Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders



Psychological disorders are of various kinds, including psychological, behavioural, and mental. They affect people at various levels, thus inhibiting their freedom to interact with one another.   Psychological disorders could be broadly described as mind abnormalities that affect one's behaviour, resulting in a disruption in the day-to-day activities function (Healthgrades Editorial Staff 2016). Various types of psychological disorders affect human beings, and how they interact with others at the workplace, school, and other life-related activities. According to the Healthgrades Editorial Staff (2016.), these disorders include eating disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and psychotic and sexual disorders. The disorders mentioned above are further classified into anorexia nervosa, depression, schizophrenia, and sexual dysfunction, among others (Healthgrades Editorial Staff 2016). Different psychologists have various definitions of the term psychological disorder. Some have described it as a psychological dysfunction in a person, usually identified with distress and actions that are culturally unacceptable (Brogaard 2015). This paper aims at describing and evaluating depression as a form of a psychological disorder based on two broad perspectives:  Behaviorist Theory and Psychodynamic Theory.

What is Depression?

Depression is a psychological disorder that affects a person’s moods resulting in an unusual life with workmates and family (McLeod 2015).  Depression can be classified as an anxiety disorder (Cherry 2016). It is easy to identify a depressed person as the signs are easily noticeable. Various factors lead to depression such a person’s behaviour, events such as job loss or the loss of a loved one, among others. According to the Healthgrades Editorial staff (2016), psychological disorders could be a result of chemical imbalances in the brain, stress, genetic formation, illnesses, and childhood experiences, among others. Women are twice as likely to suffer depression in comparison with men (Borchard 2015) owing to their conflicting roles at work, within the family, and community. Such reproductive hormones as estrogen also play a key role. Other factors that lead to depression and they include ‘past experiences, personality factors, and interpersonal relationships’ (Nemade & Dombeck 2007, n.p.). Interactions between environmental and genetic factors have also emerged as another source of depression (Unite for Sight 2015, n.p.).

Depression as Evaluated from the Psychodynamic Theory Perspective

According to Nemade and Dombeck (2007), the early psychodynamic approaches laid their primary focus on the interrelationship of the brain. Psychiatrists also concentrated on the mental, emotional, and motivational aspects of the mind that form one’s personality. For one to precisely evaluate depression from the psychodynamic perspective, one must first get the relationship between the two and understand how one affects the other.  Dr. Sigmund Freud in his findings suggested that there is an unconscious mind that is divided into many parts including the judgmental Super-ego, the rational Ego, and the irrational and impulsive Id (Nemade & Dombeck 2007). The conscious and the unconscious fragments of the mind are bound to come into a misunderstanding with one another, and the result is repression. Such a conflict arises as a result of unsolved past experiences, and unless such conflicts are solved, one cannot escape depression (Nemade & Dombeck 2007).

Depression can originate from anger which has been turned into self-hatred.  There are theories under the major psychodynamic theory that explain how anger leads to depression. Some parents are demanding, inconsiderate, and selfish and they lack parental warmth which in turn creates a hostile environment for the child (Nemade & Dombeck 2007). The affected child experiences loneliness, and hatred, and is unwanted, resulting in anger which as seen earlier leads to depression. Such a child develops various attitudes, and their actions are those of self-defense and an urge to feel that they belong. The child’s anger turns into self-hatred which leads to depression (Nemade & Dombeck 2007). The child knows perfectly well that the inconsiderate parent is their only source of survival and they, therefore, try to act normal. However, normalcy is overrun by the urge to belong, and it is at this point that the conflict between the conscious and the unconscious parts of the mind arises, causing depression. Such a child is trying to maintain a healthy relationship with the parent, thus developing depression. People develop depression while trying to maintain healthy relationships with desired objects; a relations theory observation (Nemade& Dombeck 2007).

Depression as Evaluated from the Behaviorist Theory Perspective

According to the Behaviorist theory, depression is a result of the interaction between man and the environment (McLeod 2015). The environment is in a big way responsible for shaping a person’s behavior or character. Behaviorist theory expounds more on the importance of the environment in determining a person’s behavior (McLeod 2015). People learn behavior in various ways, and according to McLeod, they include ‘classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory’ (np, 2015). A person may develop depression as a result of identifying with stimuli associated with negative emotional situations (classical conditioning). In Social Learning theory, behavior is acquired through observation, imitating others, and reinforcement (McLeod 2015).

People lose their loved ones, their jobs, and even property worth millions. These are positive reinforcements, and once they are removed the person gets depressed; a theory known as Operant conditioning (McLeod 2015). The person affected becomes less active concerning social activities; they are withdrawn from other people.


Psychological disorders and theories explain why people think and act in different ways while handling various situations. Depression is a psychological disorder that affects mostly women and can be caused by different factors. As has been discussed in the paper, the reasons for depression range from personality factors, past experiences, and learned behaviors adapted from the environment to loss of positive reinforcement. Different theories try to describe and evaluate depression in varied ways as discussed in the paper. Psychodynamic Theories describe that depression is a result of conflict between the conscious and the unconscious parts of the mind and a person’s urge to develop healthy relationships. For the Behaviorist Theory, depression is caused by man’s interaction with the environment. The two theories try to evaluate depression as a state of a man’s life that is emotionally triggered.




Borchard, J.J. (2015). Why Do Women Get Depressed More Than Men? [Online].

Brogaard, B. 2015. What is a Psychological Disorder? Psychology Today. [Online]

Cherry, K. (2016). A list of psychological disorders. Very Well. [Online]

Healthgrades Editorial Staff. (2016.) Psychological Disorders: What are psychological disorder? Healthgrades. [Online].

McLeod S. (2015). Psychological Theories of Depression. Simply Psychology. [Online]

Nemade R, Reiss S N & Dombeck M. (2007). Psychology of Depression- Psychodynamics Theories. MentalHelp.net [Online]

Unite for Sight. (2015). Causes of Psychological Disorders. Unite for Sight. [Online]. 

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