A professor with schizophrenia – Elyn Saks has chronic schizophrenia, and she is a professor of law, psychology and psychiatry at USC. She might have spent her life in the back ward of a hospital, but that’s not what happened.
Elyn Saks is a law scholar at USC and author who fights for the rights of people with mental illness. Too often, Saks believes, decisions are made for these individuals without taking their desires into account.
She’s here to tell us her story. This is, she hastens to add, her own experience. “Everyone becomes psychotic in his or her own ways.”
What schizophrenia is
Schizophrenia is a brain disease, and the defining feature is psychosis — or being out of touch with reality. Involving loose associations and hallucinations. For example, during her episodes she often has the feeling that she had killed hundreds of thousands of people with her thoughts, or that nuclear explosions are about to be set off in her brain. She reminds us that, “It is not the same as multiple personalities. It’s not split, but shattered.”
Source: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Click HERE to purchase. — NOTE: DSM IS AN INVALUABLE BOOK TO HAVE TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND VARIOUS BRAIN DISORDERS. THIS POST IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK (DSM5). TO GET MORE INFORMATION ON ANY SPECIFIC BRAIN DISORDER, YOU CAN PURCHASE THIS BOOK OR FIND IT AT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. — The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. It provides a common language for clinicians to communicate about their patients and establishes consistent and reliable diagnoses that can be used in the research of mental disorders. It also provides a common language for researchers to study the criteria for potential future revisions and to aid in the development of medications and other interventions.
Diagnostic Criteria 295.90 (F20.9)
A. Two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1 -month period (or less if successfully treated). At least one of these must be (1 ), (2), or (3):
3. Disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence).
4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.
5. Negative symptoms (i.e., diminished emotional expression or avolition).
B. For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, level of functioning in one or more major areas, such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care, is markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset (or when the onset is in childhood or adolescence, there is failure to achieve expected level of interpersonal, academic, or occupational functioning).
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