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Schizophrenia: Understanding Symptoms, Misdiagnosis, and Treatment

Mar 11, 2023 | 0 comments

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Mar 11, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2016), schizophrenia is described as a chronic and sere mental illness that affects a person’s wellbeing. The clients are normally characterized by how they behave; think and they normally seem to be living away from reality. The diagnosis of schizophrenia comes with a number of changes in life such the loss of self-identity this may result to feeling of depression and hopelessness (Andreula, 2016). This can also in turn lead to suicidal attempts by the clients and severe depression. Caution should be taken by the clinicians when dealing with newly diagnosed patients. This is why a safety plan that involves listing symptoms experienced by the client at the moment or that are to be experienced in the future are to be developed to help the client be aware of their own symptoms (Andreula, 2016). Early treatment after diagnosis is crucial so as to prevent the condition from becoming worse and unmanageable.

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Symptoms of Schizophrenia

There are three categories of the symptoms of schizophrenia; these include negative symptoms, positive symptoms and cognitive (Rosenberg, n.d). In positive symptoms the clients are cut off from reality of life. The symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, disorderly thinking and body movement disorder (NIMH, 2016). The negative symptoms are characterized lack of motivation in life and reduced expression of emotions and feelings from facial expression to the tone of the voice (NIMH, 2016 and Rosenberg, n.d). The cognitive deficits vary on the client; some experience severe symptoms while for others the symptoms are subtle. They include inability to internalize information and using it in decision making and poor memory (NIMH, 2016).

Ted mostly experienced two categories of schizophrenia symptoms (positive and negative). In the positive symptoms category he experienced hallucinations and delusions these were characterized by his paranoid fear of being murdered. He also experienced the negative symptoms when he had the suicidal thoughts and death wishes. This showed that he lacked motivation to live. During the last day of his life ted lost expression of his feelings and emotions. According to the case study Ted seemed calm and was not afraid anymore.

Burton (2012) defines hallucinations as “a sense perception that arises in absence of a stimulus. It is the feeling of things that are not present in reality. The hallucination of sounds and voices is most common for schizophrenic clients similar to Ted’s. He was afraid that a group of men had surrounded his house just a day before he committed suicide. There are measures and ways that Ted could take to address his hallucinations, delusions and depression symptoms. To help identify the situations that trigger the voices so as to avoid them, Ted could keep records of the voices and the appearance of the people. There is a saying that goes “a problem shared is half solved”, Ted could find a person he trusts and disclose to him/her what he is going through. Another best way to address these symptoms is by finding a distractor, something that can occupy his mind such as reading, listening to music and exercising (Burton, 2012).

Ted Misdiagnosis

There is a high chance that Ted could be suffering from bipolar disorder which he might have been misdiagnosed. Bipolar is a chronic mental illness that is characterized by mood disorder (mania and hypomania), mixed states of emotions and depression (Sajatovic, 2005). The misdiagnosis can be true considering the fact that bipolar disorder is frequently misdiagnosed posing a challenge to the healthcare system. Furthermore bipolar symptoms such as suicidal thoughts and depression are quite similar to schizophrenia’s (Sajatovic, 2005).

Treatment for Teds Symptoms

The specific and precise cause of schizophrenia is not known, so the treatment goals focus on eliminating the symptoms of the condition, prevent relapse and helping clients integrate back into their normal living (Patel et al, 2014). The treatments for ted’s symptoms include:

Non Pharmacological Therapy

These treatments include psychotherapy which is mostly used along with pharmacological treatment. It is an important treatment in making sure that the client does not relapse by remaining adherent to their medication (Patel et al, 2014). It is also a very relevant form of treatment in helping clients cope with the daily challenges of the conditions and play a big role in helping clients gain their old self back. By attending psychosocial therapy, Ted would be able to live normal life as he uses his medication and without having to be hospitalized (NIMH, 2016).

Pharmacological therapy

Most schizophrenic clients have to be given antipsychotic medication in terms of pills or in liquid form before implementing an effective rehabilitation program. The goal of this treatment is to reduce hostility and violent reactions exhibited by the clients during the initial stages so as to calm them down and be able to sleep and eat normally (Patel et al, 2014). Clinicians and clients work together to determine the appropriate dosage according to the client’s response (Patel et al, 2014 and NIMH, 2016). In case a patient is not responsive to the oral medication or he/she is experiencing an adverse side effect, Long Acting Injectable Antipsychotic Agents offer a viable option (Patel et al, 2014).

Coordinated Specialty Care

This form of treatment is aimed to improve quality of life for the client. It incorporates pharmacological therapy, non-pharmacological therapy, case management and family support. This treatment is mainly for prevention of relapse as it is done after treatment during the acute phase (Patel et al, 2014).

Effective theory- vulnerability model – as in the case of Ted, this theory maintains that there are emotional and behavioral consequences caused by the clients believe of the voices and imaginary people. The voices and the group of men that Ted was seeing wanted to cause harm according to him, they wanted to murder him. This caused a feeling of fear and anger which can be minimized by talking back to the voices (Gregory, 2010).

Role of Religion in Dealing with Depression and Suicide

When it comes to the identity of an individual, religion plays a very important role. Someone’s religious believes act as a buffer and protector against emotional distress and comforts believers. According to research conducted the rate of suicides are higher in people with no religious affiliation as compared to those who were committed to their religious believes. Many religious people who are distressed turn to religion for hope and comfort (Bhugra, 2010). The Holy books in the different religions offer encouraging words that comforts and takes worry away from the believers. The religious leaders across all religion offer counseling to the believers and assure them that there is hope and that God is not pleased with people who have suicidal wishes. According to many religion people believe that God is the one who gives life hence He is the one to take it.


Andruela, T. (2016). Grief and Mourning in Schizophrenia: A Safety Plan | Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/grief-and-mourning-in-schizophrenia-a-safety-plan/

Bhugra, D. (2010). Commentary: Religion, Religious Attitude and Suicide. Retrieved from https://watermark.silverchair.com/dyq232.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAZ0wggGZBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggGKMIIBhgIBADCCAX8GCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMxTtTLNAQMKkN7WEaAgEQgIIBUBDXrTboBc1V10Dn6NR5IpXHfsL3CTGWVbktsu26SSVFzmcTkEk0DxqmDGVlyqhx7SZ02HSD7l-0zrSDrike0aDiEREvj_0ZDqABU0k4O9gDDd9BurQUVoU4q33ViSKCDYHJAkKdb9NvHk8-91JHBDqrA0WY2MtPHLItfUlWScCYv4sRU21lPVfma8r_owfcDdcWYijLncenUQcUcmIOXUdhfsh2V3WRx9z4bsBxTNSwlbZnr6M-8wAAIZK_JxWC2IaAxke1X80-kGe75pTQgHSXGfegonCWCUAdHO_okStUotMHwaZczh2cBo8DxkMw0Ztcnu_bKSI3UJKQdLNtxv7GLaRsMM2bN9SbqPe2ju5zXdArh3fWirp8Tlwoq8cPEguSLuhaNHylCGFbx3TKNEwnNiY8vxkkj5GmDSmsXbKhgPRetHZQk6Kd6tHO9K6KmA

Burton, N. (2012). Schizophrenia: Coping with Delusions and Hallucinations. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201208/schizophrenia-coping-delusions-and-hallucinations

Gregory, V. (2010). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Schizophrenia: Application to Social Work Practice. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15332980902791086#_i3

Krishna R. Patel, D. (2014). Schizophrenia: Overview and Treatment Options. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4159061

NIHM. (2016). NIMH » Schizophrenia. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

Rosenberg, M. Diagnosis, treatment options and costs of Schizophrenia. Retrieved from http://www.namcp.org/journals/jmcm/articles/12-3/schizophrenia.pdf

Sajatovic, M. (2005). Bipolar Disorder: Disease Burden. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fd8f/5ef338b157e364562669fe2b6877161a0377.pdf


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