Schizophrenia: Psychiatry and New York

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Schizophrenia and the Benefits of Music Therapy
Casey Drum
Molloy College

“To an observer, the bizarre behaviors and speech of a schizophrenic are disturbing. For the schizophrenic, the world is a confusing maze of nightmares from which one cannot wake up.” (Abramovitz, 2002, p.8) Schizophrenia is a disease that is not curable. Even though there are many therapies and medicines to help people who have schizophrenia there is no cure. “Schizophrenia is a serious mental disease that affects a person’s thoughts, behavior, moods, and ability to work and relate to others. (Ambramovitz, 2002, p.8) People with schizophrenia usually have a hard time differentiating what is real from what is imagined putting the disease under the term psychosis. When a person is diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder they usually have a hard time comprehending that they are mentally ill because the hallucinations and delusions are so real to the person. There are several types of symptoms for Schizophrenia. Some of the most known are the positive symptoms, which are hallucinations, delusions and inappropriate behavior. There are also negative symptoms, which are lack of emotions and behaviors otherwise known as blunted emotions. Finally there is a third group of symptoms called disorganized. This group includes disorganized speech, behavior and thinking. For example: “A person with schizophrenia, when asked if he wants a cup of coffee, might reply that there are no cows in New York” (Ambramovitz, 2002, p.14). “Schizophrenia and the symptoms that characterize it are understandable exaggerations of normal function and not exotic symptoms superimposed on the personality” (Strauss, 1969, p.585). There have been problems with diagnosing schizophrenia because people can have schizophrenic symptoms in normal experiences. If a person is going through withdrawal one of the side effects are delusions. And because withdrawal can cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia it takes precedence over schizophrenia. Unless there is a clear physical cause for a psychological symptom, a diagnosis for schizophrenia is not made. There have been other difficulties in diagnosing renia, when asked if he wants a cup of coffee, might reply that there are no cows in New York"re areschizophrenia because of the influence of a persons’ culture. For instance; in the United Kingdom, there has been controversy with individuals from Afro-Caribbean origin. The reason this could be a problem is because people that are very religious or feel they have a connection to something greater might think they are talking to someone who has passed on and is not with us anymore. Also people that are very intuitive or very in tune with their surroundings may get a feeling or see something that shouldn’t be there and they start question this and start asking people. In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy of Schizophrenia by David Kingdon and Douglas Turkington (1994) they describe two types of parapsychological phenomena: 1. Cognitive- for example, clairvoyance, telepath or precognition. Or a person is believed to have acquired knowledge from an unknown source. Creating the term “extrasensory perception (ESP). 2. Physical-“psycho kinesis”, movement of objects or people by parapsychological means. (p.25)

Cox and Cowling (1989) interviewed 60,000 British adults about their beliefs in various unscientific phenomena. The results were 68% of people believed in God more than 50% believed in thought transference between two people. More than 50%: The possibility of predicting something is going to happen before it actually does. 25% Ghost (the figure rose to 33% among 18-34 year olds), 25% superstitions, 25% Reincarnations, 23% Horoscopes, 21% the devil, 10% “Black Magic” If 68% out of 60,000 British adults believe in God and after life it could pose some problems with diagnosing people with schizophrenia because there isn’t any proof that ghost’s and things in the afterlife don’t exist....
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