Psychology Essay Example: Mental Health and Mental Disorders

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Harvey Mudd College
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Who was Abraham Maslow?

Academically referred to as the father of psychology, Maslow is a theorist who is known for the Maslows theory of needs. In his early career, while conducting tests on monkeys, he discovered some needs are more important than others. With his interest in the human psychology, Maslow concluded that when confronted with two equally important needs people exhibit certain tendencies towards the more urgent need. It is this ideology that developed what we all know as the theory of the hierarchy of requirements (Hergenhahn and Oslon, p.30). In his theory, Maslow identified five needs, safety, love, psychological, esteem and self-actualization needs. His argument appears in Pyramid form with the basic needs at the bottom; therefore the lower the need it is at the bottom, the more necessary. After fulfilling the most bottom need, it is expected that the individual will move to fulfill the need that follows.

The basic of all the needs is psychological consisting of food, water, and oxygen. A remote example, before water a person will need oxygen to be alive; in that sense when confronted with these two needs, oxygen will take precedent. The second level of requirements are the safety needs, will entail law and order, personal protection and general security stability. Humans aim at reducing uncertainty with little no anger towards the individual or family and friends. Failure to meet this needs traditionally results in solitude feelings and lack of fulfillment. In the esteem needs, Maslow suggests that the achievement of these needs is dependent on the fulfillment of the safety needs. Moreover, esteem needs include engaging in constructive social activities (Morris and Maisto, 19). Mesmerized by self-actualization needs, Maslow wanted to research people he thought were fully functioning, and he however did not find any. It means, therefore, a tiny sample of the world population have fulfilled this need. Notably, he agreed that there were no perfect beings and self-actualization has dull and irritable tendencies.

Characteristics of Mentally healthy people

The emotional and psychological health of an individual is called mental healthiness. Proper adjustment to the behavioral and emotional requirement in a stressful and the environment full of conflict is a characteristic of a mentally healthy person. Cognitive abilities are the sound component of mental health. The first characteristic of a mentally healthy person is the capacity to work at the acceptable level of behavioral and emotional adjustment in social interactions and daily activities. In other words, the need to live and balancing of life activities constitute mental healthiness. In defining mental healthiness, the World Health Organization states that a healthy mind incorporates emotional and behavioral stability and zest for life; also the term definition differs from culture to another.

An essential characteristic of mental health is the ability to accept disappointment. Our daily lives are filled with the need to attain and fulfill individual needs ordinarily when these needs are not attained we get disappointed. A mentally healthy person will accept the disappointments positively, finding possible ways of achieving their goals. Decision making is a fundamental element for mentally healthy individuals; we are equally called upon to make life-changing personal decisions. Sound decisions that target prosperity and self-actualization are characterized by sound minded people. For example, a mentally healthy person will consider the needs of others before making a security endangering decision.

2. Define neurotransmitters and describe at least two common neurotransmitters involved in mental disorders

Chemical messengers that carry and regulate neurons and body cells signals are called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are critical to the daily functioning of the person with over a million of such cells being identified. There exist two kinds of neurotransmitters, inhibitory and excitatory transmitters. Excitatory is characterized by increasing the neurons ability to fire an action potential; examples are the norepinephrine and epinephrine. Inhibitory on the other hand, are described with inhibitory effect decreasing the ability of a neuron fires an action potently, examples are GABA and serotonin. Those associated with mental illness are GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are associated with paranoid personality disorder.

Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD)


Mostly, individuals with PPD do not believe that their behavior is weird and they are behaving in abnormal manner. It feels normal for a person with PPD to be suspicious of others. However, individuals who are around them feel offended with the distrust exhibited by persons with PPD. Moreover, individual with this disorders are hostile and stubborn in some way. They may also behave in a sarcastic manner, which mostly provokes hostile response from those around them. Other symptoms of this disorder are anxiety and depression which may affect the mood of the person affected. When the mood changes it makes them feel paranoia as well as isolated from the rest around.


The cause of the PPD is still unknown. However according to Martel Janelle (2017) researchers believe that combination of environmental as and biological factors is the cause of PPD. Although the cause of this disorder is not yet known one thing to note is that it is more common among in families. Most of these families are the ones with delusional as well as schizophrenia history cases. Also early childhood trauma may be a contributing factor towards having this disorder at later stages in life.


It is essential to clarify diagnosis of a person with PPD as the first step of managing the disorder. The step should be accompanied by prediction treatment as well as medio-legal matters like criminal responsibility or involuntary treatment (Carroll Andrew, p.40). Therefore, medical care provider asks questions about history and symptoms first and thereafter does a physical evaluation to check if there is other medical condition the patient may exhibit. Thereafter, he or she may send s patient to psychologist, psychiatrist, or other appropriate medical personnel for further diagnosis and treatment.

3. Treatment for the PPD

Mental disorders are linked with reduced neurotransmitter activities with some associated with mental unhealthiness. One of the types of mental illness is the Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD). A person with this disorder behaves in a different manner such that he or she may seem strange or odd to others. Individuals with PPD are very suspicious of others. They do not trust motive of others and they often believe that they fellow individuals want to harm them. It treatment is mostly successful but most of the persons with this disorder are hard to accept the recommend treatment.

A main way of treating this disorder is therapy or psychotherapy. The treatment mainly helps individuals to learn how to cope with this disorder how to communicate with others and how to reduce paranoia feelings. However medication may also be of great help if an individual with PPD has other PPD related conditions like anxiety disorder or depression. In such case medication includes benzodiazepines, antipsychotics as well as antidepressants. However it is often successful when medication and therapy is combined when treating individual with PPD.

4. Social stigma against mental illness in my community

In the recent years, there has public campaigns and knowledge about paranoid menta disorders. However, there is more work that needs to be done to enlighten the public of causes of mental illness. In my community stigma against mental illness does exist; for example, the community will discriminate based on fears of violence. There exists the general stereotype that mentally ill persons are dangerous, when in fact are only a danger to them. Mentally unhealthiness has been historically associating with spans of violence towards people.

Another ground for discrimination is associating with mentally disordered individuals will result in contracting the disorder. Remote members of my community believe the mental disorder is a result of association; in this regard most mentally ill persons are locked in seclusion away from other people. It is difficult for individuals with the history of mental illness to find work. Mentally ill persons cannot develop steady relations. Therefore employers are unwilling to invest in hiring such an individual.


Work Cited

Carroll, Andrew. "Are you looking at me? Understanding and managing paranoid personality disorder." Advances in psychiatric treatment 15.1 (2009): 40-48.

Hergenhahn, B. R., & Olson, M. H. An Introduction to: Theories of Personality. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. (1990). Internet

Martel, Janelle. Paranoid Personality Disorder.Healthline Media. (2017).

Morris, C. G., & Maisto, A. A. Psychology: An Introduction. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. (1999).

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