Schizophrenia and Problems in Everyday Lives
People with schizophrenia have a lot of struggles in their everyday lives. Their minds work differently than the average, mentally sound individual. Schizophrenia is defined as a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation (Oxford English Dictionary).
Some examples of schizophrenia symptoms consist of delusion, hallucinations, and irrational statements. These researchers are investigating if people with schizophrenia have the ability to understand social situations/cues and how to appropriately respond to them. To better understand this topic, recent research will be reviewed. The main purpose of this first experiment was to research whether or not patients with schizophrenia understand/comprehend deictic language/speech with use of the relational frame theory (Bechi, Agostoni, Bosia, Spangaro, Mastromatteo, Cavallaro, Buonocore, Bianchi, Cocchi & Guglielmino 2009).
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The researchers used 15 patients (comprised of 8 men and 7 women) diagnosed with schizophrenia. Most of the patients have been treated with neuroleptics. The control group was comprised of seemingly healthy participants with the same amount of men to women as the experimental group (8 men and 7 women). The experiment begins with the patient listening to a conversation. In the conversation, two people are having a discussion about a certain topic. In this conversation, there is a point trying to be made by one of the people in the conversation.
The patients needed to try and decipher point of the conversation. The patient’s answers were rated for degree of correctness. The experiment showed that schizophrenia patients with the poor and fair mentalizers have displayed a completely different cognitive and functional profile, also with the highlight of the divergent pattern of ToM subcomponents. The purpose of the second experiment was to see the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of schizophrenia patients understanding social situations ( Fiszdon, Roberts, Penn, Choi, Tek, Choi, and Bell 2016), and to help them. In order for patients to participate, the researchers required various qualifications.
In order to participate, the participants must have been diagnosed with the schizophrenia spectrum disorder, a presence of AS or ToM deficits. They also must be over 18 years old, psychiatrically sound 90 days after the most recent release of their hospitalization, as well as the various other requirements stated in the research. The research consisted of two sessions that were one month apart.
The first session was to determine whether participants met diagnostic criteria and exhibited impairments in ToM or AS, and after the sessions, the participants had to fill out a satisfaction rating. A final session was initiated in order to review the overall results of the experiment, those being that the researcher’s findings have been indicated that their USS training was well tolerated by their participants with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
The participants in the experiment thought that the training was useful and helpful for them to be able to evaluate the complexities that have/can go into making social judgments. There was a large improvement in the USS Skills Test. That suggested the researchers were effective in teaching their specific training content that they wanted their participants to learn. (Fiszdon, Roberts, Penn, Choi, Tek, Choi, and Bell 2016). The purpose of the third experiment was to assess the perspective taking in schizophrenia using the relational frame theory (Villatte, Monestes, McHugh, Baque, and Loas 2010). The patients were given a perspective-taking task, as well as a mental states attribution task.
The experiment was employed with a sample of 15 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 15 age-matched controls (Villatte, Monestes, McHugh, Baque, and Loas 2010). The first task given by the researchers was related to ToM, consisting of 20 short scenes that were read randomly to the participants.
The scenes involving an interaction between two characters that were in an everyday-life situation, after the participant heard the scene they were asked what the characters in the situations had intended to say. The participant’s responses were rated on a scale for level of correctness, ranging from zero to three points (two points were given for a correct first answer and 1 point was given for a correct second answer).
The second task was deictic relational responding consisting of 42 trials based on the deictic relation for which the participants had tested. The overall results of the first task displayed that there was a poorer performance of participants with schizophrenia in responding to the accordance with deictic frames at the highest levels of relational complexity and contained a 110 difference appearing between the two groups on simple perspective liking (The experimental group did worse than the control group).
The performance on the second task was concluded to be a strong predictor of the accuracy of the mental states attribution task in both of the experiments groups. Both tasks allowed evidence that supported the RIT approach to the theory of mind. People with schizophrenia have had a lot of struggles in their everyday lives. Their minds have been displayed to have worked differently than the average, mentally sound individual.
Schizophrenia is defined as a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation (Oxford English Dictionary).
Some examples of schizophrenia symptoms are delusion, hallucinations, and irrational statements. The researchers in the following experiments have investigated if people with schizophrenia have the ability to understand social situations/cues and how to appropriately respond to them. Researching this topic has allowed me to increase my knowledge of how a person with schizophrenia thinks and reacts in social scenarios, as well as how their mind can comprehend social cues.
- Bechi, M., Bosia, M., Agostoni, G., Buonocore, M., Bianchi, L., Cocchi, F., . . . Cavallaro, R. (2018, June 7). Can Patients With Schizophrenia Have Good Mentalizing Skills? Disentangling Heterogeneity of Theory of Mind. Retrieved from file:///home/chronos/u-f951cbfb795c9c615f855350540d0a4835fd71b2/Downloads/Bergen%20article%201%20(1).pdf
- Fiszdon, J. M., Penn, D. L., Tek, C., Roberts, D. L., Choi, K.-H., Choi, J., & Bell, M. D. (2016). Understanding Social Situations (USS): A Proof-of-Concept Social–Cognitive Intervention Targeting Theory of Mind and Attributional Bias in Individuals With Psychosis. Retrieved from file:///home/chronos/u-f951cbfb795c9c615f855350540d0a4835fd71b2/Downloads/Bergen%20article%202%20(1).pdf
- Schizophrenia. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2018, from Oxford English Dictionary website: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/schizophrenia Villatte, M., Monestes, J.-L., McHugh, L., Baque, E. F., & Loas, G. (2010). ASSESSING PERSPECTIVE TAKING IN SCHIZOPHRENIA USING RELATIONAL FRAME THEORY. Retrieved from file:///home/chronos/u-f951cbfb795c9c615f855350540d0a4835fd71b2/Downloads/Bergen%20article%203%20(1).pdf