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schizophrenia

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Introduction

Massey 1 Schizophrenia (Paranoid Type) Today Schizophrenia is known as one of the most horrendous psychiatric mental disorders one could possibly be diagnosed with. Eugene Bleuler coined the term in 1908. The name Schizophrenia comes from the Greek works 'skhizein' meaning 'to split' and 'phren' meaning 'mind', in other words, "split mind" not to be confused with multiple personality disorder. It instead refers to the fact that the mind can no longer see the difference between what is real and the delusions that it creates because of the disorder. There are five differing types of schizophrenia. The kind of schizophrenia called paranoid schizophrenia is arguably the most horrific of the five. There are two kinds of schizophrenic symptoms, positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are usually seen in psychotic episodes and usually entail diverse abnormal behaviors such as delusions, hallucinations, and disordered and disorganized thoughts. The negative symptoms are seen between psychotic episodes and generally involve the loss of normal behavior. Negative symptoms include social reclusiveness, catatonic behavior, reduced speech and not showing emotions. Although, the main criteria of this disease are a preoccupation with out of the ordinary delusions that the patient creates in his or her mind, accompanied by frequent auditory and sometimes visual hallucinations. There are other criteria that are not as prominent in paranoid schizophrenia but may still be seen such as catatonic behavior, which is the main ...read more.

Middle

In this year over 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with schizophrenia worldwide and over 100,000 in the United States. It is also not a disorder of social classes or of standards of living either, it is a worldwide phenomenon; an estimated 4.3 to 8 million people have schizophrenia in India and 6-12 million in China. However, schizophrenia does seem to discriminate between the sexes to some extent. Males are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. As well, schizophrenia tends to manifest at an earlier age for males, typically showing itself at around the age 18, whereas in females it typically appears around 25 years old. The onset of schizophrenia is extremely rare in people under 10 or over 40 years of age. Schizophrenia has physical effects on the patient's brain. For one thing it affects the hippocampus with something called cellular disarray. In the hippocampus of a person without schizophrenia or any other diseases the cells seem to have an ordered structure about them. However in the hippocampus of a patient with schizophrenia there is no order or structure at all, all the cells are disorganized and scattered. As well, patients with schizophrenia experience excess dopamine which is most likely the cause of the delusions, auditory hallucinations and disturbed thoughts. Although schizophrenia does have some genetic basis it cannot be linked to one gene, otherwise it would show in all monozygotic twins, instead in cases where one monozygotic twin has schizophrenia only 48% will the other twin develop schizophrenia. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is the most misunderstood disorders as well and research should be greatly increased. Although schizophrenia is not directly responsible for taking a large amount of lives a year as cancer is I would argue that its effects on the human mind are even worse than death in extreme cases. For someone to live in a state of inescapable, extreme paranoia with delusional thoughts for a lifetime all the time is a fate worse than death. Although it effects less than one percent of the world's population it has affected us all. Living in Richmond city it is hard to walk anywhere without seeing a homeless man or woman occasionally in Monroe Park or sleeping on a bench or behind some bushes and almost as common is being confronted by one. Many of these people have mental illnesses such as paranoid schizophrenia and could potentially be a danger to the people around them since they have no access to medication. I have personally been confronted by homeless people on multiple different occasions and many of them were visibly not of a sound mind. As well I found no medications in my research that prevented or helped to prevent or treat the disease, instead they only treated the symptoms. I think it is vital that more research be put into the development of a preventative or disease treating medication. But of course to do this we must understand what it is that causes schizophrenia. ...read more.

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