Applied Biological Principles in Mental Health - Essay Example

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Unipolar depression also referred to, as major depression is a medical illness that affects approximately 15 million American adults (National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, 2007). It is normal to experience sadness, loss or a passing case of the blues…
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Applied Biological Principles in Mental Health
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Download file to see previous pages Those who experience one episode of depression go on to have more episodes. In the absence of treatment, the patient deteriorates further with an increase in frequency of episodes and severity of the illness. Sometimes the patients commit suicide.
The symptoms of depression include feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness and emptiness, lack of interest and pleasure in activities that the individual once enjoyed, decreased or increased need for sleep, poor appetite, persistent sadness, suicidal ideation, presence of physical symptoms that fail to respond to treatment and whose etiology cannot be identified and difficulties in concentrating and thinking and poor memory or memory lapses. (NAMI 2007). When some of these symptoms occur together and last for a period longer than two weeks and cause disturbances in normal functioning such as inability to go to work, to care for children, the individual is diagnosed as having Unipolar depression (DSMLV)
The etiology of unipolar depression is not exactly known. A mix of psychological, biological and environmental factors contributes to development of depression. Though the specific cause is unknown scientific research has proven major depression to be a biological medical illness. A biological explanation for unipolar depression lies in alterations in the structure of the brain, imbalances in neurochemicals, genetic predisposition and endocrine involvement in some cases.
The brain ca The brain can be divided into several functional and developmental areas when explaining it structure. The cerebrum is at the top and is the biggest and most developed region of the brain. It performs all cognitive and conscious process. The limbic cortex is found beneath it and it controls processes involved in self-preservation; emotions like fear, behaviour like eating is controlled here. Beneath the limbic cortex, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum are found. They control movement. At the base of the brain, the brain stem found, it satisfaction is to keep one alive physiologically through control of circulation and respiration. (Martini, 2007)
The areas of the brain are made of grey matter composed of cell bodies of nervous or white matter made from axons of neurons. Grey matter is mostly found in the outer parts of the brain while white matter is in the inner part. The surfaces of the brain are folded into gyri and sulci so that surface area is increased to enable unpacking of neurons. Cell bodies found deep inside the white matter are called ganglia (as in the basal ganglia). Nuclei refer to grey matter found in patches, which usually have a specific function. An example is the cranial nuclei found in the brainstem.
Meninges are membranes that cover the brain. They are in 3 layers starting from the innermost, pia matter, arachnoids mater and dura mater. The arachnoid and pia mater have a sub arachnoid space that contains cebrospinal fluids. CSF is formed in the ventricles of brain (cavities of the brain) from blood plasma and fills the two lateral ventricle, the third ventricle and the fourth ventricle before flowing into the sub arachnoids spare from the where it will circulate over the brain and be absorbed via villi of the arachnoid mater. CSF provides buoyancy for the brain, reduces brain injury accidents when head experiences trauma and is a medium for nutrition of the brain and excretion.
The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres (left and right), which are each divided into four lobes. These ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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