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    Schizophrenia Overview

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    Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that is often characterized by delusions, or hallucinations. The individual that is suffering from these symptoms may also appear to have very disorganized speech and they may have a very flat affect, meaning that they may not show a lot of emotion when something (good or bad) happens. However, there are others that will have inappropriate affect, this means that the individual will smile when something sad happens, or they will cry when something good happens.

    There are a few different types of schizophrenia that individuals should know about. The following information will break these down briefly for the reader.

    Paranoid Type – The individual will be preoccupied with delusions and hallucinations.

    Disorganized Type – Symptoms will include disorganized speech, disorganized behavior and a flat affect.

    Catatonic Type – During this type of schizophrenia the person may not move. They may also have movements that seem to be without reason. They may not be moving in response to any type of stimuli. The person will work very hard in order to avoid moving. They will not do as they are told to do. Finally, the individual will assume really bizarre movements that do not seem to have any reason.

    Undifferentiated Type – The person will exhibit symptoms related to schizophrenia but they will not meet the criteria that is needed to be labeled as paranoid, disorganized, or even catatonic.

    Residual Type – This person will not have delusions or hallucinations, disorganized behaviors, or even catatonic behavior. However, this person may have odd beliefs or unusual perceptions.

    Now, given all of the different types of schizophrenia, along with the different symptoms that are associated with it, it is very important to make sure that the individual who is assessing the patient takes the persons cultural beliefs and differences into consideration when they are doing an evaluation. For example, some people will have religious beliefs and experiences that include different hallucinations. So, things like this need to be taken into consideration.

    Most individuals that are diagnosed with schizophrenia are diagnosed when the individual is in his, or her, late teens but this can extend into the individuals early 30’s. Most of the time, young children are not diagnosed with this type of disorder. When disorganized speech, or behavior, is experienced and witnessed, it is very important for professionals to consider other conditions that seem to manifest themselves during childhood before giving a label such as schizophrenic to a child.

    There are several differences in relation to gender that need to be taken into consideration as well. The rest of this article will touch upon some of these.

    Gender Differences:
    1.) Women are generally diagnosed at a much later time than men that are diagnosed.
    2.) Females that are diagnosed will most often have stronger, more serious mood swings than males.
    3.) Females often have a much better outcome in relation to treatment than men.