Posted - 04/22/2016 : 10:36:17
Welcome To Our Course About Schizophrenia
Popular Online Courses on Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Online courses in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for the management of anxiety and depression have become very popular.There Are No Similar Online Courses For Schizophrenia
These courses focus on the practical things people can do at home to manage their anxiety and depression. They correctly suggest that psychiatric medication for anxiety or depression should be used only when these negative emotions reach the point of significantly impairing an individual's usual activities. Thus these online courses are fully in agreement with current psychiatric treatment guidelines.
What makes these online CBT courses so appealing, I believe, is their practical, non-academic, emphasis on self-management of these mood disorders.
These online CBT courses present each self-management topic with a brief mini-lecture, followed by a quiz, then a homework assignment. The user proceeds through the course at their own pace. There is no human-to-human contact during these computerized, online courses.
Unfortunately, there are no online courses on the management of schizophrenia. There are a number of excellent websites devoted to schizophrenia, but none offers a free, structured online course in its management.Our Pilot Test of the Start of a Management Course In Schizophrenia
However, there are a number of excellent YouTube professional videos that introduce the topic of schizophrenia. There are even more YouTube videos that do a very poor job of discussing schizophrenia. Thus it is "viewer beware" when looking for information on schizophrenia on YouTube.
Wikipedia offers accurate information on schizophrenia, but it lacks practical advice on the day-to-day management of this illness.
Thus there is a need for an online course on the practical day-to-day management of schizophrenia.
We need your help in designing our proposed online course in the management of schizophrenia.
We will run a test of the first few modules of our proposed course on schizophrenia. Your response to this pilot test will be invaluable in helping us design this course. This pilot test will only cover the beginning of our proposed management course, namely:
- What is schizophrenia?
This topic will be introduced with an excellent video wherein individuals with schizophrenia tell of their recovery.
- What is psychosis?
This topic briefly covers the symptoms of psychosis, and how many individuals with psychosis deny that they are psychotic.
- How delusions and hallucinations in schizophrenia are so persistent.
This topic uses transcripts of psychotic members' online posts over two years to point out how persistent delusions and hallucinations are when not treated with psychiatric medications.
- How schizophrenia often changes a person's personality.
This topic discusses how schizophrenia may cause an individual to develop social withdrawal ("schizoid personality traits") or suspiciousness ("paranoid personality traits").
- How schizophrenia often causes "negative symptoms".
This topic discusses how schizophrenia may cause an individual to lack motivation, emotional expression and spontaneous speech.
The pilot test of our proposed course ends at this point, well before we start discussing management of schizophrenia. However, we wanted to start this course with a brief overview of the topics that later will be discussed in terms of their management.
It is hoped that we will learn from your feedback regarding the proposed design of this course.
Thus, if you have schizophrenia, or if a loved one has this illness, please try out this pilot test of our proposed course then please give us your feedback.
Phil Long MD
Posted - 06/12/2016 : 12:29:35
The Onset of Schizophrenia
At The Beginning, It Doesn't Look Like Schizophrenia
- Schizophrenia usually starts between the late teens and the mid-30s, whereas onset prior to adolescence is rare (although cases with age at onset of 5 or 6 years have been reported).
- Schizophrenia can also begin later in life (e.g., after age 45 years), but this is uncommon.
- Usually the onset of Schizophrenia occurs a few years earlier in men than women.
- The onset may be abrupt or insidious.
- Usually Schizophrenia starts gradually with a prepsychotic phase of increasing negative symptoms (e.g., social withdrawal, deterioration in hygiene and grooming, unusual behavior, outbursts of anger, and loss of interest in school or work).
- A few months or years later, a psychotic phase develops (with delusions, hallucinations, or grossly bizarre/disorganized speech and behavior).
- However, schizophrenia can start with an episode of major depression or mania, and then develop psychosis after these mood episodes have resolved.
- Likewise, schizophrenia can develop after an episode of increasing fear finally evolves into delusional paranoia.
Research has shown that there are 5 dimensions to schizophrenia:Current (DSM-5) Criteria For Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
- positive symptoms (delusions, hallucinations)
- disorganized speech (e.g. frequent derailment or incoherence)
The diagnosis of schizophrenia requires that at least one of these psychotic dimensions must be present for at least one month.
- negative symptoms (lack of motivation, emotion, spontaneous speech)
- uncontrolled hostility/excitement (e.g., grossly disorganized or excited catatonic behavior)
The uncontrolled hostility/excitement can cause the tragedies that make it into newspaper headlines.
To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, certain criteria must be met:
- The person must have at least 1 month of psychosis, and his/her functioning at usual activities must be continuously impaired for at least 6 months.
- The 1 month of psychosis had delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech.
- In addition, the 1 month of psychosis must have 2 or more of the following: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms (e.g., lack of emotion/motivation/spontaneous speech).
- This condition was not due to a medical or substance use disorder.
- The duration of the total illness (psychosis plus severe impairment in usual activities) must be longer than the duration of any accompanying major depressive or manic episode.
In other words, the duration of the schizophrenic symptoms (i.e., delusions + hallucinations + negative symptoms + disorganized speech + grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior) must be longer than the duration of any associated mood disorder (major depressive or manic episode).