1. Definition of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a long term psychotic disorder which severely affects the way a person thinks, behaves and their perception of the world. This illness has a negative impact on an individual’s social and occupational functioning and usually results in the affected person withdrawing from their family and friend (Trigoboff, 2008). The current DSM-V classification explores this definition in further detail and allows for reliable diagnosis in patients with schizophrenia.
According to the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., text rev.; DSM-V-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) the characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia can be separated into two categories, positive or negative. Positive symptoms reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions. The psychotic elements comprises of hallucinations and delusions in which the affected individual loses their grasp on reality. Other features include disorganised speech and behaviour in which the person speaks incoherently and acts irrationally. Negative symptoms depict a restriction on the range and intensity of emotional responses an individual displays. Two specific symptoms include avolition which is the inability to pursue and complete goal-directed activities and diminished emotional expression, characterised by having reduced expressive speech, low eye contact and facial expression as well as body language.