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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Class Nursing Health Care Hospital Hygiene Higher secondary school College Notes

Psychoses: Schizophrenia - Symptoms, Kinds, Causes, Cure

Schizophrenia is the most common form of Psychosis and Blender first named it. The term itself implies mental dissociation of a functional kind. According to Pollock, this disease is commonly to be found among individuals between the ages of 15-30.



Psychoses are generally divided into two classes functional and organic. In organic psychoses, organic and physiological factors play a primary part.


On the other hand in functional psychoses, physiological factors play a lesser part than psychological causes. Clinical psychology restricts its study to functional psychoses since their causes and cure are more purely psychological.


Functional psychoses are mainly of the following there kinds.


1.     Schizophrenia


2.     Paranoia


3.     Manic depressive psychosis.




Schizophrenia is the most common form of Psychosis and Blender first named it. The term itself implies mental dissociation of a functional kind. According to Pollock, this disease is commonly to be found among individuals between the ages of 15-30.


Symptoms of Schizophrenia:


The following can be said to be symptomatic conditions of Schizophrenia and they are certainly to be found in all patients.

A Emotional disorganization:


Patients of these diseases are found to be indifferent to all pleasure and pain because emotionally they are disorganized. This indifference is directed not only towards others but also towards oneself to one' s own physical needs. Due to this patient plays no attention to his diet and continually grows weaker.


B Extreme introversion:


Due to his or her indifference the patient pays no attention to his surroundings or to those who occupy the surroundings. He or she does not take any interest in them.


Contradictory and disorganized emotional reactions:


The patient is capable of appearing saddened on joyous occasions and deliberately delighted on occasion demanding sorrow. In fact all his reactions to pain and pleasure are the vary contradiction of the normal people to such conditions. He can be seen crying, shouting, laughing etc without any specific cause. Blemless has even mentioned the case of a woman, who sheds tears while she was laughing.


C Delusion:


The patient is invariably in the grip of one or the other delusion, but when his condition improves the delusion is dispelled. Among all the delusions found in connection with this disease, the most popular is the delusion of persecution. The patient feels that the other people are criticising him and that some external force are being brought to bear upon him. Even though delusion is irrational and disjoined, he has complete faith in its actuality.


D Hallucination:


The patient experiences differential hallucination from time to time, the most usual of it is auditory nature. These delusions are normally of painful kind. He feels that some one is threatening him or her; he consequently takes of his clothes to prepare for physical combat. But other patients have pleasurable auditory sensation of a hallucinatory kind while some other patients have visual hallucinations in which they are visited by God, their dead ancestors and some saint.


Some times while asleep the patient also experiences certain kinesthetic hallucination in which he often suspects that some one wants to put an end to his patient' s life. Similarly olfactory and gustatory hallucinations are also known to occur.


E Mental depreciation:


The patient also evinces signs of decline in his mental powers and abilities such as memory, abstract thinking, motor ability, education etc. But there is no depreciation in the ability to use words.


F Linguistic disorganization:


The patient talks a lot and also talks well but what he says does not make much sense. There is much recollection and disorganization in it. Some patient almost become dumb due to their indifference or to their delusions and they are seen to mutter to themselves. But these patients also create new words that are meaningless, illogical and ridiculous.


G.  Disorganisation of literal expression:


The patient lacks organization and sense, in his or her writing. The disorganization concerns, not only the sense but also grammatical contention.


H Disorganised thinking:


In a patient suffering from schizophrenia, the ability to think is impaired thinking is disorganised and unsystematic. As it has been pointed out earlier the patient' s ability to abstract thinking is considerably damaged, hence the patient thinks in concrete terms, but even in this he reaches the most illogical and wrong conclusions.


I Weakness of present memory:


The patient recollects incidents of past life, but due to indifference and other causes, his memory considering incidents of immediate life is weakened. But he himself is not conscious of this weakening of the power to recollect.


Physiological symptoms:


Besides these psychological characteristics, the schizophrenic also evinces certain disfigurement of his metabolism. He or she cares not about his or her diet with the result that he gradually weakens and wastes away often his or her bodily temperature seems to vary quite rapidly.


Kinds of Schizophrenia:


Schizophrenia has been divided into the following four classes by psychiatrists on the basis of specific symptoms or groups of symptom.


1.     Simple Schizophrenia: This is simple in its type Its main symptoms are delusion, hallucination, personality disintegration emotional superficiality, linguistic disorganisation, indifference introversion etc.


2.     Hebephrenic Schizophrenia: Its main symptoms are delusion, hallucination, personality disintegration, emotional superficiality, linguistic disorganization indifference, introversion etc.


3.     Catatonic Schizophrenia: The main symptoms of this are excessive inactivity, nervous solidity, delusion, muscular rigidity, hallucination and disorganization concerning device etc.


4.     Paranoid Schizophrenia: The main symptoms of this kind are sentimentality, self-centeredness, suspicious mind, delusion of persecution, delusion of supremacy etc.


Causes of Schizophrenia:


The following different causes have been offered in explanation of the phenomenon by different thinkers.


Regression of sexual drive:


Freud offers a sexual explanation of this mental disease as of all other. The main and fundamental cause of this disease is the regression of sexual energy and the ego towards the stage of infant self love and sucking stage, because the patient suffering from it is an adult, and yet can not adjust to his social responsibilities with hetro sexual love.


Disorganisation of sex glands:


According to Keraeplin, the main cause of schizophrenia is that over secretion of the sex glands leads to creation of stimulating chemicals in the digestive system.




Studies of the hereditary of schizopherenic patient have led Kalimann, Stoddard and White among other psychologists to the belief that its cause is heredity. But Rosanoff believes that along with heredity another important cause is the birth trauma. Presence of hereditary elements in schizophrenia cannot be denied but it does not seem very logical or even efficacious to accept it as the sole cause.




Pollock and Malzberq studied 175 patients of the disease and reached the conclusion environment plays a bigger part in creating this disease than does heredity and not psychologists today refuse the importance of environment in the causing of schizophrenia.


Biological causes:


Adolf Meyer has mentioned biological maladjustment towards the environment as the main cause of schizophrenia. As a result the patient becomes indifferent to the objects and individuals in his environment.


Regression of life force and repressed emotional complexes:


Jung, the psychologist has traced the cause of Schizophrenia to a repression of the life force and to repressed emotional complexes, which is caused by maladjustment with the environment.


Instinct for self-respect:


According to McDougall, when the patient is unable to find proper and desirable expression for his instinct of self-respect, he comes a prey to Schizophrenia.

Personality Type:


It is the opinion of some psychologists that only a certain personal type is susceptible to schizophrenic tendencies, primarily the introverted type of individual. But this concept of the personality type being more prone to schizophrenia was not found true by many of the psychologists.


Conflict between feminine and masculine elements:


According to the Neo-Freudian, Otto Rank, the primary cause of schizophrenia is the conflict between feminine and masculine elements. From the above account of the causes of schizophrenia it is apparent that it is primarily caused by the individuals inability to adjust with his environment. Besides this, all the causes mentioned above have their importance in greater or less of degree depending upon the circumstances of the patient.


Cure of schizophrenia:


No one definite method can be adopted in the cure of all patients of schizophrenia, because it is to be treated according to the symptoms that it exhibits. The following are the main methods of treatment.


Group and occupational psychotherapies.


These methods have succeeded in bringing relief to many patients, suffering from the disease.




Re-learning has always proved valuable for schizophrenic patients.


Electric shock therapy:


In recent times this method has been employed to cure patients of their schizophrenic tendencies, but as yet there is no saying what permanent effects it can achieve.




The cure of schizophrenia also involves the use of insulin injection and metrazol. Fundamentally the essential for curing schizophrenic is that a basic adjustment between him and his environment should be achieved and for this different methods can be employed, the choice being suggested by the circumstances themselves.



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