Full course description
This course deals with disorders of processes involving perception and thinking. In films or books, psychotic characters usually display bizarre and unpredictable behaviours that people generally have difficulty identifying with. Therefore, most people feel rather uncomfortable around someone who is (or has been) diagnosed as suffering from a psychotic disorder.
The aim of this course is to make psychotic disorders more understandable and less bizarre for students. It aims in particular to allow them to view such disorders within the context of experiences they are familiar with. In principle, anyone can become psychotic, but some people are more prone to becoming so than others, and in some people such disorders are more likely to become chronic. More specifically, students will develop an in depth knowledge of the relationship between psychotic disorders and violent behaviour. This knowledge will be gained through considering questions such as ‘Can we argue that psychotic patients have an increased risk to become more violent? If so, does that relate to specific symptomatology, like hearing voices telling you to do certain things? And what about the possibility of feigning symptoms of a psychotic disorder?’
During this course, it will become apparent that relatively little in the way of ‘hard empirical facts’ is known about psychoses in general and schizophrenia in particular. This course will look at psychosis from a large number of theoretical perspectives, and students will be expected to delve into the various theories whilst developing an understanding of their strengths and limitations.
- students are able to describe the differences between the DSM-5 psychotic disorders and use this knowledge to make differential diagnosis;
- students have knowledge on the different theoretical models explaining psychotic disorders;
- students are able to explain the relationship between psychotic disorders and violence and describe possible risk factors and protective factors;
- students are able to explain the features and theoretical underpinnings of command hallucinations;
- students are able to describe the different treatment options that are state of the art nowadays;
- students are able to explain what the features of feigned hallucinations and delusions are.
- S.T.L. Houben