciences:

http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.htm

Hypothalamus. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2013, from Healthline:

http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/hypothalamus

Nordqvist, C. (2012, February 29). "What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? What Is
SAD?."Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10306.php. Psychological disorder. (2009). In L. Sullivan (Ed.), The SAGE glossary of the social and

behavioral sciences. (p. 416). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:

http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/10.4135/9781412972024.n2045…...

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