Schizophrenia

Topics: Schizophrenia, Mental disorder, Psychiatry Pages: 5 (1518 words) Published: October 8, 2013


Schizophrenia
Tony Woodall
South Georgia Technical College

This paper is meant to be written to provide a better understanding of schizophrenia, its history and diagnosis and treatment. There are a lot of views concerning this disorder and they are found all over the internet and in different books published about the disorder. It seems that writing one paper could consume a lot of time and patience. I believe that even putting all of what I have found as far as beliefs and treatments, if put into a book, would take years to sort through and fully understand. There is so much information and so much repetitiveness that is makes it hard to fully understand the what, where, when, why, and how of schizophrenia. Hopefully, I can break it down into language that is easily understood.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects approximately 1 to 2 percent of the world’s population. It is a complex illness and mental health experts are not sure what really causes it. Some believe that genes may play a role with it. It can be characterized by hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, social withdrawal, lack of initiative and persistence, speech poverty, deficits in learning and memory and poor abstract thinking (Carlson, 2010). It is followed by loss of brain tissue and it also affects multiple areas of the brain. Symptoms generally occur in young adults and in both males and females but, in women it tends to begin later and is a milder condition. Childhood schizophrenia is rare and can sometimes be hard to tell apart from other forms of developmental issues. Symptoms of schizophrenia usually develop slowly over several months and maybe years and sometimes the person may show many signs of symptoms or maybe only a few. Persons with the disease may have problems with anxiety, depression, and they may also have problems keeping friends and keeping a job. They may also have thoughts of suicide or suicidal behaviors. There are some early symptoms of schizophrenia which may include irritability or tenseness, trouble concentrating and trouble sleeping. As the illness continues, the person may experience problems with thinking, emotions and behavior. Some of these include bizarre behaviors, hearing or seeing things that aren’t there, problems paying attention and reduced emotions. As far as medical tests to diagnose schizophrenia, there are none. A psychiatrist should examine the person and make the appropriate diagnosis and this should be made based on interviews of the person and their family members. The psychiatrist will ask questions about the symptoms and about the family background and history. He will also ask if medications have been previously given to the patient or if the patient has a history of drug abuse. Blood tests and brain scans can also help rule out other conditions that may be similar in comparison.

History

According to some, the disease was discovered during the early 20th century and some say it can be traced to the old Pharaonic Egypt, as far back as the second millennium before Christ. At one point, all people who were considered "abnormal," whether due to mental illness, mental retardation, or physical deformities, were largely treated the same. Early theories supposed that mental disorders were caused by evil possession of the body, and the appropriate treatment was then exorcising these demons, through various means, ranging from innocuous treatments, such as exposing the patient to certain types of music, to dangerous and sometimes deadly means, such as releasing the evil spirits by drilling holes in the patient's skull. The word schizophrenia was used by Eugen Bleuler in 1908, and it was intended to describe the separation of function between personality, thinking, memory, and perception. He formally introduced the term on April 24, 1908 in a lecture given at a psychiatric conference in Berlin and in a publication...
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