Abnormal Psychology

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Most people have heard of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, but do they really know the man he is inside? Many classify Sherlock as an eccentric man who can find anything he is in search of while improvising along the way. He can make something out of virtually nothing and is a known for being a genius, but no one knows that he suffers from schizoid personality disorder as well as Asperger’s syndrome. In both movies and books, Holmes displays many signs of both diagnoses. Sherlock Holmes is a very witty, charming, highly intelligent, perceptive to detail, and an extremely observant man.

He is a very imaginative man and is able to concentrate even while outside distractions exist. This gives him the ability to focus on certain aspects while completely ignoring others. He somehow makes connections using data that a normal person would see as unrelated to the subject at hand. Perhaps most interesting of all is his ability to understand and predict human behavior. While Holmes has many positive attributes of both disorders, he also exhibits many negatives features of both as well. Being a detective often means being empathetic of those that are a part of the case you are working on.

Holmes does not have this ability and as a matter of fact, he finds it hard to conform to social norms. He is narcissistic, very stubborn, unable to properly deal with boredom, and he tends to over think or over analyze things. At times he has a hard time dealing with his emotions, has no regard for authority, and seems to lack common sense most of the time. Because Sherlock believes that emotions affect his ability to think logically, he chooses to suppress his emotions so that he can work on and solve cases in an acceptable amount of time. In an effort to cope with his boredom, Sherlock solves cases.

It is most likely that he has been trying to cope with this since his early childhood and with his level of intelligence, it must pose a great challenge. One may think he implemented this strategy on his own as a child to escape bullying or possible verbal abuse. Biological components of behavior and abnormality is when biology principles are applied to genetic, developmental, and physiological mechanisms of human and non-human animals. This studies the nerves, brain circuitry, neurotransmitters, and the basic biology process that is the foundation of normal and abnormal behavior.

Experiments are typically conducted on animals which gives us a better understanding of human pathology. Social components of behavior and abnormality is comprised of a scientific study that focuses on what influences how a person behaves, feels, and what they think. This study means that we are all prone to social influences even when another person is not present. Simply put, we can be influenced by what we see on television, hear on the radio, read or see on the internet, or just by following our cultural norms. Typically human behavior is a result of immediate social interactions and mental states.

Most social psychologists are concerned with how our behavior, feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and intentions tend to affect our interactions with others. Psychological components of behavior and abnormality are somewhat different than the other two. “In contrast, psychological approaches emphasize how environmental factors including parents and culture may influence the development and maintenance of abnormal behavior. ” (Stragnor, Charles) In fact, parents influence on their children can be both psychological and biological. Parents affect their child in many ways.

A few of these ways are by modeling a certain behavior for the child to follow, how they respond to their child’s behavior, and giving their child instructions. Of course a child’s environment also has a big influence on a child’s behavior. If a child is separated from its biological parents or placed in a different culture, they are more likely to develop depression or be considered abnormal. New theories have recently surfaced stating that people with the milder form of autism called Aspergers syndrome, may be reversible.

The theory suggests that autism is a developmental disorder caused by impaired regulation of a bundle of neurons in the brain stem that processes sensory signals from all areas of the body. ’ (Grohol, John, M) Many with Aspergers syndrome need to follow a routine and fear change. According to a second theory, the stress hormone cortisol could be the cause of this. Cortisol is released after walking and they decrease throughout the day. If a person does not release cortisol then they are not so quickly to adapt to things that are changing around them.

This causes them to fear change that affects things to the environment, routines, or directions when traveling. “The message here is one of hope but also one of caution,” Dr. Mehler adds. “You can’t take a complex neuropsychiatric disease that has escaped our understanding for 50 years and in one fell swoop have a therapy that is going to reverse it — that’s folly. On the other hand, we now have clues to the neurobiology, the genetics, and the epigenetics of autism. To move forward, we. ” need to invest more money in basic science to look at the genome and the epigenome in a more focused way.

”Our increasingly sophisticated understanding of genetics now offers more detailed explanations to families of children with autism spectrum disorders. Despite increased understanding, we cannot yet offer treatments that entirely reverse the effects of these conditions. Early and intense interventions can produce symptom improvement and enhance the long-term outcome. ” (Strangor, Charles) It is a good idea to implement a routine for children with Aspergers Syndrome. This should consist of certain times for meals, baths, bedtimes, and homework.

This helps reduce the child’s stress level and causes less confusion. When educating the child, verbally teaching tends to work better than nonverbally. “A direct, concise, and straightforward manner is also helpful. ” (WebMD staff) Many people that suffer from Aspergers syndrome have a problem seeing the big picture. Rather than seeing the big picture they see parts or pieces of the situation. This is why they should be taught part to whole and use visual support. Researchers have not yet been able to narrow down the actual cause of Schizoid Personality Disorder.

However, there are many different theories on the cause. One of the most widely accepted theory’s is what’s called a “biopsychosocial model of causation. ” Simply put there is no one thing to blame. Instead it is most likely a mix of genetics, social, psychological, and biological factors. There is also some evidence that puts at an increased incidence of schizoid personality disorder in people who have family members that are affected by schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder. While there are many suggestions of how to treat schizoid personality disorder, it be easy.

The treatment most widely used is individual psychotherapy. However, unless the person is stressed, they are unlikely to look for treatment. Short term therapy is typically used to treat the immediate problem and long term therapy should be avoided. “The development of rapport and a trusting therapeutic relationship will likely be a slow, gradual process that may not ever fully develop as in seeing people with other disorders. ”(Grohol, John) People with schizoid, usually are socially awkward and tend to stay to them self. Group therapy is a good treatment for one to attend.

The first DSM was created to use as classification pre-World War II. “In the United States, the initial stimulus for developing a classification of mental disorders was the need to collect statistical information. What might be considered the first official attempt to gather information about mental health in the United States was the recording of the frequency of “idiocy/insanity” in the 1840 census. By the 1880 census, seven categories of mental health were distinguished: mania, melancholia, monomania, paresis, dementia, dipsomania, and epilepsy. (American Psychiatric Association Staff)

In 1952, DSM I was implemented and used for the first time. “The use of the term “reaction” throughout DSM-I reflected the influence of Adolf Meyer’s psychobiological view that mental disorders represented reactions of the personality to psychological, social, and biological factors. ” (American Psychiatric Association Staff) There have been a few revisions of the DSM and the one was completed in 1994 and is called DSMIV. “Numerous changes were made to the classification (e. g. disorders were added, deleted, and reorganized), to the diagnostic criteria sets, and to the descriptive text based on a careful consideration of the available research about the various mental disorders. ” (American Psychiatric Association Staff) DSMIV is the standard classification of mental health professionals in the US. It is used not only for diagnosis and treatment, but for communicating and collecting accurate public health statistics.

“The DSM consists of three major components: the diagnostic classification, the diagnostic criteria sets, and the descriptive text. (psyweb admin) There are five axis that help aid in the diagnosis of a disorder. The codes must match with the ICD . This is the safest and most accurate way to diagnose a patient. People suffering with Asperger’s syndrome, will not display the same symptoms as there are many in the pervasive developmental disorder umbrella. Some are milder than others and will never even be thought of as anything is wrong with them, others will not be able to walk or talk. The severity varies from one person to another. Some children may have hands that mimic one another where others may not.

Others will not be able to jump on one foot and keep their balance. Some will be very smart and may memorize stats to a ball game or race. They may be able to recall everything down to the smallest detail about their favorite show. Many children have a hard time learning where some may not. Socializing with children of the same age may be awkward or uncomfortable for them, so they may stay to them self making very few if any friends. It is something that no one knows or can anticipate. All parents and doctors can do is work together to see what clicks for their child and provide that child with love and support.

While Sherlock Holmes is just a fictional character, his books and movies taught us so many things. He was a great man that had inner struggles that he fought daily. He was a smart, intelligent man that accomplished many things. This man did not let his illness’ get him down; instead he found a way to cope with them. This made his life bearable and livable. Schizoid and Asperger’s syndrome are not easily dealt with. Luckily for those that suffer from these and many other disorders, people today have more choices and ways to cope with these illnesses.

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