Schizophrenia is by far one of the most complex and unusual psychological disorders. Indeed so diverse are its symptoms and characteristics to this day psychologists argue over its definition. One of the first outlines for the clinical characteristics of schizophrenia is that it could be identified by demonstrating characteristics from areas such as thought disturbance that a person should believe their thoughts are being removed or inserted from an external stimuli thoughts being broadcast via TV or radio. Other symptoms he proposed were auditory and visual hallucinations delusions of grandeur and fear of persecution.
Other characteristics where proposed to further the characteristics to aid classification. They stated a person with schizophrenia would show a lack of volition having little or inappropriate emotional response psychomotor disturbance such as holding the same position for an extended amount of time as well as further commenting on Hallucinations.
The problem therefore arises from the fact that there are so many different symptoms and they all vary quite a bit. It is indeed possible that the symptoms listed overlap with other disorders. Hallucinations for example may actually be down to something like dementia. This means people suffering with the mental illness may be misdiagnosed and this misdiagnosis may lead to incorrect treatment that would jeopardise their recovery perhaps more worryingly could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where the patient ends up actually fulfilling their misdiagnosis. Clinical error is extremely serious particularly with schizophrenia. Label of mental illness usually stick and being labelled as schizophrenic may stigmatise a person, costing them their career and social mobility. However more importantly if someone is schizophrenic and not correctly diagnosed this could put the person’s life in danger or others.
An issue arises here in terms of cross cultural validity .The ICD and DSM differ in their classification of schizophrenia and the use of one or the other may be the difference between positive and negative diagnosis. As countries may use either someone diagnosed as schizophrenic in one country may not be in another. Moreover characteristic that are seen as symptoms in one country may not be in another. Holding positions for a long period of time may be diagnosed as catatonic…