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an important role in the treatment of schizophrenia, a wealth of research suggests otherwise. Schizophrenia, like all mental illness, is not a pure brain or genetic disorder. Therefore, treating schizophrenia with appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions is important. Research published in 2015 by Rick Nauert PhD, for instance, demonstrated that people who experienced their first episode of psychosis had the best outcomes when a team-based treatment approach was used. The team-based treatment approach incorporated psychotherapy, low doses of antipsychotic medications, family education and support, case management, and work or education support. Psychotherapy can help keep a person in treatment, help them learn needed social skills, and support the person’s weekly goals. Family therapy can significantly decrease relapse rates for the schizophrenic family member. In high-stress families, schizophrenic patients who received standard aftercare relapse 50-60% of the time in the first year out of hospital (Moritz, 2017). Supportive family therapy can reduce this relapse rate to below 10 percent (Moritz, 2017). This therapy encourages the family to convene a family meeting whenever an issue arises so they can work the issue out together.

The exact cause of schizophrenia is not currently known, and it is thought to occur as a result of various genetic, physical, psychological and environmental risk factors. Although it is well known that schizophrenia tends to run in families and is likely to be inherited from parents that carry a certain gene, there is no gene that has been linked to increased risk of schizophrenia. For this reason, many medical researchers believe that a combination of genes increases the risk of an individual for developing the condition. However, not everyone with the genetic makeup will become affected by schizophrenia, because other environmental risk factors are involved. It has been observed that if one twin develops schizophrenia, the other twin has a 50% chance of developing the condition (Moritz, 2017). This is in contrast to non-identical twins, who have a one in seven chance of developing the condition if the other twin is affected. This shows that having the gene makes one more susceptible to developing the disorder but that other factors are involved as well.

There are certain situations that tend to cause the development of schizophrenia in those people that are at risk of the condition due to genetic and physical factors.Stressful life events are the most common trigger for schizophrenia. The nature of the event can vary greatly and may include sudden job loss, divorce or abuse but any stressful event has the potential to trigger a psychotic episode in a susceptible individual.Additionally, misuse of drugs has also been linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia. Common drugs that have triggered the onset of the condition include cannabis, cocaine, LSD and amphetamines. Environmental triggers are almost always associated with the development of schizophrenia, but it is worth noting that they are not sufficient to cause the condition alone.

In conclusion, schizophrenia is a chronic disorder that affects millions of people. There are positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms associated with the disorder. The positive symptoms are most commonly hallucinations while the most common negative symptoms are dulled emotion and social withdrawal. Cognitive symptoms are problems concentrating and making decisions. The positive symptoms usually occur later in life and usually follows with a diagnosis while the negative symptoms could have been there the whole time. It is most common for the disorder to occur later in life but is not isolated to adults. Many people find it difficult to keep a job and end up homeless or in assisted living as a result. With proper medication and psychotherapy it is possible for schizophrenics to lead meaningful lives.

Works Cited

Adam, D. (2014). Cause is not everything in mental illness. Nature, 511(7511), 509.


Foster, A., & Buckley, P. F. (2014). Pharmacogenetics and Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia.

Treatment–Refractory Schizophrenia, 179-193. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-45257-4_12

Grohol, J. (2017). Schizophrenia Treatment. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 17, 2017, from

Moritz, S., Klein, J. P., Desler, T., Lill, H., Gallinat, J., & Schneider, B. C. (2017).

Neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia. are we making mountains out of molehills? Psychological Medicine, 47(15),

2602-2612. doi:

Park, S., Lee, M., Furnham, A., Jeon, M., & Ko, Y. (2017). Lay beliefs about the causes and

cures of schizophrenia. The International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 63(6), 518-524.


Schacter, D. L., Gilbert, D. T., Wegner, D. M., & Knock, M. K. (2015). Psychological Disorders.

In Introducing Psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 460-462). New York, NY: Worth.


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