Schizophrenia is a long term disorder with active symptoms for at least one month, including but not limited to delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or bizarre behavior, and/or a lack of organized speech, activity, or emotions as defined by the American Psychiatry Association(Delesi). This disorder can then be further broken down into subcategories. These subcategories include catatonic, disorganized, borderline and paranoia. Out of the four, paranoid schizophrenia a form of schizophrenia characterized by delusions of persecution, grandeur or jealousy (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary). Acute schizophrenia can be fully understood if the adjective acute is examined. The disorder begins from early adulthood and continues until the sufferer passes away. Symptoms range from severe hallucinations to euphoria. Observation of odd behaviors should be reported by peers and family as early diagnosis can aid in the prevention of negative symptoms. Although there is no cure, drugs and therapy are available to those with the disorder and can help ease the problem.
Signs and symptom:
The symptomatology is quite extensive and involves multiple types or classifications. The classification can be further broken down into two subcategories. The positive symptoms include the excess of or distortions of normal functions such as thoughts, emotions or behaviors (Lieberman, Stroup, Perkins, 195). Antipsychotic medications are usually constituted for the target of positive symptoms. Part of the positive symptoms includes delusions and hallucinations that contain subcategories. Delusions are incorrect ideas that can be perceived as truth or taken as actuality. These symptoms can especially be unique to paranoid schizophrenia. Paranoid delusions usually are mild and are based on one or two things. These delusions are triggered by real events in the individual’s life and becomes elaborately embedded into their system. They are frequently chronic and capable of having duration of six months or more. Although it is presumed that hostility and violence are the characteristic of the person’s functionality, this might not be the case. Another case of delusions make the individual covetous of the people around them, especially his or her spouse. Inclined by the thoughts of a cheating or disloyal partner, they make attempts to find evidence that supports the delusional notion. In some cases this can lead to confrontations where which the significant other is wrongly accused. Further discussion will continue in the following paragraph under family standpoint. In addition to delusions, hallucinations also accompany positive symptoms. Hallucination, “a sensory perception in the absence of any externally generated stimulus or perception”(). Types of hallucinations involve auditory, olfactory and visual sensitivity of the human body and brain. Typically false perceptions and untrue intuition are a result of this. It can deemed as a bizarre behavior by another bystander. A diagnosis of schizophrenia is a highly stigmatised condition, and the media portray such people as dangerous, violent and unpredictable (Leudar, I. & Thomas, P.). However, this is due to media representations of a schizophrenic and their actions. Generally, the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia includes the association of anxiety, anger, aloofness and argumentativeness. Another kind of symptomatology is the negative symptoms which includes frequent and persistent characteristic of schizophrenia. They can emerge as early as during the prodromal stage of the disorder, long before the presentation of the first psychotic episode. As of recent, the negative symptomatology has been broken down into two subtypes: primary and secondary negative symptoms. Primary negative symptoms are deficit symptom, which may precede psychosis on set and usually persist between the episodes. Also the symptom of lack of pleasure, poverty of speech and reduce social activity. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder Fourth Edition Text Revision diagnostic criteria for paranoid schizophrenia states a preoccupation with one or more paranoid delusion, which may be systemize or frequent auditory hallucinations along with no prominent symptoms of disorganized speech or behavior, or flat inappropriate affect. Based on the countless amount of sources, it is safe to say that someone with schizophrenia is quite noticeable. So, is there a possibility of the disorder being transmissive to the ones offspring? The goes into detail on the topic ( Lieberman, Stroup, Perkins, 195).
The causes of schizophrenia are still unbeknownst to psychologists and psychiatrists respectively. But certain research suggests the disorder is hereditary. One research in particular studies a genotypes in monozygotic embryos and came across a gene that contains the genetic defect for schizophrenia (Slatkin). The data shows “aˆ¦diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and multiple sclerosis that are relatively common (0.1-2% prevalence) and that have high similar rates for monozygotic twins (30-50%) and high risks to first-degree relatives of affected individuals”. Although this information does not prove much about the specific nature of transmission of schizophrenia, it does point out that there is a gene for schizophrenia and the percent chance of the offspring getting it. In this case, it is more prevalent in monozygotic twins and first-degree relatives than any other individuals. Another source shows how relatives play a role in the transmission of the disorder. As the chart shows, the more closely related individuals are the higher chance of the offspring acquiring schizophrenia. But keep in mind the risk of the actual coding in the gene being schizophrenia is still a new subject. Moreover, there are no clear statistics to dictate whether acquisition of the disorder is definite.
Family Stand Point:
Schizophrenia can be a burden for family members of the sufferer. This is because numerous amount of care is needed for the patient to ensure their safety. Research has shown higher amount of stress for the parents, most especially the mothers of low-income families (Gutierrez-Maldonado, Caqueo-Urizar, & Kavanagh). The intensive amount of care needed for schizophrenics is probably a result of this. In another study, 31 families were assess continuously during a period that contained no further relapse episodes for burden and attitude. Out of the 31 families, 14 of them engaged in an educative intervention program of the psychology called Behavioral Family Therapy (BFT). The remaining 17 families, deemed as the contrast group, received conventional family support. The result showed that the family burden was significantly lower for the first 14 families than the contrast group. The same result states the self-assessed attitude towards continuing to care for the individual was more positive for the families who took the BFT program in association with the contrast family. This implies certain crucial information is thought to the family in the BFT classes that the contrast group lacks thereof. A wide array of information such as how to deal and cope with the individual during episodes and what to say to them are beneficial to the caretaker of the family. (Berglund & Vahlne).
There are multiple ways for the disorder to be treated. Although schizophrenia is a long term disorder that still has no cure, treatment to ease the psychological pain is available. The most widely used treatment for schizophrenia are antipsychotic medications. These medications consist of neuroleptics and include phenothiazines, thioxanthenes, butyrophenones, diphenylbutylpiperidines, benzamides, benzisoxazoles and dibenzepines. However, the most effectiveness of theses drugs are seen in the acute phase of schizophrenia and the prevention of relapses. Nevertheless, the drugs get the job done, keeping the patient in a somewhat stable character(Moller). Drugs, moreover, are not the only option for schizophrenics. Milieu therapy, another choice for treatment, seeks to counter schizophrenic patients’ tendencies to withdraw; it also fosters socialization, promotes responsibility, and provides retraining in interpersonal relationships. This is usually done after the soothing effects of shock therapies. “The therapy includes a gamut of measures ranging from discarding restraints; minimizing isolation; giving attentive care and interest; fostering socializing, educational, and occupational activities; and providing group therapy to holding patient-staff meetings and setting up patient government to provide channels of communication and to encourage responsibility for the self and others.”(Ed. David L. Sills.)
All in all schizophrenia is a disorder that affects the social aspect of the individual suffering from it and accounts for 1% of the world population (Tybura, Grzywacz, Konopka, & Samochowiec). From hallucinations to falsely accusing people around them, paranoid schizophrenics have the short end of the stick when it comes to most psychosis. The chronic character of the illness and the damage it causes in patients’ cognitive skills, emotions and social functioning provide a driving force for research on the causes of the disease to predict its course and establish possibly effective treatment with few side effects. (Tybura, Grzywacz, Konopka, & Samochowiec).