Table of Contents
Q1a: Anorexia and Bulimia
Bulimia, on the one hand, is a condition characterized by a change in body weight that means that people suffering from it may rapidly increase their weight. Anorexia, on the other hand, is a disorder when the body denies maintaining the normal weight. While organisms of people with bulimia tend to eat much, those with anorexia refrain from eating. Notably, the two conditions are adopted behaviors emerging in adolescence and can sometimes become chronic (Comer, 2013). Importantly, bulimia can lead to obesity while anorexia can cause malnutrition and death. These eating disorders are caused by various factors with most dominant ones being psychosocial, genetic and biological ones.
Some of the psychosocial aspects that lead to bulimia and anorexia are cultural forces and social pressures. In cultures where thinness is a measure of ideal beauty, it will compel young girls to avoid eating enough food to keep away from physical unfitness (Hill, 2013). They will not eat much to escape stigma from the members of the society. The truth is that apart from genetically motivated factors, the way people think about themselves and the world makes them vulnerable to social orders and conform to the social rules. Psychological research has found out that some inherent aspects lead to eating disorders. The scientists argue that a set of personal traits such as rigidity, emotional restraint, obsessiveness may result in anorexia while emotional instability and impulsivity may cause bulimia. Therefore, there is a need to stick to the observance of proper diet as opposed to being a slave to social prescriptions.
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Q1b: Substance-Related Disorders
Culture and gender are some of the factors that influence the development of substance-related disorders. Psychological studies hypothesize that there are instances of cultural norms that discourage members of such societies from indulging in the excessive use of drugs or alcohol. For example, a study revealed that Latinas, who were born in the US or lived in the US before the age of 18, are more likely to engage in substance abuse than those who were foreign-born (Comer, 2013). The society with a culture of drug addiction will attract more of its members to using drugs. One can learn to use of the substances through observation of the members of the society who are the drug addicts. Notably, a hypothesis of cultural mediators of abuse of substances among people is that traditional gender roles such as machismo might lead to drug or alcohol addiction (Libal, 2004). The study has found out that there is a minimum case of drug addiction among women all over the globe, and this is credited much to the structure of cultural values that denies them engaging in substance abuse. Most cultures in the world promote abstinence among females while having no objections to the males using drugs. Disparities in the access to substances define the whole phenomenon of drugs or alcohol abuse. Therefore, rehabilitation of drug addicts is crucial in the treatment of both cultural and gender induced abuse of substances. Additionally, denial of access to drugs and alcohol to vulnerable people by either their family members or the society will help reduce the rate of new addictions development.
Experts agree that substance abuse treatment for different genders needs to be addressed differently. For instance, drug addiction among women can be catered for in Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). CSAT’s protocol addresses the precise needs of females in the treatment of drug addiction (Libal, 2004). A cultural approach to a community-based program can be carried out to help drug addicted patients. The aim of the community-based research may include supporting ill people emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.
Q2: Paraphilia and Sexual Disorders
Paraphilia is a sexual arousing fantasy or behavior that is intense and recurrent. It is an emotional condition which causes significant distress on the social function and other important areas of life of individuals suffering from the disease. It is very hard to diagnose people with sexual disorders because many persons suffering from these syndromes keep it in secret because of shame. Moreover, some victims of sexual disorders engage in offensive sexual behaviors and thus are not interested in reporting their disease. It is estimated that the prevalence of paraphilia instances among the people committing crimes pertains to pedophilia (Comer, 2013). The number of individuals suffering from pedophilia is high among men with just a low percentage of women.
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Gender identity disorder is one of sexual disorders that are prevalent among people. The signs of the condition include the desire to look like and behave like representatives of the other sex and conviction that one has reactions and feelings of the other sex among others. Gender identity disorder is a transvestism paraphilia because it involves cross-dressing, change of behavior patterns and sometimes contradicts the proper functioning of the individuals suffering from it (Rowland & Incrocci, 2008). However, it is difficult for clinicians to diagnose transvestism in its victims because many of the latter are unwilling to seek medical advice and, sometimes, are comfortable with their state and consider it normal. Furthermore, in some instances, people with transvestism may not have biological signs that make the condition visible making it hard for clinicians to detect the disorder.
Gender and cultural factors may interfere with the process of diagnosing transvestism. Usually, there are set social expectations from a child since it is born. They range from the kind of clothes the child wears to life virtues that the child is ought to learn as it grows according to its respective sex. The predetermination of what the child has to be like begins the process of gender programming of the child. A child suffering from transvestism and brought up as girl or boy will respond accordingly (Rowland & Incrocci, 2008). Therefore, this makes it hard for such people to exhibit their dominant sexual characteristics absorbing those assigned to them by their caregivers.
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The 4 Ds imply dysfunctional, distress, deviant, and dangerous. Together, they make up mental health professional definition of abnormal behaviors and feelings. However, they are sometimes difficult for clinicians because of various reasons including that there is no distinguished difference between being normal or abnormal (Rowland & Incrocci, 2008).
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by a living nightmare. People suffering from this disease demonstrate the signs of psychosis that means that they lose touch with reality. This fact is exemplified by the high rate of suicides schizophrenics them. Schizophrenia treatment includes various methods of psychotherapy and medication. The purpose of individual psychotherapy is imperative in the treatment of the disorder. It involves regular sessions of patient with a therapist. The therapy focuses on the examination of the past and current problems, feelings, relationships, and thoughts of the affected person (Comer, 2013). Through direct contact with a trained professional, patients understand more about their condition. They also learn how to handle problems in their daily lives. Therefore, they become well-equipped and acquire the ability to differentiate between what is good or not. Symptoms that are not intense like depression can be treated with therapy. However, due to non-disclosing of the biggest problems by the patient, the treatment may not work.
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Rehabilitation of people suffering from schizophrenia can also help treat it. This process includes problem-solving support, social skills training, and counseling among others. Rehabilitation aims at taking the patient away from what bothers him/her initially, trying to find solutions to his/her problems, and then releasing him/her when there is a record of his/her progress. However, this therapy is only limited to the persons who are willing to come to rehabilitation centers or have family members to take them there. Sometimes the process is long and, thus, may deny the patient a chance to move on with his or her normal life. Family education can also help the struggling individuals cope well with the condition. Schizophrenics who have engaged family members fare better than those battling the disease alone (Comer, 2013). The family members have an experience of living with the patients and thus have real knowledge about them. However, schizophrenics can develop distrust of their families and thus fail to engage fully in the therapy process.
Another form of treatment of schizophrenia is assertive community treatment. It is a multidisciplinary approach including the participation of social workers, psychiatrists, and other mental health clinicians (Desousa, 2015). It is a comprehensive method where the specialists can adjust to the environment of the patient and his or her changing demands. The treatment has some shortcomings in that it requires outreach programs that are expensive to execute. It may also not apply to patients who have no problem with continuing their traditional mental health treatment. The conventional medication for schizophrenia is antipsychotics. It is common for the treatment of depression among patients as well as reduces hospitalization rates of schizophrenics. However, antipsychotics carry with them life-threatening side effects including extrapyramidal signs, drowsiness, dizziness, stiffness, impotence, craps among others (Desousa, 2015).
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Q4: Personality Disorders
Antisocial personality disorder (APD) and borderline personality disorders (BPD) belong to cluster B that is characterized by highly sudden, excessively emotional thoughts and behaviors. The two conditions have some differences as well as similarities discussed from various perspectives including their primary symptoms, predominant causal theories, and the gender bias in the diagnosis of these disorders. Because they are cluster B, borderline and antisocial personality disorders exhibit the characteristic symptoms in that they display manipulative and impulsive behaviors (Comer, 2013). However, there are differences in their signs that distinguish them. On the one hand, antisocial personality disorder is characterized with more direct aggression towards others. On the other hand, patients suffering from borderline personality disorder tend to attack themselves and this process is more self-damaging. Moreover, victims of the latter fight depression more frequently than people with the former condition.
The similarities between the predominant causes of BPD and APD are that they are products of both nature and nurture. In both conditions, there are inherited aspects of one’s personality passed on from parents such as having a positive outlook or being restraint. Experts regard these causal genetic factors of personality disorders as temperament. The environmental aspects are also imperative in causing APD and BPD (Comer, 2013). Importantly, the surrounding one was nurtured in, for example, the kind of parenting a person experienced, whether loving or abusive, may influence him/her to develop the conditions. While BPD is common among women, APD is prevailing among men. The differences arise because personality disorders are not objective to clinical entities but are culturally bound syndromes. On the one hand, some cultures emphasize that qualities such as individualism and determination are often patented with masculinity; therefore, the dominance of pathological pride is evident among men. On the other hand, women are widely believed to be emotionally labile.
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The most effective treatment of BPD is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Notably, it teaches patients problem-solving skills, ways to reduce suicidal behaviors and better ways to regulate their emotions (Davis, W. E., & Hicks, 2015). The treatment also involves holistic, group, and individual therapy including art and yoga therapy. APD treatment, in its turn, entails medication, anger and stress management, and psychotherapy. Residential treatment program for this disorder is also crucial and beneficial to the affected persons because it provides a supportive and safe environment for the patients’ full recovery.
Q5b: Psychological Problems
Dementia and depression are among the severe psychological problems of the elderly. Dementia is a condition where there is a reduction in the memory, behavior, thinking capabilities, and the ability to carry out daily chores (Marrocco, 1996). It mainly affects the elderly, although experts say it is a typical phenomenon of aging. Lack of achievements in early life endorses high risk of developing dementia in old age. These conditions lead to emotional, physical, and economic pressures.
Depression causes significant suffering and brings about impaired functioning in daily life. However, the condition is worse among men. Depression occurs because some of the elderly people have lost their spouses and sometimes their caregivers overlook the symptoms of disorder because they coincide with other illnesses experienced by elderly persons (Comer, 2013). Moreover, lack of proper medical attention among the aging individuals is another factor escalating depression among the elderly.
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Cognitive development is a process occurring during the growth and development of individuals. The opposite happens with the elderly with the impairment of their cognitive abilities. Notably, the rate of this disorder is higher among females than males. Moreover, cognitive impairment is high among elderly who are not married or widowed and have no or low education (Comer, 2013).
Psychological problems affecting all people include stress that results from events that are threatening or hard to cope with. Another form of psychological disorder affecting all humans is neurosis. It results from anxiety, internal tensions and conflicts, uncontrollable avoidance of threatening situations, and ineffective coping with them (Comer, 2013). Schizophrenia is another psychological disorder affecting people of all ages. It is a severe psychological problem that makes individuals lose touch with reality. Other disorders include paranoia, hypochondriasis, and mania among others.
Psychological problems of the elderly are almost similar to those of the other people in the society. However, there is a distinction in the psychological issue of older individuals. Typical life stress is common to all human beings, but it is hostile to the elderly. As they prepare to cope with changing dimensions in their lives, old individuals are at a higher risk of developing psychological problems. Notably, the main difference between the mental problems of the elderly and the other people is that the former are adapting to inevitable changes in their lives as well as effects of aging (Marrocco, 1996).
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Q6: Mental Illness and Dangerousness
The correlation between mental illness and dangerousness is automatic. Mental disorder boosts the belief that the violence directed towards others by a person is not a result of individual liberty but the suffered illness. Sensational reporting on case when mentally ill people commit violent acts strengthens the belief (Comer, 2013). Historical contact with mental health professionals occasionally taken as proof that the person was mentally unstable when he or she committed the act, exemplifies this phenomenon.
A common way of analysis used to brighten the nature of violence within the mentally ill as a subcategory has been to inspect the characteristics of those psychiatric patients who have been violent and relate them to groups who have not. Significantly, history of previous violence predicted future violence. Another valid conclusion is a high degree of violence in the family of origin and a high level (Comer, 2013). Therefore, people with a history of violence are prone to pose threat to the society.
A hypothesis of a pronounced field of study is that if a greater number of symptoms and demographic features are explored, a more detailed model might be developed to forecast dangerousness. Paranoid schizophrenia is a mental illness that has long been associated with violence. Compliance with command hallucinations is comparatively a common phenomenon that may accompany this disorder. Based on self-reporting by psychiatric patients, it was found that people were in jeopardy of committing violent act if they experienced command hallucinations (L’Abate, 2012). Schizophrenics who could visualize the voice they heard in their minds were more likely to conform to the commands, and obviously, the dangerousness of the commands is a function of the environment, as affected people experience fewer violent commands in the hospital than in other places.
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Mutilation of certain centers of the brain like the limbic structures, frontal lobes, and temporal lobe causes rage and aggressiveness. Certain medical conditions, such as temporal lobe lesions and epilepsy are also linked with violent behavior in humans and other species (L’Abate, 2012). When people are suffering from damaged brains, they violently disrupt social order and thus become dangerous to the society. The study shows that mentally ill individuals are more prone to break social rules and thus becoming hazardous to other people.