PSYCH 215 Chapter 12.1: What is Schizophrenia

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University of Massachusetts - Boston
Elizabeth Eustis

Schizophrenia Monday, April 17, 2017 12:41 PM Schizophrenia:  People with this disorder deteriorate into an isolated wilderness of unusual perceptions, odd thoughts, and disturbed emotions and motor abnormalities  Psychosis: loss of contact with reality  Ability to perceive and respond to the environment becomes so disturbed they cannot function  Hallucinations  Withdraw into a "private world"  DSM 5 calls for a diagnosis of schizophrenia only after the symptoms of psychosis continue for 6 months or more, and the individual has shown a deterioration in their work, social relations,and self care  1 out of 100  24 million people worldwide, 2.5 million in the United State  Financial cost enormous, emotional cost even greater  25% with the disorder attempt suicide  More risk for fatal illness  Downward Drift Theory: Schizophrenia is found more frequently in low in lower leveled socioeconomic groups because it causes its victims to fall from a higher to lower socioeconomic lebel or to remain poor because they are unlikely to function effectively  Equally likely in men and women, men 23 years, women 28 years  Clinical picture of Schizophrenia  Symptoms  Vary greatly  Three Categories 1. Positive Symptoms (excesses of thought, emotion, and behavior)  "pathological excesses"  Additions to a person's behavior  Delusions  Ideas that they believe wholeheartedly but have no basis in fact.  Some may have a single delusion that dominates their lives while others have many delusions  Delusions of persecution: most common, believe they are being plotted against or discriminated, spied on, threatened, etc.  Delusions of Grandeur: believe themselves to be great inventors, religious saviors, or specially empowered people  Delusions of control: believe that their thoughts and feelings and actions are being controlled by other people  Disorganized thinking and speech:  May not be able to think logically and may speak in peculiar ways  Formal thought disorders: can cause sufferer great confusion and make communication extremely difficult  Loose associations/ derailment: rapidly shift from one topic to another  Neologisms: made up words  Preservation: repeating  Clang or rhyme  May appear before full set schizophrenia  Heightened perceptions and hallucinations  Feel like their senses are being flooded by all the sights and sounds that surround them  Problems with perception and attention may form years before schizophrenia forms  Possible that these difficulties further contribute to the memory impairments experienced by many with the disorder  Hallucinations: perceptions that occur in the absence of external stimuli  Auditory hallucinations: (Most common!) hear sounds and voices that seem to come from outside their heads, the voices may talk directly to person hallucinating, give commands, warning of dangers or may be experiences as overheard  Research suggests that people with auditory hallucinations produce the nerve signals of sound in their brains, "hear" them and then believe that external sources are responsible  Blood flow in Broca's area (region of brain helps produce speech)  Investigators found more blood flow in Broca's area while patients were experiencing auditory hallucinations  Increased activity in tissues of auditory cortex  Hallucination and delusiona
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