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Psy 240 week 9 final Final Project Analyzing Psychological Disorders




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Final Project
Analyzing Psychological Disorders
Axia College of the University of Phoenix
By Jennifer Johnson

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As a psychologist, one must be able to properly understand, diagnose, and treat all
psychological disorders. During the interview process of any job, one must present their skills to
give the employer the confidence to make a wise choice of the candidate they feel will benefit
the company. Within this thesis we will be discussing the psychiatric disease of schizophrenia.
The areas that are to be covered are the areas of the brain affected, causal factors, symptoms,
neural basis, and appropriate drug therapy. Last I will interpret two case studies from a
biopsychologist’s perspective.
Part A
Out of all of the psychological disorders, schizophrenia is the most damaging and affects
nearly three million American’s. This disorder causes a person to lose all sense of reality which
causes one to have delusions, hallucinations, extreme suspicion, and symptoms vary between
men and women. The ages of which symptoms are experienced are late teens to early twenties in
men and late twenties to early thirties for women. While those who suffer from schizophrenia
may seem to make some progress in recovery, usually all will exhibit marked symptoms
throughout the course of their life.
While schizophrenia is considered to be a complex brain disorder, many things contribute to
the causes of this disorder. Genetics, behavioral, and developmental reasons are some of the
likely causes while stress, trauma, and viral infections are also thought to be involved in this
disorder. While it still is not clear why or how genetic predisposition is transmitted, suggestions
of recent evidence show that this disorder may result from the neurons in the brain form
inappropriate connections during fetal development (Lundbeck Institute, 2010).

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Stress that is caused by a traumatic event or family situations may be a trigger which can
cause this disorder to surface in those who possess a genetic predisposition. Another trigger that
may play a major part is an imbalance of dopamine and serotonin that are located in the brain.
The behavioral patterns that are associated with schizophrenia are thought to result from an over
activity of dopamine within certain areas of the brain. The areas of the brain that are affected by
this disorder are the forebrain, hindbrain, and limbic system (Lundbeck Institute, 2010).
By affecting these areas of the brain causes many causal factors. While it is still thought to be
an imbalance of the chemicals, this disorder exhibits many associated symptoms. Because there
are no tests that can diagnose schizophrenia, a psychologist must rely on analyzing clinical
symptoms. One must pay close attention to the diagnosis due to this disorder may exhibit the
same symptoms as another disorder.
The symptoms exhibited by those who have schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusions, lack
of emotion, racing thoughts, incoherent thoughts, odd behaviors, and psychotic manifestations.
Many who experience this disorder may hear voices or think others are out to get them. Many
may believe that someone is following them with the intent to harm or think that someone is
trying to deliberately poison them. Many may lose all sense of self and all sense of what reality
is. These symptoms are broken down into positive or negative symptoms because of their impact
of being able to properly diagnose.
In order to obtain a diagnosis of schizophrenia, one must exhibit symptoms of at least one
month duration of two or more positive symptoms (reflecting an excess or distortion of one’s
normal functions), unless hallucinations or delusions are extremely bizarre. In the event that this
situation occurs, one symptom may suffice for a diagnosis according to the DSM-IV (manual

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