Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo

Two people looking at computers with brain images with an imaging equipment room in the background.
Figure 15.1 The etiology of psychological and mental health disorders can be multifaceted, ranging from genetic and biological to environmental; often, specific causes are a combination of the types of factors or remain a mystery. (credit: “National Nurses Week: Capt. Stephanie Smiddy” by Staff Sgt. Shane Hughes/Air Force Medical Service, Public Domain)

Schizophrenia spectrum disorders and other psychotic disorders all share the same common symptom, a loss of contact with reality that results in impaired functioning. While some of these disorders last from days to months with a total return to functioning, others within this spectrum of disorders cause lifelong disability, stigma, and significant cost. Early references to conditions containing the symptoms of schizophrenia appear in classical literature and the Bible. Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first to use the term schizophrenia in 1908. Until the 1950s, brain surgery, electric shock, sedative drugs, and sometimes life confinement were the only choices for the management of schizophrenia. With the invention of antipsychotics and the trend toward deinstitutionalizing those with mental health disorders, significant changes occurred for those diagnosed as being on the schizophrenia spectrum and having other psychotic disorders in the second half of the twentieth century. Nursing care is at the forefront of optimal care outcomes for those diagnosed with these disorders. Understanding the disturbance, symptoms, treatments, and care algorithms is essential in concordant nursing care.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jun 12, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.