Psychosis and Real Life Schizophrenia

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Real Life Schizophrenia
Grace Whalen
English 101
December 1st, 2012

Table of Contents:
1. Cover page (1)
2. Table of Contents (2)
3. Introduction (3)
4. Body Paragraph 1: History of Schizophrenia (4)
5. Body Paragraph 2: Symptoms/ Hallucinations (4-5)
6. Body Paragraph 3: Biological Theories/Brain (5-7)
7. Body Paragraph 4: Genetics/ Relatives (7-8)
8. Body Paragraph 5: Environmental and Cultural Contributions (8-9) 9. Body Paragraph 6: Treatment Plan (9-10)
10. Conclusion (10)
11. Work Cited (11)
Page Number: ( )
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According to World Health Organization schizophrenia is listed as the second highest contributor to overall burden of diseases. Schizophrenia is one of the most tragic diseases a human being can be afflicted with. The disorder involves disturbances in perception, thought, behavior, language, emotion and communication. The onset of symptoms begins most commonly in people who fall in the category of late teens to early twenties. In the United States alone one half to two and a half percent of the population are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Numerous studies have found, “the rate of schizophrenia to be higher among economically impoverished groups, which may reflect the effect of poverty on people vulnerable to the illness or the fact that individuals with schizophrenia have difficulty holding employment and tend to be downwardly mobile” (Westen 551). Schizophrenia has a profound effect on an individual being able to function in daily life; due to the seriousness of the psychotic disorder, symptoms are debilitating. Although it has not been completely determined, schizophrenia seems to be linked in genetics. Scientists do not know every aspect of the disease, but thus far many aspects of the disease are understood.

Dating back to the early 19th century schizophrenia was defined as dementia; “French psychiatrist, Benedict Augustine Morel (1809-1873), coined the term dementia praecox, or precocious dementia” (Mueser 3). Alternatively, the modern concept of schizophrenia was formulated between 1856 and 1927 by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin. Kraepelin defined schizophrenia as a disease of early onset with thirty-six psychic symptoms and nineteen physical symptoms. Kraepelin found that the most common symptom of schizophrenia among all the various types is hallucinations of hearing; “70% of patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia experience hallucinations” (Aleman 48).

Individuals suffering with schizophrenia most often report experiencing severe delusions. For example, a person suffering with schizophrenia may, “believe the CIA is trying to kidnap him or that his thoughts are being broadcast on the radio” (Westen 552). Schizophrenic thinking is most commonly classified as loosening of association. An individual with schizophrenia will ramble on about many different topics simultaneously with no connections between each thought. For example, one patient spoke of their sister April, “She came in last night from Denver, in like a lion; she’s the king of beasts” (Westen 552). Individuals with schizophrenia simply have minimal control over connecting their thoughts rationally and at times may even speak in gibberish. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be categorized as either positive or negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are as follows, delusions or hallucinations that reflect a presence of something that is not normally seen or heard. Negative symptoms can be observed from the outside; they include, flat affect, socially awkward or inappropriate behavior, or intellectual impairments that express abnormality in the individual. Schizophrenia has many complex dimensions to be understood and many theories as to why the disorder abruptly takes over an individual completely.

The vast majority of, “contemporary theorists adopt a diathesis stress model, hypothesizing that people with an...
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