Posts filed under ‘Psychopathology’
Schizophrenia (commonly abbreviated to SZ) is very often portrayed in the media as something it is most certainly not. One only needs to watch films like Hide and Seek to see exactly what schizophrenia isn’t. There are common misconceptions that:
- Schizophrenics have split personalities
- All schizophrenics are violent or dangerous
- Schizophrenia is untreatable (note: I’m not saying there’s a cure, but it can be treated)
In fact, most schizophrenics couldn’t be distinguished from a crowd of ‘normal’ people. They are often not violent or dangerous, and certainly do not have more than one personality (that’s called Multiple Personality Disorder). Many psychologists/psychiatrists argue that split personalities aren’t even possible, but that’s another kettle of fish.
With a lifetime prevalence of less than 1%, one can begin to question whether schizophrenia is even a useful diagnosis. The main ‘clinical handbook’, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (currently DSM IV-TR) suggests that for a patient to be diagnosed as schizophrenic, they must demonstrate two or more symptoms for a “significant portion of time” over at least one month. Regardless of this, let’s explore this psychopathology in more detail.