Analyzing Psychological Disorders
July 9, 2011
I just wanted to thank you for considering me for the position of a psychologist. It was a pleasure meeting with you today. As a psychologist, we are expected to know all of the disorders that are out there and know how to help the people who have these disorders. With this in mind, I would like to discuss the disorder of schizophrenia in the first part of this paper. I will discuss what area of the brain is affected by this disorder, what the causal factors, the associated symptoms of this disorder, the neural basis, and finally about what drugs could help treat this disorder. In the second part of this paper, I will discuss the two case studies that have to deal with Anorexia and Anxiety. With these case studies, I will be considering what type of relation they have to the nature vs. nurture issue. Also I will tell about any drug interventions would be helpful for them and what the effects of those drug interventions could be.
Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder that interferes with the normal brain functions. This disorder usually strikes people in their late adolescence or early adulthood, even though this disorder could hit anyone at anytime. Schizophrenia can trigger many different symptoms in a person. Some of these symptoms would include paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and the lack of motivation. The major problem with schizophrenia is that if this disorder is left untreated then it could affect the ability to interact with other people, to think clearly, and to manage one’s emotions. A person is diagnosed with schizophrenia if they have a persistent combination of any type of function impairment and that symptoms have being occurring for a period of six months (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
The first area of the brain that is affected by schizophrenia would have to be the temporal lobe. From what I understand a person who has this disorder has smaller temporal lobe structures. Studies done on temporal lobes have found out that a person’s hippocampus and amygdala are reduced in size. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that has to do with short and long term memory, and the amygdale is responsible for arousal and the emotional states of people. Another part of the brain that is also affected is the prefrontal cortex, which has to do with the dopamine levels in a person. An imbalance of these levels will cause a person to have some type of cognitive problems and will also cause the problems in the brain to form long term memory. Another part of the brain that will be affected is the limbic system and this system helps to control a person’s mood and emotion, that is why a person with this disorder could be angry one minute and crying about something the next.
There are plenty of theories that have been considered about what the causal factors are for people who have schizophrenia. There is a very strong bit of evidence that this disorder is caused by genetics. Normally this is from the fact that a very close relative has been diagnosed with this disorder, so the chances that a person will get this disorder are very high. Also if a person has some type of trauma or stress in their early stage of life with the combination of the genetic influence then that will trigger the development of this disorder in a person. Another theory would have the fact that people who suffer from schizophrenia have higher levels of dopamine in their bodies, and as I said before is from the fact that the prefrontal cortex of a person has been damaged. The reason why this theory is so highly recognized is from the research that has been done on Parkinson’s disease. People who have Parkinson’s use a drug called chlorpromazine, that is a know receptor blocker, and it helps binds the D2 receptors, which has to do with hyperactivity. Since this drug helps with blocking receptors, it has been...
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