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Case Study Of A Patient With Paranoid Schizophrenia

by Elizabeth Hall


Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood mental disorders that psychologist must treat in the field today.  In this paper, we have extensively studied the environmental, genetic, and biological influences of the disorder.  We have looked at how they affect the development of schizophrenia, and what treatments are currently available for patients suffering from this terrifying disease.  While there is no cure for schizophrenia, researchers continue to study the disease because the symptoms of this mental illness require lifetime care and medicine.  Through the study of Shonda, who is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and suffering a psychotic episode, we explore a comprehensive view of this devastating illness. 


Shonda’s Case Information

Eastern State Hospital Behavioral Health Client Case File

Client:Wilson, Shonda            DOB:8/15/1979     Client CISID#ES10854

Address:3543 Sunnyvale Lane                                Client SSN:401-85-7530

City:Lexington   State:KY   Zip:40517                    Health Insurance Co:Anthem

Phone(859) 849-5298 Health Plan: Access

Case Type: Patient File- Continuous Paranoid Schizophrenia

Initial Patient Screening Date: 2/12/2004

 Extra Background Information:Employed at Eastern State, performs light janitorial duties.  Supervisor- Zachary Brown Phone Number- (859)652-5305

 Medical History:  Has frequent, almost continual audible hallucinations, accompanied by delusions.  Has been on antipsychotics for almost 12 years, most recently prescribed haloperidol (Haldol)

 Family Background:  Older brother lives in Florida, parents live in Versailles, KY.  Patient has not seen any of her family members for years.  Parents have always been emotionally distant, with this worsening with diagnosis of schizophrenia.  Home life was volatile, with parents constantly bickering, and the father has a violent temper, often beating wife and children.  Father possibly an alcoholic.  One aunt on her father’s side was institutionalized for a nervous breakdown.  There is no other history of mental illness in the family history.

Date: 8/2/2011

Current Issues: This morning I received a call from Zachary Brown advising that Shonda had not shown up for work today.  Upon visiting her at her residence, I found her anxious, fidgety, and very frightened of the voices she has been hearing in the past week.  Client has been hearing audible hallucinations since her first diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia 12 years ago, but normally can function enough to work.  Client reports that voices are getting more intense, and frightening, critical, harsh, and louder.  Shonda also states that she has been attempting to hide from the voices in closets and under beds but is having no success.  She currently is delusional, and believes that she is under surveillance by the CIA and the FBI, and that they have planted cameras in her home and workplace.  Client is visibly agitated, and confused with disjointed speech patterns and alogia.

Recommendations:I recommend immediate hospitalization, with adjustment of medicine.

        Figure 1


Among all of the mental disorders that affect our society, schizophrenia is one of the hardest to deal with as stated by the University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center at Houston (1997).  This is attributed to the vast array of symptoms both positive and negative, such as delusions, hallucinations, alogia, and affective flattening to name a few.  This disorder according to Barlow and Durand (2007) is divided into five subtypes, paranoid, catatonic, residual, disorganized, and undifferentiated, which further complicates this disease.  In this paper, we intend to shed some light on this disorder, discuss genetic, environmental and biological influences on the disorder, treatments, and relate this research and study to a specific case of paranoid schizophrenia.

What Exactly is Schizophrenia?

According to the University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center at Houston (1997), of all of the mental disorders it is possible to have, schizophrenia is one of the most convoluted and misconstrued of them all.  The symptoms that define this disease are horrifying and frightening to the patients, their families, and even to society as a whole. Patients suffer from audible and visual hallucinations according to Barlow and Durand (2007), along with delusions, and catatonia.  They also suffer from negative symptoms such as alogia, negative flattening, and avolition.  These symptoms are the most prevalent in the disorder regardless of the type of schizophrenia that you have, as there are five different subtypes associated with schizophrenia, paranoid, catatonic, undifferentiated, residual, and disorganized (Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.).

Each of these subtypes present differently, contributing to the general public misconception of this complex disease (Barlow and Durand, 2007). While the delusions and hallucinations are the main symptoms across the subtypes, and considered positive symptoms, the complete set of symptoms, is much larger and include negative symptoms as well, such as avolition, alogia, anhedonia, and affective flattening.  This disorder also manifests disorganized symptoms including disorganized speech, and catatonic immobility.  While it has happened that, the disease has manifested earlier and later in life, the disease usually presents in young adults in their twenties and early thirties, according to Barlow and Durand (2007).

Cola, Findling, Lee, Meltzer, Rabinowitz, Ranjan, and Thompson (1997), note that there are several factors, which change the degree of the disorder in relation to the age of onset.  They find that the earlier the onset, the greater level of dysfunction the disorder produces in the patient, along with inferior response to treatments, and the greater chance of having to be hospitalized more than once during the patient’s lifetime. Although mental disorders have been around for “thousands of years” as stated by Johns Hopkins Medicine (n.d.), Emil Kraeplin was the first person to separate mental conditions into different classifications, calling what is now known as schizophrenia, dementia praecox.  In 1911 the term schizophrenia, was adopted by Eugen Bleuler, and both he and Kraeplin had subdivided the disease into the five different subtypes by this time.  The current classification system for mental disorders according to Johns Hopkins Medicine (n.d.) is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders –Fourth Edition (DSM-IV-TR).

The DSM-IV-TR classifies schizophrenia as an unrelenting, chronic disease, which affects the patient’s thinking process, emotions, and even behavior, holds BehaveNet (2011).  In order for a patient to receive a classification of schizophrenia, certain diagnostic criteria must be met, from a range of criterion listed in the DSM-IV divided into six categories.  These categories, described as characteristic, social/occupational dysfunction, persistent duration, the ruling out of schizoaffective and mood disorders, the exclusion of substance or medical related psychosis, and finally whether there is any presence of pervasive developmental disorder all have different durations to meet the criteria.  After one year of persistent symptoms, the disorder can be further classified as episodic with interepisode residual symptoms, with or without prominent negative symptoms, episodic without interepisode residual symptoms, continuous, and other unspecified pattern symptoms as well.  There is also a classification for single episodes with partial or full remission notes BehaveNet (2011). 

BehaveNet (2011) goes on to say that while normally there needs to be two or more of the symptoms classified to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but that if the characteristic symptoms are delusions or hallucinations, it is possible to give a diagnosis under certain conditions.  These conditions state that extreme or fantastic delusions, more than one voice communicating together, or even a single hallucination continuously talking about the patient’s behavior or even their thoughts would warrant the diagnosis of this disorder.  Finally, BehaveNet (2011) spans the original diagnosis to six months of behavior pointing to the disease, with a person having to exhibit two or more characteristic symptoms for a month, and six months of periodic social/occupation dysfunction or signs of disruption attributed to the disorder (BehaveNet, 2011).  This information is the result of numerous studies done concerning schizophrenia, including twin studies, family studies, adoptee studies, offspring of twin studies, and linkage studies (Barlow and Durand, 2007).These studies confirm that, it is not simply one gene that causes schizophrenia, but rather a combination of multiple genes that actually cause one to be more susceptible to both schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders as stated by Barlow and Durand (2007). During an experiment that proves, that there is a definite correlation to the severity to which the parents were affected by the disease, and the chances that their offspring would follow suit and develop schizophrenia done by Frank Kallmann.  One other fact learned during this study is that the subtype of schizophrenia that one receives genetically is not correlated to the type that your family member is suffering from.  From the studies on twins, research has concluded that it has to be both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the presentation of the disorder.

During studies of the offspring of twins, it was discovered that it is possible to be a carrier of the disorder, and able to pass it down genetically without ever having shown signs of the disorder, notes Barlow and Durand (2007).  Genetic linkage association studies have shown that the easiest way to study disorders of this type are through marker genes, and receptors.  In schizophrenics, this means the study of the dopamine process in the brains of patients.  Now, we should look at the research and what the DSM-IV-TR says, and compare it to our original case study about Shonda Wilson. 

We can see from the facts detailed in Figure 1, that Shonda has been diagnosed with continuous paranoid schizophrenia, and has had the diagnosis of schizophrenia for many years.  According to BehaveNet (2011) and the DSM-IV-TR, she does seem to fit the criteria for this disorder.  Shonda has had audible hallucinations and alogia throughout the entire time she has had the diagnosis.  The fact that the hallucinations are constantly present is what qualifies her for the diagnosis of continuous paranoid schizophrenia.

However, even with the addition of a new antipsychotic medicine (Haldol), her condition seems to be worsening.  Now, along with the hallucinations, which are getting more insistent and frightening, and the alogia, Shonda is also delusional and unable to function at work.  She believes that the FBI and CIA are monitoring her and have put cameras in her house and workplace, and her hallucinations have turned harsh, critical, and insistent. When considering the research, Cola, Findling, Lee, Meltzer, Rabinowitz, Ranjan, and Thompson (1997), have stated that the earlier the onset of the disorder, the less positive results that are found by treatment, and that seems to be the case here.

Although Shonda has not had much contact with her family, and not much is known about her history, we can see that there is some mental disorder in the family, as there was emotional distance by both, mother and father, alcoholism, and violence, along with an aunt who was hospitalized.  Not enough is known about this aspect of her past to make justifiable considerations to diagnosis and research in this case, however we can speculate that it is possible that the violence and abuse that the mother may have endured during the pregnancy as a suspected cause.  It is important to explore the biological, genetic, and environmental aspects of this disorder anyway.

Biological andGenetic Aspects of Schizophrenia

Yale University School of Medicine, Psychiatry (2005), holds that the main neurotransmitter involved in schizophrenia is dopamine, however there are actually three neurotransmitters involved according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (2004).  The dopamine neurotransmitter was the first one related to schizophrenia, but glutamate has been related to this disorder for some time now.  The glutamate receptor GR3, which regulates the amount of glutamate present in the synaptic clefts, relates to possible negative impacts on cognitive functions.  Recently, NIMH (2007) has also associated GABA with schizophrenia, and it is because of the reduction of enzymes such as the gene GAD1, which aids in the production of the neurotransmitter GABA that affects schizophrenics’ development of the disorder.

Barlow and Durand (2007) tie the distinction of genetics to schizophrenia by making this statement, “we can safely make one generalization: Genes are responsible for making some individuals vulnerable to schizophrenia”.  There have been numerous findings in relation to genetics and schizophrenia such as the one by Frank Kallmann.   It is a quantitative trait locus, which offers us the best explanation into the variances of the disease.  This includes why we have gradations of severity, and that the studies show the correlation between the number of family members with the disease and the chances of developing it increasing with the addition of each new family member diagnosed (Barlow and Durand, 2007).  Along with the genetic studies, there have been proven abnormalities in the brain structure of schizophrenics.

The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience (2002) maintains that schizophrenia as a disease of the brain, and that it has always been classified in this way.  Now that researchers have the MRI, and Computed Topography (CT), it is much easier to see these abnormalities.  What they see is that patients have lateral ventricles that appear larger than normal while cortical grey matter and hippocampal masses appear to be smaller than normal. Barlow and Durand (2007, p490 par3-4) report that the disease is at least caused in part by “excessive stimulation of striatal dopamine D2 receptors” and by the “deficiency in the stimulation of prefrontal D1, receptors”.  You will find them in the basil ganglia and the prefrontal cortex.  Scientists also have gone into another newer area that has been researched, which takes modifications in the prefrontal cortex action that regulates glutamate communication into consideration.  This modified interaction between the dopamine receptors happens in conjunction with the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, and was discovered by studying effects of certain drugs on the brain (Barlow and Durand, 2007).

Barlow and Durand (2007) states that the frontal lobes seem to maintain less activity in people diagnosed with schizophrenia than those in other people.  Particularly this hypofrontality is found in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in these patients, and presents earlier than other cognitive dysfunctions in relation to schizophrenia and other symptoms and signs.   There is also new research as of August 2011, showing a definite link to 40 mutations in different genes in cases of sporadic (non-hereditary) schizophrenia holds Priedt (2011).  This study also notes that most of these are protein altering, and that Columbia University Medical Center staff who did this research think that the finding of the “de novo mutations” has changed the face of schizophrenia study drastically (Priedt, 2011).

What the patient experiences, because of the biological abnormalities is a diminished ability to react to emotional and social situations, and have experiences in which they may see or hear things that are in reality not there (Barlow and Durand, 2007).  They may also take direction from these hallucinations, and have beliefs that are unlikely, or even impossible.  This applies to Shonda as well; as we remember that she believes that, the CIA and FBI are spying on her and hearing voices continually. She is also experiencing alogia.  Because schizophrenia affects everyone differently, the patient could also have a combination of lack of speech, lack of emotional expression, inability to move, and or a lack of motivation, along with difficulty processing and retrieving information (Barlow and Durand, 2007).

There is no known cure for schizophrenia, however according to Barlow and Durand (2007); there are treatments to minimize the frightening symptoms of the disorder.  Usually this is done by administering antipsychotic medications, and psychosocial treatments along with developing social, physical, and cognitive skills to help patients cope.  This is designed to minimize relapses, reduce hospitalization, help to regulate their medicine, and help them develop skills they may be personally lacking.  The antipsychotic drugs available to treat schizophrenia fall into four classes, Phenothiazines (Chloropromazine/Thorazine, or Fluphenazine/Proloxin for example), Butyrophenones (Haldol), Others (Loxapine/Loxitane for example), and Second Generation Agents (Ariprazole/Abilify, Clozapine/Clozaril, or Quetiapine/Seroquel for examples of these) (Barlow ad Durand, 2007).  While these medicines work to reduce and regulate the dopamine system and our neurotransmitters, and are effective in that respect, they often produce side effects that are equally annoying such as drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sensitivity to the sun, and lowered libido (NIMH, 2004).  The Surgeon General (1999) also states that patients with this disorder suffer severe symptoms that affect our most basic human functions such as “language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self”.  

Psychosocial therapy models include several treatments designed to improve the quality of life that the patients have notes Barlow and Durand (2007).  The behavior therapy model is used to teach family members of schizophrenics’ tools to deal with the family member that has the disorder.   Patients go through a model called the token economy model that teaches appropriate actions and behavior by rewarding them when they act appropriately through a token system.  Another example of psychosocial therapy models is the independent living program that helps patients recapture some independence by helping them gain skills they are lacking to function in society and gain a higher quality of life (Barlow and Durand, 2007)

Environmental Aspects Influencing Schizophrenia

Although there are biological and genetic factors, there are also some environmental factors, which associate with triggers beginning the onset of this disorder according to Leask (2004).  He goes on to say, that there have been various studies, which explore the environmental influences on the development of schizophrenia, also taking the particular subtypes associated with the disease into consideration.  They study such environmental factors like the season a person is born, the geographical location they live in, immigration status, and even substance abuse along with their actual birthplace, which is often referred to as urbanisation.  The studies refer to these as external environmental influences.

Another type of study that has been researched is the environment that the patient experienced while in the womb, because we are in the early stages of neural and physical development during this time (Leask, 2004).  He also discusses that the nuclear environment is a cyclic factor because environment influences genetic reactions and then genetic reactions influence behavior, which in turn affects environmental reactions.  

According to Leask (2004), studies have shown that people born in the winter and spring in the north hemisphere, and those born in the spring in the south hemisphere of the earth are at risk, an extra 5% - 8% for presenting with schizophrenia later in life.  Geographically, it is proven that developing countries have a higher presence of schizophrenia by a considerable amount.  This, he goes on to say is based on the first-rank symptoms as defined by the IC-9, and the Present State Examination (PSE).  The World Health Organization (WHO), conducted this study involving ten countries, “Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, India, Ireland, Japan, Nigeria, the USA and the (then) USSR” reports Leask (2004), involving both rural and urban areas coming up with this conclusion.

Ten different studies involving urbanisation resulted in the conclusion that at least one third of all cases of schizophrenia is attributed to this factor, notes Krabbendam and van Os (2005).  If you look at the science, it can be said that he reason for this is the overcrowded, poor conditions that people live in urbanized areas, has undesirable consequences on developing neurological functions of young minds.  The statistics prove that this disorder develops in urban conditions in excess of two to one over rural area development of schizophrenia.  Krabbendam and van Os (2005) also pointed out that the ten studies prove that there is a direct correlation between having genetic predisposition to schizophrenia and urbanisation.

Leask (2004) discusses immigrant status as an environmental influence, particularly Norwegian, Danish and African Caribbean immigrants are effected, but states that because of the immigrant status it is hard to conduct and maintain studies and data because they can be undocumented or migrant in nature.  He also mentions that due to differences in cultural norms, this disorder may not be diagnosed as often.  Another environmental factor that should be noted is substance abuse, however inconclusive the results are, because patients diagnosed with schizophrenia have considerably higher rates of abuse than other people do. Leask (2004) brings up at least one more environmental factor, prenatal influences.

The prenatal theory about schizophrenia is founded on the reflection that patients with this disorder are different from other people in the way they process thoughts, behaviors, brains structure, and their pathological histories holds Leask (2004).  A few of the influences that affect the neurological development of children are prenatal stress, prenatal famine, prenatal influenza, and obstetric complications while the child is in utero.  Other influences of this nature notes Leask (2004), include low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, and Rhesus incompatibility.  This makes sense, when one considers the importance of our earliest neurological development.  A final environmental factor that can influence this disease is viral infection, which can alter brain performance (Barlow and Durand, 2007).

There are also psychosocial factors that are considered environmental, for example, stress, high expressed emotion, and reactions within families that contain schizophrenia according to Barlow and Durand (2007).  When people genetically predisposed to schizophrenia experience a major loss such as death, loss of a job, or combat situations, this can act as a trigger, beginning the onset of the disorder.  It is often also found that families of schizophrenia patients will criticize them, treat them with hostility, or even over involve themselves with the person.  When this happens, researchers call it high expressed emotion and it can often cause or contribute to the patient’s relapse.  Even though there are many studies and conclusions, there is one environmental cause, which does seem to overshadow the rest as concluded by Leask (2004).

This is the urbanization theory, which as stated earlier accounts for a least one third of all schizophrenia patients as stated by Leask (2004).  This is the theory that holds that it is your geographic location and or birthplace that affects your chances of developing schizophrenia.  While prenatal influences and stress/loss do have plenty of merit, the statistics do not lie.  We do have to consider however, that all of the research really points to the fact that the nuclear environment, involving gene-environment reactions really is at the heart of this research. 

What this research concludes is that the environment influences genetic factors, as much as the environment is influenced by choices derived from genetic factors.  In schizophrenia, it seems that genetic predispositions can trigger environmental reactions.  The studies also conclude that one’s genetic propensities also can affect their behavior, which then has a direct effect on the environment that a person chooses (Leask, 2004).  This environmental effect has direct influence and interacts with the patient’s biological systems (Barlow and Durand, 2007).

Barlow and Durand (2007), conclude that there are only three neurotransmitter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, however NIMH (2007) states that there are four at work in schizophrenics’ brains.  The first three identified by Barlow and Durand (2007), are that the striatal dopamine D2 receptors, which are part of the basil ganglia, disrupt the functional movements such as walking, balance, and movement.  This is also responsible for deficiencies in the prefrontal D1 receptors.  Along with the dopamine receptors in the prefrontal cortex, there has been research into the modification of the receptors that regulate glutamate communication.

 This communication deals directly with N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) (Barlow and Durand, 2007).  The fourth neurotransmitter involved, GABA, is affected by the reduction of enzymes such as the gene GAD1 that aid in the production of GABA (NIHM, 2007).  It is these interactions which cause the biggest changes in neurotransmitters and changes in the frontal lobes have also been noted which function to maintain less activity in people diagnosed with schizophrenia.  According to Barlow and Durand (2007), these cognitive dysfunctions begin to appear in patients before other symptoms and signs of the disease.

Again, we go back to our original case study, Shonda Wilson.  When considering the environmental influences on this case.  What we see is that she is a classic candidate for prenatal environmental influence on the disorder due to the abuse that her mother probably suffered during her pregnancy with Shonda.  At her age of onset, which was a mere 20 years of age, she can also be classified as an early age onset schizophrenic, since the disease does not usually affect women until their late twenties or early thirties.   Environmentally speaking, Shonda’s case really does fit into the nuclear environment theory.  We can see the probability that she was originally affected by abuse and stress emitted by her mother during the prenatal stages.  However, because of the situation with her parents being emotionally distant, and her father being an abusive alcoholic, we must also conclude that her environment also affects her throughout her entire life until the diagnosis and her moving away. 

What is the Best Treatment Approach for Schizophrenia and Shonda?

When considering how to treat this disorder, all options have been considered by researchers.  The conclusion has been reached, based on the research conducted on treatment options, that ECT, electroconvulsive therapy will help to end episodes of severe psychosis and mania, according to the Mayo Clinic (2010), but it has been redacted to limited use because of social factors and the lack of evidence that prolonged effects result from treatment.  It is obvious that the most effective means of treating schizophrenics has to be combined treatments.  This includes several elements of psychosocial models, behavior and cognitive models, all with included pharmacological options.  The complexity of this disease combined with the fact that there is no cure, only symptom treatments, denotes that there is no single treatment option that is effective alone.  The particular course of treatment needs to be tailored to the patient and their specific symptoms in order to reach the most effective method for treatment, which is based on the degree and frequency of the symptoms.

In the case study of Shonda Wilson, a paranoid schizophrenic should be receiving case management, cognitive therapies, and family treatments, however, in her specific case, she has no family so that may be excluded.  These therapies should be in conjunction with pharmacological treatments.  Since Shonda has been on antipsychotic medicines for the better part of twelve years already, and has recently been prescribed haloperidol (Haldol), she should have her medicine adjusted, since she had shown some improvements previously with Haldol it is recommended to stay with this medicinal approach.  For the immediate future, Shonda should be immediately hospitalized for stabilization.  While she remains hospitalized, careful adjustments of her medicine should be explored, as she will be monitored in this setting.  She already has a case management program, however while she is hospitalized she needs to be introduced to cognitive therapies, to aid in the reduction of the hallucinations and delusions, along with an independent treatment to serve in the place of the family therapy.  When she is stabilized, and released, this course of treatment should continue for a minimum of one year and longer if needed.


When considering the best model for understanding and treating schizophrenia, we will look at the psychodynamic model, the behavioral model, the humanistic model, and the cognitive model.  In relation to the psychodynamic model, Cooper, Michaels, and Perry (2006) convey that this will help the practitioner understand the nature of the delusions, meaning that it manifests because of fears they may be having about control, losing control, and being dependant and vulnerable.  This is important because an in depth understanding of the nature of the patient’s specific problems can help the therapist tailor the treatment to best suit client fears, problems, and needs.  The cognitive model looks at this differently according to McFarr (2010), with his model following the premise that they way a person views themselves, the world around them, and what they believe the future holds will influence their behavior.

This model, holds McFarr (2010), has been shown to be effective with helping patients remember to take their medicines which has long been a struggle.  Research also seems to point in the direction that this model has also been effective in other problems as well, including symptom management.  It has been definitively shown that patients who receive cognitive therapy have less frequent and extreme delusions and hallucinations.  With the cognitive model, the therapist can assist the patient in identifying faulty thinking patterns and interpretations, helping them to see reality (McFarr, 2010).

 It seems that the behavior model is also helpful in treating schizophrenia, but only when paired with cognitive therapy as well according to Bradshaw (2000).  If you are trying to understand or explain this disorder, however, this model suggests that every behavioral abnormality is to be explained by the social learning or learned behavior theory, holds Barlow and Durand (2007).  This cannot apply to schizophrenia because there are too many genetic and biological abnormalities in schizophrenics to attribute it to a real explanation.  We however, cannot discount, that there are many behavioral model therapies, which does help in the treatment of this disease.  Operant conditioning used in the form of the token economy for example would be one of them (Barlow and Durand, 2007).

The humanistic model suggests that self-actualization is the answer, and that we should realize the individuality of everyone, suggests Barlow and Durand (2007).  This model is actually more effective on people who do not have mental illness.  This does apply loosely to schizophrenia in the fact that the disorder presents, and changes in everyone individually regardless of their genetic and environmental history, which inherently affects both genetic and environmental factors. In deciding, what the bet model is for explaining and treating schizophrenia this author would have to go with the cognitive model if forced to choose just one.

This is because according to Barlow and Durand (2007), the cognitive model seems to help on many levels with this complicated disease.  The first way that this model is more effective is in aiding the patient to remember to take their medicines, as this was noted to be a problem for them.  The second way that this model is useful in understanding and treating these patients is the effectiveness that it helps to reduce the symptoms which is a huge problem in the way of patients leading productive lives.  The final way that this model is effective with the treatment and understanding the disease is because it can aid the therapist in retraining the patient to identify their faulty thinking patterns and correct them (McFarr, 2010).  It does need to be noted that all research indicates that this disorder is best treated using multiple treatment approaches including cognitive, behavioral and pharmacological treatments in conjunction with each other.

There have been new treatments explored recently involving possible pharmacological changes in the way therapists treat this disorder.  In a study conducted by NIH, scientists have found a rare gene mutation in roughly one third of schizophrenic patients.  They found that these patients “multiple copies of a gene on Chromosome 7, according to Asher (2011), specifically in the gene receptor VIPR2, which is the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP).  Other new treatments involve new medicines.

PsychCentral (2009) discusses a new drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), called Saphris (asenapine), which is a new atypical antipsychotic associated with schizophrenia treatment.  It has proven to be effective when tested against a placebo, and has been on the market since 2009.  The adverse reactions to this pill, in schizophrenics, are that it makes them restless and unable to sit still.  Another treatment option according to Science Daily (2010), is working with serotonin, as it has a different signal pathway than traditional hallucinogens. 

This neurotransmitter affects our “perception, cognition, sleep, appetite, pain, and mood” notes Science Daily (2010).  The hypothesis is that the hallucinations in schizophrenia may actually arise due to elevated levels of serotonin.  Further study is needed in this matter; however, what is needed is a way to conserve the effects of the serotonin while at the same time, avoiding the harmful effects that come with excessive metabolites (Science Daily, 2010).  While there seem to be new treatments and research on this disorder, we must remember that there is no cure for this disease, and currently the only help manage the symptoms.

Unfortunately, for our case study subject Shonda Wilson, her future only seems to hold better symptom management and functionality in her life, as there is no current cure for this disorder according to our research.  In the immediate future, based on this research and study, Shonda should be immediately hospitalized for stabilization.  During this stabilization process, she should be monitored closely, while the doctors adjust her dosage of Haldol.  She should continue her case management program; however, she needs to be introduced to cognitive therapies, to aid in the reduction of the hallucinations and delusions, along with an independent treatment to serve in the place of the family therapy.  When she is stabilized, and released, this course of treatment should continue for a minimum of one year and longer if needed.  The real prognosis of this disorder is that Shonda will have to be on medicines for the rest of her life, along with psychosocial treatment, but with the introduction of these new treatments, it is possible for her to have more stability and symptom management. 



Asher, J., (2011).  NIH News: Rare Gene Glitch May Hold Clues for Schizophrenia: -NIH Funded Study.  Retrieved From:

Barlow, Durand, (2007).  Essentials of Abnormal Psychology.  Mason, Ohio.  Cengage Learning

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Bradshaw, W.  (2000). Integrating cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for persons with schizophrenia into a psychiatric rehabilitation program: results of a three-year trial.  Abstract.  Retrieved From:

Cola, P.A., M.A., Findling, R.L., M.D., Lee, M.A., M.D., Meltzer, H.Y., M.D., Rabinowitz, J., M.S.W., Ranjan, R., M.D., and Thompson, P.A., Ph.D. (1997).  Age at Onset and Gender of Schizophrenic Patients in Relation to Neuroleptic Resistance.  American Journal of Psychiatry 154:4, April 1997.  

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Case Study of Schizophrenia (Paranoid)

Iqbal MZ* and Ejaz M

Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist, Islamabad, Pakistan

*Corresponding Author:
Iqbal MZ
Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-3349585399
E-mail:[email protected]

Received February 20, 2016; Accepted April 26, 2016; Published April 29, 2016

Citation: Iqbal MZ, Ejaz M (2016) Case Study of Schizophrenia (Paranoid). J Clin Case Rep 6:779. doi:10.4172/2165-7920.1000779

Copyright: © 2016 Iqbal MZ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Ms. Sk was young lady of 25 year a university student contacted to the therapist through Facebook and got appointment. She was in the company with her close friend when visited the clinic first time and was nervous and perplexed at this occasion, even did not confide therapist for a private sitting. She complained sleeplessness, aggression and strong feelings of dirtiness most of time and feared that CIA would arrest her. On noticing someone staring her she always got startled, and informed in the presence of her friend that she has been under treatment from different psychiatrists for last seven years. She was regularly taking the Cipralex and Lexotanil (anti-depressant). During the treatment as cited above she had been visiting different female clinical psychologists. She was treated by the methods of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and counseling but all in vain.


Schizophrenia (Paranoid); Hypotheses; Fear stimuli identification therapy (FSIT)


Major purpose of this particular case study was to reaffirm and prove the efficacy of fear stimuli identification therapy (FSIT) on empirical grounds [1]. It was also intended to use FSIT in order to eliminate the symptoms of Schizophrenia (Paranoid). Ms. Sk was suffering from. The therapy (FSIT) was already used successfully to remove the symptoms of various disorders in different cases [2,3].

Hypotheses: “It is expected that the FSIT method would effectively cure the Schizophrenia (Paranoid). From which the above referred person Ms. Sk is suffering.”

Fear stimuli identification therapy: FSIT is Base on Missing References. When some fear stuck due to stimulus and became negative association in the unconscious at childhood or teen age. Unconscious state of mind at that time is unable to caught full references of the incident it taken only negative reference. At that time of early childhood capacity of mind to capture some incident with full reference is not possible so, there is the chance due to these missing reference can create a problem that may result in different disorders and FSIT is a technique that can be used to complete these specific missing reference.


Participants: Ms. Sk (client)

Materials: No any specific material used in this case study.

Procedure: In the first three sessions semi-structured interviews were conducted with Ms.Sk. Assessment was made in the light of these interviews and reasons/causes for disorders were dig out. DSM-IV was consulted to decide the nature or type of disorder. In the subsequent ninety sessions Ms. Sk was asked to write on specific topics. Cross questioning was carried out over the ideas mentioned in the writings.

Result and Discussion


After diagnosis of Schizophrenia (Paranoid), treatment was started in the light of FSIT method. Ninety sessions were conducted five sessions per week. In the course of treatment, she and her friend reported about Positive behavioral change in different spheres of Ms. Sk’s life. Clinical observations during treatment also indicated a gradual positive change in his personality. The difference between pre assessment and post- assessment confirmed precision of hypotheses and efficacy of FSIT. Feedback was obtained on weekly basis for a period of three months from Ms. Sk’s about any possible reappearance of symptoms of Schizophrenia (Paranoid). and this was confirmed that there was no reoccurrence of disorder’s symptoms anymore.


Before visiting my clinic Ms. Sk have had already consulted different psychiatrists and clinical psychologists and was mostly treated by means of anti-depressants and therapies like CBT etc. This had no significant effects upon client’s disorder. Anyhow these medications helped him in sleep as before he was not able to sleep.

Case history: The client’s profile-family history, social history and medical history was prepared through detailed interviews and incisive questioning pertaining to sensitive issues of his life.

Family history: Her father is retired employee from a low grade position in govt. job while her mother was an illiterate house wife. Client is at ninth (9th) number in the series of nine sisters and brothers.

Social history: She lived in big joint family system. Three of her brothers were married and lived in the same house with all their children and two youngest sisters. The family has vast social contacts with their other maternal and paternal relatives

Medical history: As stated already, she has been under treatment from various psychiatrists and female psychologists and has been taking different anti-depressant medicines and was using Cipralex and lexotanil for last two years back from the time dating when she visited me but all this did not help her to recover from disorder


During the first session for assessment, Therapist asked her to let him meet her parents and elder sister to get some information but she vehemently refused. Even she refused for a conversation by telephone. In this situation the only source of information/history was Ms. Sk herself.

After first three sessions the opinion established that she was a victim of sex abuse in her childhood. For assertion of this opinion it was asked the client to write on the topic of sex. She attempted to write in absence of any one as it was attempt to provide her with isolated environment. After 30 minutes she handed me over her piece of writing. Her writing was absurd and meaningless. There were a lot of cuttings and crosses in her writing. It was asked her how was her experience of writing. She told that during writing she felt aggressive and irritable. She also felt burden over shoulder and at the back of her head. This all was almost a clear confirmation to my initial assessment.

I told the client about my opinion of sex abuse and encouraged her to express clearly of any sort of incident she had gone through. She elaborated hesitatingly about the incident she encountered at the age when she was only nine and half year old. The details of the event are as under:

She used to sleep with the young wife of her elder brother for day sleep in the summer season. One day the wife of her brother put her hands under the client’s shirt and started rubbing over the upper private parts of child’s body. The client was frightened and shocked. According my opinion when a child or even a mature person is encountered to any type of action which is harmful but particularly and specifically becomes a stimulus to fear instinct but the element of terror is also included to fear in such cases.

The client told that this act have been repeated continuously for seven consecutive days. On eighth day, she informed about all this to her mother. Her mother admonished the wife of client’s brother for this shameful act. The client forgot about this incident after few days.

Interestingly, at the age of 15 years i.e. after five and half years later, the client incidentally read an article in a magazine on the topic of sex abuse. She came to know from that article that the child who is subject to sex abuse develops a sense of filthiness in her/his mind. This article also informed her that such child also feels herself/himself a sinful and guilty conscious. After reading that article the client developed the feelings of filthiness guilt and sinful in her mind. It resulted in thought disorder. Sense fear as this was developed in her mind and this sense made her think that she will be arrested by CIA. She felt vulnerably by the staring eyes of people around her which also made her think that the people know about the sin she has committed. This was a terrible state of mind which she was passing through for last 10 years to the day she visited me. After knowing all this history as stated it was established that the client is suffering from Schizophrenia (Paranoid).


The treatment prolonged for more than one hundred days consisted of 90 sessions. Five sessions per week were conducted. The method of “Fear Instinct Stimuli Identification” was used for psychoanalysis. I have developed this method through my prolonged clinical experiences and always find this method the most effective as comparison to all other conventional and contemporary methods of treatment.

In the subsequent sessions, I handed her over different topics to write upon. These topics related to her problem and were of different types. The first one was the topic of “Sin”

She wrote on this topic very elaborate but the writing was absurd and contained a lot of crosses and cuttings.

It was inquired her about the how was her feelings during the process of writing. She informed that she felt burden on the back side of her head and over her shoulders as well.

During cross-questioning and on examining her writings it was learnt that she has established a much preformed thought in her mind that she will be answerable and be punished for the sin, she has committed. On the same pattern she was given with the more topics to write upon which included guilt, sense of dirtiness and the last one was “My Fears”.

During the total process of writing she was subjected to the same feelings of burden as cited above.

After conducting a deep analysis of her fears, the positive references were related to the particular incident of sex abuse she had been subjected to. Relationship of positive references was also established to the article which patient had read at the age of 15 years as already referred.


i. The client was suffering from Schizophrenia (Paranoid).

ii. The main reason for disorder was unexpected even of sex abuse which acted as the major stimulus for fear instinct.

iii. The Article on sex abuse made the client recall forcibly about the sex abuse incident she was subjected to at the age of nine and half years

iv. Different feelings like dirtiness, sense of guilt and sense of sin were associated to that particular event by unconscious level of mind and that even without reference to context. These feelings caused thought disorder in the client.

v. After conducting 90 sessions all the symptoms were eliminated and the client became normal. It is worth mentioning that client totally abandoned the use of medicines as a result of my treatment.


  1. American Psychiatric Associati on (2000) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5thedn).
  2. Ejaz M, Iqbal MZ (2016) Case Study of Major Depressive Disorder. J Clin Case Rep 6: 698.
  3. Iqbal MZ, Ejaz M (2016) Case Study of Functional Neurological Disorder (Aphonic). J Psychol Psychother 6: 243.
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