Many people with schizophrenia develop delusions, which are ideas the individual may believe to be based upon facts but are not. People with schizophrenia may be unable to think and speak rationally; this type of thought disorders cause confusion and make it extremely difficult to communicate. Hallucinations are a response to persevered stimuli without any actual external activity, also schizophrenics experience a heightened sense of perception this can cause the person to feel overwhelmed by all the outside stimuli, activity, and sounds around them. Schizophrenia also causes social withdrawal, decreased emotional responsiveness, and inappropriate shifts in emotions, blunted facial expressions, and loss of speech or ability to speak, (Comer, p. 362). In some cases schizophrenia causes catatonia, one symptom of this is called cationic excitement, which is the thrashing of arms and legs uncontrollably. The disorder can cause may cause unresponsiveness to their environment, motionless and silent for long stretches of time. Other symptoms can be maintaining a rigid, upright posture or taking bizarre positions for hours, (Comer, p. 363).
There are two categories Schizophrenia; type One and type Two Schizophrenia. Type I schizophrenia is generally ruled by positive symptoms and patients often seemto have a better likelihood for improvement, (Comer, p. 364). Type II is often more difficult to improve symptoms because it largely displays negative symptoms (i.e. decreased emotional responsiveness, poverty of speech, and loss of desire). According to the DSM-IV categories schizophrenia is made of five different types of Schizophrenia Disorganized Schizophrenia, Catatonic Schizophrenia,Paranoid Schizophrenia,Undifferentiated Schizophrenia,Residual Schizophrenia. Diagnoses occurs only when associated symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, extreme disorganization, cationic behaviors, and disorganized speech, of the disorder have persisted for six months or longer and interfere with daily functions, self reliance, social relationships and other responsibilities, (Comer, p. 363).
Schizophrenia has been found to be more common among relatives of a person that suffers from the disorder. In fact, in identical twins the chances of both twins being schizophrenic is nearly 50 percent where as only one percent of the generally population is likely to develop the disorder, (Comer, p. 365). This is because of shared hereditary genes and DNA of identical twins. Schizophrenia may be the result of factors such as low oxygen levels during birth, prolonged labor, or if the mother contracted a viral infection at the time of birth. There has also been a link that Schizophrenia may be caused by underdeveloped areas in the frontal lobe and overactive partial lobes in the brain. Furthermore certain hormones, such as dopamine, cause neurotransmitters to over “fire” and send rapid signal in to the brain to receptors, which triggers behaviors associated with Schizophrenia, (Comer, p. 366).
The Psychodynamic explanation was developed by Sigmund Freud, and was thought to be the result of harsh unnurturing emotional environments. This environment cause regression and the person only seeks to provide for themselves and become self-centered and try to establish symptoms of schizophrenia. Furthermore, according to psychodynamic theorist Frieda Fromm-Reichman, the conditions that mother’s of children that are cold, overprotective, and rejecting are also thought to be the cause of the disorder as a kind of coping mechanism. Most modern photodynamic theorist associate the development of the disorder to the biological factors, (Comer, p. 370).The Cognitive explanation of schizophrenia supports the biological perspective of the development of schizophrenia, and also agrees withthe notion that the biological factors are simple the foundation; the actual emergence of the disorder often occurs when the individuals attempts to understand their unusual experiences. This is often called the “rational path to madness.” The desire to understand a problem that is commonly misunderstood only perpetuates the problem, (Comer p. 370). This theory does not have conclusive evidence to support the notion that misunderstanding the illness leads to the development of stronger symptoms.
Sociocultural theorists consider the theory that Schizophrenics are influenced by the identification of being diagnosed as Schizophrenic. This basically means that when a person is labeled in this way the person will react my accepting the role they are given.Schizophrenia and other mental disorders are often linked to family stress. Individuals with Schizophrenia have greater difficulty communicating with one another, and if parents or family members are over critical or disapproving it may only compound the initial problem. Sociocultural theorists also believe that financial stress and poverty are related to the development of Schizophrenia. It has also been noted that African Americans and Hispanic- Americans are more likely to develop Schizophrenia, but it is unclear, if this higher rate of a certain group of people (in the case of a majority of African Americans) being diagnosed as being Schizophrenic is truly the result of accurate diagnoses or if it due to the misinterpretation of clinician, (Comer p. 371).
Antipsychotic medications reduce the some symptoms of schizophrenia like hallucinations and delusions. These medication while may reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia they do not stop them entirely and are generally much less affective on negative symptoms. These medications often result in feelings of slowed movements or jitteriness. Antipsychotic medications cannot cure Schizophrenia, but can be useful in managing some symptoms, (Comer, p. 378).Lobotomy and Psychosurgical Procedures are generally only used is extreme case of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. These modern procedures are nothing like the procedures of old, where a whole was drills in the brain and essential destroy potions of the brain in order to reduce signs of a mental disorder. The trouble with that was that it often caused brain seizures, loss of motor skill and coordination, emotional irresponsiveness, and many other devastating problems to patients, (Comer, p. 374).Traditional Institutionalization was meant to be a break from the asylums of the past, but as the systems and facilities became over crowded the care began to plummet, and soon became a place to keep mentally ill persons out of normal society. In modern times programs such as milieu therapy have begun and have proven to be highly successful. Milieu therapy is that institutionalization that can help individuals by creating a highly socialized environment, and promotes responsibility and self-respect, (Comer, p. 375).Many types of therapy that are used in combination with the antipsychotic medications in order to assist the patients in learning about their conditions and gain control over the disorder, (Comer, p. 383). Social and emotional support are essential to the wellbeing of people with mental disorders, and schizophrenics are no different. These individuals need to be socially interactive and through therapy can understand themselves and others.
When medications and therapies are used together suffers of schizophrenia often show signs of improvement and have better change of recovering from symptoms of this disorder. Proper care can make all of the difference and community care programs that provide employment opportunities and programs that allow schizophrenic patients to be socially interactive will other member in the facility and emphasize self respect companionship are all important to the recovery of such severe disorder, (comer, p. 385).
What are the symptoms of schizophrenia? Positive symptoms – Delusions or hallucination, disorganized thought process or speech, heightened perceptions, and inappropriate emotional behaviors(responses). Negative symptoms – Lack of emotion affect, lack of eye contacts, inability to display emotions, decreased ability in speech or content, social withdraw, and inner torment. Psychomotor symptoms – awkward movements, repeated facial expression or gestures or catatonia (catatonic stupor, catatonic excitement, catatonic posturing, or catatonic rigidity).
How is Schizophrenia diagnosed? Type I schizophrenia Type II schizophrenia DSM-IV categories