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All of us have some kind of weird quirk. Maybe you have to have all the condiments in the fridge on a specific shelf, or all the books in your locker must be organized by color. We all have pretty good explanations for our quirky behavior. However, if you had to go back to your fridge 20 times a day to make sure nothing is out of place, or else you start to feel anxious, this behavior may be considered abnormal. The origin or causes of abnormal
behavior are slightly more difficult to identify.

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    Types of Etiology of DisordersBiological Perspective of Abnormal Behavior and Etiology DisordersTreatment of Disorders From the Biological PerspectivePsychological Perspectives of Abnormal BehaviorLearned Behavior Social/Environmental FactorsCognitive
    Perspective on Psychological Disorders Psychological Perspectives and Etiology of Disorders – Key takeawaysAre psychological disorders caused by biological factors?What causes biological disorder?What causes psychological disorder?What is the biological perspective in psychology?
    What are the types of etiology of disorders?What is the biological perspective of abnormal behaviors and etiology disorders?What is the treatment for disorders from the biological perspective?What are the
    psychological perspectives of abnormal behavior?What is the cognitive perspective on
    psychological disorders?

Types of Etiology of Disorders

Mental illness is not a new discovery in human history. Civilizations throughout history have sought to understand the causes of abnormal behavior.

Etiology is the cause
or origin of a disease or mental disorder.

Ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Hebrew civilizations believed supernatural forces were responsible for abnormal behavior. Many times, the treatment for this behavior was to release whatever evil spirit had overtaken that person’s body toàn thân. In Medieval times, women with abnormal behavior were accused of being witches and were risk of being hunted and executed. On the other hand, ancient Greek physicians such as Hippocrates were the first to suggest
that mental illness is a disease similar to any other physical disorder and originates from the brain.

There are three types of etiology of disorders. Intrinsic etiology is the result of internal factors such as genetics or cognition. Extrinsic etiology results from external factors such as the environment or social interactions. Other times, the etiology is simply unknown or idiopathic. It is important to note that etiology is not always
the same for every person with the same disorder.

One person’s anxiety may have an intrinsic etiology due to genes, while another’s may have an extrinsic etiology due to long-term exposure to stress.

Additionally, mental disorders can often have several etiologies. Symptoms of schizophrenia could develop due to a combination of genetic predispositions and substance use.

Etiology of depression,
Freepik

Biological Perspective of Abnormal Behavior and Etiology Disorders

Some perspectives suggest that abnormal behavior and mental disorders are due to biological factors like genes and brain chemistry or structure. Our genes determine several characteristics – hair color, eye color, and height. They may also make us vulnerable to developing mental disorders. Behavior geneticists who study the
potential genetic causes for behavior have sought to determine the heritability of psychological disorders.

Heritability is the proportion of the variability of a trait within a population due to genetics.

For example, according to Fernandez-Pujals et al. (2015), the heritability of
major depressive disorder (MDD) in the United States is .37, which means that 37 percent of the variation of this trait is due to genetics. This number suggests that our genes play a noticeable role in developing mental disorders.

The biological perspective also highlights the
influence of brain chemistry and brain structure on the development of psychological disorders. Brain chemistry refers to the chemicals that make up the brain called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters send messages throughout the brain that help it
function. When these messages are not properly sent, they may be correlated with a psychological disorder.

The biological perspective also examines brain structure as a potential cause of abnormal behavior. Over- or under-activity in the brain may be correlated with psychological disorders. People with panic disorder often show an overactive amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for emotion.

Treatment of Disorders From the Biological Perspective

Treatment of psychological disorders from the biological perspective usually focuses on changing a person’s brain chemistry or physical functioning to reduce symptoms. A common method used is drug therapy. Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines have
been developed to treat not only anxiety but also obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder (PD). Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were developed to boost serotonin in the brain, reducing symptoms
of depression and other psychological disorders. Antipsychotic medications can help treat some of the most severe disorders, including schizophrenia, and mood stabilizers help regulate mood disorders like
bipolar disorder.

Medication to treat disorders, Freepik

Other types of treatment for psychological disorders from the biological perspective include more extreme interventions. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure that uses electrical currents to stimulate neurogenesis and lower brain activity that may be causing depressive symptoms. Psychosurgery is one of the most invasive treatments in which
parts of the brain are cut into to reduce symptoms of psychological disorders. Of course, this is the very last resort and is only considered for people with extreme or debilitating disorders who have been unresponsive to any other treatments.

Psychological Perspectives of Abnormal Behavior

Psychological perspectives of abnormal behavior look how a person’s social environment, learned behavior, and past experiences may contribute to psychological disorders.
Freud’s psychoanalytic approach sought to uncover a person’s unconscious feelings and desires. This was meant to discover what in their past is causing their present affliction. The psychoanalytic approach thought that helping a person understand and reveal past trauma that they are suppressing can lead to healing. This approach is often criticized for being too difficult to study or research scientifically. Other psychological perspectives of abnormal behavior, including learned behavior and
social factors, are much easier to scientifically measure and observe.

Learned Behavior

There are two types of conditioning according to the behaviorist perspective. Classical conditioning is a type of learning that creates a conditioned response by pairing an unconditioned stimulus with a neutral one. In one study,
Ivan Pavlov, who first discovered classical conditioning, rang a bell (neutral stimulus) every time he brought a dog food (unconditioned stimulus).

Over time, the sound of the bell alone caused the dog to start salivating (conditioned response). The behaviorist perspective suggests that we
learn abnormal behavior through conditioned emotional responses. Neuroticism (emotional over-reactivity) may form due to a conditioned emotional response. Phobias and substance use disorders may develop due to this type of classical conditioning.

It was raining the day you experienced something dangerous, and now you have a fear of rain.

Operant conditioning, discovered by B.F. Skinner, is a type of
learning that uses reinforcement to strengthen or weaken behavior. Abnormal behaviors may be learned through operant conditioning when it is reinforced. A trapped animal will stop trying to escape when nothing they have tried has worked. The failure is negative reinforcement and eventually weakens
the animal’s behavior (trying to escape). This phenomenon is called learned helplessness and can also occur in humans. Everything you do to get a job doesn’t work, and now you have stopped trying. Learned helplessness commonly underlies several types of depression.

Social/Environmental Factors

In order for a person to develop abnormal behavior or psychological disorder, they had to have experienced a stressor. Stressors can occur within the
environment.

The vulnerability-stress model states that we all have predispositions or vulnerabilities to developing a psychological disorder under sufficient stress.

Vulnerabilities or predispositions can be increased by genetic factors, neurotransmitter imbalances, or hormonal factors. Stressors may include various social and environmental factors, such as cultural differences, socioeconomic status, traumatic events, extreme pessimism, or low self-esteem.

Cognitive
Perspective on Psychological Disorders

The cognitive perspective on psychological disorders suggests that the etiology of psychological disorders is dysfunctional or maladaptive thoughts. These dysfunctional thoughts are
cognitive distortions of reality. Let’s take a look a few examples of cognitive distortions.

All-or-Nothing thinking: You see things only in black and white. Either you succeed or you fail; there is nothing in between. Everything has to be perfect. Otherwise, you will not accept it. This often leads to unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. You get an A- on a
test, but that is not good enough because only A+ work is acceptable.

Thinking, Pixabay

Overgeneralization: You believe that one negative sự kiện indicates a pattern of such events that will never end. A bad day in your head tells you that you will always have bad days. If you get
in an accident, you may make statements like, “this will always happen to me.” Overgeneralization can lead to extreme fear and anxiety about driving.

Mental filter: You are the ultimate pessimist. You can’t help but notice negative qualities or events. Even in mostly positive events, you cannot help but fixate on the bad. Even though you look great, you can’t help but focus persistently on a tiny pimple on your chin. This kind of thinking can easily lead to
symptoms of depression.

Catastrophizing: You frequently jump to conclusions about a situation. You make negative interpretations of events that are unsubstantiated. As a result, something that should have caused you very little distress causes you significant distress. You give a presentation that goes perfectly well, but you’re still convinced that your teacher hated it.

Personalization: When a negative sự kiện occurs, you
believe that you are the cause of that sự kiện when there is no way you could be responsible. You often feel guilt and blame for situations you could not have changed. You are also more likely to take things personally. Your parents are getting a divorce, and you are convinced it is your fault because you got in a fight with them last week. In reality, your parents’ problems are entirely unrelated to you.

Psychological Perspectives and Etiology of Disorders – Key takeaways

    Etiologyis the cause or origin of a disease or mental disorder.

      There are three types of etiology of disorders: intrinsic, extrinsic, and idiopathic.

    Biological factors:

      Our genes may make us vulnerable to developing mental disorders. Behavior geneticists have sought to determine the
      heritability of psychological disorders. Over- or under-activity
      in the brain may also be correlated with psychological disorders.Treatments using the biological perspective include anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants, anti-psychotic medication, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychosurgery.

    The cognitive perspective on psychological disorders suggests that the etiology of psychological disorders is dysfunctional or maladaptive thoughts.The behaviorist perspective suggests that one way
    we learn abnormal behavior is through conditioned emotional responses. The vulnerability-stress model states that we all have predispositions or vulnerabilities to developing a psychological disorder under sufficient stress.

Are psychological disorders caused by biological factors?

The exact cause of most mental disorders is not known, but research suggests that a combination of factors, including heredity, biology, psychological trauma, and environmental stress, might be involved.

What causes biological disorder?

Genetic disorders occur when a mutation (a harmful change to a gene, also known as a pathogenic variant) affects your genes or when you have the wrong amount of genetic material. Genes are made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which contain instructions for cell functioning and the characteristics that make you unique.

What causes psychological disorder?

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including: A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling. Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death or a divorce. An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes.

What is the biological perspective in psychology?

The biological perspective is a way of looking psychological issues by studying the physical basis for animal and human behavior. It is one of the major perspectives in psychology and involves such things as studying the brain, immune system, nervous system, and genetics.
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