By: Casey Lavia
What is a psychological disorder?
- breathing difficulties
- chest pains
- fear of impending doom (fear of everything going wrong, death)
- fear of going crazy of doing something uncontrollable
- sense of reality
What causes a panic attack?
- A biological vulnerability for panic, an event at the level of the brain.
- Panic attacks arise from a hypersensitivity involving the locus coeruleus, a small group of cells deep in the brain stem.
- Locus coeruleus is a seat of an 'alarming system' that triggers an increased heart rate, faster breathing, sweating, and other components of the fight-or-flight response, which can lead to the experience of panic.
What is it like to have a panic attack?
Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder
The diagnosis of PTSD is made when three conditions are met
- The person experiences or witnesses an event that involves actual or threatened serious injury or death
- The traumatized person responds to the situation with fear and helplessness
- The traumatized person then experiences
- Persistent avoidance of anything associated with the trauma and a general emotional numbing.
- Heightened arousal, which can cause people with PTSD to startle easy.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to tell the difference between what is real and not real.
- Involve an excess or distortion of normal functions, such as hallucinations.
- It is called positive not because they indicate something desirable, but they mark the presence of certain unusual behavior.
- Involve diminution or loss of normal functions, such as speech or movement.
Different Types of Schizophrenia
What is it like to live with Schizophrenia?
- Include delusions and hallucinations
- Usually more responsive than symptoms to antipsychotic medication
- Delusions can be complex, centering on a particular theme, such as belief that someone or something is out to "get you"
- Hallucinations in schizophrenia are typically auditory; hearing voices is a common symptom
- Disorganized behavior can include inappropriate, childlike silliness of unpredictable agitation
- Include flat affect, alogia, and a volition
- Flat affect is a general failure to express or respond to emotion
- There may be occasional smiles or warmth of manner, but usually the facial expression is constant
- Eye contact is rare and body language is minimal
- Alogia is not an unwillingness to speak, rather the thoughts behind the words seem slowed down
- Someone with avolition may sit for long periods without engaging in any behavior or social interaction
- According to DSM-IV a diagnosis of schizophrenia requires that two or more symptoms are displayed for at least a week and the other signs of socially inappropriate behavior are exhibited for at least 6 months
- Having relatives with schizophrenia increases the risk of developing it. (The closer the relative the greater the risk)
- Even in the case of the highest genetic resemblance, identical twins, the co-twin of a schizophrenia twin has only 48% risk of developing the disease.
- A fraternal co-twin has only 17% likelihood of developing the disorder.
- If the disease were entirely genetic, we would expect a 100% risk in this circumstance.
- Evidence from autopsies and brain-scanning studies suggest that schizophrenia may involve abnormalities in brain structure.
- More likely to have enlarged ventricles, cavities in the center of the brain filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
- Increased ventricular size means a reduction in the size of other brain areas, including the frontal cortex, which plays a central role in abstract thinking and planning.
- Enlarged ventricles are also associated with decreases in the size of the temporal lope, and of the thalamus, which transmits sensory information to to her parts of the brain.
- Neurotransmitters, dopamine, have been implicated in schizophrenia.
- It was once thought that an overproduction of dopamine, or an increased number of sensitivity of dopamine receptors, was responsible for schizophrenia.
- Medications that decrease the amount of dopamine reduce the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
- When someone who doesn't have schizophrenia takes the drug that increases your dopamine they experience schizophrenia like symptoms.
- Excess dopamine triggers a flood of unrelated thoughts, feelings, and perceptions and the delusions are attempts to organize the disconnected events.
- It is found that from infancy through adolescence these people exhibited more involuntary movements, like excessive movements of the tongue, lip, or arm.
- The more involuntary movements, the more severe the schizophrenic symptoms in adulthood.
- Children who exhibit fewer expressions of joy than their unaffected sibling go onto developing schizophrenia.
- This emotional dampening may also cause other people to respond less positivity.
- Someone who has had episodes of schizophrenia, stressful life event may act as a trigger, leading to a recurrence of symptoms.
- And what counts as stressful, depends on the person.
- Almost 2/3 of people who have been hospitalized with schizophrenia and have moved home with their families can have a recurrence of acute symptoms by the way their family members act towards them.
- High expresses emotion families, are more likely to have a person with schizophrenia.
- Social selection refers to "drifting" to lower socioeconomic classes of those who have become mentally disabled.
- Social causation refers to the chronic psychological and social stress of life in an urban environment, particularly for the poor.
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Usually occur in women
- A potentially fatal disorder characterized by a refusal to maintain even a low normal weight.
- Someone with anorexia pursues thinness regardless of the physical consequences.
- Of those hospitalized with anorexia, about 10% will eventually die of causes related to the disorder.
- Symptoms of anorexia nervosa are distortions of how people with this disorder see their bodies, an intense fear of becoming fat, and a refusal to maintain a healthy weight.
- It is common for extremely anorexic women to "know" that they are underweight, yet when they look in the mirror they "see" fat that is not there, or they overestimate the size of their body.
- The person often will deny that their low weight is a problem, or even that they have a problem.
- Some, but not all, people with this disorder periodically engage in binge eating (eating substantially more food within a certain time period than most people would eat in similar circumstances) or purging (getting rid of unwanted calories through vomiting or the misuse of laxatives).
- Bulimia is marked by recurrent episodes of binge eating, followed by an attempt to prevent weight gain.
- When that attempt is made through purging, the diagnosis of bulimia is further specified as purging type.
- Attempts to restrict weight gain may also occur through other methods such as fasting or excessive exercise, and in this case this disorder is the non purging type.
What is it like to be anorexia nervosa?
- Kosslyn, Stephen Michael, and Robin S. Rosenberg. Fundamentals of Psychology: The Brain, the Person, the World. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2005.