Research Paper Example: Psychological and Biological Components of Psychosis

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Boston College
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Research paper
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Everyone faces challenges in their life and is able to work through those problems fairly easily. However, there are individuals who face the trouble of dealing with a psychotic disorder and one of those being schizophrenia. Their lives are changed with this diagnosis and have to deal with finding a way to work through their treatment and future. According to Mattei, Schweibold, and Wolf, Psychosis (2015), refers to the severe mental disorder within human beings under which the emotions and thoughts are so impaired that one loses contact with the external reality. This is fully in conjunction with psychological behaviors and biological impacts which can be based on hormones, neurotransmitters, imaging and physiology. This entirely consists of Schizophrenia in which ones clinical symptoms and signs, cognitive and courses behaviors are well defined.

Statement of the Problem

In relation to the existence of Psychosis, the paper aims at both the psychological and the biological components of psychosis.


Breitborde, (2017), define schizophrenia as a brain disorder which affects almost 1% of the worlds population. The disorder contains major symptoms which include; hallucinations, lack of focus, lack of motivation, trouble with thinking and delusions. According to the DSM-5 to be diagnosed with schizophrenia an individual must experience from two or more symptoms and would need to be present for at least 1-month unless treated immediately. Its symptoms include a negative symptoms, delusions, catatonic characteristics, disorganized speeches and hallucinations. Psychosis is basically a definition character for schizophrenia, the psychotic disorders and the delusional and schizoaffective disorders. According to Mattei, Schweibold, and Wolf (2015), within schizophrenia, psychosis contains its cause associated to the structure and the chemistry of the brain. The disorders causes have a strong genetic link. However, the disorders development as well as severity is a function of the social factors which include stress or lack of social support. The relationship between biological factors and schizoaffective factors are not clearly cut. The major causative factors for delusional disorder are not well defined as well, however potential causes are changes in neurological abnormalities, heredity and brain chemistry. In ones life the major causes of psychotic disorder include stress and trauma. Concerning the reviews of causes, the social and biological factors associate and develop cause the onset and development of psychotic conditions. The nature of biological factors enhances the onset of schizophrenia while the social factors act to propagate the development of diseases.

Mattei, Schweibold, and Wolf (2015), asserts that, the psychosis has various psychosocial components which aggravate and influence different characters. Under most of the situations, most of the extreme disorders of schizophrenia includes the influence on brain functions and structures. Thus, one needs not to overlook the biological factors in the diagnosis. From a biological study, young kids suffering from the disorder tend to express an imbalance in some of the biological components which implies heredity of the disorder. On the other hand, the biological conditions enhance the onset and the development of the long-term psychosis, with an impact of severity. However, in conditions in which the biological abnormalities are the primary causes, the social factors tend to exacerbate the development and the severity of the condition. Thus, the various cases of psychotic disorders which involve various biological abnormalities are long term and severe. Their nature of prognosis is normally low in comparison to the psychosis which involves only social causes. In most occasions, the social causes tend to generate a mild and short-term forms of psychosis with better prognosis in comparison to those involving schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders related with biological abnormalities.

Many of the struggles that an individual with schizophrenia will face include delusions which would be considered false beliefs that are not based in reality. This can cause an extreme amount of stress or paranoia especially for an individual in public places. Hallucinations are a common symptom of schizophrenia as well; hallucinations consist of seeing or hearing things that don't exist; this can include a persistent noise or hearing voices. This is one of the more common symptoms of schizophrenia and is an easy identifier of this disorder. Symptoms can change severity over time, and each symptom may come and go, or other will remain present.

As stated by Chase and Melbourne, men usually experience the schizophrenia symptoms at their early ages at 20s (2017). While in women, their symptoms usually start as their late 20s while children rarely experience such form of disorder as well as rare to those individuals of over 45 years. In relation to the disorder, its biological cure aid in the treatment and act directly on the biological mechanisms for mental illness which include the electroconvulsive therapy and drug therapies. For a mental disorder such as schizophrenia, the most common form of treatment is using an antipsychotic drug. Like any treatment with medications there are side effects that follow along with their own set of challenges; however, through the years the development of drugs has become better with producing fewer side effects.

As narrated by Mallar, Joober, and Lepage (2016), psychotherapy has been one of the major techniques for schizophrenia management. This treatment process includes various stages from its integration of the therapy strategies with medication to a full psychoanalytic immersion. Based on the psychoanalysts arguments, the disorders nature requires no medication; usually the antipsychotic treatment only hinders a patients psychological understanding of his or her disorder. Though the use of medicines for the treatment of schizophrenia can show positive outcomes and assist with the management of this disorder, it should not be used as the only treatment option. Psychotherapy, if used with treatment, can help an individual with schizophrenia; medication can help with the symptoms of this disorder; however, psychotherapy helps the individual get their lives back and productively.

Different treatment options available can include group therapy for persons in an outpatient plan. With group therapy, the goal is to focus on daily struggles an individual with this disorder goes through. People with schizophrenia struggle on a daily basis with standard functions such as; maintaining jobs, family life, and problem-solving daily struggles, group therapy will allow them to gain techniques to make decisions and work through their challenges while remaining in an outpatient treatment setting. Family therapy is another option for individuals and is used to decrease the chances of aftercare relapse for those in a high-stressed home environment. One of the goals with treating schizophrenia is to normalize symptoms and the disorder itself so the individual can remain a functioning adult. Relapse is a possibility the patients suffering from the disorder they are provided with a standard aftercare lapse 50-60 percent (Chase & Melbourne (2017).

Patients with schizophrenia will have the options to participate in an inpatient treatment or outpatient. Each has their benefits and depending on the individual and severity of the disorder one may be better than the other. Outpatient or in-home treatment is ideal for those who are in stable phase of the disorder and are still able to function outside the home. Through outpatient care the individual would be placed on a treatment plan that would consist of medication treatment as well as providing therapy support. They will remain monitored and provided the support and tools to continue to function in society and normalize their symptoms and disorder. Inpatient care is not ideal for those with schizophrenia as it takes them away from normal surroundings and an environment they need to learn how to grow within. However, if a patient is in a severe phase of the disorder they will be placed in a medical facility to receive full time care of their treatment. During the course of this treatment the goal would be to move them to a partial hospitalization; this is a transition from inpatient care. The length of time for these programs very but they offer the same benefits which include medical care, group and family therapies as well as support from the therapists (Mallar, Joober, R., & Lepage, 2016).

Many psychotic disorders will be a challenge people will deal with for the rest of their lives. Psychoses influences almost up to 4percent of the people. These situations usually necessitate long-term healing with antipsychotic drugs, mood stabilizers or in cooperation. Psychoses consist of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic depression and bipolar mania. Though many patients will be able to live a productive life while staying on medication and continuing therapy; some, individuals will have to require more hands on long term care. The outcome of ones treatment depends greatly on the treatment that is given, consistency of medication, severity of the disorder, and the support provided to the patient. The long-term treatment and outcomes proves to have its challenges, especially for those with schizophrenia. If the disorder is diagnosed and treated in time the patient should have a higher chance of having a positive long-term outcome (Breitborde,, 2017).


In conclusion, psychosis diagnosis tends to be a complex process; the possible agents are diverse and range from the biological abnormalities to the social cultural factors. The growth and the onset of psychotic factors may include pure psychosocial causes however it may as well the interactions of both social and the biological factors. However, the upcoming research is responsible for adequate knowledge of the biological abnormalities in primary psychotic disorders and the connection to the biological brain function. Having a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia is not a death sentence. IT is something that can and will change the life of someone forever; however, there are so many options for this individual with proper treatment and early detection. They still have the chance of living a functioning and productive life outside this disorder.



Breitborde, Ered, Ellman, & Bell. (2017). Optimizing psychosocial interventions in first-episode psychosis: current perspectives and future directions. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, Vol Volume , 10, 119-128.

Chase, K., & Melbourne, J. (2017). Review article: Immersion in altered experience: An investigation of the relationship between absorption and psychopathology. Consciousness and Cognition , 49, 215-226.

Mallar, Joober, R., & Lepage, M. (2016). Dynamic endophenotypes and longitudinal trajectories: capturing changing aspects of development in early psychosis. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience , 41 (3), 148.

Mattei, Schweibold, & Wolf. (2015). Brain in flames animal models of psychosis: utility and limitations. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, , 2015, 1313-1329.



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