Suicide, Emotional Health, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Death and Dying

Posted: October 17th, 2013





Schizophrenia is caused more by environmental factors than genetic factors

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder, which is characterized by a thoughtful disintegration process, social problems and an emotional reaction. The thoughtful problem associated with this disorder is referred as psychosis. It is a severe mental illness, which affects about 1% of the world’s total population. Schizophrenia is a genetic disease because it does not have a clear cause and the environmental factors contribute to different variations of the disorder to diverse individuals. Psychologists believe that schizophrenia is caused by genetics, psychological as well as environmental factors and its diagnosis involves laboratory tests and administering of antipsychotic medication. This is because individuals with this disorder are subjected to high risks of getting other mental health problems such as committing suicide, stress and early deaths. Family education, community treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the psychological interventions provided. Schizophrenia is caused more by environmental factors such as diets, stress and mental abuse than genetic factors.

Schizophrenia is one of the psychological disorders that are genetically acquired but environmental factors contribute greatly to its occurrence. Environmental factors may influence schizophrenia disorder and they may determine the development of a disease in those genetically predisposed conditions. James (402) argues that stress, mental abuse or diets are some of the environmental factors that contribute to this disorder. For instance, a stressing environment may trigger the onset of some symptoms such as speaking loudly or feeling as if one’s thoughts is vanishing. Individuals of this category may be pleasant or sometimes rude to their friends, abusive or annoying that accounts for their isolation. Thus, they find it easier to cope in the isolated place because they do not want disturbances from other people. It is hard to deal with schizophrenic individuals but primary care intervention is vital. Environmentally, the risks of getting this disorder can occur even before birth especially when the mother had some infections during pregnancy (Weiten 522). This may be transmitted to the offspring who may end up developing complications later in their lives.

Additionally, too much stress can be contributed to the environment where an individual with this disorder lives. Too much stressing environment is one of the devastating effects because it contributes to schizophrenia and it may make an individual drift from one notion to another. For instance, an individual may feel like their body is being taken over or controlled by someone else. Individuals with schizophrenia are more sensitive to stress thus in order for one to help them, avoiding arguments or keeping calm is significant. This is because it will help the victims to avoid too much stress. Moreover, stress might cause other health problems to schizophrenia victims such high blood pressure or Alzheimer diseases. The psychologist may carry out cognitive behavioral therapy as well as educate people on how to deal with their experiences. Guidance and counseling is vital and family therapy can help individuals to cope with the disorder.

Although there is no clear cause of this disorder, environmental factors such as diets are one of the causes for this disorder. Coon, John, Shawn and Christine (470) argue that Schizophrenia is marked by delusions, hallucinations as well as thinking abnormalities and this may be contributed by the environmental factors. The scientists argue that some kind of food taken may cause this disorder. Some food diet that contains caffeine or other chemicals may contribute to this disorder. Moreover, they argue that lack of balanced diet may lead to other disease such as diabetes or obesity thus an individual may develop stress. Once the stress starts, an individual may experience schizophrenia disorder. For instance, an individual with Schizophrenia may be informed that he or she has lost his/her father and instead of grieving, he or she might start smiling or giggling. Schizophrenia delusions may include the notion that the thinking capacity of an individual as well actions may be controlled and most victims may isolate themselves from others.

Too much use of recreational drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamines that speed up the reaction in the body and cannabis can lead to mental abuse thus causing schizophrenia. Some psychologists believe that use of too much use of recreational drugs can result due to peer group influence in an environment where one lives. These drugs contain some chemicals, which may alter the way individuals feel or view things. Individuals who use drugs such as heroin, cannabis or alcohol may become uncontrolled because these drugs will control their minds. For instance, some alcoholics who take too much alcohol find it hard to control their emotions hence some of them end up making noise even in the public places without noticing that other people are seeing them. The use of alcohol and other drugs may lead to serious mental problems. Not every expert may agree that too much use of drugs may cause schizophrenia because each drug has its own different pattern of use, intoxication or overdose. People use drugs for one reason or another but psychological addiction to drugs may affect the mind of the person thus contributing to schizophrenia disorder.

Physical injury of the brain sometimes can be contributed by the environmental conditions where one lives. There are numerous evidences that physical differences or brain injury may be linked to this disorder. Conversely, it is unclear whether injury of the brain is a clear cause but many psychologists argue that brain injury is linked to schizophrenia disorder. The research study carried out reveals that when people are affected by the brain injury problems, chances of developing schizophrenia disorder are high. This is because the brain is seen as the engine of the body and therefore it is argued that a brain injury may contribute to difficulty in thinking to some extent. From my personal view, I can support this argument of brain injury because many of people suffering from brain injuries that I have come across have difficulty in thinking. Moreover, some chemicals such as dopamine that caries a message from the brain to the cells may cause schizophrenia especially when too much is in the body. Although, this is not quite clear, some of the evidences indicate that too much dopamine contributes to schizophrenia disorder (Weiten 612).

Many psychologists believe that schizophrenia is correlated to over activity of the brain dopamine systems. Coon and John (474) argue that dopamine appears to activate unrelated thoughts, emotions and perceptions, which may account for delusions or hallucinations. Dopamine is not only the chemical in the brain that has caught the attention of scientists and psychologists but also the neurotransmitter glutamate is another brain chemical that is connected to schizophrenia. Individuals who take hallucinogenic drugs that affect glutamate have some symptoms related to schizophrenia. This happens because brain activities are influenced by glutamate thus controlling feelings and sensory information. Some researchers argue that stress alters the level of glutamate in the brain and this in turn changes dopamine systems. Antibiotic medication can be administered but these work differently on the brain chemicals. Furthermore, antibiotic medications are likely to generate unwanted movements but they may cause problems such as gaining of weight, diabetes, fatigues and sexual problems.

Apart from environmental factors, genetic links is another cause of schizophrenia because the research study reveals that this disorder is highly heritable (Beck, Rector, Stolar and Grant 11). The psychologists argue that schizophrenia is inherited from one individual to another through biological means. For instance, if a twin has this disorder, another twin may have high chance of developing the same disorder (Beck, Rector, Stolar and Grant 12). On the other hand, Kalat (412) argues that the highest risk for developing this disorder is through having a relative with the same disease because the disorder is transmitted through genetic mutations. It is estimated that heritability varies because of the complex nature of separating the genetic effects and the environment. There is an argument of evolutionary psychology about why the genes that increase the psychosis likelihood evolved from and this argument is based on the evolutionary viewpoint. However, the research studies carried out reveal that many theories have tried to prove the point but this has remained unsubstantiated.

Moreover, many psychological mechanisms have been implicated in schizophrenia development and management but cognitive biases have been identified in the field of study. This is especially in the field of diagnosis or treatment provided to the patients especially when someone is under stress as well as in a state of confusion. Although, some cognitive features may replicate global neurocognitive deficits especially loss of memory and other particular experiences, a lot of research still needs to be done in order to understand genetic causes of the disorder. Despite the fact that there is no clear indication or treatment of schizophrenia, antipsychotic stimulants may help in weakening any delusion or hallucination behaviors. It can control these behaviors but not curing them. However, this stimulants works best when regularly taken even if an individual feels better or not. The earlier medical intervention is sought, the better the result thus less need for hospital treatment.

Kalat (602) argues that certain genes may make some individuals more vulnerable to the condition whereas others may not. Although, this does not necessarily mean that they will develop schizophrenia but most likely, the gene may be transmitted through birth that is from the mothers to the young ones. In fact, some families may be prone to schizophrenia, which suggests some sort of genetic element to its growth. Majority of the people diagnosed with schizophrenia disorder do not have family history but there are evidences that individuals with parents having schizophrenia are more likely to develop this disorder. In addition, sometimes parents of those individuals with this disorder blame themselves unnecessarily. The fact is that earlier experiences may affect one’s personality but the idea that a certain type of a family may contribute to the growth of schizophrenia is usually unbiased.

In conclusion, environmental factors largely contribute to Schizophrenia disorder more than genetic factors. Environmental factors especially the stressing environment may trigger the onset of some symptoms for schizophrenia disorder. Too much stress in an environment can contribute to upsetting effects on the body. Additionally, schizophrenia is highly inherited and it is transferred from one family to another through genetic mutations. Certain genes may make some individuals more vulnerable to the schizophrenia condition whereas others may not. Although, genetic links is the most common believed cause of this disorder, environmental factors contributes more but a clear cause of the disease has not yet been discovered. Even so, physical injuries of the brain as well as some brain chemical such as dopamine and neurotransmitter glutamate cause this disorder are all the result of environmental factors. Lastly, too much use of recreational drugs is a result of peer influence in an environment where one lives contributes to schizophrenia disorder. This is because some drug users become addicted to the drug thus end up causing mental health problems.

Work cited

Beck, Aaron, Rector, Neil, Stolar, Neal and Grant, Paul. Schizophrenia: Cognitive Theory,

Research, and Therapy. New York, NY: Guilford Press, 2011. Print

Coon, Dennis and John O. Mitterer. Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and

Behavior. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.

James, William. The Principles of Psychology: Volume One. New York, NY: Cosimo, Inc

Publications, 2007. Print.

Kalat, James W. Introduction to Psychology. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth, 2004. Print.

Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes & Variations. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth/Cengage

Learning, 2010. Print






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