Schizophrenia is one of the mental disorders easily identified and characterized by the breakdown of an individual’s thinking process. It is also characterized by poor or depleted emotional responsiveness. Known symptoms of schizophrenia include paranoia, auditory hallucinations, bizarre feelings, delusion, retarded speech and disorganized thinking being accompanied by a significant occupational and social dysfunction.

Research of this disorder requires thorough theoretical and practical analysis appealing to the method of observation. Field work was conducted in a psychiatric clinic during four hours with an aim to observe the behavior of patients. Chief doctor explained that symptoms of schizophrenia developed gradually. The patients were subjected to various factors to examine their health condition and set an appropriate treatment. Most of the patients showed extreme levels of anxiety, deep thoughts, and depression. These patients had troubles to concentrate and focus on the sessions that they had to listen. Patients were irritable and had tense feelings. They seemed to be restless when allowed to take breaks from their sessions. Communication with these patients bore no progress as they preferred being isolated.

I characterized the observed symptoms according to the forms of schizophrenia observed in patients. In the cases of paranoid schizophrenia, some of the symptoms included anger, tension, anxiety and possession of false beliefs especially of harm supposed to happen to them from their loved ones.  Symptoms of the disorganized schizophrenia were characterized by the developing of childish behavior, poor idea explanation, thinking barrier and apathy. Patients, who suffered from the Catatonic schizophrenia, had odd face expressions, lack or reduced activity, rigid postures, and muscles. They also had extreme low response to other people including the psychiatrists.

Schizophrenia Critical Analysis

The initial symptoms of the disorder appear in young adults. Statistics shows that almost 0.7 percent from the world population suffer from schizophrenia. Diagnosis is set from observation of behavior and the schizophrenic patient’s past records of reported experience. Neurobiology, genetics, psychology, early environment, and social processes seem to be essential contributory factors. Some of the symptoms could worsen, if a schizophrenic patient uses recreational drugs (Berrios et al, 2003). Updated research is presently bent to focus on the role of neurobiology. Though, there have not been any reports of isolated organic causal factors established.  Debates have erupted discussing the issue of correlation of feasible combinations of schizophrenia regarding whether its diagnosis covers an individual disorder or multiple of discrete syndromes.

The basis of the disorder’s treatment is antipsychotic based medication that substantially represses dopamine and serotonin’s receptor activities. Psychotherapy, social and vocational rehabilitations take a key responsibility in the treatment of the disorder. There are situations when the potential risks are high so that a patient requires immediate hospitalization, involuntary. It is supposed that disorder mainly impacts on cognition, although it influences extensively emotional and behavioral condition. Patients are likely to feel considerable anxiety and depression disorders. Scholars try to analyze the roots of disorder’s development. They distinguish physiological reasons and social issues such as extended unemployment, homelessness, and poverty. The disorder can develop on the ground of incremented physical health problems. The most vulnerable are young people from 12 to 15 years old. Scientists concern about the rate of suicides among people who suffer from schizophrenia (Craddock et al, 2004).

Symptoms

An individual diagnosed with this disorder experiences hallucination, delusion and often bizarre feelings. Most of these patients’ speaking is hard to comprehend and get a sense. They suffer from word salad with trails of deteriorating thought. Untidiness, social withdrawal reduced judgment and motivation are regular features of schizophrenia’s patients.  Impaired in social cognition is linked with this disorder. Difficulties at work, long term memory executive functioning, low attention and speed to processing are also common deviations among the schizophrenic patients. Patients are often mute, remaining motionless in weird postures, and exhibiting purposeless disturbance, this includes the signs attributed to catatonia.

Early adulthood and late adolescence are climax periods when schizophrenia can develop. There is critical duration in young adult's vocational and social development. In 40% of males and 23% of females diagnosed with schizophrenia, the disorder started to develop at the age of 19 years (McGurk et al, 2007).  To eliminate the developmental interference related with this disorder, much work has recently been done to establish and prevent the prodromal facets of schizophrenia disorder that can be identified in thirty months prior to the symptoms’ onset. Those patients experience self-limiting, transient psychotic symptoms or non-specified symptoms related with irritability, social withdrawal, clumsiness and dysphoria during the prodromal stage (Craddock et al, 2004).

Schneiderian Categories

Dating back to the early 20th century, psychiatrists have listed the types of psychotic features that distinguish schizophrenia from other psychotic disorders. The first-ranked symptom is an external form of delusion. The patients suppose that evil toughs have controlled their conscious minds, believing that their thoughts are broadcasted to others. They experience hallucinatory sounds that comment on the patients’ actions or thoughts.  Although these symptoms have significantly contributed to the present diagnosis criteria, their specificity has for a long time been disputed. Several reviews in the diagnostic learning that took place between the years1970 and 2005 established neither rejection nor confirmation of these claims. Therefore, it was suggested that the 1st ranked symptoms ought to be analyzed in future reviews of diagnostic structures and procedures.

Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The disorder has positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include those that most normal persons do not usually experience, they are first reasons to examine and set necessary treatment. Symptoms may include disordered thoughts, delusions, speech, auditory, tactile, visual, gustatory and olfactory hallucinations that manifest the development of psychosis. Patients fail to distinguish the real worlds. They create illusions. Positive symptoms are treated with necessary medication. However, negative symptoms complicate the way to cure patients considering their emotional reactions and other thinking processes. Negative symptoms include blunted emotional reaction, alogia, poverty of speech, incapability to experience happiness, anhedonia, no urge to form social relationships, asociality, and avolition, lack of motivation (McGurk et al, 2007). Research states that these symptoms have a crucial influence on patients’ lives. They prompt functional disability and poor qualities of sick people’s lives. Considering the level of symptom’s development, doctors choose necessary and efficient way of treatment. However, schizophrenic patients, who have evident display of negative symptoms, are more vulnerable to the prescribed treatment.

Causes

The combinations of environmental and genetic causal factors have a substantial influence on the development of schizophrenia. Analyzing statistics of the last year, people, who suffered from brief psychosis, had 20–40% probability of being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Genetics

There are significant variances in the current estimates of heritability due to the difficulty to seclude the effects of environments on people’s genetics. Scientists state that above 40% of monozygotic twins could be affected from parents possessing schizophrenia. It is also likely that most genes are involved (Craddock et al, 2004). Genes have a considerable effect on people’s health and unidentified expression and transmission. People with schizophrenic disorder have overlaps in the genes of bipolar. Considering a hereditary basis, a question emanates from the possibility of psychosis evolving. A possible idea is that these genes are drawn in the process of evolution of the human nature and language, however such suggestions remain hypothetical (Ananth et al, 2004).

Environment

Factors linked to the development of this disorder include drug use, prenatal stressors, and the living environment. The way children are brought up and parenting are considered to posses no chief influence. Moreover, people with supportive guardians do better compared to those with hostile ones. People being brought up in an urbane environment have been found to accelerate the chances of contacting schizophrenia. This is the first factor after drug abuse, sizes of social and ethnic deviations. Other causal factors playing pivotal roles include immigration relating to social varieties, social isolation, racial discrimination, long term unemployment, family dysfunction, and poor housing (Kumra et al, 2001).

Drug Use

Drugs are interconnected with the onset of schizophrenia. These drugs include cocaine, cannabis, and amphetamines. Almost half of patients with schizophrenia have abused excessive amount of drugs and alcohol. Sufficient evidence is obtainable to sustain a connection between prior contraction of psychotic disorders and cannabis use. However, alcohol has not linked with a prior onset of psychosis, schizophrenia. Cannabis abuse is considered to cause schizophrenia through distorting or interfering neurodevelopment of the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. Individuals suffering from schizophrenia use drugs to tackle with anxiety, boredom, depression, and loneliness. The development of schizophrenia could be caused by alcohol use considering the distortion gene expressions, neuronal membranes, as well as a deficiency from thiamind (Parnas, 1989). There is sufficient evidence that abuse of alcohol by means of kindling mechanisms do occasionally drive to the development of chronic matter stimulated psychotic disorders that is schizophrenia. A number of individuals of benzodiazepines withdrawal experience severe extended syndromes that may resemble schizophrenia and which have a high possibility of misdiagnosis as such.

Cannabis is linked with the risks of developing schizophrenia disorder, where frequent abuse is correlated with development of schizophrenia and psychosis. While its use is acknowledged as a contributory causal factor of schizophrenia by most researchers, it persists to be controversial.  Cocaine, amphetamine, and alcohol use may result in this disorder (Ben, 2007). 

Prevention

It is difficult to prevent Schizophrenia as there are no consistent indicators for the later establishment of the disorder. Currently, the proofs for the efficiency of timely interventions aimed to prevent schizophrenia are inconclusive. While there is little evidence that timely intervention in patients with a schizophrenia episode might improve interim results, there is low gain from the measures within 5 years. Trying to prevent this disorder in its predominate stage has uncertain results (Berrios et al, 2003).

Theoretical research carries on strategies that may eliminate the occurrence of schizophrenia. One method seeks to learn what takes place on a neurological and genetic level to be in a position to account for the disorder. This gives the reason that biomedical trials may be established. However, varied and multiple genetic effects small amount, interactions with the environment, which makes this process difficult (McGurk et al, 2007). Instead, public health methods strategies could selectively take care of socioeconomic causal factors that are linked to higher instances of schizophrenia in specific groups, for instance, in correlation to immigration, poverty or ethnicity. Population oriented strategies may promote services to promise safe pregnancies or healthy growth, adding to areas of psychological growth, social cognition. Nevertheless, there is little evidence to institute such ideas presently, and several of the broader matters are not precise to schizophrenia. Drugs supposed to have a role in contracting schizophrenia should be further evaluated and regulations imposed on them.

Management

The basic treatment of schizophrenia is using antipsychotic medicines, normally in combination with social and psychological supports. Hospitalization might be required for severe cases either voluntarily or involuntarily with regard to regulations.  Extended hospitalization is rare from the 1950s when deinstitutionalization began, although it still takes course. Community aid services including visits by associates of healthcare communal teams, drop-in centers, support groups, and supportive employment is common. Most evidence shows that habitual exercises have positive effects on the mental and physical health of individuals with schizophrenia.

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