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Psychology and health
Human well being is an integral part of personal development. It is important point out that human health affects his or her behavior, social interaction as well as consciousness. However, the solution of any health problem can only be critically analyzed and solved by close knowledge of the problem. Close analysis of the case of Max clearly demonstrates that he is suffering from mental problem. In this case, psychology is important in the analysis of Max behavior. Max is said to hear voices which tell him evil things among some other symptoms stated in the case of max. Based on analysis of Max case, he is suffering from schizophrenia. This paper takes a comprehensive analysis of schizophrenia, its cause and available treatment. In addition, it examines how phenomenology, cultural psychology, structuralism and functionalism relate to Max case which is schizophrenia. This case is related to psychology in that both deals with a human mind and since we live in the society the aspect of phenomenology, structuralism and functionalism is involved in the study of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a serious health problem throughout the world. It is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that affects and has affected people throughout history. This mental illness strikes young people at the very time they are establishing their independence and can result in lifelong disability and stigma. In terms of personal and economic costs, schizophrenia has been described as among the worst disorders afflicting humankind in resent time. In addition, it is estimated that it is the 9th leading cause of disability worldwide (Vonnegut, 2003).
Cause of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a biologic problem, not entirely caused by poor parenting or a mentally unhealthy environment (Sartorius, Leff & Okasha, 2005). It is found that people who have a parent or sibling with schizophrenia have about a 10% risk of developing the disorder, compared with a 1% risk among the general population. An identical twin whose co-twin has schizophrenia has about a 50% risk of developing schizophrenia (Vonnegut, 2003).These statistics suggest that heredity is involved to a greater extent. Other causes may include problems that occurred before, during, or after birth of a child, such as critical influenza in the mother during pregnancy, oxygen deprivation at birth, and incompatibility of the mother's and infant's blood type which result into genetically complications
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The start of schizophrenia in an individual may be sudden, over a period of time. Although the severity and types of symptoms vary among different affected people, the symptoms are usually sufficiently severe as to interfere with the ability of an individual to work. Hirsch, and Weinberger, (2003), suggest that schizophrenia symptoms fall in four major categories: Positive symptoms, Negative symptoms, Disorganization, Cognitive impairment. Research study however reveals that one may have on or a combination of these symptoms. Positive symptoms involve an excess or a distortion of normal functions of and individual. They include the following:
- Hallucinations sight, smell, of sound, taste, or touch may occur, although hallucinations of sound are most common the affected people. These patients may hear voices in their head, conversing with one another, or making critical and abusive comments.
- Delusions are false beliefs that usually involve a misinterpretation of perceptions facts or experiences. For instance, affected people may have persecutory delusions, believing that they are being tormented, followed, tricked, or spied on as in the case of Max.
Negative symptoms involve a reduction in or loss of normal functions in the affected people. They include the following:
- Anhedonia refers to a reduced capacity to experience pleasure. Affected people may take little interest in previous activities and spend more time in purposeless ones.
- Asociality refers to a lack of interest in cooperation and relationships with people. This negative symptom leads to a general loss of motivation, sense of purpose, and goals in life.
- Blunted affect refers to lack of emotions. Affected people make little or no eye contact and lack emotional expressiveness. Events that may make them laugh or cry produces no response them.
- Poverty of speech refers to a decreased amount of speech in the affected person. In this case he or she answers questions in brief say in one word.
Disorganization this involves thought disorders and bizarre behavior in the affected person
- Thought disorder refers to disorganized thinking process in the affected person, which becomes apparent when speech is rambling or shifts from one topic to another. In this case the affected person may give a speech which is mild, disorganized and completely incoherent.
- Bizarre behavior may take the form of childlike agitation, silliness, or inappropriate appearance, hygiene, or conduct. Catatonia is an extreme form of bizarre behavior in which people maintain a rigid posture and resist efforts to be moved from this condition.
Cognitive impairment refers to difficulty in concentrating, remembering, organizing, planning, and problem solving. Some people are unable to concentrate sufficiently to read and write, follow the story line of a movie or television show.
In treatment of schizophrenia, there are a number of treatment alternatives these includes: Antipsychotic drugs, rehabilitation and community support activities and programs, and psychotherapy are the major components of treatment given for schizophrenia disorder (Vonnegut, 2003).
This treatment involves the use of Thorazine, Fluanxol and Haloperidol for positive symptoms.
This is a psychotherapy which involves behavioral treatment for schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy will help an individual suffering from schizophrenia to cope well in the society.
Use of Glycine supplements
This treatment involves the use of amino acid which helps reduce negative effects of schizophrenia
The relationship of phenomenology, cultural psychology, structuralism and functionalism schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder therefore it has got a strong relationship with phenomenology since it affect an individual consciousness which the discipline of phenomenology analyses. In addition, cultural psychology which also studies the mind set of people. Furthermore, structuralism and functionalism feature prominently in solving Schizophrenia problem this is because it is a societal problem.
Mental disorders like in the case of Max pose a great health problem to the world population thereby inhibiting global development. However, this is a societal problem and should be embraced with the full attention it requires. In this regard, people with schizophrenia disorder should never be discriminated in the community but should be rehabilitated and treated so as to live a normal life.
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