The Brain, The Body, The Behaviour – Schizophrenia (Part 1)

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So, schizophrenia. It’s a complicated disorder. Therefore, following the origin of the word “schizophrenia” – where “schizo” means “split”, I’m going to split this “The Brain, The Body, The Behaviour” post into two parts.

It’s going to be a bit of a different structure compared to my other two posts on depression and anxiety, but will still cover the same content. This first part is going to be an overview of schizophrenia – I’m going to talk about what it is, what the symptoms are (the behaviours), physical problems those with schizphrenia may suffer from (the body) and I’m going to debunk a few myths about schizophrenia.

Then in the second part I’m going to talk about the brain of an individual with schizophrenia – or, at least, i’m going to try, as it’s not exactly simple, and like most areas of psychology there is no single answer to the biological insight of schizophrenia, and is probably going to be one of the most complex blog posts I ever have and ever will compose… But i’ll try my best. So, onto the first part:

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The Brain, The Body, The Behaviour – Depression

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What is depression?

It is reported that globally 350 million individuals suffer from depression. There are two main types of depression;

  • Recurrent depressive episodes; this is where an individual suffers from repeated depressive episodes, which can last for up to two weeks. Thier episode can be characterised as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the severity and length of their symptoms.
  • Bipolar disorder; used to be known as “mania”. This is where an individual has “up and down” episodes, ranging from depressive with the common symptoms of depression, to manic which is where the symptoms are the total opposite – impulsive and reckless behaviour, elevated mood, increased need for sleep, overactivity.

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The misunderstood loss

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For personal reasons, this isn’t an easy post for me to write. However, as the above image demonstrates 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage; to put it more humanly, that’s a quarter of could-be-mothers losing their could-be-child. And that’s only the reported miscarriages, and the known pregnancies, the actual figure could be a lot higher. It’s a taboo subject, expected mothers don’t wish to offload their problems onto anyone, or perceive themselves to be failures as they have been unable to have a healthy pregnancy (Herz, 1984) and a lot (especially in my case) don’t want the sympathy.
But it’s a fact of life; miscarriages happen and parents are left behind.

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