Crazy People

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Ever since the dawn of written communication, there

have been accounts of "crazy" people, those who seemed to

have trouble focusing
and live in a world all their own.

Today science knows better than to just classify someone

as "crazy". Advanced imaging technology and

experimentation has led to much greater knowledge of the

brain and it's inner workings. Many of those were "crazy"

in history actually suffered from a psychological disease

known as schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is actually a group of psychotic

disorders. Based on their distinct symptoms, there are

four general subtypes of Schizophrenia: Paranoid,

Catatonic, Disorganized, and Undifferentiated. Paranoid

Schizophrenia is the most common, and possesses much of

the symptoms that a stereotypical Schizophrenic would


The symptoms of Schizophrenia are grouped as Positive

and Negative. Positive symptoms are not so called because

they indicate something good, but rather they show the

presence of unusual behaviors. One positive symptom is

hallucinations. Paranoid Schizophrenics often have

auditory hallucinations such as hearing voices. Delusions

are also prominent positive symptoms. These are distorted

thoughts and false realities perceived by the

Schizophrenic, who might not be able to differentiate

between them and actual reality. Other common positive

symptoms are disorganized speech and behavior,

characterized by out-of-place silliness and nonsensical

movements. Negative symptoms indicate a deficit of normal

functioning. Alogia is "poverty of speech"; Patients give

slow brief responses to questions and seem as if the

thoughts behind their words are slowed down. The flat

affect is the absence of emotion in expressions and

responses. Those suffering will likely have a single

constant facial expression and will show little or no body

language. Avolition is characterized by apathy. It is

the inability to work towards goals such as passing a test

or cleaning one's body.

This psychologically crippling disease affects no

single group with a majority; it has been observed in

every major country, culture, race, and social class.

Schizophrenia is equally likely in men and women and

affects approximately one percent of the entire world

population. Symptoms are usually first noticed between

the ages of 16 and 30 and it is unlikely to see

preliminary symptoms after the age of 40.

Paranoid Schizophrenia is the most well-known subtype

and has the best prognoses for recovery. Like other

subtypes, it is classified by it's distinct positive and

negative symptoms. One prominent positive symptom of

Paranoid Schizophrenia is the delusion of persecution.

This is the feeling that a person or people are "out to

get you". Auditory Hallucinations are also common. The

DSM-IV, a guide to psychological disorders, defines

Paranoid Schizophrenia as the "Preoccupation with one or

more systematized delusions or with frequent auditory

hallucinations related to a single theme. Notably, the

DSM-IV also defines Paranoid Schizophrenia as not

including incoherence or grossly disorganized behavior.

This means that one suffering will still have their

intellectual functioning at least relatively intact.

Paranoid Schizophrenia is unique next to the other

subtypes because those affected will not necessarily be

acting in a noticeably disorganized or chaotic manner like

those suffering from Catatonic or Disorganized


What exactly causes Schizophrenia is not known;

however, Because this is a common disease there has been

much research into it and several possible factors have

been observed. Genetics is one important factor because

there is strong evidence that...
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