Schizophrenia: Genetic or Environmental?
Essay title: Schizophrenia: Genetic or Environmental?
Schizophrenia: Genetic or Environmental?
About one percent of the American population suffers from schizophrenia. The term schizophrenia literally means the “splitting of psychic functions” (Pinel, 447). At the time of the early 20th century, this is what was used to describe what was assumed at that time to be the primary symptom: the breakdown of integration among emotion, thought, and action (Pinel, 447). Schizophrenia is a form of psychotic disorder which causes people to have difficulty interpreting reality. These individuals develop changes in their thinking, perceptions and even behavior. It is believed to be caused as a result of a disturbance in the development of the brain. It is still uncertain, however, whether the disorder is characterized only by genetic factors, or if it is influenced by outside environmental factors as well.

Schizophrenia is a disease that strikes young people in their prime. This disease distorts the senses, making it very difficult for the individual to tell what is real from what is not. The usual onset of this disorder is between the ages of sixteen and twenty five. With this disease they will have a disorder that will last for at least six months and includes at least one month of active phase symptoms (i.e. two [or more] of the following: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior). Only one symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the persons behavior or thoughts, and if there are two or more conversing with each other (Pinel, 449). The essential features of schizophrenia are mixtures of characteristic signs and symptoms which can be either positive or negative.

A person with Schizophrenia may be conceptualized as falling into two broad categories, positive or negative. The positive symptoms appear to reflect an excessive or distortion of normal function, whereas the negative symptoms appear to diminution or loss of normal functions (Comer 435).

The positive symptoms of schizophrenia include: delusions, disorganized thinking and speech, heightened perceptions and hallucinations, and inappropriate affect (Comer, 440). Delusions are erroneous beliefs that usually involve misinterpretations of perceptions or experiences, their content may include a variety of themes. Persecutory delusions are the most common; the person believes he or she is being tormented, followed, threatened, tricked, spied on, subjected to ridicule or deliberately attacked or victimized. Referential delusions are also common; the person believes that certain gestures or environmental cues are specifically directed to them. Grandeur delusions are characterized when the person believes themselves to be great inventors, religious saviors, or other specially empowered persons. Delusions of control occur when the person believes feelings, thoughts, and actions are being controlled by other people (Comer 441). A person with schizophrenia may not be able to think logically and speak in peculiar ways. Formal thought disorders can cause great confusion and make communications extremely difficult. Loose associations, or derailment, is the most common thought disorder and causes a rapid shift from one topic to another leaving the person believing that their incoherent statements make perfect sense. Neologisms are made up words that typically only have meaning to the person that is using them. Preservation occurs when the person repeats their words and statements over and over. Clang, another formal thought disorder, is used when the person uses rhyme to think or express themselves (Comer 442). Positive symptoms also include heightened perceptions and hallucinations. A person may feel that

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Persons Behavior And Primary Symptom. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from