A Look At Schizophrenia Essay

3547 words - 15 pages

Case ExampleAndy started to withdrawal into his apartment by himself immediately following the death of his grandmother. His friends and family started to notice peculiar interactions with Andy. He seemed to miss many social cues and quickly move from one tangent to another. His mother noted that his apartment began to smell of rotten milk and his personal hygiene was quickly deteriorating. His family became seriously worried when Andy insisted on constantly wearing Isotoner gloves. His usual interest in writing and playing music began to wane while his infatuation with Isotoner gloves became more intense. Andy refused to touch anything without his gloves. His brother was finally able to ...view middle of the document...

Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder characterized by two or more of the symptoms; delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior or negative symptoms during a 1-month period (or less) as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). As observed with Andy, impairments in social functioning are among the hallmark characteristics for schizophrenia (Penn, 2003). Social deficits characteristic of Andy's behavior may often present in the first episode of schizophrenia. Such episodes may prove resistant to anti-psychotic treatment, while social impairments frequently deteriorate over time and throughout the course of the disorder. Such negative symptoms and responses may possibly contribute to an increased rate of relapse for people with schizophrenia (Pinkham, 2003).The disease tends to be chronic, running a lifelong course usually first appearing in the early to late adolescence for males and mid twenties for females. Early on, schizophrenia is usually marked by repeated acute episodes of elaborate psychosis usually running a deteriorating course (Tamminga, 1997). Schizophrenia symptoms tend to be grouped into a dichotomy of positive and negative symptoms. The positive symptoms represent more overt symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms tend to represent a withdrawal from social or emotional context. Marked disorganization of thought, language or conceptual abilities begin to lead towards additional symptomatic contexts (Reichenberg, 2005).Other accompanying symptoms present in schizophrenia may include depression, anxiety, cognitive deficits, and belligerent or aggressive behavior. (Gildas, 2005) "The most frequently reported neuropsychological deficits in schizophrenia are those of attention, executive function, and verbal memory". (Muller et al., 2004) These additional clinical and diagnostic symptoms may prove to be more and more valuable as additional information is gathered about schizophrenia. It has been reported that childhood deficits in verbal memory may serve as a key risk factor for early diagnosis of schizophrenia. These verbal impairments in explicit verbal learning tend to be associated with a poor long term outcome in all areas of everyday life (Green 1996).One study reported that negative symptoms tended to remain stable while psychotic symptoms and disorganization displayed noticeable changes over the two year evaluation span (Reichenberg, 2005). There tends to be a wide variety of symptoms and their presentation in people with schizophrenia making the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) difficult to use in diagnosing schizophrenia. The symptoms tend to vary over time, changing the central diagnostic characteristics and etiology of each patient (Putnam et al., 1996). It has been difficult to evaluate these diverse and changing positive and negative symptoms in a reportable and valid manner. Many...

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