Persuasive Paper-first Draft
Mental illness, especially chronic depression, is a complex issue with many facets and theories surrounding it. Some scientists believe that mental illness is caused by biology, including physiology, chemistry and genetics. Other scientists believe that biology plays a small to no part and focus instead on the environment. There are those scientists, however, who take a united view on this issue. Studies on both sides of this issue show merit and suggest the validity of their findings. This comprehensive view on the causes of mental illness, with a focus on chronic depression, serves to shed a dynamic view on the various studies and results.
Influences and Imperatives Among the many theories of mental illnesses, the biological and environmental theories are the most widely argued. Studies on both sides of this issue show the validity of each theory. With studies on both sides of the argument lending critical information and research, the question becomes how to know which side is the more valid of the two. There is a middle ground, however. If studies from both sides of the argument are studied together, and compared to each other, new light might be shed on this issue. It might be found that neither one has the monopoly on the cause of depression, and that each of these theories are correlated.
The Biological Imperative Biological components have been shown to be a key component in the cause of mental illness. If the biology of the body can affect its function, and changing the biology alters said function, than it can be logically assumed that altering the biology of the brain can cause a similar change in the brains ability to function. It can then be considered that the biological perspective on the cause of mental illness is a viable one.
Biology as a whole There are many key components to the biology of the brain. It has physiology; a physical structure. It has neurochemistry; the chemical interactions that can occur. It also has a genetic component. Considered together, they form the biological perspective and its key components. Looking at studies which cover each of these different aspects should ensure a complete understanding of this side of the issue.
In a study comparison done by Sullivan, Neale and Kendler (2000), their findings strongly suggest that genetics play a major part in the cause of depression. According to their research, when looking at familial markers of mental illness, it is more likely for family members to suffer from the same mental illnesses as others in their familial line. In families where mental illness is not present, it is unlikely that mental illness will ever occur in that familial line. The studies over twins also show a strong correlation between mental illness and genetics. While studying monozygotic twins especially, it is found that if one of the pair suffers from mental illness than the other of the pair will as well, even in a separate environment. (Sullivan, Neale, & Kendler, 2000).
Chemical imbalances have been a theoretical cause of depression for many decades. Antidepressants were first discovered when side effects of altered mood and behavior were noted in patients given specific medications. When studies were done over these side effects, it was shown that a small classification of medications had the ability to alter mood, behavior and perception. This is believed to be due to the specific neurochemistry of the brain. If the neurochemistry of the brain is faulty from the start, than it could be seen as a cause of mental illness. (Posternak, 2003).
Altering the physiology of the brain can also affect its ability to function. When studying patients with specific physical deformities, studies show that psychological symptoms are often present. In Cushings Syndrome, for instance, patients report the same