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Schizophrenia, Psychosis and Lifespan Development Term Paper

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Updated: May 1st, 2019


There are many conditions and diseases that may affect a child and interfere with normal growth and development. Schizophrenia is a developmental condition characterized by psychotic symptoms as well as by some symptoms that affect adaptive functioning of an individual.

The condition develops in different phases and an individual exhibits different symptoms hence the reason why there are different categories and classifications of the same. With that background in mind, this paper shall focus on describing major classification of schizophrenia, psychosis and lifespan development. In addition, the paper shall also focus on cognitive, biological and behavioral component of schizophrenia.

Major DSM IV-TR categories of schizophrenia, psychosis and lifespan development

Primarily, psychotic disorders include, schizoaffective disorder, shared psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, substance induced psychotic disorders, disorder caused by general medical conditions as well as five types schizophrenia.

The five subtypes of schizophrenia include catatonic, undifferentiated, paranoid, and disorganized and the residual type. Patients suffer from hallucinations usually described as condition that occur when a person is able to sense in absence of the right stimuli (Dziegielewski, 2010).

Various classifications of schizophrenia, psychosis and lifetime development

As highlighted in the introductory part, there are five classifications of schizophrenia. As the name suggests, undifferentiated schizophrenia is also referred to as the garbage type and more often than not, it contains symptoms that are usually present in other disorders.

The residue type is a condition that does not display some of the symptoms that were evident initially. In the paranoid type, victims suffer from either one or more hallucinations marked by a single theme. Patients suffering from disorganized schizophrenia experience incoherence, disturbed effect and more often than not, there is lack of systematic delusions. Lastly, patients suffering from catatonic type suffer from negativism as well as disturbances of the psychomotor such as rigidity and stupor (Dziegielewski, 2010).

Although there are five different classifications of schizophrenia, the path physiology is almost the same but symptoms are varied. In the view of the fact that schizophrenia is a chronic illness, it progresses in different phases.

In many instances, patients seek treatment after experiencing symptoms for a period of one or two years. The first phase is referred to as premorbid phase and is characterized by symptoms such as coping difficulties, anhedonia as well as different perception problems. Nonetheless, it is important to note that in many cases, such symptoms are too mild to be noticed.

The next phase is known as the prodromal phase and is characterized by subclinical symptoms like disorganization, irritability, disorganization and perceptual distortions, to mention just a few. The middle phase is characterized by the same symptoms but they are usually more severe. In the last phase, the disease may stabilize or start all over again (Bustillo, 2008).

Behavioral components of schizophrenia

According to American Psychiatric Association (2006), behavioral therapy is very effective in treatment of the disorder especially due to the fact that it is a chronic illness. In this type of a treatment, the disorder is viewed as a problem behavior which may be influenced by environmental factors like the relationships in the family of origin.

Behavioral family therapy is an effective method of treatment and is usually aimed at reducing or eliminating severity of the symptoms. This is due to the fact that research has indicated that negative behaviors that are directed to victims by their family members contribute greatly to the severity of the symptoms. Therefore, it is clear that if such behaviors can be dealt with, the problem can be solved.

Cognitive Component

The condition of schizophrenia affects cognitive ability of a person hence the reason why victims suffer from poor perception of self and of other people in the society. Their thinking is also affected and that is the reason why cognitive therapy is used in treatment.

It bears noting that even though cognitive therapy is used to alleviate the symptoms of the diseases like distorted thinking, the disease is not completely eliminated because there are biological causes of the same. Therefore, cognitive component mainly focuses on treating some of the symptoms and thereby helps the victim to manage some of the life problems.

Biological Component

According to Tsuang (2000), some of the genetic factors increase someone’s vulnerability. Further studies indicate that the main biological component of the disorder include complications incurred during pregnancy and delivery process. Studies have indicated that people having family members who have ever suffered from psychiatric disorders are always at a higher risk of developing schizophrenia. Although it is not clear how genetic factors contribute to schizophrenia, it has a great effect.


Schizophrenia is a complicated condition not only due to its nature but also due to the fact that it results from a wide range of factors. It is classified into five categories mostly according to its symptoms. Since it is caused by a wide range of factors, there are several ways of treatment upon diagnosis.

Treatment methods are inclusive of antipsychotic drugs, rehabilitation and psychotherapy. The main aim of treatment is not only to alleviate symptoms, but also to enable the patient to continue functioning normally (Bustillo, 2008). Schizophrenia, psychosis and lifespan development conditions are serious and ought to be researched on comprehensively.


American Psychiatric Association. (2006). American Psychiatric Association practice guidelines for the treatment of psychiatric disorders: Compendium 2006. Washington: American Psychiatric Pub.

Bustillo, J. R. (2008). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from

Dziegielewski, S. F. (2010). DSM-IV-TR in Action. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Tsuang, M. (2000). Schizophrenia: genes and environment. Society of Biological Psychiatry, 47 (3), 210-220.

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