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Overview Of Schizophrenia

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As human beings, we exist in a world where survival, although not in a nomadic sense, is a daily struggle. We work to provide ourselves with financial security. We lock our doors to avoid vulnerability. We attempt endlessly to maintain our health, yet we are plagued with numerous illnesses that could jeopardize our survival. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease: all poster-children for the illnesses that threaten our somatic existence. Illness of the mind, however, is something that is frequently overlooked, yet is just as prominent as any of these physical ailments. But because the effects of mental illness are not always physically visible, living with such an illness can often be convoluted in misconception, secrecy, and shame.
One such metal illness is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a fascinating, mysterious mental disorder that affects about 2.4 million American adults (NAMI, 2014). Although the symptoms of this illness are apparent, the causes of schizophrenia still require much research. As it would seem, the causes and courses of schizophrenia appear to be as different as each individual that it effects (NAMI, 2014). The following will offer a literature review on the history of schizophrenia, symptoms and diagnosis, causes of schizophrenia, as well as effective treatments and advice for clinicians working with clients whom have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
History of Schizophrenia
Throughout the history of psychology, schizophrenia has been defined and redefined, each definition growing clearer and more finite along with scientific and theoretical advances. The term “schizophrenia” was first coined in 1908 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (McNally, 2012). Bleuler defined schizophrenia as “…the tearing up or the...

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...tient. Sometimes, the client may express disorganized cognitions or speech that the clinician cannot easily understand. A client’s reactions to auditory or visual hallucinations may be difficult for the clinician to witness, because they are incapable of hearing or seeing the things that the client is experiencing. This makes unadulterated empathy next to impossible, and could perhaps instill feelings of helplessness in the clinician. If a clinician finds it difficult to work with a client with schizophrenia, it is vital for the clinician to remember that the client has the ability and the power to harness and control their cognitions. Though therapy, skill building, cognitive reconstruction, and psychotropic medications, the therapist can help the client recognize that they have the necessary tools to modify, alter, and eventually gain control over their symptoms.
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