Schizophrenia and Depression

“Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that effects about 1. 1 percent of the U. S. population age 18 and older in a given year” (National Institute of Mental Health, 2010, para. 1). Both men and women are equally at risk for this particular mental disorder. The main component of schizophrenia is the loss of contact with reality. Individuals who suffer from schizophrenia typically lead a normal functioning life prior to developing the disorder (Comer, 2005).

Once they develop the disorder they tend to experience a variety of severe and chronic symptoms that can interfere with their work, social, and family life. Schizophrenia is one of the more disturbing mental disorders due to the nature of the symptoms the individuals may experience. Hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions are some of the main symptoms of schizophrenia. Delusions are false ideas held by the individual suffering from schizophrenia. These ideas have no factual basis.

Some schizophrenia sufferers believe that people are plotting against them or discriminating against them. Individuals who suffer from schizophrenia may also experience disorganized thinking and speech which can cause the individual to move from one topic to another without any specific rhyme or reason. This type of speech often only makes sense to the individual while leaving others confused. Individuals might also make up word, or neologisms, which have meaning only to the individual but do not truly exist as part of speech within society.

Hallucinations can involve seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling things that aren’t really there. This may occur as auditory or visual hallucinations (Comer, 2005) The psychodynamic explanation of the psychological viewpoint is based upon Freud’s theory that schizophrenia develops from two psychological processes: regression to a pre-ego stage and efforts to establish ego control (Comer, 2005). Freud believed that symptoms like neologisms, loose associations, or delusions resulted from a lack of nurturance as a young child. As the isorder progresses in these individuals they begin to exhibit more symptoms such as hallucinations and a loss of reality. Mental Disorder Depression Depression is a mood disorder characterized by ongoing feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It is believed that genetics may play a large role in the risk factors that lead to depression because having either parent or sibling with depression can actually triple an individual’s risk of developing the disorder. In addition, women are “twice as likely as men to become depressed” (WebMD, 2009).

The onset of depression is often caused by traumatic or stressful events. These traumatic experiences can cause an imbalance of certain brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters. Depression can affect people on five different levels: emotional, motivational, behavioral, cognitive, and physical. Emotional symptoms of depression can cause people to lose interest in things that they usually enjoy and often this can result in isolation. Behavioral symptoms can affect a person’s ability to carry out normal daily tasks.

Cognitive symptoms of depression can cause extremely low self-worth and it may also cause feelings of pessimism. Depression can also result in physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or body pain (Comer, 2005). References Comer, R. J. (2005). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (4th ed. ). New York: Worth National Institute of Mental Health. (2010). Schizophrenia. Retrieved March 13, 2013 from http:// www. Nimh. nih. gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index. shtml WebMD. (2010). Depression Overview. Retrieved March 13, 2013 from http:// www. Webmd. com/depression/slideshow-depression-overview