Let’s Learn About: Schizophrenia

Hi everyone   anyone who may stumble upon this, 

This is a revision post -one of several, hopefully- for Psychology (AQA, A Unit 4). It is also a work-in-progress. The topic this post is: 


I hope to cover: classification system differences between the UK and US, types and characteristics, Diagnosis Issues, Explanations: the biological approaches (genetic, biochemical and neuroanatomical) & psychological approach( psychological/cognitive)  and Therapies: Biological(drug), Psychological (family intervention or therapy, social skills training and CBT).  There will probably also be ethical issues and I’ll try and include a graph for case studies/research support/opposition somewhere in here too. 

Oh, and just so you know– this is by no means a difinitive, fully explanatory post, the information here is merely comprehensive and for the purpose of an exam, so whilst it is somewhat factual, it could in fact, be out-dated(it’s in a textbook- consider time allotments for researching, writing, editing in/out bits or simplifying, multiply that, and then publication and distribution. Then think of all the other books possibly selected at first, instead and any revisions made in response to the market. Since then, stuffs been built on, eradicated and/or lessened in value, and not to mention: groundbreaking research and the entire process studies/psychological research as a whole has to go through in the UK -so already what’s available here could be finite-and presumably other places.), inaccurate(e.g.simplified for understanding at the A-Level standard, as compared to say university standards- or for someone who has/is Schizophrenic; like in the UK, science is overly simplified so that it can be ‘drip fed’ as students get older. Looking back, a crap tonne of it is not only simplified, but wrong. Completely wrong. But for the purpose it fit. Like that, possibly could be this. So. Whilst it is somewhat factual… (and I’d be ever so pleased you’d consider reading this)…be careful, yeah? Use your common sense- and research!- before doing something crazy with this knowledge. And blaming me the source AQA. Ehem. )

P.S: This is a massive post!


Schizo = split

Phren= mind

Alogia (Key Term): word salad. Someone thinks that what they are saying makes sense, but it does not.

Loose Association- not quite as confused as Alogia; appear ‘random’ when conversing in topics. Conversation only seems randomly flowing because we miss the in-between parts linking one topic to another (the thought process is internal), so what is said out loud is linked to the previous topic, but feebly/vaguely.

Clang association- Speaking in rhyme.

DSM-IV and ICD-10: classification bibles of the UK and US in terms of mental illnesses (definitions, so thereby what constitutes…so symptoms). Enable classification and aid in it/standardising it.

Positive Symptoms- Something has been ADDED that was not there before (in behaviour for example: delusions, hallucinations, anything bizarre in behaviour)

Negative Symptoms: Something has DISAPPEARED that was there( e.g. absence of emotion and motivation, language defects- alogia, because they were not present before any skill was LOST).

Passivity experiences: is another term for thought disruptions because of the lack of control of thought insertion, withdrawal or broadcasting by external forces and can also be used to explain the person under this delusions behaviour (cold/impassive/passive) change.

Clinical Characteristics

First Rank Symptoms : 

In Britain, diagnosis relies on these (Schneider 59)

  1. Passivity experiences and Thought disruptions(thought insertion/withdrawal/broadcasting: under external control, removed or made known to others -the last is also a delusion.) EXTERNAL FORCES such as possibly aliens, communists/capitalists or government are thought by the person to be done to them, through e.g. a special ray, radio transmitter or tech. Passivity experiences is another term for these thought disruptions because of the lack of control. The person could be exhibiting a cold temperament when usually hotheaded, or be totally passive.
  2. Hallucinations(any sense- auditory, somotosensory, visual and olfactory- would get you a diagnosis with this clinical characteristic/First Rank Symptom)- perceptions of a stimuli that is not present and can occur via any sensory modality.
  3. Primary(Main) Delusions

Thought Process Order

Disturbances Effect

Psychomotor disorders

Lack of Volition


Disorganised speech (aforementioned: alogia, loose or clang association),

grossly disorganised behaviour

catatonic behaviour

negative symptoms(something has dissappeared that was there in behaviour)


  • Simple
  • Paranoid
  • Catatonic
  • Disorganised
  • Un/Indifferentiated
  • Residual
  • Hebephrenic

Living with Schizophrenia

No one sits down with them(medication), and says you could be getting there side effects -so they stop having medicines because of these unprecedented effects(but don’t know) or they don’t know they’re experiencing the side effects. 

this is only one aspect.

Psychological development 20% of New Zealand Schizophrenics kill themselves in the first 5 years of diagnosis. Cognitive symptoms: e.g. don’t know why not working at job, at school studying an it doesn’t have to be a big issue (e.g. if you has a window open or a document or a page in front of you and the borders had numbers or letters on the edges, and you were Schizophrenic, you would have trouble filtering those out of your work.)