schizophrenia and addictive behaviour essay

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  • Created on: 21-06-10 22:05
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Therapies can be timeconsuming and, in some cases, uncomfortable for the client. It is
therefore very important, to offer the most appropriate and effective type of treatment.
Outline and evaluate two or more therapies used in the treatment of schizophrenia. (9 +
16 Marks)
There are many therapies that are used in the treatment of schizophrenia, but as with all treatments,
they all have their flaws and not all of them seem to be the most effective and appropriate for all
patients. Schizophrenia is a well known serious mental disorder which is characterised by a disruption
in a person's thoughts, emotions, speech and their contact with reality. Therapies come in two
divisions. There are psychological therapies and biological therapies. Psychological therapies include
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), which is one of the most common ways of treating patients with
schizophrenia and Psychoanalysis.
CBT is based on the assumption that people have distorted beliefs which are likely to influence their
behaviour in maladaptive ways, for example, schizophrenics may believe that their behaviour is
being controlled by an external force; the aim of CBT is to identify these beliefs and deal with them.
Schizophrenics are helped to cope with hallucinations and delusions, which are positive symptoms,
but they can also be given help and advice on dealing with negative symptoms, such as apathy and
avolition, which is the inability to partake in goal directed behaviour, such as getting out of bed or
getting dressed. CBT encourages patients to think back to their childhood and the origin of their
symptoms and by doing this; they are encouraged to challenge these delusions that may have
developed at the time. For example, in cases where a schizophrenic has delusional thoughts, the
therapists give them help and advice on how to avoid these thoughts.
Outcome studies, which measure of how well a patient is after a particular treatment compared with
an accepted treatment for that condition, suggest that after CBT, patients actually receive fewer
hallucinations and delusions and in addition, their functioning recovers far more than those on
medication. However, studying the effectiveness of CBT has been proven to be difficult as patients
are treated whilst on medication, therefore, it's difficult to assess its effectiveness alone, without
the use of medication. Additionally, CBT may not be effective on every schizophrenic patient as one
study of 142 schizophrenics found that many of them were not seen to be suitable for CBT because
psychiatrists believed that they would not fully engage in the activity. In addition to this, CBT states
that patients are encouraged to trace back the origin of their disorder, therefore stating that it is
based on retrospective data. It is quite difficult to assess the reliability of this treatment because
patients and families of patients may produce false data and it is also difficult to remember
information from childhood.
Psychoanalysis is another psychological treatment used for schizophrenic patients. This assumes that
people are basically unaware of the unconscious conflicts in their psychological state. It aims to bring
these conflicts into the conscious awareness where they can be dealt with and treatments of
psychoanalysis include free association, hypnosis and dream analysis. Psychoanalysis has the
advantage of treating the cause rather than the symptoms of schizophrenia and patients, in this
treatment, have more control over their treatments than with other therapies, such as drug
therapies. However, research shows that the use psychoanalysis as not been as effective as CBT. The
downside to this treatment is that it is difficult to prove its validity and effectiveness as it is based on
subjective data and the unconscious mind. It states that people are unaware of the unconscious
conflicts, therefore there must be a reason why they act the way they do, adulthood behaviour is
influenced by childhood motives, which may not be the only reason. It is reductionist and simplistic as
it fails to take other explanations into account, such as genetics, which can be treated by medical
means. By using psychoanalysis, there is a risk of patients developing false memories.

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Biological therapies are mostly centred around the fact that high dopamine levels can cause
schizophrenic symptoms, so the aim of medication is to decrease dopamine levels. There are two
types of medications that have been associated with the treatment of schizophrenia. Typical
(conventional) antipsychotic medication and atypical antipsychotic medication
Typical antipsychotics are said to work only on the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, by blocking
and reducing the stimulation of dopamine receptors in the brain, they reduce the symptoms of
schizophrenia.…read more

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One explanation of gambling addiction is centred around the fact that addition is a learnt behaviour.
Many individual factors may be involved in the initiation and maintenance of gambling as well the
relapse. Operant conditioning states that gambling is a conditioned behaviour, which is maintained by
irregular schedules of reinforcement (gamblers do not know when they'll win). It involves the terms
of infrequent rewards after varying numbers of responses.…read more


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