Aspects of Schizophrenia Disorder


Mental disorders are critical healthcare conditions troubling communities and medical assemblages globally. The World Health Organization reiterates the condition’s seriousness by disclosing that one in every eight persons living in the world exhibits mental health problems (“Mental disorders,” n.d). Misconceptions and lack of information are some of the critical factors contributing to the high mental health conditions’ prevalence worldwide. These factors make it hard for many curable conditions to acquire the appropriate management, making the cases severe. Nonetheless, managing mental disorders is difficult due to several underlying facets, including the inability to diagnose the disorders using medical or laboratory procedures. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) thus exists as the only guideline for ruling out specific mental problems, with misunderstandings often leading to the wrong diagnosis. Accordingly, understanding the specific mental conditions’ unique traits promotes their care provision and mental disorders management.

Mental Health Issues, Prevalence, and Change over Time

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder affecting many people globally. The condition’s confusion with acting foolish or attention-seeking frequently exposes those exhibiting it to fatal consequences. According to the “National Library of Medicine” (2022), approximately twenty-four million individuals worldwide suffer from Schizophrenia. The figure implies that one in every three hundred global inhabitants has the disorder. Sadly, Schizophrenia not only affects the patient’s ability to socialize but also reduces people’s life expectancy. The “National Library of Medicine” (2022) reports that persons with mental illness generally live 10 to 20 years lesser relative to the general population. Indicators such as deficiencies in perception and fluctuations in comportment characterize Schizophrenia (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). Others include insistent delusions, disorganized thinking, hallucinations, highly unsystematic behavior, and extreme agitation. Furthermore, individuals with Schizophrenia regularly experience obstinate troubles with their reasoning ability (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). A collection of active Schizophrenia treatment alternatives exist, including psychoeducation, medication, psychosocial rehabilitation, and family interventions (“Mental disorders,” n.d). However, few Schizophrenia patients seek medical attention, leaving many others languishing within uninformed communities.

DSM Features

The DSM provides medical practitioners with fundamental information on mental disorders’ determination and management. Unlike the other health issues facing humanity, which exhibit precise medical diagnosis techniques, mental conditions’ identification depends on individual psychiatrists’ judgments, implying substantial subjectivity and prejudice potential in the issues’ confirmation. Consequently, DSM offers precise evidence-based case-specific diagnosis data on almost all mental disorders affecting humanity. The paradigm offers a set of six distinctive judgment aspects for each condition, classified under sections A to F (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). The first segment contains characteristics unique to the covered state, while section B provides the social and occupational dysfunctions specific to the disorder. Section C clarifies the duration after which observed symptoms imply the particular illness, whereas Unit D identical disorders’ exclusion criteria.

Furthermore, segments E and F help clinicians to respectively exclude substance and pervasive developmental disorders’ influence on the condition under investigation, leading to the appropriate judgment on the matter. DSM’s unique sections reveal the open danger in trying to determine a mental disorder based on unreliable information sources. Remarkably, the last three segments’ focus on excluding symptoms related to linked psychological conditions reinstate the risk of mistaken disorder judgment, which lead to the administration of the wrong intervention, leading to challenging care.

Schizophrenia Judgment: DSM Structure

The DSM is an ideal tool for determining and treating Schizophrenia. The structure leads medics to make the proper judgment concerning the condition by excluding it from similar disarrays, such as mood disorder, schizoaffective syndrome, substance and general medical condition-induced mental concerns, and prevalent developmental malady. Accordingly, the DSM classifies Schizophrenia under the “Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders” category (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). The model then provides the disorder’s characteristic symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, messy speech, grossly disordered or catatonic manners, and contracted emotional expression (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). As per the DSM, the existence of two or more of these signs within a month infers Schizophrenia chances. The presence of bizarre delusions and hallucinations among the provided symptoms increases the condition’s likelihood, as noted by the “National Library of Medicine” (2022). Section B of the DSM model, under the Schizophrenia condition, requires one or more chief functioning areas, such as work, self-care, or interpersonal relations, to be markedly low for possible disorder consideration. The situation must further reveal deterioration trends with time since the malady’s onset.

A behavioral analyst diagnosing Schizophrenia should not confirm the disorder based on a single episode’s symptomatic occurrence. Instead, the DSM requires the incessant signs of the trouble to continue for at least six months for the professional to make the verdict. The six-month duration must feature at least one month of indications, or less (in case of successful management), and may comprise times of prodromal or residual indicators. During the prodromal or residual phases, the disturbances’ indications may be demonstrated by only undesirable symptoms or two or more signs itemized in section A of the DSM (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). Odd beliefs and strange perceptual experiences are examples of such symptoms that, together with the duration cap, will make psychologists determine the case as Schizophrenia.

Equally, the analyst must differentiate the presented signs from those of mood and schizoaffective disorders to be sure about the illness. The absence of major manic, depressive, or mixed episodes and short-lived mood episodes confirm the lack of mood-related conditions, increasing Schizophrenia’s possibility (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022). Exclusion from substance and general medical condition-related concerns involve cross-examining the patient’s involvement with drugs. At the same time, the lack of autism condition history eliminates the connection to pervasive developmental disorders in the diagnosis process. Applying DSM’s guidelines until the last stage, with the successful exclusion of symptoms connected to other linked maladies, indicates success in Schizophrenia diagnosis. Therefore, DSM offers a rigorous process that uses evidence-based approaches to deliver trustworthy, valid, and reliable diagnosis outcomes, thus promoting factual case management by medics and counselors.

Changes in DSM Guidelines over Time

Mental disorders management requires proactivity and modernity to work effectively. The DSM’s appreciation of this fact leads to the paradigm’s frequent revisions and updates. The “National Library of Medicine” (2022) provides DSM-5 and DSM-IV as the most current versions of the guidelines. The latter is an updated version of the former and contains significant changes regarding symptoms’ addition and elimination. For example, DSM-5 replaces the ambiguous “negative symptoms” characteristic in DSM-IV with “contracted emotional expression” (“National Library of Medicine,” 2022) for precision purposes. Almost all the other sections in the two documents remain the same, while future revisions are inevitable.

Schizophrenia is a significantly confusing mental disorder based on its symptoms. Persons suffering from it often get branded as pretenders or crazy. Accordingly, the victims face several kinds of stigma, including media, family bias, self-stigma, and institutional branding (Zhang et al., 2020). The media frequently depict Schizophrenia victims as violent, self-centered beings who love to sell their crazy ideas. The aspect exposes the team to substantial attacks by the public, with some groups physically fighting the mentally ill friends, leading to injuries or even deaths. Other media platforms portray children and adults with the condition as laughter stocks due to their frequent twisted reasoning and speech. The matter confuses as the masses lack the understanding such individuals are ill and require medical attention to heal. Accordingly, media-based stigma towards people with Schizophrenia creates a mistaken mentality towards the special group worth correcting.

Family bias and self-stigma mainly result from the underlying cultural belief concerning mental disorders. Eghaneyan and Murphy (2020) note that many communities and states attach Schizophrenia to shame, thus the need to keep information concerning the condition secret. For example, African Americans disproportionately regard mental illness as an embracing issue compared to the races in the U.S. (Zhang et al., 2020). The matter makes it difficult for those with treatable mental disorders to seek help from social workers. Equally, families with members suffering from Schizophrenia tend to hide inside houses where the public and medical professionals cannot see them (Zhang et al., 2020). Sadly, some family members refer to their schizophrenia-infected colleagues as pretenders, leading to neglect and unwarranted accusations that worsen the condition. Based on the prevailing cultures, some mentally ill individuals develop negative thoughts against themselves, such as believing that their condition means one is incompetent, unlovable, and dangerous. Therefore, family and self-stigma cause real concerns about mental disorders’ management as they affect care access and community support possibilities.

Institutional stigma arises when employers hesitate to hire community members with Schizophrenia. The situation often occurs despite the victim’s possession of the necessary skills and qualifications for the job. Police and other institutionalized groups’ biased treatment of people with the condition further amounts to institutional bias. The policing officers frequently mistake schizophrenia patients for people with criminal behaviors, leading to their unnecessary arrests and mistreatment by the law due to factors beyond their ability. Similarly, Eghaneyan and Murphy (2020) relate challenged funding for schizophrenia studies to institutional prejudice limiting the condition’s management. Therefore, individuals with Schizophrenia face noteworthy biases that challenge their healing and incorporation into society.

Barriers, Challenges, and Controversies for Schizophrenia Treatment

Lack of understanding and awareness, preference for alternative care, financial constraints, and illness severity are common barriers to care access among people with Schizophrenia. Kane et al. (2021) say that many people in the world do not comprehend the disorder’s severity and the available transformative management opportunities. The challenge exists among mentally ill persons and their families, making access to care highly challenging. Preference for alternative care arises mainly from erroneous diagnoses, which occur based on speculations or misuse of the DSM model. Similarly, fear and stigma discourage many mentally sick people and their families from seeking medical care while avoiding social branding (Huhn et al., 2019). Lastly, clients’ resistance significantly challenges healing as some victims’ denial, fear, and shame discourage them from going to the hospital for quality care. While not generally a deliberate impediment to personal well-being, people’s misperception and repudiation of treatment lead to diverse problems and deprived quality of life.


Schizophrenia is a treatable mental disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. The condition is diagnosable using the stand DSM model, which helps medics make an informed judgment on the matter by excluding all the closely linked mental complications. Unlike diseases, mental illness diagnosis often does not involve a lab analysis but uses the psychiatrist’s verdict-making ability. Effective utilization of the DSM structure eliminates errors and makes appropriate medication possible. Persons with schizophrenia exhibit significant stigma and barriers that worsen their conditions.


Eghaneyan, B. H., & Murphy, E. R. (2020). Measuring mental illness stigma among Hispanics: A systematic review. Stigma and Health, 5(3), 351-61. Web.

Huhn, M., Nikolakopoulou, A., Schneider-Thoma, J., Krause, M., Samara, M., Peter, N., & Leucht, S. (2019). Comparative efficacy and tolerability of 32 oral antipsychotics for the acute treatment of adults with multi-episode schizophrenia: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. The Lancet, 394(10202), 939-951.

Kane, J. M., McEvoy, J. P., Correll, C. U., & Llorca, P. M. (2021). Controversies surrounding the use of long-acting injectable antipsychotic medications for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. CNS Drugs, 35(11), 1189-1205.

Mental disorders. (n.d). World Health Organization (WHO). Web.

National Library of Medicine. (2022). Table 3.20DSM-IV to DSM-5 Psychotic Disorders. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Web.

Zhang, Z., Sun, K., Jatchavala, C., Koh, J., Chia, Y., Bose, J., & Ho, R. (2020). Overview of stigma against psychiatric illnesses and advancements of anti-stigma activities in six Asian societies. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(1), 275-284.

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