Social Explanation and Treatment for Schizophrenia

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  • Created by: RihanaG
  • Created on: 22-02-16 16:44
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  • Social Explanation and Treatment for Schizophrenia
    • Explanation: The Social Causation/ Environmental Breeder Hypothesis
      • People in the lowest social classes have higher incidence than others, so social class may be a cause of schizophrenia. The illness is found more in social the lower class and among the unemployed and those living in deprived cities.
      • The idea of Social Drift
        • It's been suggested that those with schizophrenia become lower class because of the difficulties that arise from having the illness. They do not achieve well in education, had problems in adolescence and difficulties in keeping a job.
      • The idea of Social Adversity
        • Schizophrenia is more prevalent in urban rather than rural areas, suggesting upbringing in city areas leads to schizophrenia. Adversity refers to unpleasant backgrounds, and social adversity in childhood relates to the development of schizophrenia later.
        • Evidence shows higher incidences of schizophrenia in African Caribbean and black immigrant populations, pointing to social situation as a possible causing factor.
        • Features in the environment that affect the development of the disease seems to be adversity in adult life, unemployment, poverty, social isolation, poor standards of living, crime and drug use, and separation from parents.
      • Strengths of the explanation
        • The Social explanation for Schizophrenia does not disprove the biological explanation- both are useful, so it can be said that the approach is holistic.
        • The idea of social adversity explains the fact that people with schizophrenia usually stem from populated cities as well as the fact that black immigrants are more likely to be diagnosed. In this sense, social adversity is higher validity compared to social drift hypothesis.
      • Weaknesses of the explanation
        • Those who live in adverse conditions are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, suggesting a diagnosis problem, not an environmental one.
        • Adversity may be stressors, and this stress may cause schizophrenia- not the environment.
        • its hard to separate environmental factors to see if they cause schizophrenia, as they could be results, as social drift suggests.
    • Treatment: Assertive Community Therapy
      • Used by mental health professionals with clients who have difficulties with relapses and hospitalisation. ACT aims to de-institutionalise patients through care in the community,
      • Characteristics of ACT
        • Focuses on patients who need the most help from the community
        • Encourages independence, rehabilitation, and recovery to avoid adversity.
        • treats patients in real life settings- visiting them at home to individualise their treatment.
        • A whole team of mental health professionals work to help the patient.
        • Lots of time spent in order to rehabilitate and support the patient, offering holistic treatment that looks at all the patients needs.
      • Strengths of treatment
        • It is an effective treatment because it engages clients, increased housing stability and improved quality of life.
        • ACT is good for those who have lots of relapses, because it might be problems with living outside the hospital causing psychotic episodes. By improving the patients social skills, i t can improve their functioning in society.
        • Bond (2002) found ACT  was extremely effective against most mental health disorders across gender, age and culture.
      • Weaknesses of treatment
        • ACT does not have effect on actual functioning- does not reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, for example.
        • ACT works best in heavily populated areas, because of the effort and focus required.
        • It's expensive- adequate staffing is required to take on this hands on approach.
        • Gomory (2001) pointed out that 11% of patients feel forced into the treatment, so it can be considered unethical.


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