Psychiatric Disorders, Diseases and Drugs

A psychiatric disorder or psychological disorder refers to an impairment of the psychological functioning which is very severe and requires medical attention by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. It is caused by disarray of non-adaptive or dysfunctional brains. A psychiatric disorder causes disability and distress, which is not anticipated as part of common culture or growth and development. The causes of the disorders are not well defined and they include biological, psychological and environmental sources (Pinel, 2007, p.2). This paper will discuss five types of the disorders, theories associated with them and the drugs that can be used for the treatment of the disorders.

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Schizophrenia refers to the splitting of the functions of the psychic. It is a disorder that is mostly related to the idea of madness. The disorder affects approximately one percent of the people of all cultural groups and races, starting from early adulthood or adolescence. It is classified into different ways that include undifferentiated, residual, catatonic, disorganized and paranoid schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has the following symptoms; hallucinations, psychosis, disorganized speech and behavior, cognitive deficits, occupational and social dysfunction, flattened affect and delusions (Merck Sharp, 2009, par.1). The theory that is associated with schizophrenia includes dopamine. This is a theory that came up in 1960 when it was reported or recorded that the striatums of people that died due to Parkinson’s disease were diminished by dopamine. Hence the theory indicates that schizophrenia is caused by high amount of dopamine. The treatment used for this disorder includes rehabilitation, psychotherapy and drug therapy. Drugs used are called anti-schizophrenic drugs and they include chlorpromazine and reserpine. These drugs act by reducing the levels of dopamine and counteract communication at the synapses of dopamine, though they act in different manners. The negative effect of the drugs is that they lead to fatal decline or reduction on blood pressure (Pinel, 2007, p.7).

Depression is a reaction which is normal and it leads to grievous loss like the loss of a beloved person, job, personal possessions, health or self-esteem. Depression is categorized into two major groups; reactive depression, which is caused by negative experience and endogenous depression, which has no apparent cause. Most of the depressive patients suffer from periods of mania and they are said to suffer from a disorder called bipolar affective while those who do not experience mania periods are said to suffer from a disorder called unipolar affective. Depression theories include monoamine theory and diathesis stress model. Monoamine theory indicates that depression is related to under-activity at noradrenergic and serotonergic synapses. On the other hand, the diathesis stress model shows that some individuals acquire a hereditary susceptibility or diathesis that is not able to start the disorder by itself. Antidepressant drugs include tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine and lithium. They act by hindering the reuptake of both nor-epinephrine and serotonin hence leading to increase in the brain levels. In addition, they apply combative effects on the serotonergic communication through hindering serotonin re-uptake from synapses. Side effects of the drugs include the cheese effect, which causes stroke due to blood pressure surges (Pinel, 2007, pp. 10-13).

Mania is a psychotic disorder that is caused by brain tumors and drug abuse, and is mostly correlated with bipolar disorder. It consists of the following symptoms; distractibility, overconfidence, excitement, extravagance, elevated mood, grandiosity, recklessness, high energy and impulsivity. People suffering from mild mania are energetic, talkative, very confident and positive. When it becomes very serious it results into dangerous medical problem. Theories associated with mania include psychodynamic and biological theories. Psychodynamic theory describes the concept in which mania is at times related to depression hence mania may be an effort of a person to cover for the feelings of depression and loss. Biologic theories consist of many neurochemical abnormalities though they have no consensus existing (Shaner, 2000, p.133).Drugs used to treat mania include lithium, tranquillizers, lamotrigine, topiramate and carbamazepine. These drugs act as mood stabilizers and also act by blocking or hindering neurotransmitter dopamine receptor and allowing the working of serotonin to continue though in reduced capacity. Side effects related to these drugs include neuroleptic malignant syndrome (Giannini, A., Houser, W., Loiselle, R., Giannini, M., & Price, W., 1984, p.1600-1604).

The next disorder is anxiety, which refers to a chronic fear, which continues if there is no direct threat. It is referred to as anxiety disorder in case it becomes so dangerous such that it affects normal functioning of the body. All anxiety disorders are related to different feelings of anxiety like worry, despondency or fear and with various physiological stress reactions like hypertension, tachycardia, high glucocorticoid level, nausea, breathing difficulty and sleep disturbances. The following are the five classes of anxiety disorders; panic disorders, phobic anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders and generalized anxiety disorders. Animal models are the theory that is associated with anxiety disorder. These models entail defensive behaviors of the animals, the inherent assumptions that defensive characters are encouraged by fear which is the same as anxiety. The two groups of drugs used to remedy anxiety disorder include serotonin agonists (buspirone) and benzodiazepines (diazepam and chlordiazepoxide). Side effects of the drugs include tremor, sedation, dizziness, headache, insomnia, nausea, withdrawal reaction that consist of rebound anxiety, highly addictive and ataxia (Pinel, 2007, p.18).

Finally, the last disorder to be discussed is Tourette syndrome. Most of the individuals suffering from Tourette syndrome show the following symptoms; stereotyped movements, involuntary, vocalizations and repetitive. Mostly, it starts in the young stage or childhood with easy motor tics like head movement or eye blinking. However, the symptoms develop and become severe and complex like touching objects, squatting, making lewd gestures, twirling, hopping , inarticulate sounds (grunting, barking, coughing) and hitting. One of the theories of Tourette syndrome views the disorder as an autosomal dominant that has minimized penetrance. It indicates that the disorder occurs due to alteration of one copy or type of a set of gene. The second theory shows that the disorder is as a result of availability of one gene that is combined with other environmental or genetic alteration, which leads to the disorder. Tourette syndrome can be treated by first looking at other features of the disorder. The disorder is treated using neuroleptics drugs. The drugs act as blockers, which are utilized in treatment of schizophrenia and also incriminate the striatum, the target of most of the dopaminergic projections (Pinel, 2007, p.21).

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Psychiatric disorders are grouped based on their major features and they have become common in most of the countries. All these psychological disorders can be treated or lessened if the patient follows the guidelines properly and completes the assigned dosage given by the health care providers.

Reference list

Giannini, A., Houser, W., Loiselle, R., Giannini, M., & Price, W., (1984). Antimanic effects of verapamil. American Journal of Psychiatry, 141:1600-1604

Merck Sharp, (2009). Schizophrenia. Web.

Pinel, J., (2007). Genetic profile Behavioral Neuroscience of Psychiatric Disorders the Brain Unhinged. Basics of Biopsychology. Allyn & Bacon.

Shaner, R., (2000). Mood Disorder. Psychiatry. Web.

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