Psychology: The Brain, The Body, and The Mind: All Together Now 2/21/2010
Disorders: Part A
A good psychologist should have the understanding of how the body and mind work together. What makes a person who they are and how they operate. Psychologists are the ones that help others to understand what disorders are and how to handle them in difficult situations. In this essay it will be discussed what the understanding is of the causes and treatments of schizophrenia. This essay will also touch on anxiety and insomnia from a biopsychologist’s point of view as well as the relation to the nature versus nurture issue. Schizophrenia
To be able to tell the areas of the brain that are affected, causal factors, associated symptoms, the neural basis, and appropriate drug therapies, it first needs to be discussed what schizophrenia is. So here is a brief definition: It is said that schizophrenia is the “splitting of psychic functions”. It is the breakdown of one’s emotions, thoughts and actions (Pinel, 2007). Most people that run into someone with schizophrenia might think that they have gone completely mad and in all actuality, they have.
In the mind of a schizophrenic person their thoughts and actions are perfectly normal to them. In fact they might believe that we are the ones with the disorder. That our actions and opinions to assist them might be out of sorts. Most however, do not get to the point of thinking about the disorder that they might have. Areas of the Brain Affected
When studies first began on the areas affected in schizophrenia it was said that the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex where affected, but further research has found that the thalamus and the cerebellum are also affected (Stanley Medical Research, 2008). The hippocampus is what assists us in keeping memory. This is part of our temporal lobe. In mental illness the hippocampus is said to shrink, but that shrinkage can be reversed (psycheducation.org). The prefrontal cortex is the “area of the brain that is thought to be involved in planning complex cognitive behaviors and in expressing personality and appropriate behavior. It is associated with motor cortices.” (brainexplorer.org). The thalamus is the part of the brain that processes and relays movement and sensory information. It is also known as the relay station because it sends information out only to retrieve other information (Cherry, 2010). The last part of the brain that is affected in schizophrenia is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is involved in the coordination of voluntary motor movement, balance and equilibrium and muscle tone (CNS, 2009). Causal Factors
When it comes to causal factors of schizophrenia there is said to be many. Some of those causal factors are genetics, which are caused by the interactions of several genes, prenatal development which can be linked to low birth weight, low oxygen levels and slow fetal growth, and early environment which could be linked too viral infections, polio, measles, varicella, rubella, and herpes simplex. These have been associated with an increase of higher risk in later developing schizophrenia. Drugs also have a part in increasing the risk of schizophrenia. It is said that PCP and LSD can mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia and cannabis also known as marijuana can increase the risks of developing the disorder (Wikimedia, 2010).
Other common factors that can be the cause of schizophrenia is social adversity. In research it has been found that children who endure abuse or are subject to trauma are at great risk factors of developing schizophrenia later in life. It is also evident that when a child is exposed to negative attitudes such as, critical comments, hostility, controlling attitudes and unsupportive dysfunctional relationships that they run the risk of schizophrenia relapse. Although close family and significant others are not responsible of causing the...