Shizophrenia Essay, Research Paper
Definition and Description of the Disorder:
“Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought, and conduct;” websters dictionary.
The word psychotic is defined as hallucinations or delusions. Schizophrenia is referred to as having psychotic symptoms. Schizophrenia is a disorder that lasts a minimum of six months. Some symptoms are delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and catatonic behavior.
Schizophrenia appears to be very complex and no one definition can completely describe it. Each person with Schizophrenia seems to differ in their symptoms.
It obviously makes it hard for someone with Schizophrenia to decipher what is real and what is not. It also affects all kinds of people of different shapes and sizes. Most people with Schizophrenia can lead almost normal lives. If they get the proper help.
No one understands exactly what causes Schizophrenia, although research is progressing rapidly. Some areas that are being studied are;
Schizophrenics seem to have a neurochemical imbalance. Biochemists research neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are what allow communication between nerve cells.
Cerebral Blood Flow:
Schizophrenics seem to have trouble “coordinating” activity from different areas of the brain. This sometimes causes hallucinations.
Schizophrenics have an abnormal pattern of brain cells. Because these cells are developed long before a baby is born there are two different theories, one is this abnormal pattern may be caused by the prenatal period. Second it could be a predisposition to acquire the disease at a later time.
Schizophrenia occurs in about one percent of the general population. If you have one grandparent with Schizophrenia your risk of getting it is about three percent, if you have one parent with it your risk is about ten percent, if both of your parents have it your risk is about forty percent.
Associated Laboratory Findings:
Some laboratory findings have shown certain abnormalities in Schizophrenics. Such as a decreased temporal, hippocampal and cerebral size. There has also been an increase in size of the basal ganglia found. The most frequently found abnormalities are an increase of size in the ventricular system and prominent sulci in the cortex. They also may have abnormal glucose function in certain areas of the brain. Some have a slower reaction time then most people.
There are five different subtypes of Schizophrenia; Paranoid type, Disorganized type, Catatonic type, Undifferentiated type and Residual type. One of the main symptoms of the Paranoid type is distinct hallucinations or delusions. Other affiliated symptoms are anxiety, aloofness, anger, and argumentativeness. Disorganized type basically explains itself. It has to do with disorganized speech, behavior and flat or inappropriate affect. Catatonic type is characterized by psychomotor disturbance. Such as motor immobility, hyperactivity and odd behavior. Undifferentiated is when the criteria for Schizophrenia is met but the criteria for Paranoid Catatonic and Disorganized is not met. Residual is when the patient has had Psychotic episodes in the past but does not currently display such behavior.
Schizophrenia is diagnosed between the ages of sixteen and twenty five. Some times but less often after the age thirty and rare after the age of forty. Although rare their is a childhood form it can be found in children as young as five. No one is quite sure how it is transmitted. Like I mentioned before there is research in progress.
Body Parts Effected:
This is a mental illness so it affects your brain. Researchers have proved that it affects your frontal lobe and the area of the brain for listening.
Schizophrenia is very stressful for a person with it and for their family. My uncle is a Schizophrenic and he once said that “it feels like the whole world is spinning around me.”
Their is no treatment for Schizophrenia. Although they do have medications that supposedly help. Some people only have one episode of Schizophrenia, others have many and sometimes people have it for their entire life. In that way it is kind of like Asthma. For some people little things will trigger it like running, for others they always have trouble with it, and sometimes you will only have one Asthma attack in your entire life.
Schizophrenia is not preventable. No one is even sure how you get it. They have medicines that can help to calm you down though. Maybe someday when they figure out what causes it they can figure out a cure for it. But for a long time people thought that Schizophrenia was the same thing as split personalities. But Schizophrenics don’t have split personalities they just hear voices in their head.
Schizophrenia is a serious and stressful psychotic disorder. There are no cures or preventative measures. But there are many studies being done to find out more information about Schizophrenia.