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Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a serious, chronic mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality and disturbances of thought, mood, and perception. Schizophrenia is the most common and the most potentially sever and disabling of the psychosis, a term encompassing several severe mental disorders that result in the loss of contact with reality along with major personality derangements. Schizophrenia patients experience delusions, hallucinations and often lose thought process. Schizophrenia affects an estimated one percent of the population in every country of the world. Victims share a range of symptoms that can be devastating to themselves as well as to families and friends. They may have trouble dealing with the most minor everyday stresses and insignificant changes in their surroundings. They may avoid social contact, ignore personal hygiene and behave oddly (Kass, 194). Many people outside the mental health profession believe that schizophrenia refers to a “split personality”. The word “schizophrenia” comes from the Greek schizo, meaning split and phrenia refers to the diaphragm once thought to be the location of a person’s mind and soul. When the word “schizophrenia” was established by European psychiatrists, they meant to describe a shattering, or breakdown, of basic psychological functions. Eugene Bleuler is one of the most influential psychiatrists of his time. He is best known today for his introduction of the term “schizophrenia” to describe the disorder previously known as dementia praecox and for his studies of schizophrenics. The illness can best be described as a collection of particular symptoms that usually fall into four basic categories: formal thought disorder, perception disorder, feeling/emotional disturbance, and behavior disorders (Young, 23). People with schizophrenia describe strange of unrealistic thoughts. Their speech is sometimes hard to follow because of disordered thinking. Phrases seem disconnected, and ideas move from topic to topic with no logical pattern in what is being said. In some cases, individuals with schizophrenia say that they have no idea at all or that their heads seem “empty”. Many schizophrenic patients think they possess extraordinary powers such as x-ray vision or super strength. They may believe that their thoughts are being controlled by others or that everyone knows what they are thinking. These beliefs ar...

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...ected over another because it has less chance of damaging a diseased liver, worsening a heart condition, or affecting a patient’s high blood pressure. For all the benefits that anti-psychotic drugs provide, clearly they are far from ideal. Some patients will show marked improvement with drugs, while others might be helped only a little, if at all. Ideally, drugs soon will be developed to treat successfully the whole range os schizophrenia symptoms. Roughly one third of schizophrenic patients make a complete recovery and have no further recurrence, one third have recurrent episodes of the illness, and one third deteriorate into chronic schizophrenia with severe disability (Kass, 206).

Bibliography
BIBLIOGRAPHY Arasse, Daniel. Complete Guide to Mental Health. Allen Lane Press,New York, 1989. Gingerich, Susan. Coping With Schizophrenia. New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Oakland, 1994. Kass, Stephen. Schizophrenia: The Facts. Oxford University Press. New York, 1997. Muesen, Kim. “Schizophrenia”. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation, 1998. Young, Patrick. The Encyclopedia od Health, Psychological Disorders and Their Treatment. Herrington Publications. New York, 1991.