Diagnosing Schizophrenia

Based at the time of diagnosis, schizophrenia can be classified into different categories: Paranoid schizophrenia in which the patient is fixated on a single or multiple delusions, or hears many different types of voices, but does not show typical symptoms of unsystematic schizophrenia. Disorganized schizophrenia wherein the speech and behavior become uncoordinated or disorganized, including no emotions. At this stage, the person cannot be diagnosed as being a catatonic schizophrenic.

There is no evidence that every type of mental disorder is a disconnected arrangement with definite limitations, but individual, low evaluation nonspecific listing for any number of named disorders, whereby symptoms are not considered essential. Criteria are usually given for severe, moderate or mild forms of any disorder. For most disorders based on medical observations symptoms must be evident to induce suffering or disability in occupational, social or other meaningful performance. Each disorder has a separately numbered code derived from the ICD coding systems which is primarily used for health and other services. Schizophrenia was prevalent even in pre-biblical times and is mentioned in ancient manuscripts of the Pharaohs of Egypt.

These manuscripts describe symptoms of Schizophrenia, and at that time it was thought that these mental disturbances were caused by evil spirits and demons and, the sufferer would be cured by (exorcising) i.e. using  prayers and religious rituals for  ridding a person or place of the supposed presence or influence of evil spirits. Symptoms of this illness have been described in the ancient Greeks, Romans,, and Chinese scripts. A better understanding of Schizophrenia was developed in the 1700’s when more accurate and detailed descriptions were known and recorded depicting changes in a person’s behavior emotions, body movements and verbal communications In 1878,  Emil Kraepelin collectively named the different mental diseases “Dementia Praecox” meaning initial dementia. He divided mental disorders into 4 categories, namely ‘simple’, ‘paranoid’,’ cationic’ when the patient is in a semi-comatose state and ‘hebephrenic” or the formal diagnosis of Schizophrenia by psychiatrists.

Research continued into mental disorders, and in 1911, Schizophrenia was given its formal name schizo” meaning split and “phrene” meaning mind. The patient is diagnosed as suffering from this disease if the primary and secondary symptoms are evident.  The next stage is Catatonic Schizophrenia where the affected person experiences great difficulty in ordinary movements, has no control over body muscles resulting in excessive movement, abnormal movements, and repeating the words or actions of another person. If a person displays two or more symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior is termed undifferentiated schizophrenia. When the person displays all the above 4 symptoms simultaneously, then this is known as residual schizophrenia.

Hope this helps get the wheels turning on your thoughts for your thesis paper on Schizophrenia.

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