Symptoms of schizophrenia a put into negative and positive categories. Negative symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia are lack of normal emotional responses or of other normal thought processes. The symptoms that are categorized as positive symptoms are disordered thoughts and/or speech, delusions, and all modalities of hallucinations. Hallucinations can be delusional and persecutory in nature. Social isolation occurs as a result of emotional difficulty and paranoia. Difficulties in all forms of memory and attention are also experienced. Almost half of those that suffer from the illness do not believe that they are ill. Deficits in cognitive abilities across memory, speech and social functioning are the main features of the illness.
Antipsychotic medication combined with job training and social rehabilitation. Self-instructional training has been developed to help with language deficits.
A combination of environmental factors and genetic predisposition play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Research is being done into the genes that are involved in inheriting it. Maternal stress, nutritional deficiencies, obesity have also been identified as possible risk factors for the baby developing schizophrenia. Trauma during the person’s life such as being abused increase the risk of developing psychosis. Living in an unsafe environment, and social isolation during childhood can increase the risk for developing it. Cannabis use and early exposure to cannabis is strongly associated with an increased risk.
Famous case studies
The history of schizophrenia being noticed stretches as far back as the ancient Greeks. Despite this, and the fact that schizophrenia wasn’t called such until the last century or so, it’s difficult to track an exact case of schizophrenia. A few infamous serial killers have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but it makes me too uncomfortable to read extensive analysis of their grisly crimes and the sexual violence they committed. One important case that has to do with factors that can influence a doctor perceiving a person as having the illness and one that shows how misunderstood the illness is is the Rosenhan study. The first part of the Rosenhan study involved the use of healthy ‘moles’, Rosenhan himself being one of them, who pretended to have auditory hallucinations so that they would be admitted to 12 psychiatric hospitals in five states across the United States. After being admitted with a psychiatric disorder diagnosis the moles acted normally and told staff that they felt better. They stopped pretending to have hallucinations. All of the people were forced to admit to having a mental illness took antipsychotic drugs, with the average length of their admission being 19 days. The second part of his study involved sending moles to the hospitals that were outraged that they had been fooled. in the following weeks out of 250 new patients he supposedly sent, the staff pointed out 41 patients as potential fakes. Rosenhan had actually sent no fake patients to any of the hospitals.
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