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

Schizophrenia. This essay shall discuss the various theoretical causes of schizophrenia including; biological explanations such as genetics and chemicals in the brain, Freud`s psychodynamic explanations of the illness, and the family relationships that ca

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Schizophrenia is a mental illness in which an individual is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality. This essay shall discuss the various theoretical causes of schizophrenia including; biological explanations such as genetics and chemicals in the brain, Freud`s psychodynamic explanations of the illness, and the family relationships that can worsen, or perhaps even cause schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is quite a serious illness that affects about one per cent of the general population at some point in their lives, and may exhibit itself through a variety of symptoms. Around eighty per cent of people with the illness display 'positive' symptoms such as: delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking; while the remaining twenty per cent suffer 'negative' symptoms such as: catatonic behaviour, loss of drive, and flattening of affect. There has been a lot of research undertaken in to how our biology may cause us to develop schizophrenia, and it is now quite widely accepted that an individual's genetic makeup may cause them to development schizophrenia, as the illness does have the tendency to run in families. Studies have shown that the more closely one is related to someone who already has the illness, the greater the risk of them also becoming ill. Non-identical (dizygotic) twins, who share fifty per cent of their DNA, have a seventeen per cent risk factor if their co-twin already has the illness; whereas identical (monozygotic) ...read more.

Middle

In addition there is the question of cause and effect; these types of abnormalities may be a symptom of schizophrenia rather than a cause. Furthermore such abnormalities may exist in many healthy individuals; however we would not know this for sure as perfectly healthy people tend not to have brain scans as there is no need to. Certain viral infections, (that may occur before birth), are also believed to play a role in the development of schizophrenia. There is some evidence to back up this theory; Torrey (2000) found that a high percentage of schizophrenics are born during winter, when exposure to viruses is high. Mothers of schizophrenics are more likely to have been exposed to illnesses (such as the flu virus) during pregnancy, than the mothers of those without the disorder. It is believed that the effects of the virus on the child may remain dormant until activated by hormonal changes at puberty which bring about schizophrenia, (Gherardelli, 1992, cited in class notes). This would help to explain why some children display unusual behaviour, (such as withdrawal), before they reach their teens or early twenties, when they develop symptoms of schizophrenia. A further strength of this theory is that it explains why schizophrenia can, and often does, appear in individuals who do not have relatives with the disorder, and therefore no genetic pre-disposition to developing it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Patients may also see certain behaviours by other patients receiving attention; and so learn to behave more in such a way themselves as a result. Unfortunately this theory does not account for how schizophrenic behaviours start, but only how they may be reinforced once they are already there. It also fails to explain why some patients genuinely experience symptoms such as hallucinations, and withdrawal, (in which case a patient would not want to receive attention). For such reasons it is generally accepted that the behavioural model contributes little to the understanding of the causes of schizophrenia, (Freud, 1998, cited in class notes). In conclusion, it is the biological explanations of the causes of schizophrenia that seem to receive most support; however the fact that the concordance rate in twin studies does not match up completely shows that other factors must be involved. This idea is backed up by the diathesis stress model, which shows the importance of stressful life events in contributing to the illness. Furthermore the fact that patients living in households high in expressed emotion suffer more relapses shows that stress does appear to be a significant factor also. Psychodynamic and behavioural explanations of the illness have received little support and are largely lacking in empirical evidence; therefore they have contributed little to our knowledge of schizophrenia. ...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 The Psychology of Individual Differences 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 The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the main approaches - Biological and Behaviourist, biological and cognitive, ...

    4 star(s)

    The cognitive approach has been applied successfully in therapy. As one of the core assumptions of the cognitive approach is that mental processes influence our behaviour, therefore if these processes are irrational this can lead to psychological problems. Therapy, such as RET, aims to replace these irrational thoughts with more positive ones.

  2. Outline and Evaluate the Biological, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Explanations of Abnormality

    in child rearing and experience similar environments it may be the culture or the environment that effect the psychological well-being of a person, not the inherited genes. As this is the biological model the treatments also follow a medical approach.

  1. stress essay

    Also, those who felt they were in control of their lives were significantly less likely to develop a cold than others who had an uncontrollable life. Again due to questionnaires being given participants may have interpreted them and so social desirability bias may have an affect on the results as

  2. invesigating stroop effect

    There were 14 words written as this was enough words to gain a reasonable amount of time to measure. The font the words were written is was Times New Roman and was size 22. The size and font was chosen so that the lists were very clear and easy for all the participants to see.

  1. The Gestalt Theory

    therapist can proceed by helping the client become aware of these interruptions. The more the client is aware of this the sooner they will be aware of what they are interrupting. This fundamental ( and important starting point) process in Gestalt can be better put in practice by using experiments

  2. Level 2 Counselling skills. Theories -CBT, Psychodynamic and Person Centred.

    Cognitive-Behavioural Theory ? 1. Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations 2. Highlights that it is our beliefs, interpretations and perceptions of life events that determine our feelings, moods and ultimately, our actions. 3. Clients are helped to identify, understand and modify their belief systems and behaviours in order to function more effectively 4.

  1. The contents of this essay will explain different psychological approaches to health and social ...

    2012) Cognitive-behavioural coping skills treatment is a short-term, focused therapeutic approach to aiding individuals with alcoholism become abstinent by using the same learning processes that individuals utilise to develop alcohol and drug dependence initially. (About.com, 2012) Self-actualisation is a vital concept underlying client-centred therapy.

  2. EVALUATE THE MEDICAL MODEL AND THE BEHAVIOURAL MODEL OF ABNORMALITY

    positive punisher and decrease the likelihood that you will stroke the cat in that same manner in the future. . Negative punishment is characterised when a favourable event or outcome is removed after undesired behaviour occurs, when a child talks back to his mother, the child may lose the privilege

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