At 3:40 on July 18th 1984 James Huberty killed 21 people at a San Ysidro McDonald’s and was shot and killed by a sniper after 77 minutes of continuous shooting (Noe). Huberty’s episode is attributed to his hearing voices before his excursion, a symptom of Paranoid Schizophrenia, a disease that Huberty was diagnosed with (Coon, Mitterer 488). This incident shows, in a very extreme way, that Schizophrenia of any type has the ability to alter ones realization of reality and may be caused by several things.
In order for Huberty to be diagnosed with schizophrenia he would have had to have shown signs of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and behavior, or other symptoms that cause social or occupational dysfunction for six months which would have had to have include at least one month of active symptoms. In his day only one of the symptoms would of have to been present but the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders requires that at least two symptoms be present for a patient to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia(“Schizophrenia”).
Another change that was made in the fifth addition of the DSM is the eradication of subtypes of Schizophrenia as they were generally unclear and caused much confusion. Instead the edition calls for “specifiers” to help with treatment. These specifiers are similar to the old subtypes, but instead of using them to narrow the field of a patient’s treatment they are instead used to broaden the horizon on what may be helpful to the patient based upon specific symptoms (“Schizophrenia”),
One thing that may be used as a specifier is the almost complete personality disintegration that characterizes Disorganized Schizophrenia. This classification is further characterized by highly disorganized speech, behavior and emotion, resulting in stillness, laughter, and bizarre or even obscene behavior. In the case of Disorganized Schizophrenia, which is usually onset in adolescence or young adulthood, there is a limited chance of improvement and social interaction is severely limited (Coon, Mitterer 487).
Another specifier might be the classification of a patient as catatonic. A catatonic patient would be one who assumes a stuporous condition in which odd positions may be held for long periods of time. These positions may be occasionally broke by sudden outbursts or violent behavior. These outbreaks cause the belief that those who may be classified as Catatonic Schizophrenia are paralyzed on the outside due to their inner turmoil (Coon, Mitterer 487).
Yet another specifier is that of a paranoid individual, such as Huberty, who suffer from delusions of grandeur and persecution. These individuals hallucinate, however their hallucinations will prove to be more bizarre and unconvincing than those in a delusional disorder. Individuals with Paranoid Schizophrenia may feel forced into violence in order to protect themselves form things like God, the Government or countless others, which they believe, may...