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Schitzophrenia Unkown Essay

2072 words - 9 pages

Schizophrenia: A Psychological Mystery
Emily Newgent
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Schizophrenia: A Psychological Mystery
Schizophrenia is a common mental illness, with a wide degree of varying symptoms from patient to patient, such as hallucinations and delusions, which has been recognized throughout history and recorded in all cultures. In 1911, Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), a Swiss physician, coined the term “schizophrenia,” due to the fact that he thought the cognitive impairment associated with the illness came from the splitting of psychic function. Schizophrenia affects about one out of a hundred people in the world. About a third of the people who are diagnosed with this ...view middle of the document...

Sarason and Sarason (2005) reveal that Bleuler characterized schizophrenia by “the loss of the integration of thinking, emotion, and motivation rather than just gradual deterioration” (p. 376). In an attempt to increase the understanding of the causes of schizophrenia, Bleuler used the four A’s to sum up the primary characteristics of schizophrenic behavior: alterations in affect (or mood), alterations in association (or cognition), ambivalence, and autism (Sarason & Sarason, 2005). Another pioneer in the clinical research of schizophrenia, Kurt Schneider (1887-1967), was a leader in the effort to define it in a more concise way on which it would be easier for medical professionals to agree. Schneider decided to break schizophrenia down into categories of first- and second-rank based on the patient’s psychological symptoms (Sarason, & Sarason, 2005).
According to Nevid (2009):
Researchers have been puzzled by this disorder for years and found that in some instances, people have a higher chance of developing schizophrenia if their biological parents have it. But when studying identical twins, if one twin has the disorder, the likelihood of the other twin developing it is only about 45 to 50 percent. Therefore, even though some people may be predisposed to having schizophrenia, many only develop it if they experience significant life stressors. Some researchers have also found many similarities in schizophrenia patients, such as biochemical imbalances, brain abnormalities, and psychosocial influences (p. 546).

Although many of the historic views on schizophrenia are no longer accepted, with the advancements made in research, the early ideas about subgroups or types of the disorder and the characteristics of symptoms essential for diagnosis still have an influence on the DSM-IV-TR and in the way researchers go about forming questions for their studies. Typically symptoms for schizophrenia begin to manifest between the adolescent years and early adulthood for males and generally a few years later for females. Also, symptoms occur usually as a result of a stressful period in their lives (AllPsychOnline, 2013). According to Nevid (2009), the symptoms linked with people suffering from schizophrenia are “sensory hallucinations, aberrations of demons or the devil coming after them, bizarre behaviors, incoherent speech, illogical thinking, and thought disorder” (p. 545). Hallucinations are defined by Sarason and Sarason (2005) as faulty perceptions associated with any of the senses, with auditory hallucinations being the most common type. Delusions are defined as faulty interpretations of reality (Sarason & Sarason, 2005). There are some symptoms that generally progress along with the disorder, meaning they are usually developed long after the onset of schizophrenic symptoms.
Kurt Schneider’s breakdown of first- and second-rank symptoms are now referred to as positive and negative symptoms. Sarason and...

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