AQA PSYCHOLOGY A - CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia

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CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPRHENIA
1. CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPRHENIA
WHAT IS SCHIZOPRHRENIA?
A severe mental disorder characterised by a profound disruption of cognition and emotion. This
affects a person's language, thought, perception & sense of self.
Detachment from reality in which the sufferer experiences hallucinations, delusions and a possible
host of other symptoms
One of the most complex of all mental health disorders; involves a severe, chronic, and disabling
disturbance of the brain.
HOW TO DIFFERENCIATE SCHIZOPRHENIA?
1. Psychotic or Neurotic
2. First rank symptoms & Major symptoms
3. Positive & Negative
1. PSYCHOTIC & NEUROTIC
PSYCHOSIS: on the other hand is outside of most people's comprehension and refers to a
detachment from reality. Symptoms may include hallucinations (auditory and visual), delusions
(thinking you're someone else for example), thought disorders etc. Psychosis is a technical or
informed way of describing a person most of us would describe as `mad' or `a nutter'
NEUROSIS: refers to a disorder of affect or mood, such as anxiety, panic, phobias and depression.
Generally people suffering from neurotic disorders are treated with sympathy and understanding.
2. FIRST RANK & MAJOR SYMPTOMS
FIRST RANK SYMPTOMS: Schneider (1959) described what he termed `first rank symptoms.' To
be diagnosed with schizophrenia one or more of these needs to be present:
Symptom Variations Description
Thought Insertion Thoughts are being placed in the mind by external forces
disturbance
or control of
thought
Withdrawal Thoughts are being removed from the mind by external forces
Broadcasting Thoughts are being broadcast to others for example over the radio
or through the TV
Hallucination Auditory The most common symptom of schizophrenia. Voices telling the
person what to do
s
Other senses For example touch or visual. The schizophrenic might see Elvis or
feel people touching them.
Delusions Grandeur Thinking you're Napolean really is quite common amongst
schizophrenics.

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CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPRHENIA
Persecution A worrying one in which they think people are out to get them. (Also
common in sleep deprivation studies)
Reference The person believes that characters in a book, songs or in films are
actually referring to them.
MAJOR SYMPTOMS: two or more of the following must be present.
Thought disorder in which there are breaks in the train of thought and the person appears to make
illogical jumps from one topic to another (loose association).…read more

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CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPRHENIA
CLASSIFICATION ISSUES
SZASZ'S OBJECTIONS TO CLASSIFICATION AND CONSEQUENTEY LABELLING
Szasz (1970s ­ 1990s) argued that the label `mentally ill' removes the responsibility for behaviour
from the individual. The label of mentally ill was more stigmatising than the term `bad'. He believed
that those in power used stigmatising labels for political purposes to exclude people who have upset
the social order.
Labelling has negative consequences. GOFFMAN (1969) said that people are reacted to more
negatively.…read more

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CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPRHENIA
CLASSIFICATION ISSUES OF RELIABILITY AND VALIDIITY
RELIABILITY ­ the extent to which psychiatrists can agree on the same diagnosis when independently
assessing patients. Reliability refers to the consistency of a diagnosis across repeated measurements
PROBLEMS WITH RELIABILITY
COMORBIDITY
This describes people who suffer from two or more mental disorders. People with schizophrenia
usually show comorbidity, such as depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Comorbidity occurs because the symptoms of different disorders overlap.…read more

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CLASSIFICATION & DIAGNOSIS OF SCHIZOPRHENIA
PROBLEMS WITH VALIDITY
PREDICTIVE VALIDITY
Is the extent to which the diagnosis can accurately predict the development and prognosis of
schizophrenia. If a disorder has high predictive validity then this is desirable as it would be clear how
the disorder would develop.
SCHNEIDER (1959) ­ Listed psychotic symptoms that he believed distinguished schizophrenia from
other psychotic disorders.…read more

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