A Study of Schizophrenia Malcolm A
A Study of Schizophrenia
Malcolm A. Riley
Toledo Technology Academy
A Study of Schizophrenia
Definition and Background
Mental diseases are a problem that a substantial number of people are burdened with these diseases can hinder one's ability to be a properly functioning part of society. While most of them are not completely curable they can be suppressed. One of these crippling mental diseases is schizophrenia. (Schizophrenia. (n.d.),2016)“Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.” Even though it doesn't affect as many people as other mental issues it's still a huge problem. While schizophrenia has likely been around for centuries and wasn't discovered until pretty recently. Schizophrenia was discovered by Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss eugenicist, and physiatrist. (Tracyn. (2012, April 20). “ The word “schizophrenia” was coined by Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist but this isn’t when schizophrenia was discovered. It’s thought its predecessor, dementia praecox, was the first medical description of what we think of as modern schizophrenia.1 Bleuler documented schizophrenia “positive” and “negative” symptoms - terms we still use today.” Bleur wasn't the only one that can be credited for discovering schizophrenia. In 1891 a German Professor by the name of Arnold Pick created the term Dementia praecox, which was later popularized and further divided by Emil Kraepelin. Tracyn. (2012, April 20) “Kraepelin divided dementia praecox into hebephrenia, catatonia and paranoid dementia subtypes, which are similar to the types of schizophrenia classifications seen today.”Professor by the name of Arnold Pick created the term Dementia praecox, which was later popularized and further divided by Emil Kraepelin. Tracyn. (2012, April 20) “Kraepelin divided dementia praecox into hebephrenia, catatonia and paranoid dementia subtypes, which are similar to the types of schizophrenia classifications seen today.”
Causes and Symptoms
Likely because it is such a relatively newly discovered disease it is not known exactly what causes schizophrenia. (Schizophrenia. 2018, April 10)“It's not known what causes schizophrenia, but researchers believe that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and environment contributes to the development of the disorder.” Schizophrenia, like a lot of mental illness, is pretty hard to diagnose. The symptoms of schizophrenia can vary between each age group. While rare in kids under the age of 16 this is especially true in teens this is because of a lot of the symptoms of schizophrenia mirror the behaviors of being a teen. (Schizophrenia. 2018, April 10) “The condition may be more difficult to recognize in this age group. This may be in part because some of the early symptoms of schizophrenia in teenagers are common for typical development during teen years, such as Withdrawal from friends and family, A drop in performance at school, Trouble sleeping, Irritability or depressed mood, Lack of motivation, Strange behavior, Substance use.” Symptoms in adults are usually more severe they include but are not limited to delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, extremely disorganized motor behavior. The symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into three categories; positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms. In the positive symptoms( symptoms that are not displayed in healthy individuals) category you have hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, and movement disorder. On the other end of the spectrum there are negative symptoms(symptoms that affect the way you behave or your emotions); reduced expression of emotion, reduction in the feeling of pleasure, difficulty starting or maintaining activities, and reduced speaking. Finally, there are cognitive symptoms, which are symptoms that affect the way the affected person thinks; inability to make decisions, trouble focusing, and problems with working memory.
Since schizophrenia is still pretty new most of the treatment options focus on suppressing the symptoms instead of actually curing the disorder. First, there are antipsychotics which is a combination of drugs usually taken by pill or liquid once or twice a day. This treatment option forces the patient to work with the doctor so that they can find the perfect combination of drugs to suppress as many symptoms as possible with the least amount of side effects. Another option is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a lot more of a natural way to combat your symptoms then antipsychotics. Psychotherapy (also sometimes called talk therapy) involves seeing a psychiatrist or a licensed and trained healthcare professional and learning to certain coping methods. These things can help motivate someone with schizophrenia to chase their dreams and accomplish something, however, if the patient's symptoms are to severe this treatment option may not affect them or in any substantial way. Most patients suffering from schizophrenia use a combination of these two methods called CSC or Coordinated Specialty Care. Since it’s a combination of the two methods it integrates medication with visits to a licensed psychologist for the best possible results.
Before starting to write this paper I knew little to nothing about schizophrenia and how it affected different individuals. And I feel that this is an issue because schizophrenia while it is a rare disorder, it is still a major problem to those that it affects. More people should be aware of the struggles that come with living with schizophrenia. Once people know more about the challenges that come with living with schizophrenia it would increase the funding for treatment and possibly led scientists to develop something that doesn't just suppress the symptoms but gets rid of them altogether