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HD 220 Poster Outline

HD 220 Poster Outline - INTRODUCTION Background...

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INTRODUCTION Background: Schizophrenia is a severe psychological disorder that alters the way an individual perceives the natural world. Approximately one and a half percent of the population is diagnosed with it over the course of their lives. This means that more than two million Americans suffer from the illness in a given year. Although both men and women are affected by schizophrenia with equal frequency, the disorder often manifests itself earlier in men. Men develop symptoms most frequently between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five years old (mean onset age of 21 years), while most women are generally affected in their twenties to early thirties (mean onset age of 27 years). People that develop schizophrenia commonly endure terrifying symptoms that often leave them fearful and withdrawn. These symptoms may include hearing internal voices not heard by other people, or even believing that others are controlling their thoughts by reading their minds. Although available treatments are able to alleviate many symptoms, most schizophrenic patients are stuck in the maelstrom of false perceptions for the rest of their lives. The term schizophrenia was attributed to this mental disorder by Eugen Bleuler. It was derived from the Greek words schizo (split) and phrene (mind) to describe the splitting of normal psychological processes. Schizophrenic patients have difficulty operating their emotional and cognitive processes in a normal fashion. According to the DSM-IV, schizophrenia symptoms have been placed into a broad three-part categorization: positive, negative, and disorganized. Table 1 provides the complete diagnostic classification for the different types of schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Type Symptoms Catatonic Characterized by immobility or stupor, excessive negativism or mutism, stereotyped or bizarre movements, and the tendency to imitate sounds or movements. Disorganized Characterized by disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and flat/inappropriate affect. Paranoid Characterized by preoccupation with delusions or frequent auditory hallucinations. Residual Characterized by the presence of negative symptoms. No delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior is present. Undifferentiated Characterized by a display of symptoms indicative of schizophrenia, which however do not fit into one of the above mentioned categories. Table 1 – DSM-IV classification for the five different types of schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
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Interest in the Topic: Although the topic of schizophrenia still remains an enigma to society, it is intriguing to see how researchers are beginning to unravel the truth behind the mental disorder through new and safer medications. The numbers of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia are only the mere fraction of the population that actually has to deal with its negative affects. Family, friends, and
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