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Schizophrenia And Its Effects On Mental Illness

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Schizophrenia is a “serious mental disorder characterised by severe disruptions in psychological functioning and a loss of contact with reality” (Meldrum & Wilson, 2009). The main question that arises from the many studies looking at schizophrenia and violence is does schizophrenia itself make an individual violent or are there other factors from the mental illness that contribute to this? According to Fazel, Guati, Linsell, Geddes and Grahn (2009), before the 1980’s many people made no connection between the disorder of schizophrenia and being violent. However, since more in depth and large research studies has been carried out to look at this connection, it has now been proven that there is a relationship between schizophrenia and violence.
Schizophrenia can either be interpreted as a unitary disorder with various sub-types or as a disorder where each sub-type represents a distinct order. The DSM-IV-TR identifies four types of schizophrenia: undiferential, catatonic, disorganised and paranoid (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, two diagnostic criteria’s have to be met within most of the time in one month, and they must have an impact on the individual’s occupational or social functioning for at least six months. The individual could be suffering from delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech. Additional symptoms can include negative symptoms and severely disorganized or cationic behaviour (American Psychiatric Association,
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