Free Psychopathology Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Study, Education, Psychology, Sleep, Disorders, People, Time, Health

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/06


Psychopathology is considered the study of mental illnesses or mental disorders as well as the occurrence of certain traits and happenings in one’s life that could relate a person to having a mental issue or psychological issue. When studying psychopathology one might include a variety of different professionals in different fields however more commonly you will find people like psychologists or psychiatrist hold the most interest. Even though these two professional groups are the most invested in these studies there can be a range of other professionals involved for things like brain scans and such. Descriptive psychopathology is more focused on defining and recognizing certain issues that correlate to a person who is mentally ill. Psychopathology attempts not only to create a diagnosis for someone but it also is responsible for manifesting manuals that document these illnesses and define them for future recognition as well as comparison (Daily, 2015).
In a longitude study the subjects of the study would continue to be studied over a lengthy time period. The reason people would go through the study time and again for what can be years is because the point of the study is to track as people get older any changes or reactions concerning the particular study. One example of a longitude study would be if a psychologist examined the changes and effects of a child who suffered from physical or sexual abuse as he/she aged. The child might visit the psychologist for a certain amount of time after the trauma like 6 months to a year so research could be conducted on how this child is dealing with things like stressors, anger, panic attacks etc. After this is concluded the research would continue however it would be done once a year to track any progress or not. After this the psychologist would be able to compare results and findings with adults who have experienced similar trauma as children, however never received any of the same treatment methods. This would give the researcher an indication of any differences between the two (Glossary, 2015).

Mental disorders

One longitudinal study that was conducted on people with certain risks to develop bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, non-affective psychosis and severe depression was done by researching if premorbid IQ scores could be associated with the early signs of someone’s capability of developing these serious mental disorders. This study was done by investigating the history for people admitted to the hospital over a 27 year timespan. The results of this particular research indicated that there was no immediate indication of a link between a person’s premorbid IQ score and there possibility of developing bipolar disorder. However when it came to the other mental illnesses lower IQ scores showed the possibility of a risk for all of them and schizophrenia was linked to both lower and higher IQ scores.
This study was done over 27 years with participants who were qualified as at risk based on their IQ scores because other longitudinal studies that had been conducted previously implicated a connection between lower IQ scores and schizophrenia. The reason the study was conducted in an attempt to identify risk factors is that there was evidence suggesting that after a person is diagnosed with a disease like schizophrenia it is more difficult to gather much needed information for studies because many of the important tasks required become nonfunctioning. Population based research that was done prior to this study also supported the theories as these previous studies indicated that patients who already had schizophrenia probably had lower IQ scores as children which might have been a good indicator of their future with this mental illness (Zammit et al., 2004).
In the United States sleep has become a huge issue as projected numbers from 50 to 80 percent of Americans in one study reported that they are affected by long term sleep problems. When compared with the entire United States this could mean that anywhere from 10 to 18 percent of the population suffers from these same issues at the least. People suffering from psychiatric disorders show particular results in this area causing some concern as some new research has predicted that these sleep concerns could be a sign that someone could develop a psychiatric disorder as a result of their lack of sleep. At first sleep disorders were thought about more in the terms of symptoms caused by the mental issue that a patient was suffering however now there are indications that this is not exactly correct. Now research is attempting to determine if treating the patient for their issues with sleeping may help lower the symptoms they suffer from there mental disorder. Some of these disorders can include anxiety, depression, bipolar and even ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The idea behind this research is that studies have been conducted on neurological functions associated with sleep that suggest people who get more sleep have a better chance of being both mentally and emotionally strong. However people who do not get enough sleep are setting themselves up to be emotionally available for negative thoughts. The research that was conducted on people sleeping showed that people who are able to experience all of the necessary stages of sleep without any interruptions had a better chance of being emotionally healthy. This is attributed to the fact that when a person’s sleep is disrupted the parts of their brain that control stress hormones called neurotransmitters create a large mess in there brain. This in turn damages the thinking process and ability to regulate ones emotions. This particular research developed a study on patients with depression. The initial study results indicated that a range between 65 to 90 percent of adults and 90 percent of children with depression have experienced issues with insomnia (lack of sleep). In conjunction with this a longitudinal study was conducted on 1000 grown people of whom some had sleep issues. Out of the adults that did suffer from sleep issues the study found that these participants were four times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression than the participants who didn’t report sleep issues when a follow up interview was conducted after three years had passed. A second study with two different groups of participants done in the same matter had similar results showing that insomnia was apparent before these persons developed signs of major depression. When it comes to bipolar disorder longitudinal studies reported that there were issues with sleep before a person with this disorder experienced issues. In other cases patients who reported to much sleep were also experiencing issues. Longitudinal studies of ADHD and anxiety disorders also reported similar results indicating that there was in fact some trigger from lack of sleep for these disorders (Harvard, 2009).

Evaluating the studies

Longitudinal studies can be very beneficial as they give researchers the opportunity to follow and track changes in people as time goes by. When it comes to studying concerns about how long someone will live this type of study can be not only helpful but extremely productive. The concerns and drawbacks of a longitudinal study are important as well because they show how effective this type of research may or may not be. Longitudinal studies take an extreme amount of time because they are done over years of a person’s life and this can also be very costly as the process continues. Since these studies take a long time and are expensive the research is limited considering that the studies only include the subjects that the researcher can keep track of over time. This means the group (s) being researched will probably not be very large and all applications to a wider genre or population will be rough estimates. Since these studies are conducted over such a lengthy time there are risks with compromising the research. These risks are associated with losing a participant from death or dropping out of the study. This is another thing that could greatly affect the results. On one hand it is important to see progression over time and how certain things change and affect people. On the other hand there are many risks associated with a study that takes up this much time (Cherry, 2015).


The study of mental illness and what causes it are important when it comes to finding out if there is any way to prevent these serious disorders. Psychopathologists are tasked with these difficult patients that they tirelessly attempt to put in efforts to see change. Patients with these kind of disorders take many different doctors and a lot of time to figure out a way to help at least alleviate there symptoms. These doctors sometimes use longitudinal studies to research the long-term effects of certain life events to see if patients will be prone to developing psychological issues as a direct result of the event impacting there life. In some instances these life events can be something like lack of sleep or too much sleep that disrupt a person’s emotional state over a lifetime leading to mental concerns. In other cases it might be a trauma like physical or sexual abuse that psychopathologists attribute to mental diseases. In situations like these the only way to find an answer that can show definitive results is to have people participate in a long-term, sometimes lifetime study. These studies make it possible to compare people that have experienced issues with people who have not and see if the results produce any indications that there is in fact a link between the two variables. These studies do have drawbacks however they may be the only way to produce the much needed data to help find something that will help either stop, prevent, or lessen the symptoms people with mental disorders suffer from.


Cherry, K. (2015). What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Longitudinal Research?. Education. Retrieved 2 March 2015, from
Daily, s. (2015). Psychopathology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2 March 2015, from
Glossary, P. (2015). Longitudinal Study definition | Psychology Glossary | Retrieved 2 March 2015, from
Harvard, Publications. (2009). Sleep and mental health - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Retrieved 2 March 2015, from
Zammit, S., Allebeck, P., David, A., Dalman, C., Hemmingsson, T., Lundberg, I., & Lewis, G. (2004). A Longitudinal Study of Premorbid IQ Score and Risk of Developing Schizophrenia,Bipolar Disorder, Severe Depression, and Other Nonaffective Psychoses. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 61(4), 354. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.4.354

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