Schizophrenia Essay

Schizophrenia Essay

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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects about one percent of the population. Generally if you have schizophrenia you cut out of contact with real world reality. The word Schizophrenia is Greek for “split mind”. It is common belief that a person with schizophrenia or a “schizo” has a split personality, but actually the person’s thinking, feelings, and behavior are so far from normal that they get to the point where they interfere with their ability to function in everyday life. People who are suffering from schizophrenia think and act in their own world, which sets them apart from the society around them. About one hundred year ago schizophrenia was first recognized as a mental disorder that scientists have been researching sense, hoping to some day find a cure. The exact cause for schizophrenia is still unknown; scientists believe there is more than one cause for the disease. Most people that have this disease accept the fact but are not willing to receive the necessary treatment, or follow professional advice. To observers, schizophrenia seems like a disease or “madness” because people who have this disorder behave differently to the people that are considered “normal.” It impairs a person from doing work, going to school, taking care of themselves or having a social relationship with others. By looking at the symptoms, it is sometimes hard to classify schizophrenia as a disease because it enables those inflicted with it to develop new ways of expressing themselves, such as communication, and creativity. A disease is usually some kind of sickness that leads to death or heavy medication. Scientists believe that schizophrenia may be caused from genetics; this is also under discussion because kids from a parent with schizophrenia don’t always get it. Because of this theory scientists have been studying identical twins, due to the fact that they have the exact same genetic make up. However, evidence seems to break this theory. This is because in some of the cases both twins have developed schizophrenia, and in others only one twin developed the disorder. Both men and women are just as likely to develop the disorder; generally the males have had more severe symptoms than the females. About ten percent of the people with schizophrenia end their life by committing suicide.
Usually schizophrenia develops between the ages of fifteen to thirty. Earlier sympt...


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...but it cannot treat other symptoms such as social withdrawal and apathy. Also, there are some side effects to these medications, including dry mouth, blurred vision, muscle spasms or cramps, and tremors. One of the major side affects is tardive dyskinesia, a permanent condition when the lips, mouth, and tongue move without any control. Besides medications and therapies, family intervention programs exist which focus on the families of the schizophrenics instead of the patients themselves. This is particularly useful since family members can learn and understand how to cope with the patient and provide for them a low-stress environment and aiding them as much as possible.

Works Cited

Eisendrath, Stuart J. "Psychiatric Disorders." In Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 1998, edited by Lawrence M. Tierney Jr., et al. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1997.

Mental Disorders. Videocassette.

Winerip, Michael. "Schizophrenia's Most Zealous Foe." The New York Times Magazine 22 Jan. 1998: 26-29.

"Schizophrenia." June 2001. Gale Encyclopedia of Science. 17 Mar. 2004 .

"Schizophrenia." Psychiatric Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989.

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