Person in My Life Who Struggles Essay

Pages: 6 (1870 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … person in my life who struggles with one of the neuropsychological disorders that we have studied in this module is my sister who has borderline personality disorder. Some clinicians have misdiagnosed her with bipolar disease and apparently that's a common mistake, both conditions do share unstable moods and impulsive actions (Kreger, 2010). Both conditions can experience psychotic behavior though the individuals with bipolar disorder generally have the same manifestations, "Manic individuals experience elevated levels of euphoria. Self-esteem and feelings of grandiosity are abnormally elevated and may result in psychoses such as delusions and hallucinations…the individual may show poor judgment in spending money, may become hypersexual, or may make poor business commitments. Other hallmarks of mania are excessive rapid, loud and pressurized speech. The manic person quickly skips from one topic to another and is easily distracted both when thinking and when performing tasks" (Takahashi, 2006).

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Furthermore, it's also common for people who are suffering from bipolar or borderline personality disorder to self-medicate themselves with drugs or alcohol. Drugs or alcohol can help people suffering from such conditions feel numb to unpleasant feelings and certain specific drugs can help people to mimic the "up" feelings that the manic episodes of their condition provide. My sister generally drinks alcohol excessively when she's going through her "down" periods of her borderline personality disorder. The alcohol can provide her with a "buzz" which allows her to simply not feel all of her feelings. Like bipolar disorder, there are mood swings, but patients with borderline personality disorder have mood swings that are more rapid and generally occur more often throughout the day (Kreger, 2010).

Essay on Person in My Life Who Struggles With Assignment

My sister is extremely sensitive to environmental stressors and to comments that people make about her. A rude comment or a remark that doesn't strike her as quite right can instantly send her into a deep depression. I've personally tried rousing her from her depression, but to no avail. Once she's depressed she just has to sort of muddle through it until she feels like coming out of it; truly nothing that I or anyone else attempts to do can help her come out of it. What has been frightening about these episodes is how they trigger such intense feeling of loneliness, hopelessness and abandonment. My sister not only has extremely poor interpersonal relationships, but the relationships that she does have are often extremely troubled. For example, she's often involved with men who seem to have serious issues of their own: men who are either reliant on drugs or alcohol, or men who work as professional con artists, or who are violent or who have extremely hot tempers. I think that she finds some sort of comfort in the instability as that's what she's used to or that these men and their severe problems can make her issues seem minimal.

Moreover, I have had the unfortunate experience to be on the receiving end of the rage of my sister: it's extremely scary and very intense. One of the things that I do to avoid this experience all together is to avoid giving her criticism as she takes it so poorly: she's either driven to depression or rage as a result of criticism. When it comes to experience the rage of someone who has borderline personality disorder, some people who've experienced this have compared it to the person channeling an "evil spirit" (Kreger, 2010). "A BP rage is more terrifying, shocking, and inexplicable than normal rage. There is a change in the air, something palpable, before it erupts" (Kreger, 2010). This describes my sister perfectly; once she's about to erupt into rage, there's absolutely nothing that I can do except run for cover until she's done. Yet, at the same time, given these extremes of emotion, I've definitely witnessed her exhibit extreme detachment, for people and relationships, leaving friends feeling dismissed and forgotten and cutting people out of her life with the professionalism and lack of emotion of a surgeon making an incision.

Part II

In my geographical area there are definitely people who are at risk for a mood disorder like depression. Depression can all too easily arise as a result of things like poverty, poor diet, poor access to healthcare, no health insurance and poor educational background as a result of a high drop-out rate. "Major unipolar depression is the most common mood disorder and the most major cause of disability in the United States" (Takahashi, 2006). The rate of depression generally impacts 16% of the population, it tends to be twice as likely to manifest with women after adolescence (Takahashi, 2006). Given the environmental factors of the overall poverty of my geographical area, many of the adults there suffer from depression; I generally see it as a depression resulting from lack of economic opportunity and lack of a better life for their families. However, one of my overall concerns about this situation is as a result of seeing too many cases of depression manifesting in the children of this population. I fear that too many of the adult cases of depression are causing issues like poor parenting, resulting in things like verbal, physical and emotional abuse of children, thus creating a new population of young people who are at risk for developing depression themselves. "People who become clinically depressed have generally experienced more severe difficulties in childhood than those who do not become depressed. These difficulties may include sexual or physical abuse, a turbulent upbringing, separation from a parent, or mental illness in a parent. Some researchers believe that a problematic childhood may trigger an early-onset of depression (first episode occurs before age 20)" (, 2012). This finding generally makes a certain amount of sense. Generally if one's formative years were spent being put down or intimidated by the adults in one's life, one generally views the world as a difficult or unkind place. This can make a certain degree of moroseness the default setting in one's internal mood barometer.

While environmental factors, stress and traumatic events can all have a hand in contributing to one's depressive state, there are other factors which can come into play as well, particularly genetic or chemical ones. "Risk factors for depressive episodes change during the course of the illness. The first depressive episode is usually "reactive," i.e., triggered by important psychosocial stressors, while subsequent episodes become increasingly "endogenous," i.e., triggered by minor stressors or occurring spontaneously 70. There is consistent evidence that the volume loss of the hippocampus and other brain regions is related to the duration of depression 71, suggesting that untreated depression leads to hippocampal volume loss, possibly resulting in increased stress sensitivity 72 and increased risk of recurrence" (Hasler, 2010). This brief summary sheds light on the pathophysiology of depression and how and why it can suddenly manifest. Depression can be a difficult condition to understand completely, in particular when it comes to the issues which can have a hand in causing it. Psychosocial stress and stress hormones have a factor, as do neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine (Hasler, 2010).

Additionally, my geographical area has a high rate of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, all which sell the poorest qualities of food. Some theorists believe that consuming an excess of sugar and caffeine can lead to health problems. Other nutritionists believe that the poor eating habits and obesity that can accompany that is often found in the poorer classes, can all act as factors which can exacerbate depression. For example, an obese person is more likely to have a poorer self-image and depressive tendencies than someone who is not obese.

Part III

My brother had one of the integumentary disorders that were presented in this module. My brother was born with eczema as an infant and had to deal with the condition until he was around 10 years old. The condition was referred to as atopic dermatitis and is the most common form of eczema in the world; generally people who have the condition, have asthma, hay fever or allergies in their families (Nicol & Heuther, 2006). "The cause of this chronic relapsing form of pruritic eczema involves and interplay of genetic disposition, altered skin barrier function associated with filaggrin gene mutations (proteins that bind keratin in the epidermis) reduced ceramide (stratum corneum lipid) levels, altered innate immunity, and altered immune response to allergens, irritants and microbes" (Nicol and Heuther, 2006). This synopsis makes definitive sense to me as well; it wasn't that my brother was a sickly child; it was more that he was very sensitive to his environment and was allergic to a range of elements, from dust to pollen, to nuts to feathers and fur.

This was extremely problematic as he had to avoid dairy and there were no lactose-free or soy formulas available for infants. My mother was worried about his developing brain and whether the lack of an appropriate formula might impact him on a neurological level eventually. My brother wasn't able to eat tomatoes, berries, cucumbers and had to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Person in My Life Who Struggles.  (2012, November 5).  Retrieved November 30, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Person in My Life Who Struggles."  5 November 2012.  Web.  30 November 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Person in My Life Who Struggles."  November 5, 2012.  Accessed November 30, 2020.