Schizophrenia Over Time: Experiences Living With The Illness

Experiences of schizophrenia are not homogeneous; there is wide variety in onset, course of illness, and combinations of symptoms. Social workers need to be able to understand the different manifestations and pathways of the illness to plan interventions. Social work services play a key role in stabilizing crises, supporting family coping, and influencing overall quality of life and outcomes of individuals with schizophrenia. In this Assignment, you practice applying this necessary individualization.

To prepare: In the Learning Resources, focus on the associated features, development, and course of the illnesses in the schizophrenia spectrum. Also focus on descriptions of the disorder and the way it develops for different individuals.

Choose two articles from the list in the Learning Resources that apply to treatment support and interventions for the schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders chapter in the DSM 5. Choose either Saks or McGough to focus on for this assignment.

Submit a 3- to 4-page paper, supported by at least 4 scholarly resources (not including DSM-5), in which you address the following:

  1. Describe Saks’s or McGough’s experiences with schizophrenia. Identify onset, associated features (specifically referencing the positive and negative symptoms), development, and course. 
  2. Explain how you would use the Clinician Rated Dimensions of Psychosis Symptom Severity measure and the WHODAS to help confirm your diagnosis.
  3. Explain how you would plan treatment and individualize it for Saks or McGough. Support your response with references to scholarly resources. In your explanation, consider the following questions:
  4. What are the long-term challenges for someone living with the illness?
  5. What social, family, vocational, and medical supports are needed for long-term stabilization?
  6. Briefly explain how race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, or other identity characteristics may influence an individual’s experience with schizophrenia.

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