Clinical psychology: schizophrenia


Intro to schizophrenia

-considered a syndrome

-common first signs:

  • subtle personality changes
  • irritability 
  • gradual encroachment of unusual thoughts

patients are usually diagnosed after onset psychosis 

SZ develops in men in the late teens or early twenties

SZ develops in women in the late twenties or late thirties

only 1% of the population have SZ

SZ is more common in urban areas rather than rural areas

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Types of schizophrenia


-categorised by really low levels of positive symptoms but they do have psychotic symptoms present


- categorised Buy a loss of drive and the patient becomes really withdrawn and isolated. They may also have bizarre postures and they don't really move a lot. mainly negative symptoms.


-categorise by disorganised speech which is very hard to follow and disorganised behaviour. No hallucinations in this type of SZ  but it is a mix of positive type 1 symptoms and negative type 2 symptom.


-does not fit into any of the categories above.

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Positive symptoms

Delusions:     false beliefs that the sufferers believe to be true including thought insertion.
for example; A belief that you are the 'son of God' or a 'dictator' or that people are                        out to get you (paranoia)    

Hallucinations:    imagined sensory perceptions - auditory, visual, olfactory or tactile.
For example; auditory would be hearing imaginary voices that are critical.

Disordered thinking:    Confused thinking, unable to think in an ordered logical way.
For example; incoherent speech which is jumping from one subject to another with no logical connection.

Experiences of control:    Feeling that thoughts and actions are controlled by an external voice. For example; behaviour controlled by alien, spirits or implanted radio transmitters

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Negative symptoms

Affective flattening  (loss of emotional response):   a lack of reduction in emotional expression.  For example; facial expression, voice tone, eye contact or body language.

Avolition (loss of drive):      little interest or motivation to begin things or carry on tasks.                 For example; sitting for hours everyday, doing nothing inc. the ability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)

social withdrawal (not responding to others):
  A reluctance to engage in social interaction.       For example; difficulty making or keeping friends, quitting a job.

Alogia (poverty of speech):   Considerable reduction in cognitive activity.    For example; limited amount of speech activity and productivity. May answer questions with "yes"/ "no"/ "maybe". 

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