The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Schizophrenia

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Description and Classification

“What is schizophrenia? The America Psychiatric Association defines schizophrenia in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV(DSM-IV) as a disorder with active symptoms for at least 1 month, consisting of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized/bizarre behavior, and/or a lack of organized speech, activity, or emotions. Usually at least two of these sets of symptoms are present. The illness, with a prodromal stage prior to diagnosis and a residual stage after treatment (both having some often nonspecific behavioral symptoms), lasts at least 6 months with continuous sign of some disturbance. During this period, an individual with schizophrenia is clearly considered
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This manual helps mental health professionals make an accurate diagnosis of their patients. Accurate diagnoses are vital in selecting the most effective treatments and for predicting future events in patients’ illnesses. The DSM-IV classifies patients in terms of five factors, called axes. This multiaxial system involves first gathering as much information as possible about the patient, which leads to better treatment planning. These five axes are follows: the primary diagnosis, or major problem the patient is experiencing. Personality characteristics that are typical of the patient. Relevant physical disorders. Past stress to which the patient has been exposed and assessment of how the patient has functioned in the past. After the psychiatrist gathers information on each of the five axes above, he or she can use the following information from the DSM-IV to determine if a patient actually has schizophrenia and, if so what type. Schizophrenia lasts for at least six months, a period that include at least one month of active- phase symptoms showing at least two of the following behaviors: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior or negative symptoms” Brinkerhoff, S. …show more content…
Subtypes of Schizophrenia
“Subtypes of schizophrenia are determined by which of the symptoms the patients exhibit at the time of her or his evaluation. Subtypes include paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual schizophrenia”. (Brinkerhoff, S. (2004.).
D. Brain Abnormalities
“Because certain abnormalities have been discovered in the brains of people with schizophrenia, compared to the brains of those without the disease, the most accepted hypothesis among today’s researchers is that schizophrenia is a brain disease. For example, brain –imaging technology, including such methods as positron emission tomography (PET) scans, have identified reductions in metabolic activity in the frontal cortex of people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
E. Genetics
The question genetic researchers start with is: Does schizophrenia run in families? The question is answer by finding whether a close relative of a person with disorder is at increased risk developing it, compared with a similar individual chosen at random from the population at large.

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