Essay Example on Affective Disorders and Criminal Behavior

Published: 2022-09-05
Essay Example on Affective Disorders and Criminal Behavior
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Criminal law Human behavior Mental disorder
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 902 words
8 min read

For many years, scholars from different areas have been trying to conceptualize emotional disorders which include anxiety disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder, but to this day conceptualization, the cause of the disorder, its diagnosis and treatment are not solidified. People with affective disorders, also called psychopaths, are individuals who are classified neither as mentally ill nor as healthy people but are in an intermediate field. Casey (2015) considered the psychopathic personalities to be frustrated forms of psychosis, i.e., the disorder did not evolve to the picture of mental illness, but also did not remain in the general rule of people "normal," since it is the margin of psycho-emotional and behavioral normality.

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The research carried out on these types of disorders occurs in the most varied lines and areas, this is because it is a disorder that directly and indirectly affects all of society, whether psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, lawyers, and lawyers. Psychiatrists and psychologists act directly in the diagnosis and treatment of psychopaths, sociologists and philosophers have always tried to understand the human mind and the reason for our attitudes, since the lawyer and the jurists arise when this type of individual commits some crime or when come to live with the disorder after some work accident, psychopathy can affect the most diverse branches of law, just because of the characteristics of the psychopaths.

The name of a psychopathic constitution is attributed to a degenerative psychic imbalance, congenital, of degree and that gives an abnormal tone to the personality (Aebi, Linhart, Thun-Hohenstein, Bessler, Steinhausen & Plattner, 2015). Faced with the occurrence of abnormality in character, psychopaths most often act stimulated by instincts, lying unrestrained, lacking remorse or guilt, have an affective insensitivity, and respond in disagreement with morality and good manners. According to the International Code of Diseases - ICD, affective disorders are characterized by a disdain for social obligations, a lack of empathy for others (World Health Organization, 2004). There is a significant link between established social norms and behavior. Adverse experiences, including punishment, do not easily modify behavior. People suffering affective disorders have a low tolerance when they are frustrated and are easily agitated resulting in aggressiveness reflected in violent and criminal behavior.

It can be said that psychopaths are people with aversion and who oppose established ethical values and social norms. In people who respect social norms as well as laws, are fearful if they act in disagreement with what was created, psychopaths operate to the contrary, they take pleasure in ignoring what was set, the laws and norms do not arouse in this type of subject the same inhibition that awakens in most people. Some behaviors carried out by the psychopaths, mainly transgress with so much ease and without any guilt or remorse what had been imposed, may seem illogical to the others, but in the eyes of the psychopath its action makes all sense; this is due to the fact that between the bearer of affective disorders and the rest of society there are distinct logics, distinct reasoning systems, different values, and needs.

Cerebral Dysfunction and the Link with Criminal Behavior

Affective disorders are characterized by the inability to conform to social norms to licit conduct, indicated by the repeated execution of deeds that constitute grounds for detention, and a propensity to deceive, indicated by repeatedly lying, using false names or deceiving others for personal gain or pleasure (Casey, 2015). Coupled with irritability and aggressiveness, meant by repeated physical strife or physical aggression and irresponsible disrespect for self or others, all of which constitute criminal behavior.

For a long time, it was believed that antisocial personality disorder was hereditary, but this hypothesis was rejected since it was verified that the incidence of a cerebral dysfunction is the great justification for this disorder. In the last two decades, several neurological researchers have started to study the psychopath's brain. The frontal lobe of the brain controls the behavioral, social relationship. Studies indicate that the development of the frontal lobe occurred throughout history, even primates have developed this part of the brain. However, the human species has a greater growth. Alterations, whether due to malformation or due to supervening frontal lobe, cause behaviors different from those considered healthy, such as: attention difficulties, concentration and motivation, as well as an increase in impulsiveness, loss of self-control, problems in recognizing guilt, issues in evaluating the consequences of the acts practiced, inability to learn from the experience, and also causes an increase in aggressiveness. Psychopathy is still justified by faults existing in the superego, because of the absence of conscience in judging what is accepted or not by society, what is morally accepted. The moral faculty lacking the psychopath is understood as an attribute of the human mind capable of distinguishing right from wrong, good and evil. As a result, the individual suffering the disorders are likely to engage in criminal behavior.


Aebi, M., Linhart, S., Thun-Hohenstein, L., Bessler, C., Steinhausen, H. C., & Plattner, B. (2015). Detained male adolescent offender's emotional, physical and sexual maltreatment profiles and their associations to psychiatric disorders and criminal behaviors. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 43(5), 999-1009.

Casey, B. J. (2015). Beyond simple models of self-control to circuit-based accounts of adolescent behavior. Annual review of psychology, 66, 295-319.

Corner, E., & Gill, P. (2015). A false dichotomy? Mental illness and lone-actor terrorism. Law and human behavior, 39(1), 23.

World Health Organization. (2004). International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (Vol. 1). World Health Organization.

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