Schizophrenia Research Paper
Research Paper III I chose to write my research paper over Schizophrenia - Schizophrenia Research Paper introduction. It is a psychological disorder that I have always found fascinating. It is a serious disorder that consumes a person’s life and is nearly impossible to control. In this paper, I will talk about the definition of Schizophrenia, the diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia in children, suicide, sexually related characteristics of the disease, sleep disorders caused by the disease, differences in the disease on different ethnicities, and insensitivity to pain.
Schizophrenia is a disorder that is characterized by a broken thought process and poor emotional responses. Typical symptoms of this disorder include delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, social dysfunctions, disorganized thinking, and erratic behavior. It is most common in young adults, but can also be found in children and the elderly. Schizophrenia can affect more than just the person diagnosed. The criteria for diagnosing Schizophrenia is always changing, and professionals may use many different methods for diagnosing patients with this disorder.
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association gives the most widely used methods of diagnosing Schizophrenia. This DSM approach gives a set of criteria for Schizophrenia, although it is still being finalized. The criteria described include: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, catatonic behavior, social and occupational dysfunction, a duration of 6 or more months of active phase symptoms, and mood disorder with psychotic features.
Although many may believe that getting an early diagnosis may help deal with Schizophrenia, and the federal government has even started a program to optimize early-illness care, there is no evidence that points to this being true. This may mean that by the time the first episodes of psychosis come around, it is already too late for prevention. Although Schizophrenia appears in people of all ages, it is very rare in children. It is about 50 times less frequent in children than it is in young adults.
Between September 1989 and May 1991, a study was conducted on 60 children with Schizophrenia between the ages of five and twelve at Bellevue Hospital Center’s Children’s Psychiatric Inpatient Unit. Every child in the study reported auditory hallucinations, which seems to be the main hallucination surrounding childhood Schizophrenia. These hallucinations were usually some sort of command, given to them by a wide range of sources, such as animals, people they actually know, fictional characters, malevolent forces, or people they have made up.
Visual hallucinations were less prominent than auditory hallucinations, but still apparent in over 50 percent of the children. Tactile hallucinations were reported in only 25 percent of the children. These hallucinations were comparable to those that young adults with Schizophrenia experience, but were much less complex and only lasted between one week and one and a half years. Every child in this study also experienced delusions, which were sometimes linked to their hallucinations. These were also somewhat simple in nature compared to the delusions adults experience, but not so simple as the hallucinations.
One vivid example of a delusion experienced by a child was his belief that there was a baby in his throat that was telling him to kill himself, leading him to eventually reach down his throat to try to remove this baby. These delusions also seemed to last for a shorter span of time than the hallucinations. With Schizophrenia comes a significant risk of suicide. Approximately nine to thirteen percent of all Schizophrenic patients commit suicide. It is not surprising to me that the symptoms of this disorder may lead to someone contemplating suicide.
These symptoms can be a huge burden and suicide may seem to be the only escape. A study found that many people with Schizophrenia that commit suicide do so at times of inpatient care, especially young adult males. Although often overlooked, it is not surprising that Schizophrenia may lead to changed sexually related characteristics. Based on a study conducted on adults ages 18 to 39 in Canada, Schizophrenia may lead to sexual disorders in both males and females. Common dysfunctions include less sexual desire, inability to ejaculate, and problems with sexual arousal.
I do believe there is a problem with this study, however. It is a possibility that these sexual disorders may be side effects of the medication used to treat Schizophrenia. Another thing that is significantly affected by Schizophrenia is sleep. A study performed on 321 untreated patients diagnosed with Schizophrenia and 331 healthy subjects showed that patients with Schizophrenia have an increased sleep latency, which is the time it takes to transition from full wakefulness to sleep, decreased total sleep time, and decreased Stage 2 sleep time.
Since the patients were untreated, I find this study to be much more trustworthy than the study about sexual characteristics in Schizophrenia, since drugs are not a factor. A study has lead me to believe that cultural background plays an important role in how a person will deal with Schizophrenia if diagnosed. The study that has convinced me of this is one that was performed on Korean-Americans diagnosed with Schizophrenia. They were interviewed and examined, and were later compared to people of other ethnicities with Schizophrenia.
When compared, the hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms and characteristics were very similar, but there were significant differences, such as a lower social initiation, a stronger familial association, and an overall lower satisfaction in life. I think this shows that the severity of Schizophrenia correlates with the type of culture one grows up in. In the movie A Beautiful Mind, a scene has always remained in my mind: John Nash is being kept in an isolation room and everyone panics because he is digging into his arm, looking for the “codes”.
It is somewhat of a grotesque scene, but it is not far from the truth. People diagnosed with Schizophrenia are sometimes insensitive to pain. It is a phenomenon that is often overlooked. People with Schizophrenia may sometimes suffer third degree burns and not feel any pain. Sometimes someone may even go as far as self-mutilating. But in a way it makes sense that someone with Schizophrenia may not show the emotional aspects of pain, since all of their other emotions are also very much distorted.
I would like to conclude by saying that I believe Schizophrenia is among one of the most fascinating psychological disorders, for many reasons. It completely distorts a person’s thought process and behavior. Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder to diagnose, with an ever-changing criteria. Once diagnosed, it becomes virtually impossible to control. It affects people of all ages, sometimes in different ways. It extremely heightens the risk of suicide in a person suffering from this disorder. Schizophrenia will affect many different characteristics, such as sexual drive, sexual arousal, total sleep time, and sleep latency.
Not only does it affect people of different ages in different ways, but also people of different cultures in different ways. But the thing that I find most fascinating about Schizophrenia is how it can distort how a person expresses emotions such as love, anger, fear, and most surprising of all, pain. Bibliography Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 20 (4) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 713-725 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 19 (2) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 199-214 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 30 (4) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 03-811 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 29 (3) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 559-572 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 20 (4) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 957-967 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 28 (4) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 703-717 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 17 (1) US: National Institute of Mental Health pp. 27-49 Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 20 (2) US National Institute of Mental Health pp. 235-248 Buckley, Peter F. “Q & A on early diagnosis of schizophrenia. ” Psychiatric Times. Mar. 2012. 19 Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 28 Nov. 2012