DISCUSS SOCIALPSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS GIVEN FOR Essay

This essay has a total of 1582 words and 9 pages.

DISCUSS SOCIALPSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS GIVEN FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA




Page 255 Question 4 (a) and (b)


DESCRIBE ANY ONE MENTAL DISORDER.
DISCUSS SOCIAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS GIVEN FOR
THIS DISORDER.
SCHIZOPHRENIA

Schizophrenia is a serious psychotic disorder that is characterised by a loss of contact
with reality. Kraepelin in 1902 originally called schizophrenia Dementia Praecox which is
a senility of youth. He believed that the typical symptoms were due to a form of mental
deterioration which began in adolescence. Symptoms are mainly disturbances of thought
processes but also extend to disturbances of behaviour and emotion.


There are two traditional symptom categories of schizophrenia. Acute schizophrenia is
classified as type one, as a functional disorder which has positive symptoms such as
hallucinations and delusions. Chronic schizophrenia is classified as type two, as an
organic disorder which has negative symptoms such as apathy and withdrawal. These two
main symptom categories have been abandoned by DSM-IV, which is the latest version of the
American manual for all mental disorders, symptoms and possible treatments.


Schizophrenia is now classified into three main subtypes, paranoid in which the person is
less disturbed, disorganised or hebephrenic which is what most people associate
schizophrenia as, and catatonic which is the most serious of the three.


In paranoid schizophrenia the person may have delusions of grandeur which is when they
believe they are someone famous or grand for example The Messiah or Elvis, or when they
believe they posses magical powers. Delusions of persecution is another symptom. This is
when they believe that others are plotting against them, they are being spied upon, talked
about or being deliberately victimised. Paranoid schizophrenia sufferers may also have
auditory hallucinations which are voices heard in the absence of external stimuli which
are often critical, warning them of danger or giving them commands. Slater and Roth in
1969 regarded hallucinations as the least important of all the symptoms because they are
not exclusive to schizophrenia. In paranoid schizophrenia the personality is better
preserved than in the other two kinds. It is a type one, functional, acute and positive
type of schizophrenia.


Disorganised schizophrenia typically makes a gradual appearance between the ages of twenty
and twenty-five. The hebephrenic will display the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia as
well as disorganised behaviour and speech. The person may have severe disruption in the
ability to perform everyday living activities such as showering, dressing themselves and
preparing and cooking meals. They may speak inappropriately and say things that do not
make any sense and are in a confusing order. Inappropriate behaviour may also be shown
for example they might laugh when they are being told terrible news. They may have flat
emotions, where no emotional response is shown. Their eyes are lifeless ,their speech is
toneless and emotionless and they look like they are staring at nothing particular, into
space. Their behaviour is out of context. The disorganised type is in-between the
traditional classifications of positive and negative symptoms.




Catatonic schizophrenia includes the symptoms of paranoid and disorganised schizophrenia
along with some more serious symptoms, and is a type two, negative and chronic. The
schizophrenic may show apathy which is the lack of interest in normal goals, the loss of
drive when they feel drained of energy, tired and are unable to continue with things they
have begun.


Cataleptic stupor is also a symptom where the person stands motionless or in bizarre
postures, like a statue. Excessive motor activity is common when they move in odd and
disturbing ways, sudden movement which appears purposeless and is not implicated by
external stimuli. The person may also repeatedly echo words spoken by others, or the
accentuated imitation of the mannerisms of other people. This is called echolalia.


Although schizophrenia was originally called the senility of youth by Kraepelin, Bleuler
in 1911 observed that many patients displaying these symptoms did not go on deteriorating
and theta illness often begins much later than adolescence. He then called the illness
schizophrenia, meaning split mind or divided self in which the personality loses its
unity.


Genetic theorists study three areas in schizophrenia, family history, twins and adoption.
The studies I have looked at show that people who have schizophrenic relatives are more
likely to get the illness than the general public. Kendler et al's 1985 study shows that
first degree relatives of those with schizophrenia are eighteen times more at risk than
the general population. Zimbardo et al in 1995 compiled data from family and twin studies
conducted in European populations between 1920 and 1987. He found that the degree of risk
correlates highly with the degree of genetic relatedness. Gottesman and Shields in 1982
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