(2005). A Systematic Review of the Prevalence of Schizophrenia. PLoS Medicine, 2(5), 141. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020141 Selemon, L. (2001). Regionally diverse cortical pathology in schizophrenia: Clues to the etiology of the disease. Schizophrenia Bulletin 27(3), 339-377.
Schizophrenia is a disorder of the thought process where patients lose a normal sense of reality. They also have difficulty with basic cognitive functions such as thinking clearly and have disorganized thoughts, expressing feelings, and using appropriate behaviors. This disorder is characterized by the presence of strong delusions, which are irreversible false beliefs that patient’s entertain, even when their beliefs are disproved by presenting strong evidence. Another very characteristic symptom seen among these patients is the presence of hallucinations, both auditory and sensory, but predominantly auditory, which reflects an impaired perception of reality. There are several variants and subtypes of schizophrenia based on the patient demographics, severity and duration of symptoms and response to
Science 255(5047):946-952. Kendler KS, Gruenberg AM, Kinney DK (1994), Independent diagnoses of adoptees and relatives as defined by DSM-III in the provincial and national samples of the Danish Adoption Study of Schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 51(6):456-468. Keshavan MS (1999), Development, disease and degeneration in schizophrenia: a unitary pathophysiological model. J Psychiatr Res 33(6):513-521.
A problem of the diagnosis of schizophrenia known as co-morbidity this is when the symptoms of schizophrenia overlap with many other disorders, such as, depression and bipolar disorder. This is a problem because the patient may be misdiagnosed and given the wrong type of treatment which will not cure the symptoms they have and may cause another type of illness. This can be solved by multiple diagnosis this will also improve the inter rater reliability. Reliability is the extent in to which two or more medical specialists have consistent results in their diagnosis. The validity externally is very difficult as there are cultural barriers, as psychiatrists from different cultures interpret symptoms differently resulting in people being diagnosed schizophrenia in one culture but not in another.
Today I am going to talk to you about Schizophrenia and a closer look into my experiences of being diagnosed with it. When a doctor describes schizophrenia as a psychotic disorder, it means that, in their view, the patient can’t tell their own intense thoughts, ideas, perceptions and imaginings from reality. There are different types of schizophrenia. The most common one is paranoid schizophrenia which if generally a manifestation on multiple symptoms. Different patients will have different symptoms which will indicate what type of schizophrenia they have.
The manuals are frequently revised and it has recently been updated to DSM V. There are five different types of schizophrenia; paranoid, disorganised, catatonic, residual and undifferentiated. The paranoid type believe people are plotting against them, are anxious, suffer from delusions, are suspicious of people and they respond to medication. The disorganised type is the silly mind and they suffer from the ‘flat effect’ which is a monotone voice and disorganised speech and behaviour. The catatonic type is when a person has problems with their motor movements; either uncontrollable motor movement or being stood like a statue and mute. The residual type is a milder form of schizophrenia and symptoms are reduced in number and intensity.
They can be paranoid delusions and the person will exhibit paranoid behaviour because of this. This type of symptom would fit with the most common type of schizophrenia which is predominant in 35-40% of those with schizophrenia. Also, the person can believe that they are under the control of a force that has invaded their mind. This can be in the form of an alien or spirit etc. Additionally a schizophrenic person may have hallucinations that can include hearing voices or feeling things such as bugs crawling on them but these are unreal perceptions.
Schizophrenia is defined as a psychotic disorder in which people are disturbed by their own thoughts. Whether it be voices or illusions people that suffer from this illness tend to distort reality. Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed between the ages of 16-30, though it is still being researched today, we are not certain how schizophrenia is developed. Some scientists believe that schizophrenia is caused by a gene malfunction; other scientists say it is caused by family genetics. There are three main symptoms of schizophrenia, delusions, hallucinations, and thought disorder.
Even some physical illnesses can cause symptoms that appear to be those of schizophrenia, for example temporal lobe epilepsy can have symptoms that can be mistaken for schizophrenia, and this can lead to misdiagnosis and a patient could end up being treated for the wrong illness completely. There are issues of reliability with classification of schizophrenia, because for a classification system to be useful, it must produce consistent results. Because schizophrenia has so many symptoms and can be easily mistaken for other illnesses, it is highly unlikely that studies will come out with completely consistent results, therefore making the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia unreliable and almost useless. Schizophrenia is diagnosed using the DSMIV and the ICD 10. These are the most