Saturday, March 14, 2020

Explanations of Schizophrenia Essays

Explanations of Schizophrenia Essays Explanations of Schizophrenia Essay Explanations of Schizophrenia Essay Describe two explanations of schizophrenia and evaluate these explanations (9 and 16 marks) Two explanations of schizophrenia are the biological perspective and the psychological perspective. The biological perspective involves genetic factors that influence schizophrenia, however the psychological perspective involves environmental factors in which you learn the behaviour of a schizophrenic. The first explanation is the biological perspective, it has two subtypes, these are biochemical and genetic. The biochemical type talks about enlarged ventricles in the brain, these are cavities that supply nutrients and remove waste. The reason for enlarged ventricles could be due to an issue with diet. It also talks about the dopamine hypothesis, this is excess neurotransmitters. Dopamine occurs in the limbic system, this plays a major role in regulating emotional and sexual behaviour, attention and thoughts. Amphetamine and cocaine both largely increase levels of dopamine and can cause psychosis, this can sometimes explain attention and thought problems in schizophrenia as the dopamine neurons play a large role in guiding a person’s attention. Anti-psychotic drugs like chlorpromazine are thought to work by binding to dopamine receptor sites. The genetic type goes on to talk about how schizophrenia is found more in biological relatives depending on how close the family link is. Monozygotic twins have a 44. 37% of being born with schizophrenia. The PPP3CC chemical is an enzyme which regulates the immune system; it appears to be defective in many patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The second explanation is the psychological perspective; there are many different explanations for schizophrenia that take a psychological view. These contain psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioural and other socio-cultural factors like the role of family and society. Cognitive explanations acknowledge the role that schizophrenia is characterised by thought disturbance. This could be down to cognitive deficits which can weaken areas such as perception and memory. Schizophrenics usually first discover symptoms of voices and abnormal sensory experiences, this then usually makes them turn to friends and family to confirm the experiences. Then other symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions are formed after the failure to not accept the reality, these of which are cognitive. The behavioural explanation suggests that schizophrenia is a consequence of faulty learning. Children who do not receive small amounts or little reinforcement early in their lives will put larger attention into irrelevant environmental cues. This behaviour will eventually appear ‘weird’ or strange to others and so will generally be avoided. These strange behaviours may be rewarded by attention and sympathy and so they are reinforced. This can continue until the behaviour becomes so strange that they are then labelled as schizophrenic. The psychodynamic explanation was developed by Stephen Freud. In terms of schizophrenia he suggests that the health condition is a result of regression to a pre-ego state and attempts to re-establish ego control. If the life experiences of a schizophrenic are harsh then the person may go back to a stage of development before the ego and awareness of the world is properly formed. Symptoms such as delusions can reflect this basic condition and other symptoms such as hallucinations and voices reflect the attempts of the person trying to re-establish its ego control. Socio-cultural explanations stress the role of social and family relationships. This can include social labelling, family relationships and life events. The family relationship theory suggests that children who frequently receive contradictory messages from their parents are more likely to develop schizophrenia. This will lead the child to receiving confused and conflicting messages about their relationship, conflict between verbal and non-verbal. Chronically this can develop into schizophrenic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. One strength of the biological explanation is that it has high reliability. The reason for this is because the research is carried out in highly controlled environments. This suggests that if this research was tested and re-tested the same results would be achieved. Another strength is that it has practical applications. However, a weakness of the biological explanation is that it lacks population validity. The reason for this is because the samples that are used are too small in numbers and only a select number are actually used. This suggests that there are issues with the findings being generalised to the whole population. Another weakness is that it is reductionist and too over simplistic. Also, is the raised dopamine levels the cause of the schizophrenia, or is it the raised dopamine levels which are the result of schizophrenia? It is not clear which comes first. This suggests that one needs to be careful when establishing cause and effect relationships in schizophrenic patients. One trength of the psychological explanation is that it has practical applications. Another strength is that it takes on board the nurture approach to the development of schizophrenia. For example, it suggests that schizophrenic behaviour is caused by environmental factors such as cognitive factors. However, a weakness of the psychological explanation is that you cannot determine cause and effect. Another weakness is that there are ethical issues in blaming the family, particularly as there is little evidence in which to base thi s. Gender bias is also an issue as the mother tends to be blamed the most. This suggests that the research therefore does not protect individuals from harm. Another weakness is that it can said to be reductionist. The reason for this is because the approach does not consider other factors such as genes. It could be that the problems are caused by low neurotransmitters and that creates the cognitive deficits. This suggests that the cognitive approach is over simplistic when considering the explanation of schizophrenia.

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