I chose to write my research paper over Schizophrenia. It is a psychological disorder that I have always found fascinating. Approximately 20% of North Americans will be affected by a mental illness during the course of their lifetime. (MHA, ‘What You Should Know About Mental Illnesses) More specifically, 1 in 100 Americans will suffer from schizophrenia. That means that 300,000 people in America will, at some point in their life, be affected by a very serious and highly misunderstood mental disorder. (Schizophrenia Society of America) It is a serious disorder that consumes a person's life and is nearly impossible to control. In this paper, I will talk about the definition of Schizophrenia, the symptoms of Schizophrenia, the three minor categories of schizophrenia, the Genetics of schizophrenia, how sleep patterns deal with schizophrenia, and insensitivity to pain in schizophrenics. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disorganized and delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions. (Psychology Eight Edition, David G. Myers) Schizophrenia is a brain disease, just like Alzheimer’s. It cannot be predicted or prevented and is not a moral weakness, character flaw, or result of poor parenting. When schizophrenia is literally translated it means, “Split mind”. It refers not to someone with multiple personalities, like a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, but rather someone who is split from reality. Which is where schizophrenics get their disorganized thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and/or actions? (Psychology Eighth Edition) This also contributes to the common misconceptions that have greatly contributed to the “schizophrenia stigma” which makes life for schizophrenics even more difficult. Schizophrenia is a very difficult illness to deal with because of its debilitating symptoms, uncertain causes, and the degree of difficulty to find the right treatment for an individual. Schizophrenia might possibly be the most intense mental illness to have to live with. The symptoms of schizophrenia range in severity and consistency from person to person. They may come on very suddenly, or they may appear gradually over an extended period of time. (MHA, ‘Facts on Schizophrenia’) Symptoms vary between individuals, and for periods of time a schizophrenic may suffer no symptoms at all before experiencing a psychotic episode where the symptoms suddenly increase. (Psychology Eighth Edition) These symptoms are what make schizophrenia such an unbelievably hard illness/disorder to live with. What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom that a person suffering from schizophrenia will experience is the difficulty in being able to distinguish real events from dreams and hallucinations. (WebMD) The distinction between reality and imagination, between what is real and what is not real, is unclear to a schizophrenic person. They may believe that the day they are living through is nothing but a dream, or that the person they pass on the street was only a hallucination. On the other hand, they may have a dream or experience a hallucination that they are sure is real. (Psychology Eighth Edition) Hallucinations are a common symptom of schizophrenia. The actions schizophrenics’ display is often extremely inappropriate. For example, schizophrenics often converse with the people they “see” or the voices they “hear”, which appears to others as though a schizophrenic is talking to themselves and causes others to feel uncomfortable and that person, thus avoids them. This is just another reason many schizophrenics lead such lonely lives. (WebMD) There are three types of minor categories of schizophrenia: Disorganized, Paranoid, and Catatonic. These are all three very different types of schizophrenia and have different causes and symptoms. (Psychology Eighth Edition) Disorganized type schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized speech or behavior, flat...
Bibliography: Myers, David G. Psychology Eighth Edition. Woods: Catherine, 2007. Print.
"Schizophrenia Subtypes." MedlinePlus. American Government, n.d. Web. 10 Jan.
"The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia." WebMD. American Government, n.d. Web. 11 Jan.
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