Psychopathology Mental Illness

Psychopathology Mental Illness Free Essay


This paper seeks to describe what the psychopathology mental illness entails. Further, it reveals the ideology of the mental conditions, in other words where the mental illness came from. The research further evaluates the various methods (for instance, CAT scans, etc.) that are available in helping to detect any mental illness that individuals may have and depicts the environmental effects related to psychopathology mental illness as well as the way these factors lead to mental illnesses among various individuals. Additionally, the work evaluates the gender differences associated with psychopathology mental illnesses, the social discrepancies connected to the issue as set out by different cultures. Finally, the research identifies the various methods that are available in treating the mental disorders.

Psychopathology Mental Illness


Mental health is the sanity state of mind and brain. When one is sane, he/she has the proficiency of putting up with normal life stressors and the capability to work productively. For this reason, whenever one is not able to function properly and has no coping mechanisms for normal life stressors, he/she is said to have a mental illness or disorder. Psychopathology manifests the studies that are conducted regarding mental health and its disorders. Psychopathology is derived from a Greek origin, whereby "psyche" means "the soul," "patho" stands for "related to disorder or illness," while "logos" is "science". The studies conducted in Psychopathology encompass the explorations that help in trying to understand the mental disorders’ genetic, biotic, psychosomatic and social roots. Psychopathology also involves the following: the proper classification of various mental illnesses, also referred to as nosology, the description of the developmental stages of these disorders, the symptoms associated with these illnesses, and how they can be treated. In general, psychopathology describes all the known manifestations that may indicate that a mental illness is present in a certain individual. The purpose of the current paper is to evaluate the ideology, biology, environmental effects, gender differences, social differences and the treatment of psychopathology mental illnesses.

Ideology of Psychopathology Mental Illness

In the past mental illnesses were highly affected by various cultural, superstitions, and religious beliefs among different communities. Most of the psychological disorders that are in the modern days designated as mental conditions were at some point recognized as obsessions by demons, evil spirits, and even the devil himself (Charney, Nestler, Sklar, & Buxbaum, 2013). These beliefs continued until the 16th and 17th century when finally a Greek psychologist, Hippocrates, objected the conviction about mental disorders being caused by evil spirits and he firmly claimed that these disorders were caused by the diseases of the brain. Hippocrates was almost certain that they were provoked by the fluid imbalances in the body, i.e. blood, black bile, phlegm, and yellow bile. Apart from Hippocrates, Plato, the philosopher also came up with his idea arguing that the body, mind, and spirit work together as a unit (Charney et al., 2013). He further stated that any imbalance brought to the three aspects would lead to the anguish or absence of coherence and coordination within a person hence lead to a mental disorder.

Later, at the dawn of the 19th century, Sigmund Feud, an Austrian psychoanalyst, introduced psychotherapy and psychoanalysis (Charney et al., 2013). Psychoanalysis is a medical technique of treating psychopathology via having a private dialogue between the patient and psychoanalyst so as to find out where and what the problem is. According to Freud, the discussion therapy would help the patient to open up and enable the psychoanalyst to guide the patient into seeing the sense of life (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008).

Biology of Psychopathology Mental Illness

The biological study of mental disorders involves carrying out research to identify the biological causes of the issue. This investigation aims to interpret the chromosomal and nervous etiology that stimulates the cerebral illnesses such as temper syndromes, schizophrenia, and apprehension conditions (Charney et al., 2013). Biological Psychopathology is an interdisciplinary technique that interconnects with other sciences such as psychopharmacology, heredities, neuroscience, and biochemistry. Besides, biological Psychopathology works hand in hand with the neuroimaging or brain imaging approaches such as PET (Positron Emission Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT Scan, etc. so as to accurately define the cause of any mental illness (Kessler et al., 2003).

Brain imaging always provides the physicians with the most accurate results concerning the human psychiatric conditions. However, the brain imaging techniques are not used to diagnose the primary mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AHRD), and the bipolar disease simply because these psychiatric diagnoses are entirely based on the behavioral patterns of an individual (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008). In short, biological psychopathology articulates the need for ensuring that physicians correctly diagnose the right disorder that an individual is suffering from in order to administer the right medication to that individual. The wrong diagnosis would lead to the incorrect administration of medicine hence worsening the situation (Charney et al., 2013).

Environmental Effects on Psychopathology Mental Illness

For a particular period of time it has been believed that mental disorders are positively correlated to risky environments. It is always important to provide human beings with favorable environments for them to function well and become productive (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008). There are many factors that make the environment unbearable thus causing various mental disorders. Poverty is the first factor that makes the environment adverse; some families go through hell to just place a meal on the table while their neighbors have plenty of it to waste. Sometimes when parents lack even a little money to feed their families, pay their children’s school fees, buy them clothes, etc., it may come stressful and result in depression (Kessler et al., 2003). Another factor is the issue of broken families. The children who come from incomplete families sometimes find it hard to cope with the situation, especially if they are being ridiculed by their peers (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008). These children may not understand why their parents got separated hence become stressed and eventually develop a mental disorder. The third factor is the domestic violence; in some homes children, women, or even men go through domestic violence which makes their existence uncomfortable. These typically include fights, verbal abuse, and psychological pressure causing extreme stress to the affected parties, especially children. If the situation is prolonged, a mental disorder may originate from the sufferings that they go through (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008).

Gender Differences of Psychopathology Mental Illness

Gender peculiarities are highly interrelated with mental disorders. According to a range of studies, women and men have different chances of suffering from such illnesses (Al-Issa, 2013). Going back to embryonic growth, gender has fundamental consequences on human beings. Specifically, endocrine receptors in mind have a totally different impact on mood, perception, and comportment in men and women. For this reason, males and females have different symptoms, treatment responses, and vulnerability reactions towards various forms of psychopathology (Al-Issa, 2013). Stress-correlated conditions, that include apprehension and melancholy, are evidently predominant in women and the females are inclined to experience melancholy and apprehension illnesses throughout the episodes of discernible hormonal variations, therefore signifying that gonadal hormones are tangled in a tension pathology (Al-Issa, 2013). These are not all mental disorders that women are more prone to as compared to men. For instance, women are more liable to depressions that originate from mood hormones and reproduction connected changes.

Further, some studies have identified an object relations theory in which it is shown that women are more subjected to stress especially when “things do not go right” with their children as compared to men (Al-Issa, 2013). Women have been discovered to be more responsible for parenting obligations and are more close to their kids in contrast to their male counterparts. For this reason, women often get depressed when their children get into trouble, have academic hardships or get punished. Females also feel oppressed when their children are sick, suffer from personal issues or go through any pain (Al-Issa, 2013).

Social Differences in Psychopathology Mental Illness

Different communities and cultures have dissimilar definitions of their morally accepted norms. Norms are the standards of the expected ways in which the members of a certain community should behave in relation to the society (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008). While the majority of people in these societies do act in a certain way, there is always a certain group of individuals who are not conforming to the society's expected ways which are typically described as abnormal and regarded to be a mental disorder (Kessler et al., 2003). A person can be categorized as abnormal or rather suffering from a mental condition if he/she violates the set rules concerning what is accepted as the proper behavior in a certain social group (Al-Issa, 2013). For one to be considered mentally ill from the social differences perspective, the extent to which the social norm is violated should be considered, and the importance of the social norm to that particular social group or community should also be established (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008). The problem of describing a person as abnormal using the social norms is that different cultures have varying accepted standards of conduct hence one might go to a foreign country and find that whatever they are prohibited from doing at home is accepted in that culture (Kessler et al., 2003). Another problem is that social norms exist within a time frame and change over time. To illustrate, public kissing that used to be seen as abnormal and unethical is no longer viewed like that (Charney et al., 2013).

Treatment of Psychopathology Mental Illness

Various physicians have come up with specific ways of treating psychopathology mental disorders. One of the approaches to treating these ailments, as proposed by Freud, is via the use of psychological procedures (Charney et al., 2013). These measures are meant to influence the transformation in emotional and psychological states. One the procedures encompasses the use of cognitive behavioral therapy whereby psychologists assist patients by having sessions with them in which they converse, and the physicians can monitor their thinking strategies and finally get to the root of the issue. After the problem has been identified it becomes easier to treat it, either by prescribing drugs, encouraging more therapy sessions or even both. This method is especially recommended for treating anxiety and depression conditions (Al-Issa, 2013).

Another treatment method is the administration of psychotropic drugs such as the antianxiety medications that include Xanax, Valium, and Atavan to immediately condense the anxiety conditions. There are also antidepressant drugs such as Prozac that upsurge the accessibility of neurotransmitter serotin in mind to get rid of despair and nervousness. Other treatment methods include psychosurgery, which is the brain surgery, and rehabilitation, whereby mentally ill persons are confined until they get better and regain their sanity (Foucault & Dreyfus, 2008).


Psychopathology is the study of mental disorders and finding ways of treating these diseases. Psychopathology mental illnesses include anxiety disorders, hallucinations, bipolar diseases, depression, and others affecting the overall psychological state of a person. The mental illnesses investigation had its roots back in the past when mentally ill people were believed to be possessed by evil spirits. It was so until it was found that it could be the imbalance of the body fluids or malicious alterations in the state of brain. Apart from a variety of other methods, mental disorders can be identified with various biological scans such as PET, MRI, and CT scan. They are affected by various environmental factors such as poverty, domestic violence, and negative work or study-related impacts. In addition gender differences are strongly connected to psychopathology mental illnesses with women being more prone to anxiety and depression disorders. The abnormality is usually defined through different social norms depending on the culture. Psychopathology mental illnesses can be treated through group or individual therapies, medications, psychosurgery, and rehabilitation.

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