Classification and Diagnosis of Schizophrenia- Essay Plan

Classification and Diagnosis of Schizophrenia- Essay Plan

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  • Created on: 18-06-11 22:01
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Depression: This is a mood disorder characterised by the feeling of
overwhelming sadness. Individuals may lose their appetite, sleep more or
less, and have low self esteem. Schizophrenia: This is characterised by
the disruption of both emotion and cognitive processes, which affects a
person's language, perception and sense of self. Positive symptoms
include hearing voices and hallucinations. Negative symptoms include loss
of normal function such as absence of response.
Reliability is the extent to which psychiatrists can agree on the same
diagnoses when assessing patients. There are a few issues of reliability
linked with the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Critical Point 1: It is difficult diagnosing patients by using the DSM
classification. This is because some people could be perfectly sane but
display a couple of the symptoms of schizophrenia. For instance
Rosenhan carried out an experiment where normal sane people were
admitted to a psychiatric hospitals claiming they heard unfamiliar voices
in their heads saying words "empty", "hollow" and "thud". All the
participants were diagnosed as schizophrenic and admitted to the wards;
during their stay none of the staff recognised that they were actually
sane. Another study to support this statement is research done by
Abelson. He got participants to watch a video of a man being
interviewed, half of them were told he was being interviewed for a job
the other half were told he was a patient for a psychiatric hospital. The
group who were told he was a job applicant gave a positive opinion of
him, whereas the other group gave the opposite. Therefore this shows
that the situation you are in can affect how you are diagnosed.
Critical Point 2: There is also an element of culture bias. In some
cultures it is seen as normal to speak in tongues such as the Caribbean
this is to do with their religious beliefs. However, if they were in the UK
they are likely to be diagnosed as schizophrenic. As a result of this, it is
difficult to say that the DSM classification can be applied universally.
Validity is linked with reliability but is not the same thing. It is whether
what you're measuring is actually applicable to the disorder in question.
In this case whether the symptoms of schizophrenia are really a true
representation of what schizophrenia is.
Critical Point 1: There is debate about what schizophrenia actually is.
Schneider in 1959 recorded the psychotic symptoms that he thought
distinguished schizophrenia from other psychotic disorders. He believed
that by doing this it would make diagnosing schizophrenia easier,
however some of the "schizophrenic symptoms" were found in other
disorders. Also Ellason and Ross stated that dissociative identity
disorder (DID) have more "schizophrenic" symptoms than people
diagnosed with schizophrenia. Consequently, this backs up the claims that

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Critical Point 2: Another key point is about the issue of gender bias.
Kaplan claimed that diagnostic systems are male centred, for all of the
DSM editions the authors have been predominately male. It was also
found that the male members of the DSM committee pathologised
stereotypic feminine traits instead of stereotypic masculine traits.
Therefore this supports the masculine biased assumptions about what
behaviours are considered normal and healthy, and is a key example of
alpha bias.…read more


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