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Schizophrenia: The Signs and Symptoms

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When a person has schizophrenia their mind is split from reality. Their thoughts are seen as hallucinations. There is over 200,000 known cases with people having schizophrenia. People are usually diagnosed with this disorder once they are 18 years old. This disorder can show up in a person’s childhood or later in life. Children that may have schizophrenia cannot be diagnosed with this disorder until they are 18 years old. This is because a child may show symptoms but can outgrow them. Schizophrenia can last for a few years or for the rest of one’s life. Schizophrenia has a lot of symptoms a person could have, while the treatments for this are very little.

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When a person has schizophrenia there will be symptoms of it. One that is very common is disorganized thinking and delusions. Because their mind is split it is hard for them to know what is real and what is not. When someone thinks of schizophrenia, they usually think of how some of them think that they are a spiritual figure. Which is the most common with people that have this disorder. Some may think that they are Jesus and that they are back to save people. People with this disorder can become agitated and aggressive with others. People that have schizophrenia also usually socially isolate themselves away from people. Another big thing about people with disorder is that they are more likely to self-harm because they have little restraint with doing things.

People that have schizophrenia can sometimes hear voices in their head. This is why some act out and hurt others because this is what the voices tell them to do. Having voices in their head can also make them think that someone is out to get them. This also is why people with this disorder may hurt someone because they think that this person was sent to hurt them. People that have schizophrenia can also have something called disorganized speech. This is when random words are being said. This is also known as, “word salad”. Something that people with this disorder have a problem with is having the wrong emotions or actions at the wrong times. This may involve smiling when they receive bad news.

Schizophrenia usually shows it’s symptoms near the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Women usually get these symptoms later in life than men do. There are more cases of schizophrenia in men than there are in women. There are two types of schizophrenia, there is acute and chronic. Acute schizophrenia is when a person has gone through some very stressful events, people recover from this one. Chronic schizophrenia is when a person develops schizophrenic symptoms slowly, people do not recover from this one. People that are diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia are put on medications and sent to different doctors so that they can manage having this disorder.

There are very little treatments for schizophrenia because it is not something a person can get rid of. People with schizophrenia will be put on a couple different medications to help with tremors and psychiatric problems. People with this disorder can also be put into therapies to help. A few of them are support groups, rehabilitation, cognitive therapy, family therapy, behavior therapy, and group psychotherapy (NIMH). They will also be sent to specialists for this condition. They will be sent to a psychiatrist who deals with the medications. They will also be sent to a clinical psychologist who treats the disorder with “talk therapy”. In order to get any of this help the person must be medically diagnosed by a doctor saying that they have this type of disorder.

There is no definite reason what the cause of schizophrenia is. One article said, “Scientists believe that people with schizophrenia have an imbalance of the brain chemicals or neurotransmitters: dopamine, glutamate and serotonin” (MHA). Having this stuff not correct in the brain is what leads to the hallucinations and delusions. It has been said that is a mother gets sick while pregnant with a child, then there is a possibility that they could become schizophrenic later in life (MHA). This can happen because when the mother is sick, the baby cannot get all that it needs, so that can then mess with the brain development.

There are a few ways that a person can contract schizophrenia. One is that it is hereditary. This means that someone in the family had schizophrenia and then passed it onto their child. This can start to affect the child when their body starts to go through heavy changes, like puberty (MHA). Twin children can both end up having schizophrenia, but only if they are identical twins. This is because they came from the same egg, so both children can get this disorder. Another one is the brain structure. This means that during child development, the child did not get all that it needed to grow correctly. The last one is contracting a viral infection. This can happen at any time. For instance, when someone gets the flu it messes with the body and can trigger a schizophrenic episode. This connects to acute schizophrenia, which is curable.

It says that 1% of the American population will contract schizophrenia (“11”). People that have schizophrenia are also more likely to commit suicide (“11”). They are also more likely to have a drug or alcohol problem (“11”). This is because schizophrenia is very hard to deal with. Never actually knowing what is real and what is not. Having schizophrenia can also reduce a person’s “life expectancy by between 10 and 25 years” (Facts). People that have this disorder are not usually violent people. Many just think that they are because that is usually all they hear about schizophrenia in people.

There are about five subtypes of schizophrenia. There is catatonic schizophrenia, which is the excessive movement or no movement at all, like a statue (Subtypes). There is paranoid schizophrenia, which is heavy delusions with some type of “theme” (Subtypes). Another is called disorganized schizophrenia, which is a disruptive subtype that has more disorganized speech (Subtypes). This type causes the person to have a hard daily life. One is undifferentiated schizophrenia, which is when the person has a “lack of catatonia, paranoia, and disorganized speech” (Subtypes). The last subtype is residual schizophrenia, which is when the positive actions go away for good and become just negative (Subtypes). These are all the types of schizophrenia a person can fall under.

People that have this type of disability can live a somewhat normal life. If a person is diagnosed soon enough then they can be put on medicine to try and help the effects schizophrenia has on someone. If it is not caught in time then it will be harder to get someone to trust a doctor and to actually take the medicine. Doctors want to diagnose someone with this disorder as soon as they can. Many people have been diagnosed with this disorder in America, roughly “2.2 million people” (Schizophrenia). There are more people diagnosed in India than anywhere else in the world. They have between “4.3 to 8.7 million” people that are suffering with schizophrenia (Schizophrenia).

In conclusion, schizophrenia is a very hard disorder to live with. If not treated correctly or even treated at all, can lead the person to a hard and short life. Catching this disorder in time and getting the medicine taking under control can help the person in the long run. Now, they will never get rid of the schizophrenia, especially if it is something that they were born with. But it will be more manageable than before. There are not that many medications out there for people that have schizophrenia. But maybe with time people will come up with even more medications that could help these people. Not all people that have this disorder are bad people, the news and movies only show the ones that are violent, which are very few.

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