Research Paper

Submitted By kelli723
Words: 2216
Pages: 9

A. Diagnostic Criteria The criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia is dependent on multiple factors. Each factor has its own specific criteria such as a duration of time and severity of the symptom. The American Psychiatric Association states that there are positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms are classified as hallucinations, which includes hearing voices and having paranoid delusions. Negative Symptoms are explained as the loss or decrease in the ability to initiate plans, speak, express emotion, or find pleasure. Cognitive Symptoms are confusion and disorderly speech, problems with memory, trouble with logical thinking, and difficulty paying attention and making decisions. (American Psychiatric Association 2012)

The DSM IV diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia is a bit more extensive. It states specifics such as how long the symptoms must be present and how severe the symptoms must be. The DSM IV gives the specific guidelines for diagnosing schizophrenia. Symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, catatonic behavior and negative symptoms (listed above) must be present for a significant amount of time during a one month period. Two or more symptoms must be present during this one month period. There must also be obvious social or occupational dysfunction which is classified as the inability to function properly in social situations such as a school or work environment. The duration of the symptoms must be continuous for a six month period of time. If the individual has already been diagnosed with schizoaffective or mood disorder they are automatically excluded from the possibility of being diagnosed with schizophrenia. This factor has to do with the incompatibility of the symptoms of the disorders. The individual in question must also be tested for substance abuse due to the fact that similar symptoms could be caused by not only long-term substance abuse but even substance use at all. Certain generic medical conditions could also rule out the diagnosis of schizophrenia. If a person has history of Autistic Disorder or other such disorders they must experience delusions or hallucinations for at least a month.

There are also five subtypes of schizophrenia with their own sub-symptoms. The paranoid type is a type of schizophrenia where an individual experiences multiple delusions and severe auditory hallucinations. The disorganized type experiences disorganized speech and behavior. There are other types with their own individual symptoms. (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, DSM IV)

B. History and Background Schizophrenia was first identified as a mental disorder in 1887 by Dr. Emil Kraepelin. Emil Kraepelin was a German physician who was among the first to categorize mental disorders. He used the term “dementia praecox.” This is what schizophrenia existed as in the past. The name was changed in 1911 by Eugen Bleuler, a swiss psychiatrist, to schizophrenia. Bleuler was also the first to identify positive and negative symptoms. The word schizophrenia directly translates into split-mind, leading the general public to automatically think multiple personality. However, this is not true. The name was initially meant to symbolize the scattered thoughts of a person with schizophrenia. Advances in science have caused the definition of schizophrenia to constantly change. There is always new research being done, with new information being discovered daily in regards to the symptoms and treatments of schizophrenia. (Hollister 1996-2010)

C. Epidemiology Each year 1 in 10,000 adults are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is most commonly diagnosed in people 20 to 35 years of age. However there are always people that are diagnosed either earlier or later in life.(Hafner) A study done by PLoS states that the lifetime prevalence is four out of one thousand not 1% as stated in the DSM IV. (Bhurga 2005) Men usually show symptoms of schizophrenia earlier