Diathesis Stress Theory

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Various existing theories try to explain the origins of schizophrenia. However, the causes of schizophrenia are still uncertain. The diathesis stress model is one of the well-established theories that try to explain the cause of schizophrenia. This model describes the likelihood of a person to acquire a mental illness. Each person has a different vulnerability to schizophrenia or other mental illnesses which is the result of a combination of predisposed and acquired factors. The diathesis tries to explain the genetic link and stress in the environment that an individual encounters. This model fits for many disorders originally proposed in its contemporary version for schizophrenia and related disorders. This theory views that every person has…show more content…
Studies on schizophrenia also look to factors associated with birth. Events that affect foetal development are also considered to be environmental triggers of genetic vulnerability (Walker et al., 2004). Studies show that individuals who have developed schizophrenia are more likely to have had a history of obstetrical complications that had adverse effect on the developing foetal brain (Nilsson et al., 2005). Prenatal studies also show that mothers exposed to a virus or flu during pregnancy can result to an increase in the likelihood of a child developing schizophrenia in the future. Attracting attention was the findings of a disproportionate number of individuals with schizophrenia were born during late winter or early spring (Battle et al., 1999; McGrath et al., 1995; Parker, Mehendran, et al., 2000). Such studies show that unborn children were more likely to develop schizophrenia, when the mother in the second trimester of pregnancy encountered an influenza epidemic. Furthermore, other complications of pregnancy such as diabetes or toxaemia are also a factor of environmental stress to the foetus (Cannon & Clarke, 2005). Additionally abnormal foetal development and complications of labour and delivery are found to play a role in people who develop schizophrenia later in life (Cannon & Clarke, 2005). These findings show that schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder where the foetuses brain does not develop as it should from an early age due to environmental conditions (Sawa & Snyder, 2002; Waddington et al., 1991). Other environmental stressors include geographical location and socioeconomic background (Kohn, 1968). Use of recreational drugs also contributes to the stress model. Furthermore, people may develop schizophrenia from levels of stress that are normal for other

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