Psychoses are mental disorders in which an individual’s sense of reality is severely impaired. The mental disorders are the most severe forms of all psychological disorders. One of the most prevalent forms of psychosis is schizophrenia. This paper seeks to analyze the prevalence of the disorder, its history, and how it is diagnosed with an aim of understanding this particular psychosis better.
B. Definition and Description
Schizophrenia is described as a neuropsychological disorder because it encompasses both psychological and neurological mechanisms. This section will highlight the various definitions of schizophrenia. Most definitions of the disorder revolve around the fact that the patient exhibits a fragmented approach to reality as well as abnormal social behaviors. The section will also analyze the prevalence of the disease across the world as well as the mortality rates of individuals who have been diagnosed with the disease.
Furthermore, this section will analyze the various theories that attempt to explain how schizophrenia develops in individuals. The main theories on the development of schizophrenia are the psychological and neurological mechanisms of development. A brief discussion on both mechanisms will be included in the section (Dauvermann, et al., 2014).
C. Diagnostic Criteria
The section will analyze the various components that must be present for the disorder to be diagnosed. The individual has to be suffering from disorganized speech, hallucinations, and delusions that have been occurring within the last one month. Furthermore, the individual needs to show disorganized or catatonic behavior and other related symptoms (Owen, Sawa & Mortensen, 2016).
D. Reasons for Selecting the Topic
The topic was selected due to a personal experience with the disorder. A close friend was diagnosed with schizophrenia and at the time, we did not know what it entailed. The paper is a way of raising awareness about the disorder especially in younger people. In addition, it is imperative to understand the disease owing to its prevalence especially in the Western countries.
The section will highlight who is affected by the disease, the age of the sufferers, their sex, their ethnicities and whether they live in rural or urban areas.
a) Detailed Description of the Disorder
1. Signs and Symptoms
This section will analyze some of the most common symptoms exhibited by individuals that are suffering from schizophrenia. The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually divided into positive and negative. Positive symptoms are those that are present in many people but are more pronounced in individuals with schizophrenia. The symptoms include tactile, visual, and auditory hallucinations, delusions, and disordered speech and thoughts. They are manifestations of the psychosis and usually respond well to medication (Pijnenborg, van Donkersgoed, David, & Aleman, 2013).
On the other hand, negative symptoms include a deficit in normal emotional responses and thought processes. Negative symptoms rarely respond to medication and they commonly include inability to feel pleasure, little emotion, lack of motivation, and lack of a desire to form relationships with others (Rabinowitz, et al., 2012; Tandon, et al., 2013).
The section will focus on pertinent epidemiological facts including the greater prevalence of the disease in males, the peak ages of the disease as well as the prevalent rates across the globe.
The section will focus on the various sub-types of schizophrenia including catatonic, paranoid, disorganized, undifferentiated, and residual. There will also be a brief discussion on post-schizophrenic depression and simple schizophrenia.
This is an extensive discussion of how the disorder develops over time in individuals. The focus will be on the differences in development of the disease between those who receive treatment and in those who do not seek any treatment.
c). Methods for Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Management
The focus here will be on the ways that conventional medicine diagnoses the disease initially. The section will also delve into the various ways that the disease is managed once the diagnosis is confirmed.
d). Risk Factors
The risk factors are the causes or contributors to the development of the disease. The focus will be on genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. Lifestyle factors will also come into play under this section.
e). Other Causative factors
The section will cover the effect of substance abuse, especially cannabis, on the development of Schizophrenia. Research indicates that there is a strong connection between the disorder and cannabis use during teenage years.
f). Nervous System Structures involved in the Disorder
The discussion will cover some of the major nervous system structures that malfunction so that the disease can develop. Neurological mechanisms that lead to the development of the disease will be thoroughly discussed.
g). Neurotransmitter and receptor systems involved in the Pathology of the Disorder
The focus here will largely be on the function of dopamine in certain areas of the brain, especially in the mesolimbic pathway. It has been speculated that activation of dopamine receptors is the cause of majority of the positive symptoms of the psychosis.
Another area of interest to be covered in this section is glutamate, a neurotransmitter, and its reduced function in individuals with schizophrenia. Low levels of glutamate receptors have been found in the brains of patients suffering from the disease.
h). Current Treatment options
This section will highlight some of the common therapies used in contemporary medicine in the management of the disease. The therapies include non-pharmacologic and drug therapies and they will be contrasted to determine which is better for which stage of the disease. Furthermore, the section will look into the various management types for the disease such as the specialized care providers and the type of health care setting best suited for persons suffering from schizophrenia (Leucht, et al., 2011).
i). Future areas of research
This section will highlight research into some of the most promising new treatment options as well as how the medical fraternity is looking into ways of increasing its knowledge on the etiology and pathologic processes of the disease.
Schizophrenic is a psychosis disorder where individuals often portray a fragmented sense of reality. The disease is widespread across the globe and has the potential of decreasing life expectancy by up to 25 years. A thorough understanding of how it develops, causative agents, sub-types, prevention, and management will help scientists find better ways of controlling the disease to avert its dire human and economic costs to the globe.
Dauvermann, M.R., Whalley, H.C., Scmidt, A., Lee, G., Romaniuk, L., Roberts, N., Johnstone, E., Lawrie, S., & Moorhead, T.W. (2014, Mar 25). Computational neuropsychiatry- schizophrenia as a cognitive brain network disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Retrieved on 15/3/2016 from http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00030/abstract
Leucht, C., Heres, S. Kane, J. Kissling, W., Davis, J., & Leucht, S. (2011). Oral versus depot antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia-A critical systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised long-term trials. Schizophrenia Research, 127(1-3): 83-92.
Owen, M.J., Sawa., A., & Mortensen, P.B. (2016, Jan 14). Schizophrenia. The Lancet. Retrieved on 15/3/2016 from http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736 (15)01121-6/abstract
Pijnenborg, G.H., van Donkersgoed, R.J., David, A.S., & Aleman, A. (2013). Changes in insight during treatment for psychotic disorders: a meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research 144 (1-3): 109-117.
Rabinowitz, J., Levine, S., Garibaldi, G., Burgaski-Kirola, D. Berardo, C., & Kapur, S. (2012). Negative symptoms have greater impact on functioning than positive symptoms in schizophrenia: Analysis of CATIE data. Schizophrenia Research, 17 (1-3): 147-150.
Tandon, R., Gaebel, W., Barch, D., Bustillo, J. Gur, R., Heckers, S., Malaspina, D., Owen M., Schultz, S., Tsuang, M., Os, J., & Carpenter, W. (2013). Definition and description of schizophrenia in the DSM-5. Schizophrenia Research, 150 (1): 3-10.