Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic Disorders




Schizophreniais a mental disorder that is usually characterized by an abnormalsocial behavior that causes a variety of psychological disorders topatients suffering from it. Examples of psychological disorderstypical to this condition include auditory hallucinations, weirdbehavior and muddled thoughts based on delusions. The five distincttypes of schizophrenia are paranoid schizophrenia, heberphrenia(disorganized) schizophrenia, childhood schizophrenia, catatonicschizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. The table below shows thefundamental distinctions between these five types of schizophrenia.


Types of Schizophrenia

paranoid schizophrenia

hebephrenic schizophrenia

childhood schizophrenia

catatonic schizophrenia

schizoaffective disorder

Description of Condition

Patient has delusions of a plot against them by an external party. Most common type of schizophrenia

Characterized by sheer disorganization and bizarre behavior complete with hallucinations

A brain disorder in children that causes the affected individuals to perceive reality abnormally, Impairs the behavioral and cognitive dimensions of children’s minds

Involves a patient displaying the extremes of behavior with catatonic stupor on one end and catatonic excitement on the other

Characterized by symptoms of other types of schizophrenia but also with affective (mood) disorder

Signs and symptoms

Delusions, auditory hallucinations, anger and anxiety, detachment, frequent quarrels, patient appears to be patronizing, suicidal thoughts and behavior

Disorganized speech, such as, giving an irrelevant response to a question, disorganized behavior in which an individual lacks the motivation to undertake a task and inappropriate emotional response and expressions

For children and infants, symptoms include delayed and abnormal crawling and walking, language delays and impaired motor functioning, For teenagers, withdrawal symptoms, depression, lack of motivation and sleeping disorders (Mayo Clinic , 2015)

Physical immobility or excessive mobility, weird movements, mimicking of utterances, uncooperativeness and waxy flexibility

Depressed mood episodes, paranoid ideas and thoughts, impaired functionality, disorganized appearance and hygiene problems, auditory hallucinations and delusions

paranoid schizophrenia

hebephrenic schizophrenia

childhood schizophrenia

catatonic schizophrenia

schizoaffective disorder

Risk Factors

Genetics, that is, following a history of schizophrenia, viral infections, early life stress, fetal malnutrition, trauma during childhood, parental age at birth and drug abuse

Genetic and environmental factors

Genetic factors, exposure to viruses and toxins in the womb, aged father and intake of psychoactive drugs for teenagers

Viral infections, genetically related factors, fetal malnutrition, childhood trauma and substance abuse

Genetic disorders pertaining to Bipolar disorders, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder


Brain dysfunction due to a combination of environmental and genetic disorders

It is thought that the disease is caused by circuitry dysfunction, brain degeneration, and inadequate levels of various neurotransmitters (MHD, 2015, n.p)

It is not known what exactly causes the disease but it is believed it results from problems with the neurotransmitters ( Mayo Clinic , 2015)

It is believed that catatonic schizophrenia is caused by brain dysfunction and dopamine imbalance

It is believed that schizoaffective disorder is caused by delays in brain development, brain chemistry or fetal exposure to toxins


Diagnosis involves physical examination (heartbeat, abdomen), imaging, complete blood count, electroencephalogram (EEG) and psychological assessments

Diagnosis should only be for the adolescent and young adults. Diagnosis involves a period of 2 – 3 months for continual observations (NHR, 2015, n.p).

Diagnosis involves electroencephalogram (EEG) to look for abnormalities in brain function, such as seizures, MRI or CT scan of the head to look for abnormalities in the brain structure, or an

Physical examination, complete blood count (CBC), electroencelogram (EEG) and psychological examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Psychological evaluation, complete blood count (CBC), electroencelogram (EEG) and psychological examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


Treatment is on a long-term basis involving medication, electroconvulsive therapy, vocational training and psychotherapy hospitalization (MNT, 2015, n.p)

Antipsychotics, therapy and prescribed medications, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Treatment involves Individual and family therapy, medication, hospitalization and vocational training

medication, electroconvulsive therapy, vocational training, psychotherapy hospitalization and use of barbiturates

Medication includes the use of antipsychotics, mood-stabilizing drugs and antidepressants. Psychotherapy and counseling

Possible Complications

Suicidal thoughts and behavior, malnutrition, depression, substance abuse and inability to study

Suicide, substance abuse and self-harm

Withdrawal symptoms, suicide, substance abuse aggressive behavior and family conflicts

Aggressive behavior Suicidal thoughts and behavior, malnutrition, depression, substance abuse

Suicidal thoughts and behavior, anxiety, social withdrawal, substance abuse

Schizophrenia:Risk Factors

Itis important to note at this point that the precise cause of thecondition schizophrenia is not known (Pickard, 2011, p. 43). However,the factors that increase the risk of developing the disease includehaving exposure to viruses and toxins while in the womb, geneticfactors in which a family member might have had disorders pertainingto bipolar disorders or schizophrenia, increased activation of theimmune system, exposure psychotropic drugs and old age of father(Mayo Clinic, 2015). In this paper, genetic, environmental andcultural factors will be discussed briefly.


Havinga third degree relative with schizophrenia increases the likelihoodof individuals developing the condition and those with a seconddegree relative also have a much higher probability of developing thedisease as compared to the general population (,2015, n.p). Moreover, research as established that the specificmechanisms through which genetic inheritance leads to the conditionis through a gene called COMT. When this gene is abnormal, it erasesthe frontal lobes of neurochemical dopamine leading to the symptomsof schizophrenia (, 2015, n.p).


Violenceand fetal exposure to viruses, toxic substances and malnutritionamong other environmental conditions have been found to be key incausing schizophrenia. More specifically, these factors cause thecondition by influencing the development of causative genes over time(NAMI, 2015, n.p).


Culturalfactors such as the structure of mother-child relationship, socialdelineation, dysfunctional family ecology, communal upbringing andchild abuse play a significant role in shaping the genetic discoursesthat ultimately result in schizophrenia. More aptly, thesesocio-cultural factors act “in a concert with genetic risks” tocause the disease (ISPS, 2015, n.p).

Treatmentand Prevention

Thetreatment and prevention of schizophrenia is twofold: it involvesmedication and psychosocial interventions. Contemporary medicationinvolves the use of antipsychotic medications, which keep the diseasein check by influencing the brain neurotransmitters, that is,serotonin and dopamine. Other conventional treatments includeelectroconvulsive therapy, vocational training and use ofbarbiturates. Is important to note that in using medication to treatschizophrenia, it takes several weeks before a significant impact isfelt. Moreover, the ultimate intention of treatment for the conditionis to use the lowest possible dosage to keep the signs and symptomsat bay. To supplement treatment efforts, psychosocial interventionssuch as individual and family therapy, vocational skills training andpsychiatric counseling are usually employed. There is no feasible wayto prevent the disease and that is why a lot of emphasis is usuallylaid on the treatment.


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