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Schizophrenia Essay

3869 words - 15 pages

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious debilitating mental illness in which the victim is afflicted with bizarre delusions and prominent hallucinations. The delusions are profoundly invalid beliefs, and the hallucinations are equally invalid perceptions. There is also a disordering of the reasoning process, disordered emotional expression, and loss of motivation for work and social living. Typically, the illness starts in adolescence or early adulthood and, if untreated, usually worsens with age. (Lickey, Gordon, 1991)
The first description of schizophrenia was first given by Emil Kraepelin in 1896, and not until 1952 the “false” idea of what that disease was ceased to exist.

DSM – IV Criteria for Schizophrenia

A. At least two of the following symptoms lasting for as least one month in the active phase (exception: only one symptom if it involves bizarre delusions or if hallucinations involve a running commentary on the person or two or more voices talking with each other).
1. Delusions
2. Hallucinations
3. Disorganized speech (incoherence or frequent derailment)
4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
5. Negative symptoms (flat affect, avolition, alogia, or anhedonia)

B. During the course of the disturbance, functioning in one or more areas such as work, social relations, and self-care has deteriorated markedly from premorbid levels (in the case of child or adolescent, failure to reach expected level of social or academic development)

C. Signs of the disorder must be present for at least six months.

D. Schizoaffective and mood disorders with psychotic features must be ruled out.

E. The disturbance is not substance-induced or caused by organic factors.

(Source: Adapted from DSM-IV Draft Criteria)

Symptoms of Schizophrenia
 Lack of insight 97%
 Auditory hallucinations 74%
 Verbal hallucinations 70%
 Ideas of reference 70%
 Suspiciousness 66%
 Flat affect 66%
 Voices speaking to patient 65%
 Delusional mood 64%
 Delusions of persecution 54%
 Though alienation 52%
 Thoughts spoken aloud 50%
(Source: World Health Organization, 1973b, 1981).

Source: Sue, 1991 p.430

Risk of Schizophrenia Among
Blood Relatives of Schizophrenics
Relationship to the Schizophrenic Person Morbidity Risk (%)
MZ twin 36 - 38
Child of two affected parents 36 - 46
Child of one affected parent 12 - 13
Sibling 8 - 9
Parents 4 - 6
Half sibling 3...

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