Psychological Disorders Essay Sample
Conduct disorder affects children and adolescents. Its characterized by chronic behavior problems such as drug abuse , impulsivity , antisocial behavior , smoking ,reckless sexual practices , antisocial behaviors such as bullying and fighting , vandalism and truancy (Chazan , 1991) . This disorder can be attributed to child abuse, genetic defects , parental alcoholism , poverty and family conflicts. This disorder is more common in boys than in girls. Correct diagnosis should first be done before any treatment is commenced (Chazan , 1991) .
The child’s family should be involved in the treatment exercise because parents need to be taught tactics to manage the child’s behavior. Parent management training involves training parents how to alter their child’s behavior at home (Chazan , 1991) . The parent should practice a positive specific feedback for desirable behavior instead of using harsh punishment as this causes more defiance. If the disorder is attributable to abuse , the first treatment step should be to remove the child from the chaotic environment to a peaceful one (Chazan , 1991). Since conduct disorder is accompanied by depression and attention deficit disorder , stimulant medications such as methylphenidate, anticonvulsants and dextroamphetamine or non stimulant medications such as atomoxetine ( strattera and guanfacine) should be used. Medications such as antipsychotics , clonidine , selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and lithium should be used to treat overt aggression (Chazan , 1991 .
Oppositional defiant disorder presents as a pattern of negative , hostile , disobedient and defiant behavior which keeps on recurring. Its common in children and adolescents(Chazan , 1991) . This disorder attacks mostly males with an history of problematic temperaments and high motor activity during preschool years. Head injuries , genetic predisposition and chemical imbalance in the brain are also other possible causes of this disorder (Chazan , 1991). This disorder is characterized by low self esteem, mood swings , low frustration tolerance , alcohol abuse , smoking , conflict with parents, teachers and peers , stubbornness and resistance to directions.
Treatment of this disorder involves use of medications such as methylphenidate, anticonvulsants and dextroamphetamine especially when ODD occurs with ADHD (Chazan , 1991) . Since this disorder is accompanied by anxiety and depression , antidepressants and anti- anxiety medications should be used to mitigate its symptoms (Chazan , 1991). The parents should also identify what causes anxiety in the child since they spend more time with her and frequently remind the child her goals. The parent should also avoid being too restrictive since this causes rebellion and power struggles in the child(Chazan , 1991).
Social phobia is characterized by an intense fear of being humiliated in social places. People with this disorder have a lot of fear of being embarrassed in front of other people. People with this disorder seek solace in alcoholism as a result of depression (Marshall , 1994). This disorder is caused by a defect in the amygdala which is a small structure in the brain. Other causes are genetic and social modeling where victims acquire the disorder from observing others with the same problem. Victims of this disorder experience profuse sweating , rapid heartbeat , breath shortness , faintness and blushing , panic , overwhelming anxiety and disorientation when they know that others will judge their performance (Marshall , 1994).
This disorder is treated using a combination of psychological and medicinal techniques. Psychological treatment involves cognitive behavior therapy which exposes patients gradually to the situations that frighten them so that they can gradually become more comfortable with them. This exposure process combines three stages (Marshall , 1994). First, the person is introduced to the object of fear. The risk for disapproval in that situation is then increased so that the person can increase confidence that he can handle rejection and criticism. Lastly the person is taught techniques to handle disapproval (Marshall , 1994) . The person is also taught anxiety management techniques such as deep breathing and cognitive restructuring to help him identify his misjudgments in order to develop a more realistic expectation of the possibility of danger in social settings. Supportive therapy whereby the person is educated about his disorder is also quite helpful(Marshall , 1994).
The patient should be given tasks that will give him real- life experience hence enable him come up with new ways of thinking and behaving. Since people with social phobia are also fearful of the anxious physical sensations such as blushing , sweating and shaking that accompany social encounters , interoceptive exposure would bring about these sensations . This exposure may include wearing of a warm sweater which would bring about sweating in social situations. This would make the person get used to the physical sensations hence a reduction in anxiety over experiencing them in public. Social skills training can empower the person with traits such as assertiveness, and the ability to carryout conversations which would boost the person’s confidence hence reduce social phobia.
Drug treatment for this disorder may involve the use of benzodiazepines which help patients cope with social encounters (Marshall , 1994) . Beta- adrenergic blockers such as atenolol help the patient overcome tremors and palpitations which happen to be part of the most distressing symptoms of this disorder. Other good drugs include monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as phenelzine and moclobemide. Specific serotonin re- uptake inhibitors such as fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline are also very effective drugs as far as the treatment of this disorder is concerned (Marshall , 1994).