Treating Schizophrenia

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Approximately 22% of the American population suffers from some kind of mental disorder at any given time. (Passer and Smith, 2004) Schizophrenia is one of the most serious of these mental disorders, and there are many different kinds of treatment. While all mental disorders offer diagnosis and treatment challenges, few are more challenging than schizophrenia. It is both bizarre and puzzling, and has been described as “one of the most challenging disorders to treat effectively.” (Passer and Smith, 2004, 534)

Schizophrenia is not yet fully understood, but it is known that it is characterized by extreme disturbances in many vital areas, including behavior, emotions, speech, perception and thinking. The term schizophrenia means “split mind,” but it should be noted that this does not mean that the person has dissociative identity disorder. Bleuler, who coined the term, merely meant that the sufferers have a split or disconnection in certain functions, such as emotion, language, or thinking. (Passer and Smith, 2004, 534) The following definition of schizophrenia is offered:

Schizophrenia is a lifelong disabling psychiatric disorder that often begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. It is characterized by severe and variable symptoms, including positive and negative symptoms, cognitive deficits and depressive symptoms. (Lublin, Eberhard and Levander, 2005, 183)

Diagnosis of schizophrenia may be made when the patient shows that he or she “misinterprets reality and exhibits disorder attention, thought, or perception.” (Passer and Smith, 2004, 534) Moreover, the person commonly has delusions, which have been defined as follows:

Delusions are false beliefs that are sustained in the face of evidence that normally w...

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...research has certainly shown that it is less efficacious than drug therapy.


Lublin, Henrik, Jonas Eberhard and Sten Levander. (2005). Current therapy issues and ummet clinical needs in the treatment of schizophrenia: A review of the new generation antipsychotics. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 20: 183-198.

Paley, Graham and David A. Shapiro. (2002). Lessons from psychotherapy research for psychological interventions for people with schizophrenia. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice, 75: 5-17.

Passer, Michael W. and Ronald E. Smith. (2004). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour. 2nd edition. New York: McGraw Hill.

Patterson, Thomas L., Robert M. Kaplan and Dilip V. Jeste. (1999). Measuring the effect of treatment on quality of life in patients with schizophrenia. CNS Drugs, 12(1): 49-64.
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