• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe two psychological wxplanations for schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder

Extracts from this document...


Describe two psychological explanations for schizophrenia & multiple personality disorders. Abnormal behaviour is difficult to define as there are no single characteristics that apply to all instances. A model of abnormality offers a complete and coherent explanation for the origins of abnormal behaviour. First we discuss the psychodynamic model/approach along with Freud's psychosexual development stages and defence mechanisms. Next we will look at multiple personality disorders and how Freud's psychodynamic theory explains it. The paper will then move onto the biological model/approach and how this explains abnormal conditions. We will then look at schizophrenia and how the biological theory explains what causes it. The psychodynamic model of abnormality was the first major challenge to the biological model. Freud and others developed this model through clinical work with mentally disordered patients. Freud believed that problems arose from dynamics of the personality (psyche), rather than from physical problems. Freud believed that the mind had both conscious and unconscious areas. The unconscious is the biggest part of the psyche and is dominated by the 'id'. Id is a primitive part of the personality and pursues only pleasure and gratification. It is only concerned with its desires being satisfied and is not interested in social rules. The second area is the conscious and it's 'ego'. This is the part of the mind which gives us contact to the outside world and works on the reality principle. ...read more.


To deal with a fixation Freud believed that we must go back and resolve the issues which led to the fixation. Such fixations could lead to characteristic 'personality types' such as oral receptive, oral aggressive, anal expulsive, and anal retentive. A fixation during the phallic stage could result in sexual deviances and a weak or confused sexual identity. (Cardwell et.al, pg 887) Another factor that affects the development of personality is the use of ego defences. These defences happen during the latency period and the ego uses these to reduce anxiety that arises from the id and its unacceptable demands. One of these defences is Displacement which is redirecting repressed desires, impulses and anger elsewhere. For example if we have an argument with a friend we take it out on our partner. Sublimation is another, which is transforming aggressive and sexual desires into some sort of socially acceptable expression such as kickboxing. Another is Projection which is when you blame someone else for your own unacceptable impulses. An example of this is accusing someone of not liking you when really it is you who doesn't like that person. Denial is another which is a major form of self protection, instead of facing what has or is happening you deny it. An example of this could be a person whom is terminally ill but will not except they are dying. ...read more.


(Cardwell et.al, pg 754) The causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood it seems that it arises from various factors. There is strong evidence that biological factors have an important part to play. Schizophrenia is almost certainly a disorder with a strong genetic component as there is evidence that it runs in families. (Carlson, pg 511) If genetic factors are important structural or biochemical abnormalities should be detectable in those diagnosed with schizophrenia. Advances in technology have enabled the medical profession to stud the live brains of those people with schizophrenia. MRI studies show quite definite structural abnormalities in the brains of many patients with schizophrenia. Brown et.al (1986) found decreased brain weight and enlarged ventricles. As more MRI studies are being taken, more abnormalities are being identified. A number of viral infections have been suggested as an explanation, in particular Influenza A. (Torrey et.al, 1988, Torrey et.al, 1996) The suggestion is that if the mother is infected during pregnancy there is a pre-birth exposure to the Influenza A virus. A 25 - 30 week old foetus is thought to be most vulnerable because of accelerated growth in the cerebral cortex at this time. (Mednick et.al 1988) It is hypothesized that the viral infection enters the brain until activated by hormonal changes in puberty. (Cardwell, pg 759) There is quite convincing evidence for both structural abnormalities and neurochemical abnormalities in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia, but there are conflicts as to whether they are a result from a genetic defect or from a birth defect leading to brain damage. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physiological Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Psychological influences in childbearing and midwifery practice - A Rite of Passage: Transition from ...

    Arch Women's Mental Health. 7, pp 1-6. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com Accessed 20-10-2004. Axelrod RM (1990). The Evolution of Cooperation. London: Penguin Books. http://pscs.physics.lsa.umich.edu/Software/CC/CCPreface.html Accessed 24-10-2004. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. (1991). Self-efficacy mechanism in physiological activation and health-promoting behaviour.

  2. Sleep and Biological Rhythms revision

    studies show lack of blood to frontal media, occipital and parietal lobes * Correlation between rating scale of insomnia and lab study show artificiality not issue * Diagnosis excellent validity when based on objectivity, but subjective items (e.g. sleep state misconception)

  1. What are the characteristics of the bipolar disorders? As a clinician, what symptoms would ...

    Often, the first manic episode is triggered because of some external stressor the person has experienced. However, the hallmark of Bipolar disorder is that the person's extreme moods often seem to come on of their own accord (Mental Help Net, 2004).

  2. Anxiety Disorders

    Underlying social anxiety disorder is the fear of being scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed in public. You may be afraid that people will think badly of you or that you won't measure up in comparison to others. And even though you probably realize that your fears of being judged are at least somewhat irrational, you still can't help feeling anxious.

  1. Discuss two or more psychological explanations of one eating disorder.

    neurotransmitters � Serotonin -Early studies found evidence of disturbance of serotonin systems in the brain of those with AN. -However, these people already had AN whilst being studied, possible that the disorder produced this. -PET scans can be used to estimate the number of serotonin receptors in the brain.

  2. Outline Clinical Characteristics of Schizophrenia and discuss psychological explanations of Schizophrenia

    As a result, the child is left with self doubt and eventual withdrawal. Experiences such as these are said to cause SZ as they prevent the development of an internally coherent construction of reality, in the end they are likely to experience SZ type symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, and in some cases, paranoia.

  1. Critically Discuss the Causes of one Psychological Disorder Depression is one of the most ...

    There are many neurotransmitters each serving different purposes, but the three important ones that affect a persons mood is serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine. Low levels of these chemicals have not been proven to cause depression, however, it is believed that elevation of these chemicals can improve the mood of a depressed person.

  2. Stress in the Workplace : Why Is it Important to Deal with It?

    You can be as hard as nails, but if you have'nt got people who want to work with you, then you won't have a great business" (Garry Brack of the Employers Federation, Sun-Herald, 7/9/00). Golden Rules for office fun: 1 let staff know what fun is planned 2 do not

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work