Abnormal Psychology: Mental Disorders

Abnormal Psychology: Mental Disorders
Andrew Walters
Schizophrenia is a disorder that can effect anyone. It is the greatest
the greatest disorder that effects teenagers. When someone is effected by the
disorder it is not just that one person that has to learn to deal with it, the
families of the patients must also learn to deal with it.

There are many possible causes for the disorder with many doctors
believing that there is more than one cause. What has been thought as the main
cause for many years is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This could be an
imbalance in the number of neurotransmitters and/or an imbalance in the amount
of dopamine. Stress is not thought of as directly causing Schizophrenia, but
often makes already present symptoms worse. some doctors feel that
Schizophrenia might be the result of a slow acting virus since the symptoms can
be delayed many years after the first infection. Another possible cause for the
disorder is a genetic disposition. This has yet to be proven but it is thought
of as a likely cause since children who have a parent with the disorder have a
ten times greater chance of developing the illness than children who have
abnormal parents.If both parents have the disorder the chance of their off
spring having the disorder jumps to forty times that of of an off spring with
normal parents. Some times as equally as important as finding what causes
a disease is finding what does not cause a disease. It is said that
Schizophrenia is: not caused by a domineering mother and/or a passive father,
not caused by childhood experiences, poverty, or not caused by the feeling of
guilt or failure.

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People who have schizophrenia can be divided up into three equal groups:
those who only have one episode in their entire life, those who have continual
episodes but live normal lives between them, and a third group who have never
ending symptoms. The symptoms that define an episode of schizophrenia can
generally be described as deterioration from a previous level of functioning.

The number one symptom of schizophrenia is the inability to separate the
real form the unreal. As stress starts to build and the symptoms get worse
there is often a decline in work achievements along with declining of relations
with others. Because the these symptoms might start off very minor, it is
mostly the families that notice them first. Thus it is up to the family to
insist on a professional assessment of the person in question. Families also
must play a key role in watching over the patient while there are undergoing
treatment which usually consist taking medication in different amount until the
proper amount is found.

The constant research going on leads to putting more pieces of the
puzzle together all the time. Using EEGs it was found that the impulses sent
by the brain to other parts of the body are not normal in people with
schizophrenia. It has also been found that there are definitely abnormalities
in the proteins of those suffering from the disease.

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which the effects who a person
feels about the world around and even themselves. It makes them feel depressed
and if left untreated suicide is often the result. Around 1.5% of the
population is effect by some type of the disorder. Unlike many other disorders,
bipolar effects a higher percent of those with a higher social status.

Bipolar disorder usually comes on while the person is in their early
twenties. It is thought that the disorder is polygenetic meaning dependent
upon several genes. This conclusion was reached because child who have parents
with the disorder are up to twenty times more likely to suffer from it. Though
the disorder can cause serious problems, many famous and successful people have
suffered from it including Ernest Hemingway and Vincent Van Gogh.

One of the major steps in treating some one with bipolar disorder is
diagnosing it. People often say they of symptoms similar to those of the
disorder as a result of a different disorder. These symptoms include hearing
voices, being possessed by something, and having a sleeping disorder. In order
to determine if a patient suffers from the disorder or not, family members are
often questioned to see if the patient acts the way they claims they do. They
are often asked about the patients sleeping since it is hard to fake a sleeping
disorder. A family history is often obtained to help decide if bipolar


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