Psychology - Schizophrenia

Clinical characteristics of schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 02-06-09 08:19

Clinical characteristics

  • 1% of the population will be diagnosed with it
  • Usually occurs between 14-45 yrs. Males 4-5 yrs earlier
  • Chronic- insidious change. Gradually starts to lose drive and motivation and drifts away from friends. After months/years of this deterioration, more obvious signs of disturbance, such as delusional ideas or hallucinations, appear
  • Acute - More obvious signs can appear quite suddenly, usually after a stressful event, individual shows disturbed behaviour after a few days
  • Type 1

An acute disorder characterised by positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder)

  • Type 2

A chronic disorder characterised by negative symptoms such as flattening of effect, apathy and poverty of speech

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Sub-types of schizophrenia

  • Paranoid schizophrenia - Delusions and/or hallucinations.
  • Disorganised schizo - Behaviour is aimless and disorganised and speech is rambling and incoherent. Marked flattening and inappropriate of affect
  • Catatonic schizo - Individuals sometimes adopt strange postures or flail their limbs around in an uncontrolled fashion. Show negativism when told to move them
  • Undifferential schizo - General category if unfitting into another sub-type
  • Post-schizo depression (Not in DSM-IV) - Schizo symptoms met in last 12 months but not currently present. Depressive symptoms prolonged and severe
  • Residual schizo - Symptoms met in the past, but not now. Many signs of negative symptoms throughout the previous 12 months
  • Simple schizo (Not in DSM-IV) - Slow but progressive development of social withdrawal, apathy, poverty of speech and marked decline in occupational performance.
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ICD-10: Symptoms of schizophrenia 1

Need 1 sign from group 1 and 2 from group 2 to be diagnosed with schizo

1. (A) Thought control - Thought withdrawal- thoughts extracted from person's mind

- Thought insertion- unwelcome thoughts are inserted into a person's mind

- Thought broadcast- private thoughts become accessible to other people

(B) Delusions of control, influence and passivity - Individual does not feel in control of their own thoughts, feelings and will

(C) Hallucinatory voices - The context of these voices is very variable but often takes the form of a running commentary on a person's behaviour

(D) Other persistent delusions - Distorted beliefs that are culturally inappropriate or involve impossible powers and capabilities

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ICD-10: Symptoms of schizophrenia 2

2. (A) Persistent hallucinations - Distorted perception arising from any of the senses and may be accompanied by delusions

(B) Incoherent or irrelevant speech - Train of thought is disrupted and person's speech becomes jumbled and so meaningless. Made-up words often inserted into convo

(C) Catatonic behaviour - Unusual body movements, adoption of odd postures, uncontrolled limb movements and sometimes complete frozen immobility

(D) Negative symptoms - Include apathy and general lack of drive and motivation. Speech often conveys little meaning and is often repetitive. Individual shows flat affect- little emotion and speaks in a monotonous, expressionless tone. When emotion is displayed, it can be inappropriate and there can be sudden mood swings

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