What Are Psychological Disorders?

Critical Thinking Question

Discuss why thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that are merely atypical or unusual would not necessarily signify the presence of a psychological disorder. Provide an example.


Just because something is atypical or unusual does not mean it is disordered. A person may experience atypical inner experiences or exhibit unusual behaviors, but she would not be considered disordered if they are not distressing, disturbing, or reflecting a dysfunction. For example, a classmate might stay up all night studying before exams; although atypical, this behavior is unlikely to possess any of the other criteria for psychological disorder mentioned previously.