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Understanding the Psychotic Break Concept and the Causes of Mental Breaks

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The world is a dangerous place to live in. The planet is not limited to dangers of natural disasters people tackle daily or salmonella in the food consumed by the masses. Although these problems are harmful, they are not as deadly as crime committed by fellow man kind. Some people may think that people are genuinely good in their ways. The fact is that every person out there has the capability to be a psychopath. This is said simply because everyone has a mind and like any amazing working machine, there is space for flaw and error, similarly to the human mind. A lot of the times, whether the action of the criminal be conscious or unconscious, the criminals feelings being guilt or remorse, the cause for this behavior is still a flaw or miscommunication in the brain. There is much debate over whether one always has control of the actions they commit while their brain is unstable. It is important to know the fundamentals of why a psychotic break occurs, and what should be done when it leads to a crime inflicted upon others. Or perhaps, people would be able to fix the problem before the psychotic break even happens.

To understand this concept in full one must first understand some history on the subject. In the 2004 book “Drug Therapy and Personality Disorder, there is a description of some early psychological history. It discusses the beginning of the twentieth century when Sigmund Freud discovered psychoanalysis. He used this to explain his personality theory. He understood that individual personality is brought about by communication, this original communication in the interaction in young life as a toddler, which begins with the child’s relationship with their mother (Brankerhoff 13). One can interpret from this that in a wide spectrum, psychoanalysis contributes to the idea that unconscious life makes people behave the way they do.

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To understand what causes a mental break, one must need to understand what a personality disorder is that may cause this mental breakdown. The same book previously listed claim that an individual’s personality is caused by physical contributions as well as the factors present as in newborns. People with personality disorders often have problems with their own self-esteem issues. An estimated fifteen percent of U.S. citizens suffer from some type of personality disorder (Brankerhoff 13, 19). The 2001 book entitled “Coping with a Mental Illness” claims that a personality disorder is tied into a mental impairment. This mental disorder is known by professionals to influence an individual’s relationships (Moe 7). A mental impairment can be attributed to being a psychopath, as claimed by Dr. Roberts, who is a psychologist that claims that being a psychopath is different from being diagnosed with psychosis. Psychopaths are logical and understand the actions that they are committing. Psychopaths act out of will and have an exact motivation that is planned ahead of time (Culley). Brian McIntyre, who is a professional in the field of psychology, understands that here are many similar problems that relay the same behavior such as being a sociopath, and certain personality disorders such as antisocial disorder. Psychopaths feel no guilt or remorse, and are manipulative in their ways (McIntyre). In essence, psychopath lack emotions towards others and have little ground of right and wrong.

Certain doctors mentioned in “Coping with a Mental Illness” think that some mental illnesses are not based on location in the brain but rather on a chemical imbalance (Mao 7). By other doctors, like Brian McIntyre and his partner Timothy Bruce it is thought to be certain areas of the brain that cause mental illness and eventually psychosis (McIntire). The nation’s surgeon general claim’s that one-fifth of Americans have a mental illness each year (Mao 7). Brian McIntyre states that this type of psychotic behavior usually starts in a person’s childhood and continues on into following years. It is more typical behavior in males than in females. In rare cases this problem can decrease in future years but usually remains a lifelong problem (McIntyre). Brian Hicks and his partners working for the magazine “Psychological Assessment” released that the typical signs of a being a psychopath is mental disorder, hallucinations, and also delusions (Hicks). From this publication one can understand that if someone is experiencing these symptoms, or a loved one notices this in another they need to consult a professional before it becomes a further issue.

Barbara Moe author of “Coping with a Mental Illness” claim’s that one who is suffering from a mental illness can suddenly and sporadically due become dangerously psychotic because of a mental breakdown. Experts believe that psychotic breaks are not usually long lasting but are terrifying for both the patient and his or her loved ones. Though in order to suffer psychosis it is typical for the patient to have had a major mental impairment, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression (Moe 8).

Shirley Brinkerhoff, author of “About Mental Illness” understands that there is much argument in society if these criminals are actually mentally unstable and whether they should be institutionalized or serve prison time. Those with mental disorders are typically more antisocial. These individuals may avoid others in fear of being an outcast. These are the individuals who are more likely to end up in trouble with the authorities. One of the arguments is that psychosis is caused by family relationships at a young age (Brinkerhoff 19, 21). The implication behind this is that it is not the decision of the psychologically impaired. That it is actually caused by forces beyond their control. Another claim, from Barbara Moe states that this is that similar to medical attention that helps cure physiological diseases, then ‘help’ to a mentally unstable person can help them get treatment to that ailment (Moe 7).

E. Fulley Turner, an author on the subject of the mentally ill had an article published stated that im some areas of the United States some mental institutions have gotten shut down. This has caused a lot of uproars. Torrey, the author of Confronting America’s Mental Illness crisis wrote that the mentally ill still have immense opportunities to get the treatment they require. This may implicate a totally new issue involving the line between who is claiming mentally ill to get out of jail and who may actually need psychological attention. Others bluntly state that people give mass criminals a break for being killers. Also, people are quick to the support group because of their supposed mental health issues. Instead of punishing unacceptable behavior, people instead accept them with open arms (Roleff 69, 63).

Kathleen Falkelman is a psychologist specializing in brain abnormalities states that another way that may help to separate those who truly need help from those who are simply irrational is to define different clusters of criminal behavior. Those emotionally stable psychopaths were clam and did not get too anxious. The other category was aggressive psychopaths. Aggressive psychopaths exhibit extreme amounts of negativity along with many other obvious personality traits (Falkelman). A further understanding of these psychopaths personality may be a lead in understand insanity and psychosis.

Dr. Parker Elliot Dietz claims that it is easy to claim oneself as insane. He also claims that people go along with this because the “normal” person would only have the urge to kill. One of the killers he used in his example had a lot of problems, but none of them were psychosis. He also claims that pity crimes can lead someone to progress in criminal actions. He also understands that a lot of the time small offences are directly attended to, but that there are other times when they are not and then someone ends up actually physically hurting someone (Frank).

As one can see, there is a lot to learn about the human brain and what causes someone to become psychotic. It is also undetermined how to decide if someone is insane or legally responsible for their actions. Figuring this out is a huge step forward in keeping criminals and the insane off the streets, in order to protect the innocent. If we can understand and fix this problem then society and the world humans live in will be a lot safer, and a much better place to live in.


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