Schizophrenia: Secret Weapon of Success?
For decades, mental illnesses have remained one of the most unknown spheres of scientific researches, as long as no effective approaches to studying these diseases have been developed. First records of psychotic symptoms date back to antiquity, though ancient people failed to distinguish a certain type of mental disorder among other illnesses. In fact, such brain disease as schizophrenia was first differentiated at the early 20ths, however, there were various descriptions and classifications of its criteria in different parts of the world. Therefore, there was a problem of generalizing all the available information.
Nowadays, among clinicians and researches the most commonly used system of diagnosing different mental diseases is DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). It has several versions, each one containing new features, enhancements and improved sets of criteria. The most recent one is called DSM-5, consisting of several parts (Maddux & Winstead, 2012). Diagnostic classification is a list of mental disorders, recognized through the system. Diagnostic criteria sets indicate the type and length of certain symptoms, while descriptive text follows the disorder and analyzes it. The aim of this assignment is to describe schizophrenia as a special brain disorder in terms of DSM-5 system, and show the ways of dealing with it, based on the evidence of people, who have this diagnosis.
Schizophrenia, like many other disorders, has certain established and measured criteria, which help to identify this illness, besides, the symptoms should be present for a certain period of time. According to DSM-IV-TR, the symptoms of schizophrenia should be clearly seen for no less than 6 months (Maddux & Winstead, 2012). In fact, the newest version of DSM states the same. Only considering this period, a diagnosis can be worked out.
To meet the criteria, the patient should have special clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, which are thoroughly described. Besides that, the way symptoms combine also matters. According to DSM-5, to receive this diagnose the patient should have hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms, like avolition. At least two of these should be present for no less than a month, and at least one of them should be delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech (Maddux & Winstead, 2012). Thus, to diagnose schizophrenia it is important to define the certain order and character of the symptoms.
The features of schizophrenia are various and include different cognitive, emotional and other dysfunctions, which require recognition of a set of signs and symptoms when making a diagnosis. For example, patients can suffer from failing to deal with the easiest cognitive task like visual perception (Maddux & Winstead, 2012). Taken aside, this symptom seams to identify some visual problems, but together with other deviations it can highlight the mental disorder.
Different symptoms may arise in different phases of the illness, depending on when the first disturbance appeared, which can make it hard to distinguish them. DSM-5 describes common schizophrenia features, like prodromal syndromes, which usually appear in the period of active phase, mood disorders, depression, …