Schizophrenia The Challenging Mental Illness

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Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder characterized by the breakdown of the thought processes, of emotional responsiveness and of contact with reality. The term schizophrenia itself means “fragmented mind.” A person with this disorder has trouble with deciphering between what is “real” and what is “unreal”. (Gur & Johnson, 2006)

Symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into five categories: psychotic symptoms, negative symptoms, cognitive impairment, mood problems, and behavioral disturbances. No two people with schizophrenia have the same symptoms; each person is unique. Symptoms can vary in intensity and alter over time. (Mueser & Gingerich, 2006)

Psychotic symptoms also known as positive symptoms include perceptions or beliefs that reflect a break from reality and are not shared by people without mental illness. The two types of psychotic symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are false perceptions that a person experiences but other people do not. They include hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting and smelling things that are not present in the environment. Delusions are false ideas and appear quite real to the person with schizophrenia but seem impossible or untrue to others. Drugs such as LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, crack and amphetamines can cause symptoms that closely resemble schizophrenia. (Mueser & Gingerich, 2006)

The negative symptoms are characterized by the absence of typical feelings, thoughts and behaviors. People with schizophrenia no longer feel pleasure or enjoyment. They lack motivation towards personal goals and every day task. They are forgetful and find it difficult to engage in conversations. Another symptom, cognitive impairment includes poor insight, social perception and ...

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...ily therapy are just a few that are available. A 2004 Consumer Reports survey found that the combination of therapy and medication work best for improvement in the patients life. Hospital stays are usually used to diagnosis and stabilize the medications that might be used. Also the stays can be used to determine the next step of the patient’s life whether it be housing or plans for therapy. Recovery from schizophrenia is controlling psychotic symptoms with treatment and trying to maintain an everyday life style as much as possible. (Gur & Johnson, 2006)

Works Cited

Gur, R. E., & Johnson, A. B. (2006). If Your Adolescent Has Schizophrenia. New York: Oxford University Press.

Landau, E. (2004). Schizophrenia. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing.

Mueser, K. T., & Gingerich, S. (2006). The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia. New York: The Guilford Press.
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