There are many kinds of mental disorders or illnesses that affect human beings but the most upsetting is schizophrenia. This kind of mental disorder can affect both sexes regardless of age. It is estimated that about 1% of the current population is affected by this disorder. But what is schizophrenia how it affects a person?
Schizophrenia is known to be a brain disorder commonly characterized by emotional and cognitive disruption affecting language, perception and thought process leading to change in self concept. A person suffering from this mental disorder can be quite dangerous to others as well as to themselves since they are often experiencing hallucinations and paranoid illusions.
What is schizophrenia? How did it start? What are the causes and types? How it is diagnosed and what possible medication is needed to cure it? These are some of the questions you may want to have an answer to fully understand this disorder.
History: It was in 1911 that the word schizophrenia was used and became part of the mental illness category in 1887. During the ancient times, the common belief about it is that it was caused by spirits and wicked powers. One study conducted in 1999 to patients suffering from schizophrenia revealed that 12.8% of Americans are more inclined to violent activities whereas 48% manifested calmness.
Causes: One cause could be genetic; once a family member is schizophrenic there is a high risk that one or more persons of the next generation are likely to acquire the illness. Another factor is said to be environmental which may include but not be limited to racial discrimination, social isolation, family dysfunction and traumatic experience.
Diagnosis: Sad to say, but up to now, there are no specific tests that can be conducted to a person to prove that he is schizophrenic. Medical professionals rely on the patient’s family history of illnesses and the symptoms manifested such as hallucinations, depressions and delusions.
Types: There are five types of schizophrenia namely:
- Paranoid. Patient with this type of schizophrenia often experiences auditory hallucinations making it hard to interrelate with them.
- Disorganized. This is often characterized by disorganized in both speech and behavior.
- Catatonic. There is difficulty and resistance in moving and peculiar movement.
- Undifferentiated. In this type, one or more of the symptoms of paranoid, disorganized and catatonic are manifested.
- Residual. There is withdrawal and diminish function as well as reluctance to converse.
Medications: The common medications given are oral medicines known as anti-psychotic drugs. Psychosocial intervention is also beneficial to schizophrenic patients as this can stabilize their moods and limit hallucinations.