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Specific types of behaviors associated with substance users or addicts and people suffering from various disorders Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 14th, 2019

Identifying Behaviors

As it would be observed, there are specific types of behaviors associated with substance users or addicts and people suffering from various disorders or diseases. This paper identifies some of the varied behaviors that would be observed through a diversity of disorders and social problems affecting humans today.

For the purpose of this subject, this paper has featured a number of topics through which the issue of behavior across various disorders and complications is examined.

The key topics featured in this paper include depression in cancer patients, tourette’s disorder, opiate dependence in heroin users, control and coping of chronic insomnia, sex differences in recovery of PTSD patients, changing automatic behavior through self monitor, decision-making and perfectionism in OCD patients, and attention bias and memory bias for negative words used casually.

Depression in Cancer Patients

Cancer is a serious health problem which is characterized by uncontrolled growth or multiplication of abnormal cell tissues in the human body. This is arguably one of the most serious health problems that are known to trigger serious cases of depression among the global populations today, especially on the victims.

Cancer is usually characterized with a prolonged and painful medical attention whereby surgery becomes a looming likelihood in all grounds. These, when coupled with the uncertainty of the disease and its unpleasant symptoms, would be serious issues that are likely to expose cancer patients to serious depressive disorders. Depressive disorders in cancer patients would normally occur as a result of immense stress.

This may happen due to the thought of the traumatic disease and its many complexities (Trask, 2004). Some of the common stressors and emotional upheavals associated with victims of cancer include things such as the fear of death, changes in self-respect and body image, and sudden interruption of one’s life plans. In this case, features of depression in cancer patients would be similar and incoherent to the various behaviors associated with the disease.

The common behaviors of depression that would be associated with cancer patients would include, but are not limited to, lack of concentration, memory lapses or disturbances, withdrawal from favored activities, appetite and sleep disturbances, and excessive anger.

In most cases, cancer patients would tend to find it hopeless for them to do the things they fancy in life, probably owing to physical and emotional pain of the disorder. This attitude contributes to lack of interest in life, thus exposing the patients to suicidal inclinations, among other serious effects of uncontrolled depression.

Tourette’s Disorder

Tourette’s Disorder or Tourette’s syndrome is a disorder that affects the nervous system. This rare disease is characterized by multiple constant tics. According to Leonard and others (1992), the symptoms of Tourette’s disorder are likely to occur after five years of age, but not later than ten years.

At this stage, the victims experience mild, simple tics in the face and arms among other specific parts of the body. These embarrassing conditions would tend to increase in variety and frequency as time passes by, thus becoming disruptive to normal life activities of the victims.

This variation in frequency and variation normally comes with age, whereby the severity of the disorder is observed to lessen with the advancement in the victim’s age. Tourette’s Disorder is associated with a number of behaviors as it would be observed through activities of daily living.

For instance, the victims would portray attention problems, especially in matters involving education and knowledge. Symptoms of obsessive-compulsory disorder would also be common with people suffering from this disorder. This makes the victims harbor unreasonable thoughts, obsession, or fear that they have to manage through ritualized activities in order to reduce the looming anxiety which comes with this disorder.

Other complex behaviors linked to Tourette’s disorder include pinching, kissing, touching behaviors, sticking out of the tongue, and making of obscene gestures. Most of these features and behaviors can be diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation of a child’s social, psychological, and educational performance. Other effective ways of diagnosing such behaviors is through thorough family and medical assessment or examination.

Opiate Dependence in Heroin Users

Heroine or diacetylmorphine refers to an opiate drug which is generated from morphine. Regular use of diacetylmorphine presents high chances of addiction to its many users across the world. Heroine is arguably one of the most abused drugs in the world. According to current statistics by the UN, the global usage of heroine ranges between 15 and 21 million people (Mark et al., 2001).

There are various ways through which heroin is abused, and these include smoking, snorting or sniffing, and direct injection into the bloodstream using syringes and needles. Chronic use of this psychoactive drug , however, can result to physical dependence of the substance.

This is a condition whereby the bodies of the users become used to its presence that they cannot do without it. In medical terms, this condition is well termed as opiate dependence, and is characterized by the users’ inability to stop taking the substance. Opiate dependence in heroin users is associated with a cluster of behaviors.

For example, users would often display a strong desire to take the substance, no matter the efforts they apply in an attempt to avoid them. A physiological withdrawal state is also common among heroine users whenever they try to reduce or terminate its usage.

More importantly, opiate dependence is known to contribute to progressive neglect of alternative interests in life among heroine users owing to the addictive effects of the drug. Persistent drug seeking tendency and preoccupation with the interest to obtain the drug are other common behaviors that are likely to occur in heroin users as a result of opiate dependence.

Control and Coping of Chronic Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is a serious condition which is characterized by disturbed sleep or the inability to get enough sleep in the night. This sleep disorder is classified into three groups which include transient insomnia, acute insomnia and chronic insomnia. Some of the common behaviors associated with this kind of disorder are habits such pre-sleep arousals, frequent wakening in the night, poor sleep habits, and early rising in the mornings.

Another common behavior associated with this disorder is an inclination to daytime sleep as those affected try to compensate the long hours of staying awake over the night with a daytime’s rest.

If left to persist, this habit could result to lowered productivity in the workplace since the people involved are likely to spend much of their time battling with sleep on their desks, rather than concentrating in work. As Morin, Rodrigue and Ivers note (2003), violent behaviors are also common with people suffering from chronic insomnia, probably as a result of excessive feelings of restlessness.

Pharmacologic treatments and psychological-behavioral treatments which incorporate the use of cognitive behavioral therapy are some of ways that have proven effective in the control of the sleep disorder (Currie et al., 2000). The most common behavioral treatments for insomnia include cognitive therapy, stimulus control therapy cognitive, and sleep restriction therapy.

Cognitive therapy is a form of intervention whereby victims get to learn about the development of positive beliefs and thoughts regarding sleep. Stimulus control therapy incorporates the creation of a resting environment which is likely to promote sleep and rest. Sleep restriction therapy would be in form of a program which has been designed with the aim of limiting time spend on bed to ensure people are able to get enough sleep and rest throughout the night.

Apart from the treatment and behavioral therapies used in the control of this condition, it is also important for the affected persons to try coping with the condition through a number of ways. This can be achieved through the establishment and maintenance of healthy sleeping habits that would be applied in the course of the day and at night. During the day, for instance, victims should try to avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, particularly towards the last hours of the day.

They should also try to avoid daylight siestas or naps, especially in the final hours of daytime. In the case of the nights, it would be a good idea for the sufferers to establish regular routine schedules for bedtime and waking up. They should also try to establish a cool and dark environment that would promote sleep in all aspects. More importantly, people should stay away from disturbing sounds during bedtime. Things such as white-noise machine and fans can be useful here, since they play a significant role in blocking out disturbing noises.

Sex Differences in Recovery of PTSD Patients

The threat of exposure to trauma has been a part of human life since the beginning of life. In this case, the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been a common concept whose development over the time has raised much concern in the current world of medicine. As it would be observed from various studies, there is a number of sex or gender differences in the recovery of PTSD patients.

These differences are based on either societal or nonbiological aspects, and can be observed through a number of ways. To begin with, there is an increased prevalence of PTSD in women compared with the male. Another common difference here is in the presentation of PTSD, which is quite different for both men and women. While men are more likely to possess the associated features of impulsiveness and irritability, women would be associated with habits of numbing and avoidance (Holbrook et al., 2002).

However, although many disorders linked to PTSD would be common to both men and women, men are thought to present disorders that are characterized by comorbid substance use, while women develop comorbid mood disorders.

Another common difference here is in the treatment of the disorder itself through psychotherapy where there would be a significant difference in the drug therapy applied to treat people of different gender. It should be understood here that, there are no sex differences that have been identified as far as cognitive behavioral therapy treatment of PTSD is concerned.

Changing Automatic Behavior through Self Monitor

The concept of self monitoring has emerged as one of the most effective ways used in changing human behavior nowadays (DeMarree, Wheeler & Petty, 2005). Past studies have shown self-monitoring to be a convenient form of cognitive-behavioral therapy in the elimination of unwanted behaviors or habits.

This incorporates the use of modern self-monitoring approaches such as a still image, an audio, or even a video which can record you performing a particular target behavior for future review. A variety of wonderful technologies have been developed towards this concept. These would include things such as accelerometers, actigraphs and GPS among other ultimate passive technologies.

Sophisticated versions of mobile phone devices such as smart phones have also been modified with special features that can enable self-monitoring, thanks to modern technological advancements. As it would be observed, the concept of changing automatic behavior through self monitor is characterized by a number of observable behaviors.

One common behavior is the constant habit of people to stick to their self-monitoring equipments on a daily basis trying to learn and master new behaviors (Bandura, 1998). In order to realize positive behavioral support which is the expected outcome of this intervention, people would do everything in their capability in order to ensure that their behavioral goals are fully met.

Decision-Making and Perfectionism in OCD Patients

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition of health whereby people end up developing compulsive behavior and obsessive thoughts. It is characteristic of people suffering from this kind of disorder to always feel the desire to cross-check things over and over, or to perform certain rituals repetitively before they are fully satisfied.

According to Olley, Malhi and Sachdev (2008), sufferers would feel the uncontrollable desire to repeat certain behaviors known as compulsions in an attempt to control these overwhelming obsessions. Sufferers of OCD are characterized with various lifestyle and behaviors. Some of the common behaviors here include reassurance seeking, emotional discontrol, avoidance behaviors, thought-action fusion, relationship complications, common obsessions, and distraction problems among other issues.

Decision-making and perfectionism are other special behavioral features that are common in the study of OCD. As it would be observed, people suffering from this disorder are associated with an unhealthy form of perfectionism since they have a strong desire of ensuring that things are done in the right manner owing to compulsions (Bouchard, Rhaume & Ladouceur, 1999). Likewise, decision-making in OCD is often characterized by anxiety and questioning.

In this case, sufferers are likely to find the weight associated with decision-making too much for them to bear. In most cases, these people are lost between what they should do and the call of compulsion which seems to guide them in everything they do, thus ending up losing awareness of their own choices and preferences. It is also a habit for OCD sufferers to come up with abundant decisions on a single aspect.

Attention Bias and Memory Bias for Negative Words Used Casually

Attention bias simply refers to an occurrence where a person ends up focusing a greater part of his or her attention toward a particular stimulus (Mineka & Gilboa, 1998). On the other hand, memory bias refers to a cognitive bias that enhances the recall of a memory. As it would be observed from various studies, there is minimal possibility of attention bias and memory bias on negative words or material used occasionally.

References

Bandura, A. (1998). Health promotion from the perspective of social cognitive theory. Psychology and Health, 13(4), 623-649.

Bouchard, C., Rhaume, J., & Ladouceur, R. (1999). Responsibility and perfectionism in OCD: An experimental study. Behavior Research and Therapy, 37(3), 239- 248.

Currie, S., Wilson, K., Pontefract, A., & deLaplante, L. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of insomnia secondary to chronic pain. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(3), 407-410.

DeMarree, K., Wheeler, S., & Petty, R. (2005). Priming a new identity: Self-monitoring moderates the effects of nonself primes on self-judgments and behavior. Journal of personality and social psychology, 89(5), 657-659.

Holbrook, T., Hoyt, D., Stein, M., & Sieber, W. (2002). Gender differences in long-term posttraumatic stress disorder outcomes after major trauma: women are at higher risk of adverse outcomes than men. The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 53(5), 882-888.

Leonard, H., Lenane, M., Swedo, S., Rettew, D., Gershon, E., & Rapoport, J. (1992). Tics and Tourette’s disorder: A 2-to 7-year follow-up of 54 obsessive- compulsive children. Am J Psychiatry, 149(9), 124-125.

Mark, T., Woody, G., Juday, T., & Kleber, H. (2001). The economic costs of heroin addiction in the United States. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 61(2), 195-206.

Mineka, S & Gilboa, E. (1998). Cognitive biases in anxiety and depression. Emotions in psychopathology: Theory and research. Series in affective science, 17(9), 216-228.

Morin, C., Rodrigue, S., & Ivers, H. (2003). Role of stress, arousal, and coping skills in primary insomnia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(2), 259-267.

Olley, A., Malhi, G., & Sachdev, P. (2008). Memory and executive functioning in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a selective review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 104(2), 15-24.

Trask, P. (2004). Assessment of depression in cancer patients. JNCI Monographs, 2004(32), 80-92.

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