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Which Perspective Offers The Best Explanation For Schizophrenia

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What Is The Psychological Explanation For Schizophrenia

These Are the Potential Causes of Schizophrenia

Research suggests schizophrenia may be caused by a change in the level of 2 neurotransmitters: dopamine and serotonin. Some studies indicate an imbalance between the 2 may be the basis of the problem. Others have found a change in the body’s sensitivity to the neurotransmitters is part of the cause of schizophrenia.

Making The Complicated Less Intimidating

When approaching a truly difficult problem, it can be all too easy to become overwhelmed by all the questions and information that are available. When studying psychological issues, for example, researchers might struggle to even form a basic hypothesis unless they find some way to focus their attention on a very small aspect of a phenomenon.

While this point of view neglects other factors that might contribute, such as genetics, social relationships, and environmental variables, it gives researchers a more narrow focus of their studies. By using reductionism to simplify what they want to study, researchers can explore a component is much greater depth.

Psychological Explanations Of Schizophrenia

  • 1. Psychological explanations of schizophrenia Psychodynamic Behavioural Cognitive
  • 2. Psychodynamic A01Recap: According to thePsychodynamic approach isconcerned with unconscious Psychodynamic processes approach abnormality is caused by unresolved conflict This causes inner turmoil which leads to schizophrenic between the ID, behaviour Ego and Superego that has been repressed into the unconscious
  • 3. Psychodynamic A01 e.g. If the childs parents areFreud argued that if the world cold and uncaring of the schizophrenic isparticularly harsh, a child may If a child becomes fixated at the oralbecome fixated at a particular stage it could explain the sense of loss stage of development of reality experienced by schizophrenics Prior to the Ego developing the child is ruled by the ID Schizophrenia can therefore represent a regression to this time Further links Some symptoms represent the egos attempt to re- establish itself
  • 4. Psychodynamic A02SpeculativeIt is impossible to empirically test concepts such as the ID, egoand superegoUnfalsifiableThere is validity in the assumption that schizophrenics sufferinner turmoil it cannot be proven.Lack of evidenceSubsequent psychoanalysts have claimed, like Freud, that disorderedfamily patterns are the cause of schizophrenia e.g. Family interactionsand patterns of communication were linked to the cause ofschizophrenia.Schizophregenic families was used to describe these dysfunctionalfamilies
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    Dopamine Cannabinoids And Schizophrenia

    Owing to the historical prominence and wide familiarity of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia, a natural question to ask is whether the psychotomimetic effects of cannabis are mediated by dopamine . Dopamine response is clearly blunted among chronic cannabis users, showing a dose-dependent effect . However, the degree of this effect is not correlated with the level of psychotic symptoms in these users , and the magnitude of the dopamine release also does not correlate with the degree of psychotic symptoms that are acutely produced by cannabinoids . These findings suggest that the effects of cannabis on psychosis are not explained by these alterations in the dopaminergic system. The modern dopaminergic hypothesis of schizophrenia is much more complex than hypothesizing cortical hypofunctioning and mesolimbic hyperfunctioning, and readers wanting a more in-depth analysis of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia are directed to recent reviews on the subject .

    Biochemical Explanations For Schizophrenia

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    Dopamine excess

    • Iverson found post mortems on schizophrenic patients showed high levels of dopamine in the brain .
    • Neuroleptic drugs that block dopamine at the synapse typically reduce many of the symptoms of schizophrenia . However, they affect positive symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations more than negative symptoms such as apathy and immobility. See the treatments section for more…
    • Findings from patients suffering from Parkinsons, who have low levels of dopamine. Drug treatment to increase dopamine levels can have side effects similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia.
    • Dopaminergic drugs can exaggerate the symptoms of schizophrenia in sufferers.

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    Implications Of The Determinism And Free Will Debate:

    Many areas of psychology have been influenced by the Free Will vs Determinism debate, and such the debate has had practical and theoretical contributions to psychology as it has helped develop a number of theories and strategies. There is a however still a great deal of debate about the role of free will in behaviour.

    The case FOR determinism

    The notion that human behaviour is orderly and obeys laws places psychology on equal footing with other more established sciences. The value of such research is that the prediction and control of human behaviour has led to the development of treatments, therapies and behavioural interventions that have benefitted many-for instance, psychotherapeutic drug treatment in controlling and managing schizophrenia. For example, if schizophrenia is caused by elevated levels of dopamine, treatments such as anti-psychotic drugs can be used to decrease levels of dopamine and alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia this supports the idea of determinism as it shows that the cause of increased levels of dopamine creates the effect the disorder schizophrenia. Reduce the dopamine leads to an alleviation of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

    The experience of mental disorders like schizophrenia where sufferers experience a total loss of control over their thoughts and behaviour casts doubts over the notion of free will no one would choose to have schizophrenia. This suggests that at least in terms of mental illness, behaviour would appear to be determined.

    The Genetic Explanation For Schizophrenia

    Genetic studies will look at families and twins. For example, if one person in a pair of twins has a condition, researchers may want to establish the probabilitythat the other twin will also be schizophrenic this is called the concordance rate. Complete the worksheet to the right to introduce yourself to these ideas.
    schizgenetic.doc

    if a condition is genetic, then as people become more closely related to each other they should also be more likely to share the same psychological conditions.

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    Psychodynamic Perspectives On Psychosis

    Early psychoanalytic conceptions of psychosis explained psychotic symptoms as a manifestation of the conscious mind being invaded by the unconscious and by dreams . More contemporary approaches underline the importance of early relationship patterns . Internal representations of experiences with significant others and current relationships are assumed to result in tension and psychotic symptoms are considered to be a constructive way of dealing with this tension . Psychodynamic therapy focuses on these processes and helps the patient to gain self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior, and it fosters new positive relationship experiences. An empathic, respectful, and supportive attitude allows re-enactment of internalized relational patterns in the therapistpatient interaction . Some early theories of psychoanalytic thought argued that psychosis could result from poor parenting behaviors and the concept of double-bind communication, which refers to parental communication that is contradictory , have not been supported in later research. Additionally, studies have generally shown that insight-oriented forms of psychotherapy do not typically work well with most persons with schizophrenia because of their difficulty in self-reflection and abstract thinking due to thought disorder.

    Social Learning Theory Of Schizophrenia:

    Psychopharmacology – Antipsychotics & The Dopamine Hypothesis Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenics according to this theory do not respond appropriately to the social environment like their normal counterparts. Thus deficit in attention to social environment leads to lack of proper association and disturbances in the thought processes of the schizophrenics.

    Moreover, lack of proper attention to the stimuli coming from the social environment makes the individual appear withdrawn. According to Ulman and Kreshmer schizophrenia is primarily a reaction to the reinforcement it receives within the mental hospital. The hospital staff attends to the patients more when their speech is incoherent and behaviour irrational.

    Attempts have been made to verify social learning theory by Braginsky, Grosserking by conducting a study to examine whether hospitalised patients can manipulate to create an impression on others through the administration of M.M.P.I. which has been strongly criticised.

    Cameron and Margaret noted that the schizophrenic patients are inflexible in their own social roles and uncomprehending of the role behaviour of others. Hence, they create their own social role to protect themselves from social expectations and demands. However, though a split occurs between their outer and inner selves, their hopes, aspirations etc. in the inner self may still remain intact.

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    How Does Reductionism Work In Psychology

    Reductionism is a theory in psychology centered on reducing complex phenomena into their most basic parts. It is often contrasted with holism, which is focused on looking at things as a whole.

    The purpose of reductionism is to simplify psychological events and processes by looking at their smallest elements, thus reducing something rather complex into its most simple.

    These two approaches are often pitted against one another. Where a reductionist would propose that the best way to understand something is to look at what it is made up of, a holist would argue that the sum-product is more than simply the sum of its parts.

    The Roots Of Mental Illness

    How much of mental illness can the biology of the brain explain?

    Print version: page 30

    Monitor on Psychology43

    Diagnosing mental illness isn’t like diagnosing other chronic diseases. Heart disease is identified with the help of blood tests and electrocardiograms. Diabetes is diagnosed by measuring blood glucose levels. But classifying mental illness is a more subjective endeavor. No blood test exists for depression no X-ray can identify a child at risk of developing bipolar disorder. At least, not yet.

    Thanks to new tools in genetics and neuroimaging, scientists are making progress toward deciphering details of the underlying biology of mental disorders. Yet experts disagree on how far we can push this biological model. Are mental illnesses simply physical diseases that happen to strike the brain? Or do these disorders belong to a class all their own?

    Eric Kandel, MD, a Nobel Prize laureate and professor of brain science at Columbia University, believes it’s all about biology. “All mental processes are brain processes, and therefore all disorders of mental functioning are biological diseases,” he says. “The brain is the organ of the mind. Where else could be if not in the brain?”

    That viewpoint is quickly gaining supporters, thanks in part to Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, who has championed a biological perspective during his tenure at the agency.

    A new toolkit
    Software malfunction
    A nuanced view

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    Greater Attention And Support For Carers

    Studies have shown that having a family member or carer who provides informal support is associated with better treatment compliance . Keeping carers closely involved in the treatment plan helps to open up other channels of communication for the clinician and PLWS.

    It is important to make sure the patient-clinician-carer dynamic is positive if this deteriorates, revisiting the roles of carers, when they should come to appointments, and whether changes are needed can help restore balance.

    Exercise And Critical Thinking

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  • How should society deal with people with schizophrenia? Is it better to keep patients in psychiatric facilities against their will, but where they can be observed and supported, or to allow them to live in the community, where they may commit violent crimes against themselves or others? What factors influence your opinion?
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    Biological Treatments For Schizophrenia

    Neuroleptic drugs are often used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Chlorpromazine is an example of an anti-psychotic drug

    • The mode of action is to block dopamine receptors in the brain, which means that the post synaptic receptor sites do not respond to dopamine.
    • These reduce the positive symptoms of schizophrenia
    • however they have little effect on the negative symptoms .
    • Minor side effects include dry mouth and throat, weight gain and drowsiness.
    • Major side effects are body stiffness or spasms and involuntary movements of the mouth and tongue .
    However… Newer atypical antipsychotic drugs work on a wider range of neurotransmitters, for example, Clozapine. Its mode of action is to block serotonin as well as dopamine receptor sites. Julien found that clozapine was an effective treatment of schizophrenia. It has been found to be effective for 50% of people who did not respond to other drugs, perhaps because it affects serotonin. However1) It is much more expensive than most other drugs for schizophrenia2) Side effects – It can produce a potentially fatal blood disease in 1-2% of schizophrenic patients and weekly blood monitoring is required.Also, because they implicate other neurotransmitters, these drugs cast doubt on the dopamine hypothesis as a complete explanation.

    Chemical Changes In The Brain

    A series of complex interrelated chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, are responsible for sending signals between brain cells.

    Low levels or imbalances of these chemicals are believed to play a role in the development of schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.

    Dopamine, in particular, seems to play a role in the development of schizophrenia.

    Researchers have found evidence that dopamine causes an overstimulation of the brain in people with schizophrenia. It may account for some of the symptoms of the condition.

    Glutamate is another chemical thats been linked to schizophrenia. Evidence has pointed toward its involvement. However, there are a number of limitations to this research.

    Complications before and during birth may increase the likelihood a person will develop mental health disorders, including schizophrenia.

    These complications include:

    Because of the ethics involved in studying pregnant women, many of the studies that have looked at the connection between prenatal complications and schizophrenia have been on animals.

    Women with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for complications during pregnancy.

    Its unclear if their children are at an increased likelihood for developing the condition because of genetics, pregnancy complications, or a combination of the two.

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    How Do You Calm Someone With Schizophrenia

    10 tips for handling a schizophrenia crisisRemember that you cannot reason with acute psychosis.The person may be terrified by their own feelings of loss of control.Don’t express irritation or anger.Speak quietly and calmly, do not shout or threaten the person.Don’t use sarcasm as a weapon.Meer items…

    The Evolving Role Of Theory In Science

    4 Signs Your Schizophrenia May Be Treatment Resistant

    In the mature phases of a field, theories are tested using hypothetico-deductive principles. That is, theories guide the design of experiments by specifying conditions or observations that constitute critical tests of a theory. These critical tests have the form of a deductive proof focusing on falsification: theory X predicts A and not B if B is observed, then theory X is not correct. Given that at its heart, a theory is a model of causation, experiments provide the foundation for conducting critical tests of causal hypotheses because the predicted causal factor is made to be present in one condition and not another, holding all other things constant. This experimental-deductive approach allows for the efficient refinement of theories by specifying what observations are most important and by a rather straightforward accounting of whether particular theories do or do not account for those critical observations. It should be noted that a theory may specify some form of prediction that is lawfully borne out by data but nevertheless fail to explain fully the underlying causal mechanism. This would likely be considered apartial account of the phenomenon.

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    Does Not Account For The Whole

    While reductionism can lead to exploring components of a phenomenon in greater depth, it also misses how these variables interact with one another. Few things have only one simple cause. Reductionism might allow researchers to look at each component individually, but it does not really explore how each of these smaller elements work together.

    Complex systems are dynamic and always changing, and it is often by looking at how things work together as a whole that we can gain a clearer picture of how something works.

    Pe For Carers And Plws

    Benefits of PE for Carers and PLWS

    PE is a useful tool for improving relationships within the care alliance. The clinical benefits of PE have been demonstrated in numerous studies and include positive impacts on clinical measures, e.g., relapse rates, relapse severity, and adherence . Regarding promoting strong therapeutic relationships, PE has been shown to improve patient insight, reduce self-stigma and improve social functioning . However, while improving insight is a key goal of PE, even patients with high levels of insight may still benefit .

    PE also improves outcomes for the carers and family members of PLWS. Studies exploring family therapy approaches have shown that PE reduces carer stress and hostility towards other family members, while increasing warmth and reducing the perception of burden .

    What Should PE Cover?

    PE will inevitably include schizophrenia-specific information, such as how to recognize symptoms, the impact of the illness on real-life functioning and the importance of treatment for optimal outcomes. Clear and essential information should be provided, and basics of the vulnerability-stress model should be addressed to adequately present the need for treatment. Promoting healthy lifestyles, identifying causes of stress, and problem-solving and communication skills are equally important domains of PE .

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    Evaluating The Genetic Explanation

    • There is strong evidence for a genetic basis to schizophreniafrom the studies of twins. However, concordance rates are not 100% and therefore this data does not exclude environmental input.
    • The high concordance rates in MZ twins may be explained by the fact that they tend to be treated more similarly than DZ twins and this greater environmental similarity, rather than genetic similarity, may be responsible for the higher level of concordance than in DZ twins.
    • However, it could be argued that MZ twins elicit more similar treatment from their parents than do DZ twins. This suggests that the greater genetic similarity of identical twins may be a cause, rather than an effect of their more similar parental treatment. Again what is the direction of the relationship?
    • These studies show that the cause of schizophrenia is not wholly genetic. Inheritance may put people at risk but stressful life events may trigger the actual onset of the illness.
    • It has not been identified whether a single gene or several genes are implicated or how they influence the emergence of symptoms.
    • Genetic explanations are reductionist, as they reduce complex conditions to the supposed activity of just a small number of genes. This seems too simplistic.
    • Genetic explanations are also deterministic. They seem to offer the sufferer no hope of controlling the condition themselves, as we cannot consciously control the activity of our genes.

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