The psychodynamic explanation for schizophrenia

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Psychology unit 4 schizophrenia
The psychodynamic explanation for schizophrenia
Freud believed that schizophrenia was due to the regression to the pre-ego stage
and the symptoms were attempts to gain ego-control. Delusions of grandeur
reflect the primitive condition whilst others such as auditory hallucinations
reflect the persons attempt to regain ego-control. It is thought that some sort of
conflict in childhood could cause the development of schizophrenia. It could be
that distorted or disturbed families may cause unconscious conflict and influence
if a child becomes schizophrenic or not.
No direct evidence: for Freud's theory so isn't falsifiable. If the ego, id
and superego don't exist then the theory is invalid
Research has shown that family patterns are thought to be the cause of
schizophrenia. Fromm-Reichman described mothers of schizophrenics as
being rejecting, overprotective, dominant and moralistic. However, this
study could lack validity as it only involves the influence of the mothers and
not the fathers. Also this evidence is correlational so whilst there is a link
between a child's schizophrenic behaviour and the mothers behaviour it
doesn't prove that the mother's behaviour is the cause of the child's
Doesn't account for all symptoms: only explores delusions of grandeur and
auditory hallucinations.
Reductionist- ignores other explanations such as genes or enlarged
ventricles. Therefore we can only gain a limited understanding of the causes
of schizophrenia.
Deterministic- the explanation causes the person to blame their mother
for their disorder. Therefore the patient has no free will over whether
they become schizophrenic or who they blame.


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