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Psychiatric Disorders: Schizophrenia Symptoms (Essay Sample)


Please separate the paper into two section (one section for one disorder and the other for the other)
1st Disorder: Discuss Schizophrenia by giving a description of the disorder, differences in brain chemistry compared to individuals without the disorder, symptoms, genetic & environmental factors, treatments.

2nd Disorder: Discuss Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by giving a description of the disorder, differences in brain chemistry compared to individuals without the disorder, symptoms, genetic & environmental factors, treatments.


Psychiatric Disorders
Student's Name
Psychiatric Disorders
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that lasts for more than six months and is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, social dysfunction, reduced emotional expression, and disorganized speech (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2013). These symptoms interfere with one's social or personal functioning. Three of the common subcategories of the disorder include paranoid schizophrenia, disorganized schizophrenia, and catatonic schizophrenia. According to Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian (2013), paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by auditory delusions or hallucinations. For example, one may experience thoughts of grandeur or being tortured by other people. As for disorganized schizophrenia, it is characterized by weird ideas especially about one's body. For example, one may feel that their bones are melting. This subcategory is also marked by emotional swings, childish behavior, confused speech, and the neglect of personal hygiene (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2013). In regards to catatonic schizophrenia, it is marked by prolonged immobility and periods of wild excitement. The chances of recovery for the condition depend on whether it is type I or type II schizophrenia. For type I schizophrenia, one experiences positive symptoms such as hallucinations while for type II schizophrenia, one experience negative symptoms such as little inclination to speak and dulled emotions (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2013). Therefore, if one has positive symptoms, they have better chances of recovery.
According to Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian (2013), brain chemistry is one of the factors that contribute to the development of schizophrenia. The authors note that dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has been linked to the onset and maintenance of the disorder. These sentiments are supported by Brisch, et al. (2014), who point out that there exist dopamine abnormalities in prefrontal and mesolimbic brain regions for the condition. Therefore, for normal individuals, such abnormalities do not exist. In addition, Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian (2013) note that other neurotransmitters such as glutamate and serotonin are responsible for the symptoms of the condition. In addition, there is also less prefrontal lobe activity in individuals that have the disorder. It is this decreased activity that is responsible for deficits such as irrational beliefs, disorganized thinking, and lack of concentration that schizophrenics experience (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2013).
There are a number of symptoms associated with the disorder. One of the symptoms is disorders of thought. One experiences the inability to stick with one topic, delusions, and incoherent thought patterns. Another symptom of the condition is disorders of attention. In this case, one experiences difficulties in concentration. In addition, one finds it difficult to focus on one chain of events (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2013). Another symptom is disorders of perception where on experiences weird bodily sensations and hallucinations. Motor disorders is also another symptom where one is extremely active or makes strange facial expressions. The final symptom of the condition according to Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian (2013) is emotional disorders where the individual demonstrates emotional responses that are not consistent with the situation.
Genetic and environmental factors have also been associated with the condition although there is minimal evidence to confirm the former. According to Gejman, Sanders, and Duan (2010), while it has been conventionally assumed that DNA sequence has been exclusively responsible for the transmission of the disorder, twin studies suggest that it is also possible that epigenetic mechanism may have a role to pl...

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