History of Schizophrenia

Topics: Schizophrenia, Dopamine receptor, Dopamine Pages: 9 (3030 words) Published: March 16, 2006
Before going into much detail it is important to understand the general concept of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disease of the brain that leads to disorganized thinking, delusions and hallucinations. Although the illness primarily affects cognition it can also affect emotion, and behavior. There are many misconceptions about this mental illness such as the idea of split or multiple personalities which will be discussed further later on, (Smith,1993). In Canada it affects 1% of the population or 1 in every 100 people, (Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia, n.d). The basis of this report is to discuss in detail exactly what schizophrenia is, who it affects, and how it affects its sufferers. The history of the research done on this illness, as well as the present day theories, will also be discussed in less detail. Methods

For the following research paper information was found a few different ways. The Angus L. MacDonald library, which is the University's library, was used a main source. The town library was also used, as well as various search data bases on the internet. Keywords or terms used were "schizophrenia", "history of schizophrenia", "mental illness", "causes and treatment of schizophrenia", "affects of schizophrenia", "statistics about schizophrenia". Results

The St. FX library website was used and from this the ‘Electronic Resources' link was used which allowed a full list of various journals to be found which provided lots of information relevant to this specific study. This website was also used to search through the ‘Novanet Catalogue' to see what books were available at the library. However, although the library on campus was very helpful the town library also helped to find different books about the given topic that were particularly helpful. From the various search databases on the internet websites that had banks of information given through various passages, articles, and excerpts from different books and journals a great deal of information was found. Discussion

It is vital to discuss the basics of schizophrenia such as who it affects, how it affects, as well as the symptoms of the illness to seize just how serious this illness is to everyone. Schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency. In the 16 to 20 year-old age group, more men then women are affected by schizophrenia. In the 25 to 39 year-old age group, more women are affected by this mind disease. Schizophrenia is one of the youth's greatest disablers. Most commonly, the illness occurs in the 16 to 30 year-old age range, but it can also occur later in adulthood. However, onset after the age of 35 is less common and onset after the age of 40 is very unlikely, (Smith, 1993). Although very rare, a childhood form of the illness exists. Schizophrenia can be found in children over the age of five years. The general population is unaware of how serious and widespread this illness is. Patients suffering from schizophrenia occupy more hospital beds than sufferers of any other medical condition, (Anonymous, 2005). The cost to society due to hospitalization, disability payments and lost wages rank in the billions of dollars annually; however, other costs associated with the loss of individual potential, personal anguish and family hardships are impossible to measure. A common misconception about this illness is that those who endure the illness themselves are the only sufferers. Family members undergo traumatic experiences upon the discovery of schizophrenia in someone close, their emotions are similar to those experienced when a major illness or accident occurs. In other words families feel shocked, sad, angry and dismayed. Some common feelings are sorrow, as if they've lost a family member, anxiety, fear of leaving one alone or hurting one's feelings. Shame and guilt are also common as families often feel they are to blame. This illness may cause lots of problems between parents often leading to divorce, or separation. Therefore, it...
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