Thursday, July 31, 2008

Psychopathology of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia, as an inorganic mental disorder, is an idiopathic disorder whose etiology has been challenged for many years. Its psychopathology, like other mental disorders, is based on cases that have been studied by professional psychiatrists to describe the prognosis of the disease process. Presently, there are theories that have gained such reputation to the people involved in schizophrenia. These theories are the Genetic Predisposition Theory, Neurochemical Theory, Organic Theory, Environmental Theory, Perinatal Theory and Psychological Theory. However, in the realm of psychopathology, a symptomatologic approach is used to study the course of the disease.

The Genetic Predisposition Theory suggests that the risk of inheriting schizophrenia is 10% to 20% in those who have one immediate family member with the disease, and approximately 40% if the disease affects both parents or an identical twin (Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing 7th Edition by Shives).

The Neurochemical Theory is a group of theories that are based on the activity of the chemicals being produced in the brain. Several theories are nuerochemical in nature but two are the most relied by many professionals: the Dopamine and Serotonin theory. These theories suggest an increase in the respective chemicals involved.

The organic theory suggests that schizophrenia is a functional deficit occurring in the brain caused by stressors occurring in the brain such as viral infection, toxins, and trauma or abnormal substances.

Environmental theory states that there is a dysfunctional reaction towards a social stimulus. This is better reflected in the ecologic model of this study.

The Perinatal theory suggests that the disorder might have been rooted from oxygen and nutrition deprivation of the fetus during the first trimester.

The Psychological theory states that the prefrontal lobe of the brain responds to stress intensively that is caused by different factors including familial relationships and social relationships. Generally, it overlaps the neurochemical and environmental theory.

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