Free «The Study of Psychological Development» Essay Sample


Psychosocial can be defined as the internal processes that occur in a person that are geared towards shaping the psychological development of a person in relation to his surrounding environment. In other words, psychosocial refers to social and psychological factors that have an impact on the development of mental health in a person. Despite the fact that these processes occurs in the life of a person, in most cases the person is unaware of the relationship between these processes and the surrounding environment. There are various stages that have been developed in the past in regard to psychosocial development. Among the people that worked hard to build up different stages in the development of psychosocial processes is Erik Erikson (Newman and Philip 22).

On the other hand, problems that occur in a person that are linked to psychosocial are referred to as psychosocial dysfunction or rather psychosocial disorders. There are different kinds of psychosocial disorders that have been identified in the society or rather in the medical fields. These disorders vary one from the other and are easily identified or differentiated from each other using their effects on a person. As a result, these disorders call for different methods of diagnosis and treatment.

One of the major psychosocial disorders that have been identified in the society is bipolar. According to the BBC (2008), bipolar disorder affects the mood of a person resulting in unpredictable mood swings. As a result, a person will display different unpredictable moods within a very short time span. In some cases, a person’s moods may masquerade as happy or joyous when in the real sense such a person is neither joyous nor happy. In reference to Hyman (2001), bipolar disorder was first diagnosed in patients by Falret between 1851 and1854 and opened a door to a new dawn of research on this disorder and the medication that could be administered to treat completely or ease the effects of bipolar disorder on a person (55).

In line with this, there are different medication programs that have been developed by scholars and researchers to deal with the problems that are brought about by bipolar disorders in the society (Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor 314). Inclusive in these medication programs is the diagnosis mechanisms that are employed to first identify the disease and then administer the necessary treatments. On the other hand, the treatment therapy for bipolar disorders is administered for a specified period of time such as three months.

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This research employed various methods of gathering and analyzing information and data that was necessary for its completion. The research therefore relied on sources that had carried out extensive research on psychosocial and bipolar in the past and the findings that they came up with. The information and data that was obtained was analyzed using the trendiest analytical and presentation tools. In line with this, the information was organized in such as a way that any person who was interested in this topic could be able to study and understand. Therefore, this research can be used as a basis or foundation in the development of further research on the topic of discussion, in particular psychosocial, and bipolar disorder.

Literature Review

There are various authors that have carried out extensive research on psychosocial, and bipolar disorders in the society. To begin with, Newman and Philip (2008) argued that psychosocial could be used to define the development of a person through various stages in life (22). Following this point, these authors examined various stages that were developed by Erikson and explain how different development stages move from one to the other and the effects that these stages had on the life of a person. These authors emphasized on the importance of early development on the overall development of a person. They also criticized the stages of psychosocial development that had been formulated by Erikson as incomplete. However, it is important to note that these authors managed to capture important information on psychosocial development among individuals in the society which was core in defining psychosocial in this research.

On the other hand, the understanding of psychosocial disorders in the society played a critical role in the overall understanding of psychosocial development among different people in the society. As a result, one of the psychosocial disorders that were identified in the society was bipolar disorder. In reference to Hyman (2001), the understanding and classification of different mental disorders in the society was an important aspect in medical science that enhanced the ability of medical practitioners and researchers to come up with contingency plans or rather treatment strategies that could then be used to deal with these disorders (39). This author therefore began by examining the history of bipolar disorder in the society, how it was identified and different treatment models that were explored or rather utilized in dealing with this disorder. In other words, the author examined the ways in which bipolar disorder could be treated and how recurrence could be prevented. The work of this author was very important in the development of different analytical perceptions that were adopted in this research paper.

Maj, Akiskal & López-Ibor (2002) also examined the relationship between psychosocial and bipolar disorder. Whereas bipolar disorder was termed as one of the psychosocial disorders in the society, there were various psychosocial treatment methodologies that were applied to deal with bipolar disorders (315). Stated in other words, there were psychosocial treatment methods that could be applied to treat bipolar disorders. The author also examined the statistics of people that had been affected by bipolar disorders across the United States of America which was put at about two million people. These statistics were important for this research as they validated the importance of this research in examining the length at which bipolar disorder affected the development of people in the society.

Research Findings

It was found out that the internal occurring in a person that shaped his or her psychosocial development were known partially or not known at all to the person in question. In line with this, there were specific stages that were believed to be a complete psychosocial circle that a person went through. These stages showed how the development of a person would be or rather the issues that a person was made aware of when at a particular stage. This also included the developments that were expected to be encountered at these stages of development.

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It was also revealed in this research that there were different challenges that were found to be a hindrance in the development of psychosocial in a person. These challenges were well referred to as disorders. In most cases, these disorders were found to impact seriously the life of people they affected to the point of completely disabling the working ability of these people in the society. Therefore, the research found out that it was important for these disorders to be tackled at an early stage before they became chronic. It is also important to realize that the disorders that affected psychosocial development of people in the society needed time before their effects could be eliminated completely from the life of a person (Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor 315). In line with this, some of these disorders required medication for a period of three months and above, together with psychosocial support that proved to be an important element towards the healing of a person.

The research also identified bipolar disorder as one of the major disorder that affected people in the society in reference to psychosocial development. This disorder was identified as a mood swing disorder, with some cases of extreme happiness being associated with this disorder. The number of people who had been affected in the society by this disorder was extremely high. In the United States of America alone, nearly two million people were found to have been affected by this disorder (Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor 2). This implied that the number of people affected world wide was very high, thus the need to conduct researches on the effects of this disorder on the society.

In reference to the treatment of bipolar disorder among the affected people, there were different approaches that were utilized to administer treatment of this disorder. These methods varied according to the depth or rather the impact that this disorder had on a person. It was also revealed that there were psychosocial treatments that could be utilized by medical practitioners to treat this disorder in the society. According to Jamison and Disease Control Priorities Project (2006), psychosocial approach to treatment of bipolar disorder had proved to be effective in combating the effects of bipolar disorders in the society (125).

Research Discussion

There were various stages that were involved in psychosocial development in the society. These stages began with the mild stage growing up into complex stages as a person grew in years. In reference to Newman and Philip (2008), these stages included Basic trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt, Initiative vs. guilty, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role confusion, Intimacy vs. isolation, Generativity vs. stagnation and Ego integrity vs. despair (19). It should be noted that each of these stages of psychosocial development occurred at different stages of development in a person’s life. Therefore, they were named in this case just as they occurred from the time when a person was a child to the time when a person has fully matured into an adult.

Despite the fact that these stages of psychosocial development were very important in the society, it was important to understand that individuals in the society varied one from the other and as a result, one could be tied to a particular psychosocial group. As it was argued out by Newman and Philip (2008), there were numerous unique cases whereby people were able to function at different levels of psychosocial development other than the one that had been identified within their age group (24). 

In addition, there were more psychosocial development stages that were added to the ones that were initially developed by Erikson. In reference to Newman and Philip (2008), it was necessary for more stages to be added to account for some stages that were not accounted for in the previous stages that had been developed by Erikson. Newman and Philip (2008) criticized the arguments that were put forward by Erikson in arguing for the stages of psychosocial development (22). First, they argued that despite the fact that Erikson used an even graph in representing various stages of development, the time period that these stages took in a person varied and therefore, using an even graph in representing these stages was somehow wrong and needed to be rectified (22). Secondly, they argued that there seemed to be no relationship between these stages whereas they overlapped from one stage to the other (22). Finally, the model that was presented by Erikson did not factor in the fact that as time went by, there were possibilities of new stages emerging since the society continued to evolve and thus psychological development was also expected to evolve.

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As a result of these criticisms, Newman and Philip (2008) proposed three more stages to be added to the already existing stages of psychosocial development that had been proposed by Erikson (22). These authors believed that after adding three more stages of psychosocial development on what already existed, this would represent a more perfect development of human psychology as they grow up. Similarly, to eliminate many errors in their modified model, they assigned approximated age rather than using a fixed age group for each stage that was bound to change as human beings evolved over time.

Whereas the development of a model that comprised of different stages of development in psychosocial represented a near perfect way of examining the psychological development of a person in relation to his or her environment, there were different challenges that were found to be a stumbling block in this development. One of these challenges was bipolar disorder. As was defined earlier, bipolar disorder was concerned with changing moods in a person without any specific reason or rather extreme mood swings in a person (BBC 2008). This occurred as a result chemical imbalance in the brain of a person thus resulting in his or her inability to control certain processes in his or mind.

It was important to note that bipolar disorder was found to have a deep relationship in people that had blood relation. Whereas there are still more researches that were being carried out on how this disorder occurred in people, the already gathered evidence showed that bipolar disorder had a high probability of being a hereditary or generational disorder. This was as a result of the fact that it was more common among people who were related to each other by blood. Studies that were carried out in the past on people that were affected revealed that people that came from the same family were more likely to be affected by this disorder, more than those that did not. On the other hand, statistics showed that more and more people have been affected by this disorder with the United States having one of the highest records in the world that stood at 2 million people (Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor 2).

There were a lot of effects that were identified in this research that bipolar disorder had on the community in general. To begin with, bipolar disorder affected the workforce in every region of the globe where this disorder was diagnosed. According to Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor (2002), 43% of the people that were diagnosed with bipolar disorder were in the workforce (443). This means that, of the estimated 2 million people that were affected by bipolar disorder, nearly 800,000 of these were employed. This was a very large percentage in relation to the total number of people that had been employed. On the other hand, the medical costs that were involved in treating bipolar disorders were very high. This exerted pressure on the government, the individuals that had been affected and medical insurance firms. Similarly, the time wasted by these people while away on treated was enormous and there was no way one could recover this lost time (447).

It was important for one to note that there were different types of bipolar disorders that were identified in the society. In reference to the BBC (2008), these included Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Rapid cycling and Cyclothymia. Bipolar I was a type of bipolar disorder that was characterized by one having a minimum of one high, or rather manic episode that lasted for more than seven days. Whereas there were people who would only experience manic episodes, most people experienced depression periods. Bipolar II was characterized by one incident of severe depression yet with mild manic experiences. On the other hand, rapid cycling referred to a type of bipolar disorder that had more than four mood swings within a period of one year (BBC 2008). This type of bipolar disorders was diagnosed in 10% of the people with bipolar disorders. Finally, Cyclthymia had no bad moods swings. However, these mood swings were found to last for longer periods.

There were various ways of treatment of bipolar that were identified in the society. According to Jamison and Disease Control Priorities Project (2006), there were pharmacological treatments that were available to deal with bipolar disorder (125). There were however two main approaches that were identified and utilized in treating bipolar disorders in the medical fields. These methods included therapy and medication. The therapy that was administered to these patients required social support of the family and the mental health workers (Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor 314).


There were various recommendations that were made in regard to psychosocial and bipolar disorder in the society. First, there was need for more research on psychosocial treatment of bipolar disorders in the society. According to Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor (2002), there were no researches that had been done to detect early onset of bipolar disorders which was characterized by high rates of suicides (314). Similarly, there was need for research on treatment mediators and moderators of bipolar disorder.

 There was also a need for the medical field and the government to work on increasing access to healthcare facilities by bipolar patients (Maj, Akiskal and López-Ibor 315). It was noted that most patients were unable to get slots for treatment since the psychosocial approach to treatment of bipolar disorder took a longer time thus denying new patients treatment chances. In line with this, there was need also for an increased research and studies in regard to prevention of bipolar disorders rather than relying on the treatment of this disorder alone. 


In summary, the development of the psychological perspectives of a person was one of the important processes in the life of a person. Psychosocial development was therefore divided into various stages of development that were associated with certain characteristics that were perceived in a person. However, it was also important to note that there were disorders that hindered effective psychosocial development of people in the society. Among these hindrances was bipolar disorder. As was defined in this research paper, bipolar disorder was associated with mood swings in people.

There were various methods that were applied as treatment of bipolar disorders in individuals. However, a combination of medication and psychosocial therapy was identified as the most perfect way of treating this disorder. Despite of this treatment method, there was an increased need for further research in bipolar disorder treatment methods and how it could be prevented rather than relying on treatment alone. On the other hand, there arise need to increase medical facilities that offered bipolar treatment in order to increase access to medication by patients that had been affected by this disorder.

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