Anxiety Disorder. Psychoanalysts believe that anxiety disorders are caused by internal mental conflicts often involving sexual impulses. These impulses cause an overuse of the ego’s defense system that fails over time. This shows that the unacceptable impulses the ego has blocked are the generalized anxiety disorders. These blocked impulses cause an unconscious state of apprehension for which the person does not know the cause. Phobias, however, occur if the person sets the cause of the anxiety to a certain object, or situation, which they can more easily avoid than the actual source of anxiety. Panic disorders and agoraphobia are caused by separation anxiety, mainly separation from parents, early in life. This happens in children who were taught to intervene in separation from a parenting figure by throwing tantrums. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is seen as a fixation in the mind at the primary stage of psychosexual development.
The fact that compulsive behavior rituals often involve cleanliness shows that there is mental fixation during a period of mastering unclean bowel movements. Behaviorists believe that in anxiety disorders the individual is not “fixated” but they have a conditioned fear that does not involve oedipal complexes or displacement. The theory of classical conditioning says that phobias are the result of learned associations of neutral stimuli and frightening events. This also demonstrates why an individual might have a phobia of guns after being shot by one. Biological theorists believe that people with anxiety disorders have unusually responsive autonomic systems that are more easily aroused by environmental stimuli. This condition is known as autonomic lability that contributes to a tendency to be jumpy or anxious. They feel that the basal ganglia have loops in the sensory input and behavioral output centers.
Somatoform Disorders. Psychoanalysts feel that somatoform disorders are caused by unresolved sexual impulses that produce intense anxiety that is converted into physical symptoms. Because of this conversion, the original anxiety produced is now reduced, this process is termed primary gain, but if the person is allowed to escape or avoid stressful life situations. Similar to the psychoanalysts’ perspective of secondary gain, behaviorists feel that if a person is allowed to escape or avoid the physical symptoms are reinforced. Biological theorists have very little to say since there seems to be no physical cause of the symptoms, except that there may be some genetic predisposition to Somatoform disorders. Dissociative Disorders. Psychoanalysts believe that dissociative symptoms are caused by massive reliance on repression to ward off unacceptable impulses, particularly those of a sexual nature. The person then relocates the guilt produced into a second identity that is in the unconscious mind. Behaviorists feel that dissociative symptoms may be caused by avoidance of highly stressful events, particularly those dealing with childhood abuse. There is no evidence that dissociative disorders are linked to genetic or biological disorders. Mood Disorders. Psychoanalysts feel that because of fixation at an oral stage of psychosexual development, individuals tend to develop ambivalent feelings toward their mothers.
These feelings are then transferred to other loved ones. Because of the feelings, the person cannot be successfully social with the loved one and then regresses back to an oral level, where the person takes the love-hate relationship and places it on themself. Also, overdependency in the instant gratification of basic needs and self-esteem causes a person to become so ambivalent that they may commit suicide which is the ultimate form of aggression turned on the person. Behaviorists theorize that the loss or separation of a loved one means a loss of positive reinforcement. An example would be an individual who experienced the death of a spouse, this person may lock himself or herself up and with no one giving positive reinforcement the individual may fall out of the social picture that also provided reinforcement. Not only is the loss of a loved one the cause for mood disorders, but other causes can be the loss of a job, separation from a primary group of friends, or an illness. Depressed people also tend to pick out negative comments from conversations to provide a type of negative reinforcement about themselves. Another Behavioral theory is that people tend to have learned helplessness if they feel they have no control over the reinforcers or punishers in their lives.
This produces a feeling that even if they take action the results will not be desirable Genetics: May play an essential role in determining causes for mood disorders, studies done on twins support this theory, by saying that twins in which at least one is bipolar, seventy-two percent of twins were both bipolar. Brain Biochemistry: Irregular levels of neurotransmitters in the brain may cause mood disorders. An example would be the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is the levels of it are too low, an individual tends to become depressed. But if it is too high, then the person exhibits symptoms of the manic side of bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia. Psychoanalysts believe that when a person’s ego becomes overwhelmed by impulses from the id or unbearable guilt. Instead of trying to resolve the issues the ego retreats and the person regresses to the oral stage of psychosexual development. The person then regresses so far that they become infantile in the manner and lose all sense of reality.
Bizarre hallucinations and speech represent the individual’s struggle to regain reality. Behaviorists feel that individuals may not have been conditioned to respond successfully to social stimuli, or they have been punished for such responses. Because of this lack of social contact the individual fills the emptiness by responding to imaginary voices emanating from a lamppost. When others react to these behaviors, it reinforces the person’s responses. Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to being schizophrenic, as studies have proven that people who had biological schizophrenic parents, but were adopted showed signs of schizophrenia. Brain Biochemistry and Structure: The neurotransmitter dopamine plays a major role because people who are schizophrenic have unusually high levels of dopamine. Also, abnormal brain structure could play a role, for individuals who have schizophrenia, have unusually large ventricles file with cerebrospinal fluid.