Psychosurgery as a treatment for mental disorders has a long and dark history. The earliest skull with evidence of a form of psychosurgery was found in France and is thought to be 7,000 years old. This skull had a hole drilled in it and is thought to be evidence of trepanning: a surgical procedure that involved drilling a hole in the skull to relieve mental distress. We don't know why this type of neurosurgery was developed but explanations have ranged from relieving headaches to releasing demons that caused abnormal thoughts and behaviour. It can also be interpreted as evidence of a very early link between the brain and behaviour.
The surgeon Charles Bell published a book Illustrations of the great operations of surgery in 1815 that showed trepanning as an accepted surgical procedure.
More recently Bart Hughes used an electric drill to perform trepanning on his own skull. The documentary A hole in the head has interviews with people who drill holes in their skulls because it makes them feel better.
Have a look at the trailer for the film. Apply one of the definitions of abnormality to their behaviour. Would they be defined as abnormal and have a mental disorder? How about the deviation from social norms definition? If trepanning was a common biological treatment for mental disorders in the past would people who self administer trepanning today have been been defined as abnormal and have a mental disorder?
Link to: Illustrations of the great operations of surgery
Link to: A hole in the head