Schizophrenia- Severe disorders on which there are disturbances of thoughts, communications, and emotions, including delusions and hallucinations. (Psychology: An Introduction,Charles D. Morris with Albert A. Maisto) It’s quite horrendous. First of all, you’ve got somebody that you love, a child that you’ve raised. And then suddenly, the child becomes a crazy person. Better drugs and new ways of treating schizophrenia are enabling more of the disease’s victims to live in society instead of institutions, and even to hold down jobs. Schizophrenia can be detected in childhood–even traced to the womb. These malfunctions may be wired into the brain before birth. There is mounting evidence that schizophrenia reflects deviation in development rather than a backwards process that begins in maturity. Scientists,whose findings have already paved the way for a greater understanding of schizophrenia, and researchers around the world are hunting for underlying causes of the disease. People diagnosed with schizophrenia display a wide-ranging breakdown of perception and thought.
A glitch in the timing of cell responses across broad swaths of brain tissue may help account for these people’s fragmented experience of the world, according to a new study. In the brains of schizophrenia sufferers, electrical activity fails to synchronize with a specific sound frequency as it does in the brains of mentally healthy people. Improved drugs to fight psychosis–the loss of contact with reality that afflicts schizophrenics–are already coming on the market, and some researchers believe that within the next few decades, scientists will find a way to virtually cure the obscure disease. Schizophrenia usually begins between the ages of 16 and 30, with men often being affected earlier than women. The first symptoms can include trouble concentrating or sleeping, and afflicted people may start avoiding their friends. In the next stage, many schizophrenics begin to speak incoherently and see or hear things that no one else does.
As the disease takes hold, there are cycles of remission followed by frightening relapses marked by disordered thinking that causes many schizophrenics to leap illogically from one subject to another when they talk. They begin to experience hallucinations, paranoia and delusions– schizophrenics in their psychotic phases may become convinced that people are spying on them, or imagine that they have acquired godlike powers. When they are in the grip of psychosis, they frequently behave erratically, and they can become violent or suicidal. Often, it is parents and other family members who have to deal with the recurring crises. Often,schizophrenics are more of a danger to themselves. An estimated 15 to 20 per cent of them take their own lives–in despair of ever finding peace of mind, or because their “voices” tell them to. Another 15 per cent do not respond to medication, and have no choice but to live in their madness–either in an institution or on the outside. With the help of antipsychotic drugs, which can reduce or eliminate a sufferer’s hallucinations and delusions, about 70 per cent can live in society.
And some– perhaps 15 to 20 per cent of those diagnosed–can do some form of work, as long as they stay on their medication and avoid stress, which can trigger psychotic episodes. The effects of the disease can be ugly and extensive, because the illness is chronic. Seeking escape from their torment,schizophrenics often turn to alcohol or illegal drugs. And they often run amok of the law because they believe they are not bound by society’s rules. As a result, some 1,200 of the 30,000 inmates of jails and prisons across the country are schizophrenic. Even the most effective drugs, which work by adjusting chemical balances in the brain, may not entirely banish delusional thoughts. But they can help schizophrenics to be aware of what is happening when their thinking becomes disordered. Once scientists understand the genetic roots of schizophrenia, firms may be able to design drugs that will, in effect, correct biological deficiencies in the brain.
Hormonal changes of early adulthood might trigger acute symptoms of the disease. The disease is often characterized by delusions of persecution and can lead to violence. In schizophrenia, the most serious common brain disease of early adulthood, delusions are usually not well organized and well reasoned, but fragmentary and confused (reflecting the schizophrenic thought disorder)and bizarre(reflecting the strangeness of schizophrenic experience). A delusion typical of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders is the belief that thoughts are being inserted into one’s head or broadcast to the world. Psychotically depressed persons may believe that they are being punished in hell or that the world has been annihilated. The elation and hyperactive thought processes of manic patients often produce delusions of grandeur or persecution.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects one to two people in every 100, striking in the teens and 20s. Its symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, severely inappropriate emotional responses, erratic behavior and problems in thinking and concentrating. The symptoms of schizophrenia arise from an imbalance in the production of two brain chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, which are intimately involved in thought processes. Recent imaging studies indicate that the imbalance arises from abnormalities in the structure of the brain. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder cannot be effectively treated with psychotherapy, but often do respond to medication. Schizophrenia can also be inhabited through genetics.
The genes that target forebrain formation also induce the creation of the heart, head and limbs, likely explaining why these body parts are often malformed in schizophrenic patients Mental illness is not a lifestyle; it is a disease that can lead to homelessness, violence, and even death. But it can often be treated –especially when the law isn’t in the way. Schizophrenics who take medication are capable of making sound decisions about their own treatment. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are highly relevant for treatment and outcome, yet their nature(diminishment or loss of normal psychological and social functioning) makes them difficult to assess reliably, even using standardized instruments. Shizophrenia is an incurable disease which have been in part to blame for homelessness, violence, broken lives, and death. Although there is no cure, there is medication to temporarily suppress the symptoms.