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Schizophrenia, Consciousness, and the Self

Schizophrenia, Consciousness, and the Self

The article “Schizophrenia, Consciousness, and the Self” by Sass and Parnas (2003) reveals the basic terms and concepts of schizophrenia, its positive and negative symptoms as well as the notions of ipseity disturbance and self-presence. The article contains much similar information to the one I have read in the other sources, but the work introduces some new findings in cognitive science and phenomenological philosophy. The intended audience of the work includes scientists, specialists in the relating fields of study, students of the faculty of psychiatric department as well as other people who are simply interested in the topic. There many good reasons to consider this source credible and relevant to the topicof mental disorders. One of such reasons is that the source contains much useful information based on research and views of competent personalities (e.g. Huber, Kimura, Limpert). The article is well structured, rich in examples, and comprehensible for the general audience although there are many scientific terms in it.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling type of a mental disorder, characterized by various abnormalities of thought, perception, effect or belief. In general, it is disorganization of consciousness and self-experience. According to the authors mentioned in the readin, the main feature characterizing the illness is incomprehensibility. The authors of the article identify the relationship between self-experience and reality, and highlight the changes in the self-experience at the prodromal and premorbid phases of the illness.

Though it is very difficult to study all aspects of consciousness, the authors touch upon the problem of schizophrenia causes, to which they may refer genes, a person’s way of life, environment, and brain construction and its functioning. The research has shown that the ventricles of the brain of healthy and ill people differ in size and contain more or less important elements.

Schizophrenia has positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are characterized by the loss of sense of realizing one’s own actions, thoughts, feelings, impulses, and social interactions bringing the feeling of detachment, danger, extreme anxiety, and the loss of control over the situation. Negative symptoms include the absence of emotions and motivation, the inability to overcome daily stress, and hallucinations. The article also introduces such term as ‘disorganization’ syndrome. This type of syndrome reveals in poverty of speech, avolition, apathy, depression, and inattentiveness to the social or practical world.

The possible treatmment of this disease may include medication and behavioral therapy, positive thinking and environment, withdrawal from the ill relatives, and accurate diagnosis of this mental disorder at the earliest periods of life.

The author of the article presents much information about the notion of consciousness and analyzes it from different points of view. According to phenomenology, consciousness is both an object in the world and subject of intentional directedness to the world. Consciousness is not the world but its reflection of the world, the place where everything appears. Phenomenology concentrates more on the form than on the content of consciousness. It was interesting to get to know about the notion of ‘cognitive unconscious.’ This means that consciousness is exaggerated and disruptive, and speech becomes poor regarding literal devices and playfulness. When a person has schizophrenia, there seems to be a shift among conceptual levels, which causes bewilderment of the speaker as well as the one of the listener.

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The reading does not contrast with the ones I have read before. It only approves that schizophrenia is a severe brain damage with a number of natural and artificial causes. The illness can have positive and negative features and syndromes. The article is highly relevant to the topic discussed.

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