Schizophrenia- Overview and Causes (Biological and Social)

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  • Created on: 03-04-16 11:29

Schizophrenia                                                     

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can affect the way someone, thinks, speaks, or feels to a degree that they can no longer focus on reality and may no longer be able to function socially. A Psychiatrist can diagnose Schizophrenia according to different symptoms and features.

Symptoms and Features                                                                             

Symptoms  are what characteristics the person with the disorder displays. (It is what they present with to the doctor to be diagnosed.)

  • Positive Symptoms  

Hallucinations are classified as changes in thinking, including seeing and hearing things that are not percievable to others. A common example is hearing voices which are classified as critical (providing a running negative commentary on what the person is doing) or controlling (telling the person to do unusual/uncharacteristic things.) It should be noted that in some cultures this is not seen as a sign of mental disorder, but these voices are often kind and positive, or predictive in nature.

Delusions are classified as false beliefs. Common delusions include paranoid delusions where the sufferer can believe that someone is trying to mislead, manipulate or kill them. Delusions of grandeur are where the sufferer believes they are in a position of power e.g. a king or posessing a special power (such as being able to cure cancer.) It can be noted that this particular delusion is more common in white male sufferers. Delusions can also take the form of a person thinking unrelated things are conected (newspaper headlines containing codes meant for them etc.) Someone may also believe that their movements are being controllled by someone else. Delusions can lead to strange behaviour, such as covering windows to shut out the sound of God.

Thought Disorders may make someone's speech hard to follow. They can cause a loss of concentration, 'muddled thinking' and disorganisation. If these disorders develop they can lead to thought insertion, and thought broadcasting which involve the belief that their thoughts are not their own, or that others can hear what they are thinking.

  • Negative Symptoms

Lack of energy and apathy where the sufferer had no motivation to carry out simple or daily tasks.

Social Withdrawal where they avoid family and friends, refuse to go out and reduce communication with others.

Flatness of emotions when the sufferer's face may become emotionless and voice monotone, or it may present at them no longer enjoy things that they loved doing/that made them happy. 

Deterioration of sense of self where the person may not look after themselves or thier appearance. They will generally not adhere to societal expectations of preserving a sense of self.

It may be beneficial to note that

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