Think about a client with schizophrenia that you know about from personal, work or clinical experience, or from news media or other sources. Describe the individual. Please provide evidence from professional sources to support your information. Include examples of your prior experience with a client who was having a problem with delusions and/or hallucinations.


Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects approximately 1% of the global population (World Health Organization, 2019). It is characterized by a combination of symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and impaired cognitive abilities. Understanding the nature of schizophrenia requires examination of real-life examples to gain a deeper insight into the experiences and challenges faced by individuals with this disorder. This essay will describe an individual with schizophrenia based on personal clinical experience and provide evidence from professional sources to support the information provided.

Description of the Individual

The individual I will be describing is a 35-year-old male named John. John was diagnosed with schizophrenia during his late adolescence, and he has been receiving treatment through a community mental health center for the past ten years. My encounter with John occurred during my internship in a psychiatric hospital. Through regular therapy sessions, I had the opportunity to observe and interact with John, thereby gaining valuable insights into his condition.

John displays characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia, including both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms refer to the presence of abnormal experiences and behaviors that are not typically observed in healthy individuals, such as delusions and hallucinations (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Negative symptoms, on the other hand, entail the absence or reduction of normal functions and include symptoms like social withdrawal and apathy.

One significant positive symptom that John experiences is persecutory delusions. He firmly believes that he is being constantly monitored and manipulated by an external force, which he perceives as a secret government organization. He often reports feeling that his thoughts are being broadcasted to others, despite a lack of objective evidence supporting his beliefs. These delusions have a significant impact on John’s daily life, as he becomes hyper-vigilant and seeks refuge in isolation to protect himself from the perceived threats.

In addition to persecutory delusions, John also experiences auditory hallucinations, a common positive symptom of schizophrenia. He regularly reports hearing voices that speak derogatory comments towards him, often with a hostile and menacing tone. These hallucinations significantly disrupt his concentration and increase his levels of distress.

Furthermore, John exhibits several negative symptoms of schizophrenia. He demonstrates minimal facial expressivity, often appearing emotionless or detached during interactions. He also experiences reductions in the quantity and quality of his speech, resulting in a limited ability to engage in meaningful conversations. Additionally, John tends to withdraw from social interactions and shows little interest in engaging in leisure activities.

Examples from Prior Clinical Experience

During my clinical experience, I encountered a client who was experiencing severe delusions. The client, Mary, was a 28-year-old female who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia several years prior. She frequently expressed her conviction that she possessed supernatural abilities and could communicate with extraterrestrial beings. Mary believed that these beings were guiding her actions and had bestowed upon her the responsibility of saving humanity from impending doom.

These delusions greatly impacted Mary’s daily life. She would often spend long hours obsessively researching conspiracy theories and attempting to unravel hidden messages within everyday objects. Mary became progressively socially isolated, as she believed that disclosing her beliefs would result in persecution from others who lacked the same understanding.


Understanding the lived experiences of individuals with schizophrenia provides valuable insight into the challenges they face on a daily basis. Through the description of John and the example of Mary, it is evident that delusions and hallucinations significantly impact the lives of those with schizophrenia. By utilizing evidence from professional sources, such as the diagnostic criteria outlined by the American Psychiatric Association, a deeper understanding of schizophrenia is achieved, supporting the need for comprehensive and individualized treatment approaches for those affected by this complex disorder.

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