Psychology deals with the study of the mind, with the aim of explaining human behaviors. It studies the mental aspect behind how we reason and explains the causes of our actions. Various methods of research are applied in psychological studies, such as correlation and experiments. Through understanding the mind, various disorders including eating and schizophrenic disorders are easily understood. This paper looks into the different disorders, their causes, and the different methods that are applied in studying them.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that would normally appear in individuals in the late teenage years.
This psychotic disorder can appear due to a combination of biological and genetic vulnerabilities, as well as stressful events. It is characterized by abnormal thinking, behaviors, and emotions that are inconsistent to their situation causing an inability to function well. An individual with schizophrenic disorder experiences many symptoms three of which are delusion, aviation, and social withdrawal. Delusions occur in people with schizophrenia because they tend to have irrational beliefs that are not real.
People who are schizophrenic experiences different types of delusion for instance, delusions of persecution this occur when the patient feels that someone is out to cause them harm. An example is having a strong feeling that someone is entering your room to stab you at night. Furthermore, delusions cause people who are schizophrenic to believe that they are famous people or have exceptional abilities such as walking on water. Those who experience avolition lack what ability, will power, or strength to carry out useful tasks such as going to work.
They are less concerned about grooming and are unable to take care for their family in extreme cases. Additionally, because persons suffering from schizophrenia are of the impression that everyone is out to get them, they tend to experience social withdrawal. They isolate themselves from others, not attending events, gatherings and avoid going to public places such as shopping malls. Also, these individuals stay by themselves because their communication skills have been somewhat compromised as a result it can be physically exhausting to try to follow a conversation; their brain stays a long time to process the information.
Correlational research does not require experiment rather the research tries to ascertain the relationship between the two variables without having control of the outcome. Correlations are either positive or negative. An example of how correlation research that can be used, is where a lecturer wanted to establish a relationship between too much internet use and poor performance in class. He selected 30 students and allowed them to access their laptops and use the internet during lecture time for 20 hours in a semester in a psychology unit. A final semester exam was given out, and the scores were analyzed. The scores showed that the students who used the internet more scored lower marks in their end of semester exam. This is a negative correlation because an increase in internet use results in lower scores. The independent variable is the scores, while the dependent variable is the internet. Advantages of correlational research are that it allows the scientist to measure the strength and direction of the relationship. The data collected during correlational research is also more than that obtained in experiments. This makes the method preferred to other research methods. The disadvantage of using correlational research is that it only discovers the relationship, but does not offer a conclusive reason to support the existence of the relationship.
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a consistent intake of tiny amounts of food, which causes a drop in body mass index and low body weight as a result of the fear of gaining weight. Persons that suffer from this eating disorder always see themselves as being overweight even though they are severely underweight. Some symptoms of Anorexia are drastic weight loss and loss of the menstrual cycle in young women. Anorexia can have serious health effect such as multiple problems with the heart, loss in bone density, inability to conceive and damage to the brain. Bulimia Nervosa is a disorder characterized by eating large quantities of food within a short time and later trying to force the extra food out of the body by inducing vomiting or using laxatives. Some symptoms of Bulimia include muscle weakness and the development of dental problems. Some severe effects of Bulimia are severe dehydration which leads to heart problems due to the loss of electrolytes, gastrointestinal issues and many more as individuals suffering from eating disorder are very much vulnerable to many diseases. Several causes of eating disorders exist, including both social and biological factors. The community that creates what ideal body shape and size is, influences those who do not fit in the description to find ways that can help them to fit in as I mentioned above, by consuming small amounts of food and using laxatives. Another cause of eating disorders is genetics because of specific genes that control food intake, irregular hormone function, and nutritional deficiency.
Some characteristics of mental retardation include low self-esteem and slow development of communication skills. People who are mentally retarded require some form of supervision to carry out tasks for instance dressing and feeding themselves. Children who are aware that they have this condition also feel frustrated and alienated from their friends. Often people with mental retardation display behavior problems such as extreme tantrums. Down syndrome is one of the causes of mental retardation. Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra copy of 21 chromosomes. The extra genetic material interferes with the childs development, causing characteristics such as a small stature. Another cause of mental retardation is alcohol exposure to the baby during pregnancy causing fetal alcohol syndrome which results in brain damage. Some brain damages cause poor coordination and memory loss. Mental retardation also occurs if a child lacks enough oxygen during birth. The deficit in oxygen interrupts brain functioning, which results in mental retardation.
Learned helplessness was discovered years ago by a psychologist name Martin Seligman. Seligman conducted an experiment where he used dogs; he placed them in an area where there were strapped in with nowhere to escape while given electric shock. After a number of shocks being unable to avoid the stimuli they eventually accepted the situation and even when given the opportunity to escape they didnt attempt to do so due to their past experience. Although this experiment was conducted on animals behavior it has also been demonstrated in human behavior. At times in life when being involved in an unpleasant or painful situation for too long, we feel as though it is unchangeable and start to act helplessly. For example, someone that is being constantly abused for a long time begins to think that there is nothing they can do to overcome their situation they go into a frozen state, hoping that the pain one day will stop. This inaction can result in individuals missing out on opportunities to relief themselves of their situation, causing them to become frustrated, depressed, develop low self-esteem and poor motivation.
In conclusion, psychology is a discipline that focuses on promoting the wellbeing of a person. Psychology is therefore important in understanding the reasons behind our actions and those of other people, enabling us to support them and seek medical and psychological attention where necessary.