Schizophrenia Essay

509 words - 3 pages


Schizophrenia is a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, inactivity, as well as others. It is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the person's reported experiences. There are four different causes of schizophrenia and there are different ways to treat it however there is no cure for this disease. People who take medicine for it are able to lead normal fulfilling lives.

The causes of Schizophrenia are substance abuse, developmental factors, genetic, and environmental. Alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana are used by more ...view middle of the document...

These include the living environment, drug use and prenatal stressors. Other factors that play an important role include social isolation and immigration related to social adversity, racial discrimination, family dysfunction, unemployment, and poor housing conditions.

Schizophrenia has a variety of different symptoms that affect the person. Symptoms are classified into one of the three groups, those groups are positive, negative, and onset. Some positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thought and speech. Positive symptoms usually respond well to medication. The next group of symptoms is called negative symptoms. Unlike positive symptoms, negative symptoms do not respond well to medication. These symptoms include flat expressions or little emotion, poor speech, inability to experience pleasure, lack of desire to form relationships, and lack of motivation. Negative symptoms also seem to contribute more to poor quality of life, functional ability, and the burden on others than do positive symptoms. The last group of symptoms is called onset symptoms. Onset symptoms begin in the late teen years and early adulthood because these are critical years in a young adult's social and occupational development. Some symptoms are social withdrawal, irritability, unease and dissatisfaction, and clumsiness.

There are two different ways to treat Schizophrenia which include using medication and psychosocial interventions. The medication used to treat Schizophrenia is called antipsychotic medication. It can be used to treat the positive symptoms within 7-14 days although it does not help improve the negative symptoms. Marijuana has been shown to help improve people’s symptoms, but it is unclear whether or not if it helps in the long run. Psychosocial interventions are things such as family therapy, supported employment, and assertive community treatment. Evidence for the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in either reducing symptoms or preventing relapse is minimal.

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