Analyzing Psychological Disorders Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is chronic and severe. It can be a disabling illness that affects men and women with the same ratio or frequency. This term is from a Greek word that means having a split mind. Though this usage in medical terms is not accurate. The Western perception of this illness is their belief that the term is equal to a disorder of split personality. They have been found to be very distinct mental disorders. People afflicted with schizophrenia do not manifest split personalities.

Schizophrenia is an illness hat affects the mind and is characterized by the disability of perceptions and manifestations of reality. Schizophrenia has five classifications. The first is the paranoid type where hallucinations and delusions are present but there is absence of disorganized behavior, thought disorder and active flattening. The disorganized type of schizophrenia occurs when active flattening and thought disorder are both present. Catatonic schizophrenia occurs when there is evidence of psychomotor disturbances.

There is the presence of psychotic symptoms in the undifferentiated type but there is also absence of criteria for the other types of schizophrenia. The residual type is wherein all the symptoms of the mental disorder is present at low level of intensity. Signs and symptoms for people with schizophrenia suffer from delusions and false faith in their personal convictions despite the presentation of evidence disproving the matter. This symptom is not explained by a persons cultural background and orientation.

Those afflicted also suffer from hallucinatory perceptions that can manifest when there is a lack of external diversion. The most common type of hallucination is the hearing of voices and other sounds. There is also the manifestation of disorganized attitude, behavior and thoughts. Speech is also incoherent and disorganized. The person suffering from this type of mental disorder display catatonic behavior wherein the persons body may become rigid and unresponsive. The causes of schizophrenia are unknown. There are a lot of factors that are said to be involved with the formation of this illness.

There is an interaction between genetics, biology, psychology and the environment that leads to the mental disorder. Medical science does not have a full understanding of all the causes and other concerns related to the mental disorder. Recent research and medical studies is slowly but surely shows improvement and progress that would help define the causes of schizophrenia and their explanation. An increase in the dopaminergic activity that is inside the mesolimbic pathway of the brain is a constant and significant finding (Bentall 2005).

Data gathered from a PET study shows suggestions that the lesser frequency the frontal lobes are activated during a task that involves a working memory there is a greater increase in the abnormality of dopamine activity in the striatum that is though to be related to deficits in neurocognition in schizophrenia. While the credibility of the diagnosis has introduced many difficulties in the measurement of the relative effect of genes and the factor of environment, more and more evidence have suggested that environmental and genetic factors can combine and create a reaction that would lead to the mental disorder of schizophrenia.

Suggestions have also been made regarding the diagnosis of schizophrenia had an important genetic composition but that is influenced by the stressors or factors relating to the environment. The concept of a vulnerability that can be inherited from by some people can be destroyed by psychological, biological and environmental stressors. This is known as the stress-diathesis model. The idea that psychological, biological and social factors is more significant is called the biopsychosocial model in analyzing the causes of schizophrenia (Goldner, Hsu 2002).

The approximate degree and frequency of hereditary causes in schizophrenia has a tendency to vary because of the difficulty in the separation of the effects of the environment and genetics. Twin studies have both suggested that there is a high rate of cases involving schizophrenia caused by genetic factors. It is possible that schizophrenia is a mental condition that is complicated in hereditary nature with many genes likely interacting to increase the risk of schizophrenia or the separate parts that can also occur that will lead to its diagnosis.

Studies in genetics have implied that genes that increase the risk for the development of schizophrenia are not specific and may also increase the risk of development of other psychotic disorders. A breakthrough in recent research also suggested that very rare copies or omissions of small DNA sequences within the genes that are known as copy number variants were also related to the increased rate of risk for the development of schizophrenia (Noll 2006). It has also been thought that factors that cause schizophrenia can combine in the early development of the human brain during pregnancy.

This would later increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. One finding that raised a great amount of curiosity is that people who were diagnosed with the mental illness is said to have been more possibly born in spring or winter in those living in the northern hemisphere of the planet. There is current evidence that exposure to infections during the prenatal stage can increase the risk of the development of schizophrenia in the age of maturity. This finding provides additional proof that linked the utero-developmental pathology with the risk of developing the mental disorder.

Social conditions also help the increased risk of schizophrenia. People who are living in a highly urbanized environment have been found out to be exposed to great risk of being afflicted with the mental disorder. Poverty, poor living conditions and social status has also been found to contribute to the risk factor. Migration of people that is related to social problems like racial discrimination, unemployment and people coming from broken families also become factors of developing schizophrenia.

There has been an implication made regarding the risk factor of childhood abuse and trauma that can cause schizophrenia later on in life. Lack of support and family dysfunctions also increase the risk but not directly connected to parenting. Substance use have also been found to increase the risk of schizophrenia but the relationship of this link is found to be complex. There has been some difficulty in distinguishing a clear relationship of substance use and the mental disorder. There is also solid evidence that the usage of certain illegal substances can start the onset or relapse of the mental illness in some people.

These people who were diagnosed with schizophrenia use these substances to overcome negative emotions that comes with the intake of anti-psychotic medication and the mental condition itself. Negative feelings of paranoia and anhedonia were considered to be primary characteristics. The ingestion of amphetamines can trigger the brain to release dopamine that would increase dopamine activity. It is this excessive increase in activity that it is known to be partially responsible for the manifestation of psychotic symptoms of the mental disorder.

This is partially supported by the idea that amphetamines can worsen the symptoms present in schizophrenia. This type of mental disorder can be triggered by heavy usage of stimulants and hallucinogens. One study has suggested the that the use of cannabis contributes to the occurrence of psychosis though some researchers suspect that the use of this substance was only a small part of the many factors of schizophrenia (Green 2002). There is also a number of psychological reasons that have been implicated in the development and sustainability of schizophrenia.

A number of cognitive biases have been named in those that have been diagnosed and those that are at risk especially when there is the application of stress or in a state of confusion overly increased attention to potential threats, arriving at conclusions and impaired reasoning. There is also the manifestation of difficulty in differentiating from inner speech mechanism to one coming from an external entity and difficulty in retaining concentration. Case Studies: Anxiety Tom is an engineer, he is happily married, and he is the father of three bright, healthy children.

By all appearances, his life is stable and satisfying. Tom, however, suffers from continual worry that he has a difficult time turning off. His anxiety may center on anything from his perceived health problems (he has recently been to his doctor for a physical, but no health issues were discovered) to money and job responsibilities. At times his anxiety peaks to the point that it interferes with his ability to function on the job. Physical symptoms include muscle tension, headaches, and hot flashes that often accompany Toms anxiety.

Tom often feels nauseated, and he becomes easily fatigued. When he feels anxious, Tom has difficulty concentrating, he becomes irritable, and he has difficulty falling asleep at night. All of these symptoms have been present for the last 6 months. Tom has tried to talk himself out of his anxiety, but this has not worked for him. Toms wife is supportive, but she does not know what to do for her husband (Hauser, 2005). Neural circuitry involving the amygdala and hippocampus is thought to underlie anxiety.

When confronted with unpleasant and potentially harmful stimuli such as foul odors or tastes, PET-scans show increased bloodflow in the amygdala. Possible mechanism is malfunction in the parabrachial nucleus, a structure in the brain, that among other functions, coordinates signals from the amygdala with input concerning balance. The amygdala is involved in the emotion of fear. Biochemical factors come into play. Low levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces overactivity in the central nervous system, contributes to anxiety. A number of anxiolytics achieve their effect by modulating the GABA receptors.

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