Running Head: SCHIIZOPHRENIA
Schizophrenia is known to be a very destructive illness to the victims of the disorderliness and their families. The illness is a mystery to most people because of lack of knowledge and very little research. The symptoms of the illness usually become apparent in its victims shortly after a person finishes high school and increases in severity throughout adulthood. Schizophrenia shows itself in many forms and at the same time it has predictable symptoms and destructive progressions. Past interpretations of this illness causes the person inflicted to live under a stigma. This stigma is widely due to the illness being misunderstood by most. Life is generally hard for most people living with Schizophrenia but understanding and support from family and friends in addition to medication sufferers can live a happy life.
The word “schizophrenia” is Greek in origin. It comes from the word “schizo” meaning splitting and “phrenia” meaning mind. This causes the illness of Schizophrenia to be misinterpreted and misunderstood because one could link it to split-personality disorders. (Tartakovsky 2010) Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the world’s population and doesn’t discriminate from any culture, nationality, sex or economic background. Symptoms commonly start to appear sometime between the ages of 16 and 30. Typically males exhibit symptoms schizophrenia more than females do. Schizophrenia is a leading cause of long-term disabilities because the symptoms persist throughout the person’s life. (Mueser, K. R. 2004) Through research in the 21st century we have come a long way to fully understand this illness. Obviously the illness is spread worldwide and can affect anyone from anywhere. (Understanding Schizophrenia 2013) There are positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia which come in different stages that vary from person to person but with treatment and support sufferers of schizophrenia can live long happy lives. You need some sort of thesis statement here. The actual cause of schizophrenia is unknown but biological alterations are present and the explanation of how the brain structure works is varied among psychiatrist. (Mueser, K. R. 2004) There are many theories on the cause of Schizophrenia or how it develops. One theory is that the illness comes from genetics or heredity. “Today, it is certain that, in their formation, unfavorable hereditary predispositions interact with unfavorable experiences in life. Neither a single, inherited predisposition specific only to schizophrenia nor either a specific damaging experience in the life course has ever been found.” (Strauss, Bowers, Keith & Bleuler 1984) Like many genetic illnesses, schizophrenia will appear when the human body is going through major physical or hormonal changes, like during puberty and young adult life. “Environmental events may trigger schizophrenia, such as viral infections or highly stressful situations or a combination of both.” (Mental Health America, n.d) Another theory is the belief that schizophrenia is brought on by a chemical imbalance. A person with schizophrenia has a high sensitivity to or produces too much dopamine or serotonin. When there is an imbalance of dopamine or serotonin it can interfere with the function of the brain that interprets particular stimuli and causes the person to feel very overwhelmed with sensory information. The person may end up with problems processing tastes, smells, sounds, sights and feelings, which can cause delusions and hallucinations. (Mental Health America, n.d) There are several misconceptions surrounding schizophrenia. Some people believe all individuals with schizophrenia all have the exact same symptoms and are dangerous, unpredictable and out of control. It has been said that schizophrenia is just a character flaw in some individuals and that cognitive decline is one of the major symptoms of the illness. It is...
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