In this assignment the writer will discuss how young people are susceptible to the severe and persistent mental illness of Schizophrenia. This mental illness is a debilitating brain disorder , with onset in late adolescence and early adulthood (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). To get a clearer perception of this illness the author will use a case study to illustrate how this disorder is understood. John is fifteen year old youth on his second admission to hospital. John was diagnosed with early on-set of schizophrenia last year and has been tried on numerous medications. John suffered the loss of a close friend last year and his father states that “john has gone down hill rapidly since”. Johns mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of twenty five but she reports feeling abnormal at an earlier stages in her life. John reports his Quality of life to be non existent, and that he has no social skills or aspiration to complete college. Johns attending hospital due to relapse of his symptoms and he is currently been tried on a new antipsychotic called clozapine which is a second generation antipsychotics used to treat both the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia, this will be further discussed in the assignment. When the disorder appears in adolescence this means more life years of disability particularly as the prognosis and outcome for early onset cases is often worse than for adult onset cases. Specifically, adolescent onset predicts less independence, poorer educational achievement or access to further education, less likelihood of employment and poverty of social relationships in adult life (e.g. Hollis, 2000).
Schizophrenia is often a lifelong illness linked with high rates of morbidity and disability for sufferers. Stanley et al (2007) describes Schizophrenia as a complex, debilitating brain disease impairing perception, cognition, volition, social communication, emotions, and causing delusional and hallucinatory experiences. The exact cause of most schizophrenia is not known, but research suggests that a combination of factors, including heredity, biology, psychological trauma and environmental stress, may be involved. The writer will now discuss how these factors have contributed to john being diagnosis with this mental illness.
Schizophrenia tends to run in families, which means the probability of developing schizophrenia may be passed on from parents to their children. Cannon et al (1998) has found that genetic factors play a significant role in the etiology of the disorder, with heritability estimated at approximately 83%. As john’s family history is examined it becomes clear that genetics plays a major role in john been labelled with this severe and persisting mental illness. John’s mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of twenty-five buts reports experiencing abnormalities in her teenage years. In the past the main way predicting that a child was at risk of developing schizophrenia was through genetics. It is now known, however, that such a sampling strategy would exclude the majority of persons who develop schizophrenia (Gottesman and Erlenmeyer-Kimling, 2001). New studies are being carry out to detecting early symptoms in children, these studies are specifically designed to monitor any abnormalities in motor and language development, intellectual and cognitive impairment, disturbances in emotional and behavioural functioning, as well as social and interpersonal maladjustment (Bearden et al., 2000; Cannon et al., 2002; Done et al., 1994; Hans et al., 2000; Jones et al., 1994).
The brains of people with schizophrenia look a little different from the brains of people without it, but the differences are small. Which generates significant evidence supporting a neurodevelopmental basis for schizophrenia (Church et al., 2002; Lipska and Weinberger, 2002; Murray and Lewis, 1987; Remschmidt, 2002; Weinberger, 1995). Schizophrenia has been linked with special chemicals in the brain...
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