Analyzing Psychological Disorders
Frank T. DiBona
February 14, 2011
A biopsychologist will implement the biological approach to psychology in the attempt to study psychological diseases and disorders as well as in the diagnosis and treatment of individual’s that suffer from such diseases and disorders, and this will include the analysis of the disorder known as Schizophrenia. In addition, the disorders of Anorexia Nervosa and Generalized Anxiety Disorder will also be examined. Both of these disorders will be discussed within this paper, the treatment with drug therapies, the causes, and areas of the brain that is affected. The first disorder to be discussed is Schizophrenia, one of the most complex psychiatric disorders of all time. “A disorder which name defines the “splitting of psychic functions. The term was coined in the early years of the 20th century to describe what was assumed at that time to be the primary symptom of the disorder; the breakdown of integration among emotion, thought, and action.” (Pinel, 2007, p.481). Schizophrenia presents a variety of characteristic symptoms including hallucinations, or imaginary voices, incoherent speech and thoughts or illogical thinking, odd behavior patterns. (Pinel, 2007). The causal theories and neural basis that surround the development of Schizophrenia is there is evidence that the disorder may result from genetic predisposition resulting from the Schizophrenia diagnosis in a close, first degree relative (Pinel, 2007). This predisposition, combined with experiences involving significant trauma or stress, may trigger the development of schizophrenia, and in addition, those with the genetic predisposition for schizophrenia often show evidence which suggest neurodevelopment hindrances related to early infection, autoimmune reactions and toxin exposure which may increase the likelihood of developing the disorder (Pinel, 2007).
A series of studies established that schizophrenia is genetic bias, that only 1% of the population develops schizophrenia, and the probability schizophrenia occurring within a biological relative is 10%, and Schizophrenia is higher in identical twins than fraternal twins. (Pinel, 2007). Research implies that this disorder is connected with more than just the D2 receptors, and atypical neuroleptics drugs that are primary blockers of D2 receptors show only a small effect on these receptors but on other receptors that include the D1 and D4, and other serotonin receptors, and other types of drugs require the patient to be on medication for several weeks for them to help any of the symptoms of schizophrenia. While effectively treating the symptoms of hallucinations, incoherence, and delusions, they show little effect in treating the symptoms of cognition and speech dysfunctions. (Pinel, 2007). Additional consideration revolving Schizophrenia etiology results from brain imaging studies which commonly evidence extensive abnormalities of the brain including small cerebral cortex and enlarged cerebral ventricles (Pinel, 2007). The results of these brain image studies lends further merit to the idea of early neural development issues as bearing connection to the development of Schizophrenia. Also notable in the Schizophrenia cases is the lack of normal brain laterality which the dopamine theory would fail to explain (Pinel, 2007). While psychotherapy and group or family therapy may aid in the success of treating the Schizophrenic patient these treatment options must be used in combination with effective drug therapy to address the complex symptoms related to the disorder (Grohol, 2008). Drug therapy also may require a combination of antipsychotic, antidepressant and anti anxiety medications to wholly manage and address the patients’ range...