Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
Mental health problems are some of the commonest conditions in modern day World. It has been reported that in every a hundred people, one or two of them are likely to suffer from severe mental problems like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mental health problems are characteristically divided into two types namely; neurotic and psychotic. Neurotic is considered a severe form of “normal” emotional feelings while psychotic on the other hand, show symptoms of impairment of a person’s normal judgment of reality including hallucination (Mental Health Foundation, 2015). The study will look at psychotic disorders including Schizophrenia, its subtypes and other psychotic types with intentions of comparing them.
Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder with varied symptoms but most often affecting cognitive, behavioral and emotional areas of functioning. Its prevalence rate is estimated to be at 1.1 percent of people in the majority age. It often begins at the puberty stage to mid-thirties in its victims. Sometimes the disease progresses through exacerbation and re-emissions, in others, it progresses through a chronic but stable course while others, a chronic deteriorating path is observed. Its precise diagnosis required an observation of its distinct symptoms but manifested over a period at least six months (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Its major symptoms include positive and negative symptoms. Positive or class A symptoms include; hallucinations, disorganized speech, and behavior as well as delusions. The former is most experienced by the patients and is explained as a subjective sensory experience that does not result from external sensory stimuli. It can be auditory, visual, gustatory, olfactory and tactile (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Delusions, on the other hand, is a false belief about a given thing even when evidence contradicts or shows otherwise. A good example is one who believes someone is following him/her even when the truth is that nobody is following him/her. Disordered speech manifests regarding the use of excess language. For example, a person may move very first from one topic to another in a manner that can’t be logically understood. Negative symptoms, on the other hand, include flat affect and apathy, Algona, Avolition and Anhedonia (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2013).
Subtypes of Schizophrenia
There are paranoid type, disorganized type, catatonic type, undifferentiated type and residual type (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2013). Residual type is a subtype where the patient has had at least one documented episode of schizophrenia but has since desisted from experiencing the same severe or positive symptoms (hallucination, delusion and disorganized speech). However, the patient may still be experiencing the negative symptoms like inability to work and flat affect. These are referred to as residual features of the disease.
Disorganized type, on the other hand, is one in which the sufferer exhibits disorganized speech, flat affect, the inappropriate effect just to mention a few. He or she may remain unkempt or shaggy because the acts of dressing oneself can’t be achieved. Such people may feel simple details like buttoning their shorts or shirts are very difficult and nothing but a bother. They may also show signs of unexpected emotional behaviors like laughing when faced with a serious situation that may require serious attention. Hallucination and delusions are typically fragmentary making it one of the most severe types of schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Other types of psychotic disorders in addition to the Schizophrenia also occurs although they tend to have short-lived symptoms. Examples include; schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, and brief psychotic disorder just to mention a few. Schizophreniform disorder is almost similar to schizophrenia with the distinction being that in this case, the patient must not have suffered for a long period. The diagnosis is similar to the positive symptoms (criterion A). In this case, whether it is a delusion, hallucination or disorganized speech, it must have occurred only for one month, and then he or she recovers but must not have survived six months with the symptoms as is the case with schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Additionally, in this case, the patient shows no impairment in social and work functioning as is sometimes the case with schizophrenia. Delusional disorder, on the other hand, is characterized by a single or more non-bizarre delusions for at least a month. In this case, the patient must never have before experienced criterion A symptoms of schizophrenia. Additionally, unlike the schizophrenia which is common between puberty and thirties, this is common in middle and late adulthood (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental disorders. Arlington VA.
- Butcher, J., Hooley, J., & Mineka, S. (2013). Abnormal Psychology. Boston: Pearson Publishing.
- Mental Health Foundation. (2015, May 7th). What are mental Health Problems.
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