Schizophrenia is a Serious Psychotic Disorder

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Schizophrenia is a serious psychotic disorder. It affects approximately 2 million Americans and one in every 100 people suffers from schizophrenia. Half of the patients admitted to the psychiatric care schizophrenia. The disease affects both men and women. The disease may also occur in children, but doctors always diagnose people who are between 17 years old up to 35 years old. The lifespan of people suffering from severe schizophrenia is from 12-15 years (Tprrey, 2006). The term schizophrenia originates from Greek words schizein, which means ‘split’ and phren meaning ‘mind’. Therefore, schizophrenia means split mind or describing the poor perception of the sufferer. Earlier theorists described schizophrenia as a serious mental disorder and they believed it was because of demonic possession of the mind of the sufferer (Tprrey, 2006). Therefore, they locked the sufferers and isolated them from the society. This paper shall discuss on schizophrenia, its common symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment.

Schizophrenia affects both children and adults, male and female. Nonetheless, symptoms of chronic schizophrenia come in the later ages of teenage life of the sufferer. This means, children too may suffer from schizophrenia, but the symptoms will not be very clear so they will not receive treatment. When comparing the statistics, schizophrenia is harsher in men than in women. The symptoms of schizophrenia occur from four to six years earlier in men than in women.

Kurt Schneider classified these symptoms into two groups. They are either positive or negative symptoms. Positive symptoms have finer response to medication, because they are curable or treatable while negative react less to medication. Mullen P. (2006) asserts that the positive symptoms include illusions of sounds, speeches and visions that are nonexistent to normal persons. They may also experience delusions where they hold firm on some ideas. For example, they may think that they are famous, some things are meant just for them like advertisements, some aliens are controlling them or some people are after their life, which makes them fearful (McLean, 2005). Another positive symptom is the disorganized speech where so much rhyming of words is used that does not make sense, they may also repeat the same words several times or switch from one topic to another without making any sense. They may also use words, which normal persons do not understand, but they are the only ones who know the meaning. The other positive symptom is the disorganized behavior where individual general performance stops (Mullen, 2006). Some of the negative symptoms include lack of interest, loss of speech function and lack of emotions and withdrawal from social activities.

Many factors cause schizophrenia. These factors are biopsychosocial. This means that several biological, environmental and psychological factors cause the disease.

The main biological factor that causes schizophrenia is the abnormal structure of brain. When the brain has chemical imbalance, some hormones will produce unregulated chemical matter that will hinder the logical function of brain. The other brain abnormality will be the unusual change in brain structure, for example, increased sizes of ventricles in the brain. These factors hinder the brain role of planning, reasoning and executing of decisions (National Institute of Mental Health et al., 2011). The social factors include the environmental factors where the victim is staying. The main social factor that causes schizophrenia is stress. When an individual inherits the disordered genes and develops any form of depression due to some social activities, the stress will prompt the increased production of cortisol hormone, which in turn will catalyze development of schizophrenia. Moreover, a biological factor like genetic inheritance from parent with schizophrenia makes one to develop the disorder in the future.

Unlike other diseases, schizophrenia is diagnosed in the laboratory. The diagnosis involves psychological examination of the patients through questions. The caregiver needs to formulate series of questions that seek to understand the patients’ mental status and check on other factors that may cause schizophrenia. Many psychiatric diseases have similar symptoms to those of Schizophrenia. Therefore, it is important to use correct questions in a questionnaire to avoid wrong diagnosis of a patient (National Institute of Mental Health et al., 2011). The mental examination includes questions that test for symptoms like disorganized speech, the emotions of the sufferer and examination of patient history on delusions. The general exam should also dig on patient’s family history and checking if the patient has other disorders.

McGrath (2010) asserts that schizophrenia can either be treated through medication or non-medication means. The medication of this disorder has been there since the 1950s. It includes prescription of antipsychotic drugs like ziprasidone, aripiprazole, clozapine among other drugs. However, caregivers should prescribe these drugs depending on its effects on the patients and disease reaction to the drugs. This is because some of these drugs cause increase in weight or the disease may be resistant to the drugs. Nonetheless, there is no 100% guarantee that such drugs will cure the disease completely (McGrath, 2010). The non-medication treatment is occurred, when the sufferers are given other alternative to drugs, which may be dieting or through psychosocial treatment. The psychosocial treatment is recommendable. However, this treatment is not effective, because most medical facilities have fewer trained staff who can offer this service. The psychosocial treatments include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy among other forms of therapy. Diet treatment is another method used in healing the condition. The health practitioners give omega-3-fatty acids as a treatment. Saha (2005) argues that the only problem with this approach is that it is inconsistent.

To sum up, medical practitioners prescribe current medication and treatment to suppress the symptoms of the symptom and help the sufferers lead a normal life. Schizophrenia is a very serious and intimidating mental disease, because it may make one to desire to commit suicide, have relationship problems and disruption from normal activities.  Therefore, it is important to seek medication and control these symptoms.

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