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Family Health History paper

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of Institute: of Psychology Assignment- Part 2 This paper is a follow up on the previous assignment related to the gathering of information regarding the health status of the 15 relatives. This paper builds up on the health related information acquired by the relatives in order to identify some related patterns and/or trends in their health issues. Review of the previous assignment enabled in identification of two prominent trends in their conditions which have been discussed as follows: Trend 1: Stress and Depression Pattern The first thing that was observed in the information collected by the relatives was that out of the sample of 15 relatives, 6 were suffering from stress or depression related problems which implies more than just a coincidence. Two of these cases were identified in immediate brothers of the author while the rest of the four were identified in cousins. The age group of these members varied in the age bracket of 22-36 which goes on to show that these are the people that are at a stage in their life where they have to establish themselves in their careers and also start their own families. Stress is an entity that is often closely linked to the state of depression. In biological terms, stress is known to elevate hormones such as cortisol and a reduction in neurotransmitters in the brain, which in turn is also linked to depression. In the same context, the condition of the brain in the state of depression is quite similar to its state when having suffered from chronic stress (Bruno, 1). In general, depression is caused as a result in the chemical imbalance in the brain particularly that of neurotransmitters. Genes are also said to have a role in the development of depression which goes on to suggest that it also tends to run in the families. Other than that, psychological issues such as adjustment disorder, and environmental concerns such as financial issues and relationship difficulties can also lead to stress and depression as has also been noted in the symptoms of the relatives (Edward). The health implications of stress and/or depression related issues include development of chronic stress related tension. Although being faced with stress and depression is quite natural during the period of life, however the condition actually worsens when it prevails for longer periods of time. In such conditions it is likely to extend into other issues as well, such as causing digestive problems, headaches, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and sleep disorders etc. (Smith, Saisan amp. Segal). Even in the study of relatives having identified with stress and/or depression related issues, it was observed that they were suffering from problems such as headaches, abnormal pains, temporary skin disease or hair loss etc. Trend 2: Dementia The study of the health conditions of 15 relatives also showed two cases constituting grandparents that were suffering from dementia. Both the cases are in the 80’s age bracket. Dementia is known to be related to dysfunction in brain tissue and is most common in people that are in the older age bracket as was the case with the relatives identified with this disease. It can be reversed if the damage to the cortical tissue is not fatal. It can be caused due to various reasons including prolonged diseases such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease etc. It can also be caused by injuries, infections, brain tumours, metabolic or hormone disorders, drug reactions or nutritional deficiencies, and also by choric alcoholism. Two of the causes in case of dementia in the relatives’ case were identified to be great amount of alcohol consumptions and poor nutrition intake (Hale, 3). The disease of dementia can be categorized in two dimensions: cortical dementia in which outer layer of the brain is affected which in turn effects the cognitive processing in the person. The other category is of sub cortical dementia in which the part of the brain beneath the cortex gets damaged which then impacts the personality traits of the person (Nordqvist). The symptoms of the disease can be very subtle and hard to identify at the initial stages, however over the time they may become pretty obvious. The initial symptoms of this disease mostly constitute loss of short term memory. The disease is often related to behaviour problems such as memory loss, moodiness and communicative deficiencies. Other than that, implications on health in severe cases also include physical complications such as dehydration, disrupted sleep pattern, seizures, aspiration, infections and problems with bladder control etc. (Hale, 3). Works Cited Bruno, Karen. Stress and Depression. WebMD, 2009. Web. 28 February 2012. Edward, F. Causes of Depression. Stress, Anxiety and Depression Resource Centre, 2009. Web. 28 February 2012. Hale, Kathryn. Dementia Overview. Emedicine health, 2012. Web. 28 February 2012. Nordqvist, Christian. What is Dementia? What causes Dementia? Symptoms of Dementia. Medical News Today, 2009. Web. 28 February 2012. Smith, Melinda, Joanne Saisan amp. Jeanne Segal. Understanding Depression. Helpguide.org, 2011. Web. 28 February 2012.