the psychodynamic explanation for schizophrenia

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Psychopathology (schizophrenia)
The psychodynamic explanation for schizophrenia
Describe (AO1)
Freud believed that schizophrenia was a result of regression to the pr-ego stage
and the symptoms were attempts to re-establish ego control. The delusions of
grandeur reflect the primitive condition whilst others such as auditory
hallucinations reflect the person's attempts to regain ego control. It is thought
there is some sort of conflict that happened in childhood to cause the potential to
develop schizophrenia. It could be that distorted or disturbed families may cause
the unconscious conflict and have an influence on whether or not a child will
become schizophrenic.
Evaluation (AO2)
No direct evidence for Freud's theory, it is not falsifiable. If the ego, id
and superego don't exist then the explanation is invalid.
Psychoanalysts believe that family patterns are thought to be the cause
of this disorder. Fromm-Reichmann described mothers of schizophrenics as
rejecting, overprotective, dominant and moralistic.
However, this study could lack validity as it only involves the
influence of the mothers and not the fathers on the child's
Correlational evidence- whilst there is a link between a child`s
schizophrenic behaviour and the mothers behaviour, it doesn't prove
that the mothers behaviour is the cause of the child becoming
schizophrenic, so it may not support the psychodynamic explanation.
Doesn't' account for all the symptoms of schizophrenia, as it only explains
delusions of grandeur and auditory hallucinations
Reductionist as it ignores other explanations such as genes or enlarged
ventricles. Therefore we can only gain a limited understanding of the
reasons for schizophrenia.
Deterministic This explanation causes a person to blame their mother for
them being schizophrenic. Therefore the patient has no free will over if
they became schizophrenic or who to blame. This can cause people to be
blamed for causing schizophrenic leading to conflict.


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