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Surviving Schizophrenia.

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The DSM IV is a revised system of diagnosis and nomenclature and can also be referred to as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders. It can be used to diagnose people with serious mental illnesses, such as people who have mood disorders and schizophrenia. The DSM IV was designed to help doctors, professionals and even society as a whole recognize these disorders and the people who have them. The only way to treat someone is to recognize the problem first. The DSM IV is made up of five axes: clinical disorders, personality disorders/mental retardation, general medical conditions, psychosocial and environmental problems, and global assessment of functioning. Schizophrenia was once used in a more "broad" term and researchers felt that a more specific, strict definition was needed. The DSM IV definition was developed because of this and contains specific criteria that is needed to diagnose someone with schizophrenia. In the DSM IV, to be diagnosed as having schizophrenia, one must have two or more of the following conditions that are present for a significant time over a one-month time span. The conditions are: delusions, hallucinations, disordered speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms, such as alogia and avolition. Other factors such as social/occupational dysfunction and duration also play a part in the diagnosis. ...read more.


Other forms of treatment include mobile treatment teams that go to patient's homes, and sometimes even public health nurses and physicians that make in-home visits. This form decreases hospitalization, but will only work effectively if there is proper, precise follow-up (1). The last form of treatment for schizophrenia includes the use of antipsychotic drugs for treatment. It is important to remember that these drugs do not cure schizophrenia, but control the symptoms. Studies have shown that about 70% of schizophrenic patients who use these drugs show improvements in their condition (1). Mood disorders are also very prevalent in society today. There are several disorders that can be included, such as major depression, disthymia, cyclothymia, and mania to name a few. Because seventeen percent of Americans will suffer from major depression sometime in their life, we need to research mood disorders more and help those in need. Diagnosis is very important because these disorders can take an extreme toll on someone's life; therefore it is important to receive treatment as soon as possible (2). Mood disorders can also be found on axis I of the DSM IV. Mood disorders can be divided into two sub-groups; unipolar and bipolar disorders. Unipolar disorders include people who are only suffering from one disorder, usually depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder involves people who experience both manic and depressive phases (2). ...read more.


Another reason why many people do not get treatment is because it is too expensive. A generalist social worker could help by finding alternative funding to pay for the treatment. Sometimes the client doesn't know every possibility that is available, and that is where the generalist social worker fits in. The generalist social worker could also help by explaining to the client that millions of people receive different forms of treatment all over the world. Some people do not receive treatment because they are too embarrassed or ashamed; they feel that they are the only ones going through their illness, but they are not. Support groups and group therapy are a good way to show that everyone has problems and that it's acceptable to admit them and receive treatment. A generalist social worker could also help in the treatment process by introducing the client to groups and services in the community. It is important that the patient realizes that turning to friends, family, and the community can only have positive affects. The more social support groups available, the better off the patient will be. Overall, I enjoyed doing this paper. A lot of this was review from our first exam, but the rest of it was new to me. I found that writing this paper was both informative and interesting. My knowledge on the mentally ill has increased significantly since I started this class, and I only hope to learn much more. 1 ...read more.

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