Professor Dr. Clemons
Making a diagnosis with someone who has a psychiatric disorder like schizophrenia, depression, mania, anxiety disorder, or Tourette syndrome can be very difficult to do. Psychiatrist rely on a guide called the DSM-IV-TR (the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) to aide them in making the right diagnosis. This can be difficult for two reasons; 1) patients can display different symptoms for the same disorder, 2) patients suffering from different disorders can have the same symptoms (NIMH, 2014).
Schizophrenia can be one of those disorders that are hard to diagnose, each stage of the disorder can be compared to a different disorder as the illness progresses. In addition, various neurological disorders have symptoms that influence a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia symptoms are as follows, however, not every symptom appears in every case. In order to treat and study schizophrenia accurately it is divided into three categories positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
Positive symptoms are symptoms that seem to represent an excess or distortion of normal function. Negative symptoms are symptoms that seem to represent a reduction or loss of normal function. Cognitive symptoms are symptoms that make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living (NIMH, 2014).
“Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people” (NIMH, 2014). Positive symptoms include; odd behaviors, hallucinations, inappropriate affect, incoherent speech or thought and delusions. “Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors” (NIMH, 2014). Negative symptoms include, affective flattering, lack of pleasure in everyday life, lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities, and speaking little, even when forced to interact (NIMH, 2014). Like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder. Cognitive symptoms include, trouble focusing or paying attention, problems with "working memory", and poor "executive functioning" (NIMH, 2014). Genetics plays a huge part in schizophrenia only 1% of the population develops schizophrenia (NIMH, 2014); the probability of schizophrenia’s occurring in a close biological relative (i.e., a parent, child, or sibling) of a schizophrenic patient is about 10% (NIMH, 2014). The cause of schizophrenia has been identified through several genes; however, researchers are not clear how. The course of neurodevelopment has led to schizophrenia through experiences of birth complications, early infections, autoimmune reactions, toxins, traumatic injury, and stress (NIMH, 2014).
Scientists believe that no one gene is associated with increased risk of schizophrenia, they believe there are several genes. “People with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations. These genetic mutations involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development” (NIMH, 2014). There are recent studies that suggest that schizophrenia may occur when certain important brain chemicals malfunction.
Genes are not the only component for the development of schizophrenia; it is thought that the environment can/will play a part in its development. Many environmental factors such as exposure to viruses or malnutrition before birth and other not yet known psychosocial factors may be involved in the cause of the disorder (NIMH, 2014).
There is even evidence of social factors that could contribute to schizophrenia; some of these factors are family related and all the way to social isolation. Case studies show that mother-child relationships, unwantedness, and family communication deviance have contributed to schizophrenia. With the mother-child study done in 1946, mother’s with a “poor” attitude and behavior towards their children were more