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schizophrenia delusions examples

The person with schizophrenia may experience impairment in their thoughts,memory, language and concentration. They usually experience delusions, which are fixed, false beliefs. The delusions can be delusions of grandeur, such as the person believing they are the King of England (this is seen more commonly in bipolar disorder), or they may be persecutory, in that someone is trying to harm them, for example the person believes that the police are going to kill them.

The person with schizophrenia may also describe what is called ‘passivity phenomena’. This means that they feel their thoughts and behaviours are controlled by someone or something else.

Ideas of reference are that the person with schizophrenia attributes the actions and speech content of others as having direct reference to them. Therefore,they may be seen approaching someone on public transport and commenting on their conversation stating, ‘I know that you’re trying to tell me to start working for the police.’ This is a very frightening and bewildering experience for both the person with schizophrenia and the person at whom this is directed.

The person with schizophrenia may also experience ‘thought broadcasting’. Thisis the belief that their thoughts can be heard by others. For example, an adolescent schoolboy may believe that all his school friends know that he is fond of a certainteacher even though he has not told them. ‘Thought insertion’ may also be experiencedby the person with schizophrenia, where they believe that thoughts have been inserted into their brain by something or somebody else, or conversely ‘thoughtwithdrawal’, where the service user with schizophrenia believes their thoughtscan be removed by someone or something else. Poverty of thought may also be experienced, where the service user with schizophrenia reports that they have no thoughts.

One type of thought disorder can be observed by the health care professionaland this is ‘thought blocking’. The service user will suddenly stop talking as if they have been interrupted. This can occur several times during a conversation.

A person with schizophrenia will also have difficulty maintaining a flow of conversation as their thinking is disorganised and their ideas may move inappropriately from one topic to another. This is known as ‘knight’s move thinking’, asin a knight’s L-shaped move during a game of chess, which appears to be illogical.The person may also use ‘clang association’ when speaking. This means that twowords that sound the same but with a different meaning are linked together in aconversation, for example the sun is shining and your son is unwell..

It can also be noted that the person will focus on facts and details and think ina very concrete manner; this is known as ‘concrete thinking’. An example of thiswould be when asked, ‘How did you sleep last night?’ the person with schizophreniawould reply, ‘In a bed.’

Memory impairments and difficulty concentrating due to thought disorder (asdescribed above) will be demonstrated. This will understandably cause the serviceuser difficulties in absorbing and retaining information. It also has been discoveredthat people diagnosed with schizophrenia have memory and cognitive deficits that precede the onset of schizophrenia.


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