Essay about Analyzing Psychological Disorders

Submitted By angie1016
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Analyzing Psychological Disorders
Angelin Dole
PSY 240
September 21, 2014
Stephanie Neuhring
Analyzing Psychological Disorders
The study of the biology of behavior, otherwise known as biopsychology, is a critical component in diagnosing, treating and working with many psychological disorders. Many people struggle with these disorders, ranging from schizophrenia to anxiety to sleeping disorders and beyond. Each disorder must be looked at from a number of perspectives, and the nature-nurture perspective can be influential. In order to treat these issues, many symptoms and side effects accompany their treatment with drugs. How does schizophrenia play a part in this field?
Biology can affect psychological disorders and activities, especially concerning schizophrenia. According to Pinel (2011), the temporal lobes are highly affected by schizophrenia; additionally, in some patients, increased size in ventricles is an indication of smaller brain size, less gray matter is found, and some areas of the brain are even less active. Lastly, concerning brain affects, the development of brain damage is noticeably extensive during the initial brain scan, continues to develop, and different rates of development for damage occur in different areas (Pinel, 2011). Noticing how the brain is affected, we can then see the associated symptoms. Negative symptoms include:
Alogia – reduced or absent speech
Affective Flattening – lack of emotional expression
Avolition – reduced or absent motivation
Anhedonia – the inability to experience pleasure
On the other side, people with schizophrenia may also experience delusions, hallucinations, odd behaviors, incoherent speech / thoughts, and inappropriate affect. In order to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, two or more of these symptoms must be experienced for a month or serious delusions or hallucinations (Pinel, 2011). There are numerous possibilities regarding the causal factors related to schizophrenia. The most general idea is that there is interplay between genetics, the environment, experiences, behaviors and more. These genetics are not handed down directly; there are certain genes that allow an increased risk for the disorder. These genes are believed to be dormant until triggered (Pinel, 2011). These ideas are proven by the numbers: 45-60% of identical twins, 10% of fraternal twins and 1% non-relative others are diagnosed with schizophrenia (Smith, 2006). Other factors include the possibility of being a developmental disorder; a result of inappropriate connections formed by neurons. The two main theories regarding schizophrenia are neurodevelopment theory and dopamine theory. Neurodevelopment is partially the above-mentioned sequence and the belief that certain events such as an autoimmune reaction or toxins during early neurodevelopment will lead to schizophrenia (Pinel, 2011). The newest dopamine theory views both excessive D2 activity and other unidentified factors. Building off of this theory, the neural basis of schizophrenia includes four factors. First, there are more receptors involved than just D2 receptors; this is proven by they use of LSD or PCP that act on serotonin and glutamate transmissions causing the same symptoms as schizophrenia (Pinel, 2011). An even better understanding comes from the drug clozapine, that targets D1, D4, and serotonin receptors and helps alleviate many symptoms. Secondly, the use of neuroleptic therapies takes weeks to alleviate symptoms even though the D2 blockage has occurred in a short period of time (Pinel, 2011). Next, widespread brain damage is associated with schizophrenia which was already discussed. Lastly, the use of drugs for therapy are only marginally effective, after taking them for six months or more only about one to seven percent are really helped, which leads into the actual drug treatments. Three main drugs involved with schizophrenia are chlorpromazine, reserpine, and clozapine. Chlorpromazine can have two different impacts on