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Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that causes severe mental disturbances which disrupt ones thoughts, speech, and behavior. According to Paul Thompson, Associate Professor of Neurology, one percent of the world’s population suffers from this disorder. There is no one specific cause of schizophrenia, because it is caused by a combination of problems during development. It is a disorder which not only affects the patient, but their family and society as well. Schizophrenia can be a debilitating disorder, however, there are many treatments that can allow people who suffer from it to lead normal lives.

“Schizophrenia, a complex and often disabling mental illness, is among the most serious of brain diseases” (Veague 1).To some schizophrenic patients, imagination and reality become so intertwined that they cannot distinguish between them. Those who suffer hear and see what no one else around them hears or sees and sometimes finds it impossible to believe the voices and visions are all a part of their imagination. Before the 1950’s, many schizophrenics had to remain in mental hospitals. Emil Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist, provided the first characterization of schizophrenia, in the late nineteenth century. “He believed that the disorder was caused by irreversible physical damage to the brain” (Veague 3). Eugen Bleuler, who was a contemporary of Emil Kraepelin, believed that schizophrenia was caused by psychological trauma sustained early in life. Since then, scientists have blocked the action of dopamine on certain nerve cells and also have developed other drugs which control the symptoms with fewer side effects.

Schizophrenia is much less common than bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and major d...

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...ects. They are effective in treating both positive and negative symptoms. There are some mild side effects such as drowsiness and weight gain. Other than medication, which is the most common type of treatment, there is therapy. There is individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy. This way the patient is usually medicated and also expresses their feelings about being schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia causes those who suffer to have severe mental disturbances, act uncontrollably, loses touch with reality and not able to take care of themselves. It causes family members to become stressed, develop drug or alcohol problems for themselves or family members, to become homeless, or even try and take their own life. Schizophrenia can be a debilitating disorder, however, there are many treatments that can allow people who suffer from it to lead normal lives.
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