Psychological explanations of schizophernia

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Psychological theories - psychodynamic

  • Frued (1924) believed that schziophernia was the result of two processes, regression to pre-ego stage and attempts to re-establish ego control
  • if the world of schizophernic, as a child, may have been harsh and unloving, then they may regress back to a time before they have a real concept of the world
  • schizophernia was seen by Freud as an infantile state, some symptoms relfecting the primitve condition and others reflecting the persons attempts to re-establish control
  • no real evidence to support his theory
  • psychoanalysts have supported him, such as
  • Fromm-Reichmann (1948) said that harsh families are likely to develop schizophernia
  • however it is not how they behave before the schziophernia but the parents do behave differently after someone has been diagnosed with schizophernia
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Psychological theories - cognotive

  • this theory states that the biological aspect does account for the first sensory disturbances of the disorder
  • however any further developmental is down to the individual trying to undertsand those experiences
  • when schizophernics first hear voices they go to others to confirm so
  • when they do not they believe that people are hiding the truth
  • then rejecting any feedback
  • evidence to support this,
  • Lindenberg et al (2002) found that there was a link between excess dopamine and the pre-frontal cortex and the working memory
  • Yellowlees et al (2002) has developed a machine for schizophernics as by where they are played auditory hallucinations in the hope to show that they are not real
  • no evidence to show this a successful treatment
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Socio-cultrual factors - life events

  • stressful life events said to trigger schizophernia
  • Brown and Birley (1969) prior to a schizophernic episode, patients who had previously experienced schziopernia reported to have suffered 2x stressful life events
  • there is no evidence to say what causes this, however it is blieved that high levels of physiological aurosal accosicted with neurotransmitters are thought to be involved
  • not all evidence supports this
  • researchers found that there was not link between schizophernia and stressful life events
  • patients were not more likely to have suffered a stressful life event three months prior to an episode
  • it was found that there was a lower likelihood of suffering from a stresssful life event
  • also schziophernics may not realise what is a stressful life event and may believe they have had one when they have not
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Family relationships - double bind theory

  • children were given contradictory messages when growing up are likely to develop schizophernia
  • this is because, these contradictory actions prevent the development of an internally coehernt construction of reality
  • in the long run this then turns into schizopernic symptoms
  • Bereger (1965) schizophernics recalled a higher level of double bind by their mothers than non-schizophernics however the recall may be affected by the disorder
  • Liem (1974) less supportive study said that when communciation was measured between shcizophernic families and non there was no difference
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Family relationships - expressed emotion

  • expressed emotion is the level of hositliy in a family
  • high levels of ee are likely to influence relapse rates
  • schizophernics returning to a family of high ee are 4 times more likely to relapse
  • Irain culutured families have high ee, explaining why schizophernic relapse rates
  • negative emotional climate in these families arouses the patient thus resulting in stress beyond their coping level
  • much more universial empirical support than double bind
  • there is the issue whether is is a cause of effect?
  • it has lead to therapies to help families so relapse rates can be reduced
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Labelling therory

  • delusions etc are deviaant behaviours that within soical groups have been established
  • if you show these behaviours you are then labelled schizophernic
  • once the label has been placed the symptoms follow
  • thus becoming the self-fulfilling prophecy
  • Rosenhan (1973) was the label is applied the diagnosis then continues to influence the persons behaviour
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