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A Study of the Mind.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Erica Lawson

Schizophrenia – Brain Disorder 1 A Study of the Mind: Schizophrenia – Brain Disorder Luke Kazman HSP3M1 Mrs. Djuricic May 12, 2011 Schizophrenia – Brain Disorder 2 A Study of the Mind: Schizophrenia – Brain Disorder Schizophrenia is defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as “a disorder that is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and speaking patterns, social withdrawal and a variety of other emotional, intellectual and behavioral disturbances.” It is a mental illness that is categorized as a psychotic illness. Clive Cookson states that “more than 300,000 adults in Canada are unable to distinguish their imaginations from reality” This means that over 300,000 individuals in Canada will, at some point in their life, develop an extremely unknown and severe mental illness. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease because they both share some of the same symptoms. Schizophrenia cannot be predicted or prevented and is not caused by a moral disadvantage, childhood trauma, bad parenting, or poverty. Many people confuse schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder or split personality, in which a person appears to have more than one distinctly different personality within their mind. However, schizophrenia is not related to MPD at all. Multiple personality disorder doesn’t respond to medication and is typically treated by talk therapy. Schizophrenia is a much different mental disorder. Schizophrenia can affect anyone, black, white, male, or female it does not make a difference. This mental disorder makes it difficult for a person to tell the difference between real and imaginary experiences. It weakens their ability to think reasonably, express normal emotions, and behave properly in social situations. Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder, which affects one’s work, family, social life and an individual’s ability to function. The disorder causes many problems on the ill people, as well as the people who care for them. Schizophrenia is definitely one of the harshest and severe psychiatric disorders, in order to properly understand the harshness of this disease it is very essential to know exactly what schizophrenia is, the causes, and the different treatments. During the rest of this essay I will Schizophrenia – Brain Disorder 3 reflect on how schizophrenia works, who it affects, what the causes are, what the medication is and how we can improve the well being of the individuals who are suffering from it. Just as other illnesses have specific signs or symptoms so does schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has a variety of symptoms that vary in harshness and consistency. They may appear suddenly or may appear slowly over a long period of time. The symptoms may differ, however, with the individual. People with schizophrenia will show signs and symptoms as they struggle to tell the difference between real life from their own perceptions. A schizophrenic person may not suffer any symptoms at all before suffering from a psychotic event where the symptoms will suddenly start to appear. These are the symptoms that make schizophrenia such an awful and horrible disease. One of the usual symptoms that people with schizophrenia will experience is a difficulty in being able to distinguish real events from dreams and hallucinations. A schizophrenic person is not able to tell the difference between reality and imagination. Another common symptom of schizophrenia is hallucinations. Schizophrenics may see people or objects that are not actually real, and may also hear sounds or voices that do not really exist. Patrick Young said that “schizophrenics will usually carry on conversations with voices or people who are not really there”. In a schizophrenics brain the imaginary voices they hear or the hallucinations they see will seem real to them and cause them to communicate with them which causes other people to feel awkward and uncomfortable around that person and try to avoid them because it appears as though the person were talking to themselves. This is what puts schizophrenia patients at such a high risk of committing suicide and this is the reason that many schizophrenics live lonely lives and a large majority of them are homeless. Depression and anxiety psychotic disorders are generally connected to schizophrenia since many schizophrenics are usually scared and anxious for the reason that it is very difficult for them to tell the difference between reality and delusions. Schizophrenia – Brain Disorder 4 Paranoia, suspicion, and fear are feelings that are constant with schizophrenia. Schizophrenics will also usually show little or no emotion, will try to avoid eye contact with people, and usually feel mad at their loved ones for no reason at all. They tend to be very good poets and painters. Schizophrenia also affects the memory of a person suffering from it and they usually have trouble concentrating and thinking properly. Sigrid Bathen wrote in a journal that: Eighteen to fifty five percent of individuals living with schizophrenia attempt suicide, with more than ten percent of a success rate. This is due to the fact that a lot of people suffering from schizophrenia cannot handle the stresses of their everyday life and feel that the only way to deal with it and escape would be to take their lives. Schizophrenia usually develops earlier in men, usually in the late teens or early twenties, while women typically develop the disorder in their twenties and early thirties. However, it can affect a child as young as twelve years old, or the illness may stay inactive in a person until their late twenties. A period of time where a person’s symptoms increase dramatically and they cannot tell apart reality from the imaginary is known as a psychotic episode or event. The majority of people affected with schizophrenia will suffer their first psychotic episode during their teenage years. Schizophrenia can be a very difficult illness to identify. Schizophrenics are frequently diagnosed incorrect
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