Psy/410 Eating, Substance Abuse, Sex/gender/sexual, Impulse Control, Personality Disorders

University of Phoenix, Abnormal Psychology.

The DMS-IV TR identifies and categorizes mental disorders into eating, substance abuse, sexual deviant, and personality disorders. Each group can be broken down to biological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral sections. Anxiety and stress, are both factors that remain present throughout each disorder and category. 


Eating disorder

Biological explanations for eating disorders focus on structural brain abnormalities, genetic factors, neurotransmitter abnormalities, and hormonal abnormalities (Hansell & Damour, 2008).  Researchers have discovered eating disorders might have a connection to the hormone that suppresses hunger, Leptin, and the hormone Ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite.  Bulimia and anorexia are both associated with abnormally low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter connected with obsessive thinking, anxiety and mood disorders, impulse control problems, and appetite regulation.  Studies have also found a person with an eating disorder has decreased gray matter, a reduced pituitary gland, and enlargement of external cerebrospinal fluid (Hansall & Damour, 2008). 

Substance Abuse

A person with a substance abuse disorder has a few biological components that might contribute to the addiction. The first component talks about the substance itself, most psychoactive substances have some kind of biological property and the effects should be taken into consideration when studying substance abuse. Second, past decade has brought forth new insights into addiction and its biological properties. Third, is the biological perspective and its relationship with the disease model. Last, drug withdrawal and tolerance show prominent symptoms of addiction. Scientists explore family history when trying to research a substance abuse disorder. The studies have shown substance abuse is very strong among families (Hansell & Damour, 2008). 

Sexual Dysfunction and Deviance

Sexual disorders such as dysfunctions involve temperamental differences within the hormonal system.  These differences may influence man gender and sexual behaviors. Consequently, some researchers deduce that prenatal, postnatal, and even post-pubertal hormonal idiosyncrasies could be a factor in the gender anomalies seen in sexual disorders, although no constant confirmation for this has been reported as of yet. Although, there has been some ground working evidence of differences in the brain assembly in transsexual women and men when evaluated to test subjects.

Personality disorders

Biological research on temperament shows certain behavioral tendencies exist at birth. This signifies some personality disorders may result from an interaction between hereditarily based temperament and certain environmental influences.  One example being, a child who is born with high sensitivity to lights and sounds might learn to emotionally pull back from people who are too intrusive in his or her life. This type of temperament has been liked with the disorders schizotypal and schizoid (Hansell & Damour, 2008).  There are other disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) that suggest decreased responsiveness to regions of the prefrontal cortex. Also, neuroendocrine and genetic imaging points to the hormone serotonin as the disinhibition of the responsiveness.

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