Nature V. Nurture: Psychotic Behavior in Children Essay

Nature v. Nurture: Psychotic Behavior in Children Many children at an early age have difficulties with fitting in and behaving like a “normal” child. But what is “normal” mean? The textbook definition of normal is conforming to the usual standard, type, or custom. Society however has broken it down to a more bias meaning, which is to belong to a group of people whom most closely resemble the “all American family” or in others being popular. In today’s society being “normal” is not based on your mental or emotional state, but rather on your physical appearance, it has become a popularity contest.

This leads one to believe that children with mental diseases are not really accepted by these groups. Many acclaimed professionals have researched whether children are more prone to be born with schizophrenia or develop it later on; by using works from professionals one will be able to examine the contrast. Many researchers believe that schizophrenia is a biological disorder that is inherited and usually will not start until early adulthood.

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But many examiners believe that for most children schizophrenia can start as early as birth; they deduce that this disease gradually gets worse as the child begins to grow up and can be caused by biological inheritance or how one is raised. To professionals this is known as childhood onset schizophrenia. In addition to related works that suggested this opinion there was a documentary on a little girl of the age of six and she was plagued by this disease since birth. As an infant she was often distracted by things that were not there and had violent fit where she kicked and screamed.

As she continued to get older her violent fits became more malicious as she tried many times to hurt her little brother, unintentionally of course. Her parents then knew that something was wrong and that she needed special help. Because of this disorder she was not really able to fit in with “normal” children and was pulled from school where she could get the one on one instructional time that she needed. For many other professionals who study this topic they are inclined to believe differently. They tend to believe that while one can be born with the gene it may not be triggered until later years in their life.

They also believe that the trigger may not even be biological, but rather from the experience of their childhood or adulthood. James H. Fallon wrote a paper entitled Neuroanatomical Background to Understanding the Brain of the Young Psychopath he is one that believes that if left untreated these children with schizophrenia can possibly turn into psychopathic criminals. While it is not uncommon for this to happen it is not a pleasant thought. A supreme appealed court case dated April 10, 2006 goes to prove Fallon’s theory to be true. The case was People v.

Huggins and goes on to tell the story of a man (Michael James Huggins) who was being charged with more than one count of murder, but could not speak for himself due to his mental disabilities. He had undergone many psychological tests and evaluations and was deemed a paranoid schizophrenic; John B. Peschau, Jr. , M. D. , a psychiatrist testified to that on behalf of Huggins. The article then goes on to portray the victim as one’s typical schizophrenic Huggins had stated that he was hearing voices in his head that proclaimed him to be the king of the world.

This was testified by another psychiatrist Maurice Beaulieu. Though hearing this from Huggins’ mouth and knowing that others told him that he made a noose in a suicide attempt, Beaulieu was not completely certain whether he was inventing up symptoms. It was then that Dr. Beaulieu sedated Huggins with a rather potent antipsychotic medication known as Haldol; it is known to alleviate genuine hallucinations, but problem was it had no affect and the staff was told to place Huggins under suicide watch.

In my opinion I think that both biological inheritance and childhood or adulthood experiences or environments when growing up have a crucial affect on whether one can overcome the disorder and not develop it at all or whether one will be consumed by the disorder and unable to fight the urges such as the psychotic episodes of violent fits. But I think that society should put a standard on what is normal because even the most “normal” people break the barrier at some point. People are not the same, but everyone deserves to be treated as a functional member of society unless clinically stated otherwise.

In conclusion schizophrenia in children is not what people are afraid of it is how they think they will treat that person. Schizophrenia is a disorder that with kindness and understanding does not have to be kept a secret or locked away in a box. Bibliography The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Michael James HUGGINS, Defendant and Appellant. No. S037006. Supreme Court of California. April 10, 2006. (http://scholar. google. com/scholar_case? case=5601532632465993719&q=being+born+with+schizophrenia+&hl=en&as_sdt=20000002&as_ylo=2005) ttp://health. discovery. com/videos/born-schizophrenic/ Neuroanatomical Background to Understandingthe Brain of the Young Psychopath James H. Fallon? In the Matter of: Hannah Johnston, Adjudicated Dependent Child. No. 06CA48. Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Athens County. DATE JOURNALIZED: February 26, 2007 (http://scholar. google. com/scholar_case? case=2350814875902785274&q=how+does+schizophrenia+affect+normal+behavior+in+children+&hl=en&as_sdt=20000002&as_ylo=2007)


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