Schizophrenia Essay Research Paper SchizophreniaChild schizophrenia like

Schizophrenia Essay, Research Paper Schizophrenia Child schizophrenia, like other psychopathologies has many documented, and several uncertain causes. Some scientists have evidence that pregnant mothers

Schizophrenia Essay, Research Paper


Child schizophrenia, like other psychopathologies has many documented, and

several uncertain causes. Some scientists have evidence that pregnant mothers

have experienced an immune reaction that present dangers to the unborn child.

Schizophrenia is a disorder where the body=s immune system attacks itself.

Schizophrenia is not present at birth but develops during the adolescence period

or young adulthood. ASchizophrenia is a biological brain disease affecting

thinking, perception, mood, and behaviour. Its exact cause is unknown but

overwhelming evidence points to faulty chemistry or structural abnormalities in

the brain. In some cases schizophrenia is generic. Schizophrenia strikes one

in 100 people at some point in his/her lifetime.@ (Compiled by Ontario Friends

of Schizophrenia, Oct 94).

Schizophrenia worsens and becomes better in cycles, also known as relapses and

remission. People who are suffering from schizophrenia look relatively normal.

Schizophrenics suffer from such symptoms as: delusions, hallucinations, and

thought disorders. Delusions are false beliefs that aren=t based on reality.

Schizophrenics may believe that someone is following them, or planning to harm

them. Schizophrenics believe that others can hear their thoughts , also known

as Abroadcasting@ and even change them. A…hear their thoughts, insert

thoughts into their minds, or control their feelings, actions or impulses.

Patients might think they are Jesus, Napoleon, or Franklin D. Roosevelt.@

(American Psychiatric Association Annual >90 page 1)

Pregnant women who experience an immune reaction that presents danger to their

unborn children, this reaction raises sharply the rates of schizophrenia in the

unborn child. Severe malnutrition in the early months of the fetal development

may contribute to schizophrenia. It is also known that schizophrenia runs in

families. AThe probablitilty of developing schizophrenia as the off spring of

one parent with the disease is approximately 13%. The probability of developing

schizophrenia as the off spring of both parents with the disease is

approximately 35%.@ (Pamphlet by: American Psychiatric Association Annual >90

page 7)

Hallucinations another symptom which schizophrenic patients suffer from.

Hallucinations may be seen or heard. The most common hallucination are those

heard by the schizophrenic. The schizophrenic may hear voices that tell them

what to do, these voices may warn them of danger, tell them how to feel, or

describe one=s actions.

Schizophrenics thought process is very Aloose@. Their thought s may shift

rapidly from one unrelated topic to the next. They may make up their own words

or use sounds or grunts to substitute words. These symptoms do not mean that

people with schizophrenia are out of touch with the world completely, they know

that roads are used for driving cars, and that people eat meals three a day.

Schizophrenia affect both men and women equally. Along with delusions,

hallucinations, and thought disorders, they also suffer from paranoia, high

anxiety , low stress tolerance, low motivation, lack of energy and the inability

to feel pleasure. This makes work, leisure, relationships and even everyday

tasks difficult, sometimes impossible. These are concerns not only for the

people diagnosed with this psychopathology but for their friends and family.

Family is looked upon for support in not only everyday tasks, but in dealing

with this disorder whether its in remission or relapse. With schizophrenia

there is the risk of suicide. ATen percent of all people with schizophrenia

commit suicide. Either to escape the torment of their illness. Or because

their >voices= command them to.@ (Compiled by Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics,

Oct. 1994) Many schizophrenics also are incarcerated for crimes that they have

committed while in a psychotic state, or are living on the streets, without any

treatment. Schizophrenics may become violent while in a psychotic state, and may

lose all sense of who they are and who others are around them.

Symptoms such as social withdraw , inappropriate or blunted emotions, and

extreme apathy may persist for years, however many schizophrenics have recovered

enough to be able to live on their own. ATen years after their first

schizophrenic episode, 25 percent of people with schizophrenia have recovered

completely. Another 25 percent are much improved and living fairly independent

lives; 25 percent, although improved, still need extensive support; 15 percent

are hospitalized and show no improvement, and 10 percent have killed

themselves.@ (Compiled by Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics, October 1994)

Schizophrenia appears when the body is under going hormonal changes and physical

changes in adolescence like other genetically related illnesses. Schizophrenia

is said to lie Adormant@ during childhood, some researchers have suggested.

AGenes govern the body=s structure and biochemistry. Because structure and

biochemistry change dramatically in teen and young adult years, some researchers

suggest that schizophrenia lies >dormant= during childhood. It emerges as the

body undergoes changes during puberty.@ (Pamphlet by: National Alliance for the

Mentally Ill, June >90 page 2)

The symptoms of schizophrenia appear gradually during adolescence, or young

adulthood. Friends and family may not notice the signs as the illness takes

initial hold. The young person often feels tense, can not sleep or concentrate,

and they with draw socially. But at some point loved ones will begin to notice

the changes. Their work performance, appearance and social relationships begin

to deteriorate. As this illness progresses the symptoms become more and more

bizarre, they develop particular behaviours and begin talking nonsense.

Drug therapy is the most common form of treatment, however it is not the only

form. ACurrent treatment programs for schizophrenia include combinations of

medication, psychotherapy, education, and social-vocational rehabilitation.@

(Pamphlet by Deborah Dauphinais: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Annual >92 page 1). The primary medication for treatment of schizophrenia are

the antipsychotic medications, also known as neuroleptic. These medications do

not cure schizophrenia but reduce the symptoms. All widely used antipsychotic

medications are equal in treating the symptoms of schizophrenia; however,

individuals may prefer one medication to another due to their experience to

different side effects. Medication may be increased, or decreased depending on

the state that the patient is in. During a psychotic episode the medication

will be increased and as the episode decreases so will the amount of medication,

however this process is a slow and lengthy process. The medication will be

taperedoff to the lowest possible dosage without the symptoms returning. Some

side effects of medication may be: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea,

or sweating. Medication is used to inhibit the action of dopamine which is a

Aneurotransmitter@, or chemical in the brain that helps cells to communicate

with one another.

Hospitalization is also an option in treatment. During a psychotic episode a

hospital stay is often necessary. ASchizophrenics occupy more hospital beds

than people with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis combined.@

(Compiled by Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics, October 1994)

Another form of treatment, which goes hand in hand with medication is

counselling both for the patient and the family. ASupportive counselling or

psychotherapy may be appropriate for these individuals as a source of friendship,

encouragement, and practical advice during this process. Relatives and friends

can also assist in rebuilding the person=s social skills. Such support is very

important.@ (Pamphlet by: American Psychiatric Association Annual >90 page 1)

Schizophrenia, a disease of the brain, is one of the most disabling and

emotionally devastating illnesses known to man. But because it has been

misunderstood for so long, it has received relatively little attention and its

victims have been undeservingly stigmatized. Schizophrenia is not a split

personaltiy, a rare and very different disorder.@ (Pamphlet by: National

Alliance for the Mentally Ill June >90 page 1)

Since the funding is increasingly being cut so is the research for schizophrenia,

leaving many unanswered questions. As Child and Youth Workers we need to

provide support to parents and childern with this illness, we ourselves need to

have a better understanding of schizophrenia.m The most important message for

us to convey is Ayou are not alone.@


a. More than two authors Pamphlets: Compiled by Ontario Friends of

Schizophrenics. (1994). The Facts, Schizophrenia: Compassion Through

Understanding, Risk of Suicide

b. More than two authors Pamphlet by: Natonal Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

(1990). Schizophrenia

c. One author Bower, B. (1996). New culprits cited for schizophrenia.

Science News, vol. 149, 68.

D. More than two authors Pamphlet by: American Psychiatric Association Annual.

(1990). Schizophrenia, 1-10

e. More than two authors Pamphlet by:National Institute of Mental Heath Annual.

(1990). You are not alone: Facts about mental health and mental illness, 1-9

f. One author Dauphinais, D. (1992). Pamphlet: Medicatons for the treatment of

schizophrenia: questions and answers, 1-4