Reflection Of Schizophrenia
I have had exposure to a close family member who suffered from schizophrenia. He struggled with many positive and negative symptoms of the disorder throughout his life. Once a vibrant and active professional man, I watched as this disease changed every aspect of his life. In this paper, I will relate the symptoms that I observed in this family member in each of the following categories.
Positive symptoms occur in people who are not …show more content…
Delusional beliefs can include thoughts such as people trying to harm the individual or spying on the person. In my own experience, the person I knew with schizophrenia thought that the government was spying on him and that tiny people were crawling through air vents to kill him.
Hallucinations are perceptions that things are happening that in reality are not. The experience can occur in any of the senses, such as taste, smell, touch, hearing or vision. The individual in my example would regularly hallucinate that he was hearing people through the walls that were ultimately trying to harm him. He would also talk about the many conspiracy plots that were taking place throughout the world. The basis of his perceptions were not logical or appropriate for normal thought patterns.
Thought disorders are perceived as thinking in a disorganized fashion. A person may speak in terms that are difficult to understand or stop in the middle of sentences with no explanation as to why they are stopping abruptly (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], n.d.). My family member would often stop in the middle of a conversation and almost seem to check out. He would then start another topic without addressing the previous topic or ever acknowledging that he had not completed his …show more content…
They are harder to identify because sometimes they can be thought to be depression or as another disorder. These symptoms include having reduced emotions that regularly take place in an individual, having dumbness or a flat feeling that can include reduced facial expressions or flat tones in voice, having difficulty completing or beginning tasks and an avoidance of conversation. People experiencing negative symptoms may sometimes be thought to be lazy or unhygienic. They may not take care of themselves in a normal way. These symptoms also include erratic behaviors and rambling outbursts.
I certainly observed my family member decline in hygiene and his ability to take care of himself or his home. At times, he would appear extremely flat and without emotion of any kind. At other times, he would ramble on without making logical sense of his thoughts.
Once a person has either positive or negative symptoms, it generally takes from 1-2 years before treatment is sought. To be officially diagnosed with schizophrenia, one must have two or more positive or negative symptoms that have presented themselves in the last month on a regular