Essay about Psychology: Schizophrenia and Good Medication Plan

Submitted By mrowcliffe
Words: 1725
Pages: 7

Meaghan Rowcliffe
Abnormal Psychology Final Paper

Schizophrenia is defined as positive and negative symptoms that are present for 1 to 6 months in an individual. Positive symptoms are present when there are active symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations in an individual. Negative symptoms are a loss of a skill such as emotion, speech, or motivation. The disorder usually appears in an individual in their late teens or early twenties. Schizophrenia can be mild or very severe and is often confused with bipolar disorder because of similar symptoms between the two disorders. Schizophrenia also has many different subtypes. These include paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual types. Treating schizophrenia often requires a combination of medications. These are usually antipsychotic, antidepressant, and antianxiety drugs. The antipsychotic medication helps to reduce relapse in schizophrenic patients, by normalizing biochemical imbalances that are caused by the disease. A big challenge in treatment of schizophrenic patients is that they will stop taking their medications. Psychotherapy is a treatment that may be used in conjunction with a good medication plan. Psychotherapy can help to keep the person taking their medication, learn social skills, and support goals and activities in the community. If both medication and psychotherapy are used together there may be a higher chance patients will keep taking their medication and control their disorder. Schizophrenia can be causes by genetic or environmental factors. If a relative has schizophrenia there is a 10% chance of getting the disorder, if not your chances reduce to 1%. Environmental factors that may contribute to the disease can be caused by stress during pregnancy or later in development. This is because stress increases the body’s production of the hormone cortisol. Charles Singleton suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. In paranoid schizophrenia, someone would have absurd or suspicious ideas and beliefs. In Singleton’s case, his disorder of paranoid schizophrenia may have been caused by environmental or genetic factors, as I discussed earlier. Charles was not diagnosed with schizophrenia until after he had already committed murder. Does this mean that he even had the mental illness when he committed the murder? Schizophrenia is usually caused by stress at birth or during pregnancy. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t begin to show up later in life. To determine if Singleton had a mental disorder or not there would need to be assessments and test performed. A mental health assessment starts first with a clinical interview. The interview can be either unstructured or structured. Other tests that may help with the diagnosis of schizophrenia or any psychological disease would be intelligence or projective tests. These tests will help provide insight into the psychological process and into the unconscious. After the tests are performed there will either be a diagnosis or not. If there is they will also have to determine what mental illness the person has and how severe it is. Something else to determine is what medications would be best for the patient and steps to take from there. When Singleton was diagnosed with schizophrenia he then began to take medication for this disorder. Since he was taking his medication on his own he was managing his disorder. Since he wasn’t diagnosed until after the murder and he was living in jail during this time I am sure that deal with the diagnosis may have been harder than usual. Since he was diagnosed, there was not a reason that he may not receive the death penalty. In Singletons court case there were two attorneys. They were the defense and the prosecution. Both sides had different views and assumptions about mental illness and why or why not Singleton should be sentenced to death or not. The defense attorney argued that just because he is on medication doesn’t mean that he is sane. He argued that…