Topics: Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Family Pages: 5 (1681 words) Published: March 16, 2013
Atypical Psychology- Disorders
This essay is going to identify the symptoms and possible causes of schizophrenia, Anorexia and Bulimia. It will also use research evidence to justify the possible causes of the disorders. In the case study of Sally, she is an example of undifferentiated schizophrenia where an individual has little symptoms or has many symptoms that do not fit properly into any type of schizophrenia. However she displays symptoms of catatonic, paranoia and disorganised schizophrenia. When sally’s mother was pregnant for sally, she was a heavy smoker, smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. This might have contributed to Sally’s schizophrenia because according to (LEARY, 1998) one of the chemicals found in tobacco is nicotine which is a very addictive substance. When nicotine enters the blood, it enters the brain after about seven seconds and affects the dopamine receptors. This sends a message to the brain that a rewarding activity has just been performed. After having a puff of cigarette smokers usually have a calm and mild euphoria feeling. When the smoking habit is continued, the brain becomes accustomed to the reward. As a result, prolonged smoking will result in an addiction instead of improving the wellbeing of the person. Therefore causing over activity in the parts of the brain, being controlled by dopamine which is linked to schizophrenia (Meldrum, Clark, Cardwell, & Wadeley, 2009). Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitter that is operating in the brain. It is involved in the addiction process as well as linked with reward and motivation (Barry, 2013). The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that smoking during pregnancy can cause problems with the placenta which is the main source of food and oxygen for the baby during pregnancy. Lack of food and oxygen affects the baby’s growth and development which is the result of Sally being slow to develop. Lack of oxygen can also lead to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood and tissues of the foetus. This can result to chemical imbalances in the brain or neurological disorders (CDC, 2013). A second biological explanation of schizophrenia is genes. It has been known that schizophrenia is likely to run in the family. This is due to the fact that family members share the same genes. Gottesman (1991) from the family studies shows that first degree relatives share fifty per cent of the person with the schizophrenia genes and second degree relatives share approximately twenty five per cent of the rare genes. This shows that the closer the degree of biological relationship the greater the risk of having schizophrenia (Meldrum, Clark, Cardwell, & Wadeley, 2009). In the case of Sally, she might have inherited the schizophrenia from her “eccentric” grandfather. The grandfather might have suffered from the disorder since he developed a number of unique religious beliefs and was known for having placed unusual mechanisms on the roofs of his barns supposedly to bring in “electromagnetic energy” in order to help his livestock to grow. However Sally’s grandfather was never officially diagnosed since he thought the mental health professionals were “nuts” themselves (Barry, 2013). A psychological explanation of schizophrenia is psychodynamic explanation. Freud (1924) argued that schizophrenia is a form of regression back to infantile stage. It is an ego defence mechanism which is a way of avoiding aggressive emotions. An individual regress when they cannot handle threatening emotions as a result retreat to infantile stage that is less frightening. He argues that individuals with schizophrenia regress back to infantile state before the ego is formed. Ego stage is when an individual does not know the difference between reality and imaginary therefore creating schizophrenia symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Freud also argues that most of the time, the battle within the family generates the stress for young adults and teenagers...
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