1. Outline the major symptoms of the disorder discussed in the case. Schizophrenia is a complex and incapacitating disorder. It is a disorder marked by significant disturbance in thoughts, perceptions, and moods. The onset of Schizophrenia is said to occur gradually. Symptoms are classified as positive and negative. Positive symptoms or overt behavior not normal in normal individuals include delusions (beliefs that are not reality based), hallucinations (visual and or auditory; sometimes weighted in the individual’s unique cultural experiences), and incongruent or illogical language (Kohn, n.d.). Negative symptoms or absent behaviors associated with normal individuals include “flat” affect or mood, social isolation or withdrawal, and lack of spontaneity (Kohn, n.d.). This disorder has four sub-types, all of which has its own prominent feature. The subtypes are Catatonic (marked by bizarre motor behavior), Paranoid (marked by a significant suspiciousness and a strong sense of persecution), Disorganized (fragmented or illogical speech), and Undifferentiated (having mixed or more than one symptom) (Kohn, n.d.). 2. Briefly describe the client’s background.
Valerie had a normal childhood and was good at work and school. She went to college and graduate school and got married. In Valerie’s late 20’s she began developing delusions of persecution, reference, and grandeur. Because of these delusions Valerie’s husband and church pastor had her committed to a mental institution. Valerie was placed on different medications, and after more than eight years Valerie was able to accept her diagnosis of schizophrenia. Once she accepted the diagnosis doctors could stabilize her medications. Valerie is able to hold a steady job since she is medicated properly and has her symptoms under control. Valerie once had dreams of traveling and getting her PhD, but she is now content just going to work and going home (where she lives with her parents). She has no interest in being in an intimate relationship (Kohn, n.d.).
3. Describe any factors in the client’s background that might predispose him or her to the disorder. Predisposition can be attributed to the Diathesis-Stress Model (Kohn, n.d.). This model states that genetics, biology, and stress can be determining causal factors. Valarie and her family relocated numerous times before she began college. She described herself as a social outcast. She grew up in the church as her parents were teachers in the church; therefore her core was church and religion based. Valerie stated that when she and her husband married, her husband made two distinct agreements with her that he did not uphold. The agreements were to have children and to relocate. These disregarded agreements appeared to be significant stressors for her (Kohn, n.d.). In the interview, Valarie reported she was the only family member with mental health issues; therefore no genetic causal factor was noted. She stated her delusions and hallucinations associated with religion. Delusions and hallucinations are often associated with an individual’s culture. Citing she was a social outcast is a symptom of abnormal behavior that impairs social and emotional functioning. She reports the onset of Schizophrenia with delusions at age 28 during a time when her marriage was unstable (broken agreements) and she was unhappy (Kohn, n.d.). These stressors are causal factors in the onset or erupting of the disorder.
1. Describe symptoms that you observed that support the diagnosis of the individual. When Valerie spoke of her memories and the occurrences that she experienced they supported the diagnosis, although at the time of the interview she showed no readily apparent indications of paranoid schizophrenia. Valerie spoke of the delusions that she experienced in her late twenties where she believed that...