Schizophrenia is a severe non-discriminate psychotic disorder associated with considerable impairments of functioning, characterised by diverse symptoms including peculiarities in cognitive functioning and manner of relating to others (Butcher, Hooley & Mineka, 2014).
The American Psychiatric Association'sDiagnostic and statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) characterises Schizophrenia by three contrasting categories of symptoms, positive symptoms which reflect disruption in a normal repertoire of experience and behaviour including delusions, hallucinations; Negative symptoms whereby there is an absence or deficit of normally present behaviours comprising of affect flattening, alogia, sociality, apathy, and avolition; Disorganised symptoms such as bizarre behaviour and disorganised speech (Butcher, Hooley & Mineka, 2014). Such symptoms are required to be experienced for a substantial portion of a month and which the continuum of the disturbance persists for at least six months causing consequential social or occupational dysfunction. A hallmark of schizophrenia is its heterogeneity nature (Weinberger & Harrison, 2010) with the sub-types paranoid, disorganised, catatonic, undifferentiated and residual (APA, 2013).
Despite enormous research the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, what is clear is no one factor can explain why this psychosis develops (Butcher, Hooley & Mineka, 2014), recent research suggests factors such as environmental and social stresses such as increased deprivation, increased population density and an increase in inequality have been a contributing factor in the growth and development of schizophrenia (Kirbride, 2012). Myin-Germeys and colleagues (2002) found reactions to day to day stress experienced by patients did not contribute to the development if schizophrenia, it did impacted on clinical outcomes.