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Problems of the Mind and Body Matrix Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021

Introduction

The purpose of this project is to evaluate certain problems of the mind and provide their matrix. The matrix provides information on how problems of the mind can be identified through causes and symptoms as well, as possible treatment regimens. Besides, gender and cultural influences are also noted. Understanding and improving mental problems are vital for patients and psychologists. Given the diverse nature of problems of the mind, it is imperative to explore them in isolation to determine various variables that influence them.

Disorder Symptoms Causes Treatments Gender / Cultural Influences
(if applicable)

Schizophrenia

Individuals with the condition may show not less than two of the following symptoms:
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Agitation
  • Deteriorating speech characterized by inconsistency and incoherency
  • Extreme disorganized stupor behaviors
  • Alogia (poor speech patterns), avolition (lack of persistent in work or school), and flattened emotions (reduced range of emotional expression)
  • Symptoms must be noted for at least a month
  • There are mild symptoms
  • Active symptoms may be noted in the ’20s but significantly earlier for men
  • Significant distress and poor functions in various aspects of life
  • May co-occur with a mood disorder
There is no single cause responsible for schizophrenia, while possible causes remain poorly understood. Nevertheless, scientists have agreed on specific factors that could contribute to schizophrenia.
  • Schizophrenia could be hereditary. Individuals whose family members have the conditions are most likely to develop it.
  • A chemical imbalance in brain cells could also trigger the condition. Specifically, neurotransmitters have been identified as a possible cause of schizophrenia. A complex process that causes chemical imbalance may be a cause for the condition.
  • Scientists also have reasons to believe that physical abnormalities existing in the brain could be responsible for schizophrenia. Deformities in structures of the brain, especially fluid-occupied cavities could be responsible for the disorder.
Individuals with this problem of the mind can learn to cope with the condition for a lifetime. Various treatment options are available, including:
  • Psychotherapy is not an appropriate treatment option for schizophrenia. It is recommended that psychotherapy should be used alongside medication for effective outcomes. It can lead to effective use of medications, adherence, development of social skills, and achievement of goal-oriented treatment goals
  • Medications are also used to treat schizophrenia. Given the complex nature of the disorder and other co-occurring disorders, various medications are required.

Side effects of these medications must be evaluated.

  • While not so popular, self-help strategies also work for patients. Family and community support systems can help patients to manage difficult times.
Schizophrenia is more common in male relative to female counterparts. Men have 1.4 times higher chances of experiencing the disorder (Picchioni & Murray, 2007).
Causes of schizophrenia have been noted globally. Nevertheless, variations have been noted across cultures, countries, and even within local contexts.
Cultural depiction of the condition could cause stigma among affected individuals and their families, particularly when the condition is linked to violence.

Anorexia

  • Failure to maintain a bodyweight that is consistent with height, age, and structure. Severity in losing bodyweight can be determined through body mass index (BMI).
  • There is overwhelming anxiety associated with gaining weight or gaining excess body fat. Fear occurs irrespective of the actual bodyweight of the patient. It is most likely to persist even if an individual is in a near-death condition because of starvation. Individuals feel good about their bodies when they starve and remain lean.
  • Women may develop a condition known as amenorrhea (the absence of menstrual circles)
  • The condition is associated with constant denial
The exact cause of the condition remains unknown. However, it has been established that social, biological, developmental, and psychological factors are contributing factors.
  • Biological factors have been attributed to heredity and gene relations even among twins. Prenatal and perinatal factors such as diabetes and maternal anemia and others have been linked with the condition. Failures in hormonal regulations could also trigger anorexia. Mycoplasma infections could also be responsible for anorexia.
  • Psychological factors related to anorexia are childhood abuse, broken families, and conflicts, among others.
  • Sociological factors relate to certain body ideals and internalized beliefs. Models, for instance, may develop anorexia because of their jobs and social pressure to maintain low body weight. Sports that emphasize low body weights are also significant contributing factors.
  • One can also note the media effects by repeated presentation of thin bodies as ideal ones, which contribute to risk factors.
Treatment modalities for anorexia are available, but a combination of various interventions could be effective.
  • Diets are the most effective therapies. They must be prepared to meet the specific needs of the patient.
  • Family-based treatment (FBT) and Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also assist in restoring healthy body conditions by addressing psychological factors responsible for anorexia.
  • Medications may also be recommended for such individuals but their side effects must be determined to avoid detrimental outcomes.

Treatment modalities for anorexia strive to address three critical factors.

  • Attain the healthy, recommended body weight
  • Address psychological factors that contribute to the problem
  • Inhibit thought patterns that led to the development of anorexia

Cases of relapse have been noted in some patients.

Anorexia tends to be more common in women relative to men (Smink, van Hoeken, & Hoek, 2012). It is imperative to note that the condition occurs globally. However, it experiences a serious case of underrepresentation, particularly in developing countries.

Somatoform

The condition lacks straightforward symptoms and, therefore, could be difficult to diagnose. Various symptoms have been attributed to somatoform.
  • Physical pain is normally identified as a possible cause of the disorder. No medical reasons are linked to pain. A thorough medical evaluation is recommended to rule out other factors and establish that the pain is related to a mental problem.
  • Frustration is noted in individuals with the disorder. They tend to think that others ignore them and cannot make an accurate diagnosis. No relief may be available for such patients, and they could even doubt physicians’ competency.
  • Preoccupation with health among patients is common. They can be distrustful and agitated due to failed treatments.
  • This condition is prone to misdiagnosis, and it could lead to unknown burdens on patients.
  • The mind’s attempt to avoid psychological distress could lead to the condition (Hotopf, Wadsworth, & Wessely, 2001). Instead of anxiety or stigma, some people may have physical disorders.
  • Increased sensitivity to physical pain may cause somatoform. Individuals with this condition tend to be highly sensitive to minor pains that normal people may dismiss.
  • Negative thoughts about pain contribute to the somatoform disorder. Such beliefs may trigger anxiety, which makes them concentrate more on their possible pain.

Note that no proper explanation can be provided for this disorder and most of these thoughts are theories that provide possible explanations.

As a general principle, therapies are the most reliable treatment regimens for persons with this disorder. The condition normally involves irrational thought processes and belief systems.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most recommended remedy. CBT helps patients to focus on negative thought patterns that cause the condition. Consequently, they change such thought patterns and errors. CBT is believed to be extremely effective for such patients.
  • Medication (antidepressant) is used to control certain symptoms related to depression and anxiety. However, medication is not an effective form of treating somatoform.
The condition is not common in men. However, this observation varies across different cultural groups. The condition is common in women relative to men. It varies across cultures. Besides, specific symptoms may only be linked with specific cultural groups.

Conclusion

The project has covered schizophrenia, anorexia, and somatoform as a few problems of the mind. It shows that most of these conditions are related to mental conditions rather than medical ones. Consequently, an effective evaluation must focus on thought patterns to determine the underlying causes of a given disorder. Also, treatment options vary, but therapies, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, have been noted to be most effective in most conditions. Gender and cultural variations are noted across cultures, while women are more prone to most of these conditions relative to men.

References

Hotopf, M., Wadsworth, M., & Wessely, S. (2001). Is “somatisation” a defense against the acknowledgment of psychiatric disorder? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 50(3), 119–124. Web.

Picchioni, M., & Murray, R. M. (2007). Schizophrenia. British Medical Journal, 335(7610), 91–5. Web.

Smink, F., van Hoeken, D., & Hoek, H. (2012). Epidemiology of eating disorders: incidence, prevalence and mortality rates. Current Psychiatry Reports, 14(4), 406–14.

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