Research Paper: SchizophreniaBrooke M. Lunsford
West Georgia Technical College
March 23, 2017
Schizophrenia is a very complex disorder of the mind. It can cause delusions, hallucinations, depressed episodes and manic periods of high energy. More than 200,000 cases are reported every year in the United States alone. Approximately half of the patients admitted into mental facilities are diagnosed with this disorder. The exact cause for schizophrenia still remains unknown. This is a lifelong condition that can be dangerous or even deadly at times. There is no known cure for schizophrenia at this time, but treatment can help some symptoms. There are three phases of schizophrenia, some more severe than others. Schizophrenia is known to be one of the most widespread and devastating disorders in mental health. It has the power to destroy families and lives.
Research Paper: SchizophreniaSchizophrenia is a very serious, under researched disorder that needs to be talked about more. It’s a fairly common disease, as 1 out of every 100 people have it or develop it in their lifetime. Most people with active schizophrenia are unable to live out their normal lives and others have to be hospitalized. Schizophrenic people are not only dangers to themselves, but also to society.
Types of Schizophrenia
Researchers have divided schizophrenia into two different types: positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms. They chose to divide them like this because it helps differentiate prognosis, causes and response to treatment unlike their old way of dividing them up. Research in my book says “Positive schizophrenia symptoms are additions to or exaggerations of normal thought processes and behaviors, including bizarre delusions and hallucinations. Negative schizophrenia symptoms include the loss or absence of normal thought processes and behaviors, and appear as impaired attention, limited or toneless speech, flat or blunted affect, and social withdrawal.” Positive is obviously the better of the two because it is linked with better adjustment from the beginning and a better prediction for recovery. Positive indicators seem to be more common when symptoms develop abruptly, whereas negative seen to be found in slow-developing schizophrenics.
Symptoms of schizophrenia can vary from person to person because it’s such a complex disorder but most people suffer from disturbances from one or more of these areas: perception, language, thought, emotions and behavior. Usually s schizophrenic person’s senses are extremely sensitive or diminished. The most common schizophrenic symptom is hearing or seeing things that aren’t there. This is called hallucinating. Their thoughts are so distorted that they can’t differentiate real from imaginary. This can actually cause them to self-harm or even commit suicide. Language can be hard for someone with schizophrenia. Sometimes they can mix their words up or make up their own words. Delusions are also common among schizophrenics. Someone may be delusional if they think they’re being followed by the FBI or that aliens are coming to earth. People with schizophrenia can either be extremely sensitive and emotional, or have no emotion at all. They also have behavior issues. They might have obvious issues like public outbursts or psychotic episodes, but they may also do strange actions in order to make them feel better.
Possible Biological Causes. Although there is no known cause for schizophrenia, most research points to genetics, neurotransmitters and brain abnormalities. Research is beginning to show that your risk for schizophrenia increases with genetic similarity. For instance, you have a 48% chance of getting schizophrenia if your identical twin has it, but only a 2% chance of getting it if your first cousin has it. Dopamine may also play a role in schizophrenia. Research shows that over activity of some dopamine can cause schizophrenia. This was discovered because amphetamines, which increase dopamine, can worsen or produce schizophrenia symptoms. Also, drugs that lower dopamine levels are given to shrink or eliminate symptoms altogether. A third theory for schizophrenia causes is abnormal brain activity or structure. They have found that schizophrenic people have larger ventricles and right hemisphere dysfunction compared to mentally well people. Some people with severe cases have less function in their frontal and temporal lobes, which control attention, communication and memory. Damage in those lobes could cause schizophrenic symptoms. While biological factors definitely play a big part in schizophrenia, it isn’t the only cause. In most cases, there will be more than one causing factor.
Possible Psychological Causes. As we have already learned biological theories on schizophrenia, we now go on to learn psychological theories. Research shows that stress has an important role in starting schizophrenic episodes in already effected people. A study by Bentall says “children who experience severe trauma before age 16 are three times more likely than other people to develop schizophrenia.” People who experience stressful living situations like homelessness, poverty or unemployment are also put at a higher risk. CITATION Article l 1033 (Last Name, Year)Treatment. While schizophrenia has no cure there are things you can do to lessen the symptoms. There are different drugs you can take to help balance out the chemicals in your brain. You can also go to therapy or see a specialist such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Usually a mixture of medication and therapy is recommended and has the best outcome. CITATION Last l 1033 (Last Name, Year)References
Bentallet al., (2012) Derosse et al., (2014). Psychology in action, Page 461.
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Last Name, F. M. (Year). Book Title. City Name: Publisher Name.