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How Schizophrenia Can Be a Debilitating Disease?

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How Schizophrenia Can Be A Debilitating Disease
Jamie Wood

Mohawk Valley Community College

Abnormal Psychology

Mr. Eaton


Abstract

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which is present in 1% of people globally. The patient usually reports difficulties in expressing their thoughts feelings and emotions and filtering out distractive stimuli. The diagnosis of the problems is by the symptoms which are divided into three categories: positive, negative and cognitive. If these sympyoms are consistent for more than a month than the proper diagnosis is carried out. Treatment of this health problem involves antipsychotic medicine and cognitive therapies. The patients face social isolation and social discrimination because of the disease stigmatization along with the side effects of medications.


Overview

Schizophrenia is a long-lasting mental illness having adverse effects on behavior, cognitive skills and the quality of life the individual lives who is suffering from it. People with schizophrenia find it extremely difficult to differentiate between their real and subconscious world, as they interpret things differently from others around them (“Schizophrenia,” 2016). Patients with schizophrenia often experience detachment from all of their relations; they seem demotivated and may perceive things falsely because of their continuous struggle of keeping the delusional thoughts separate from the real ones. The diagnosis of schizophrenia is not straightforward; it can take up to six months after ruling out all other possible diseases to confidently say with certainty that this individual has schizophrenia. Approximately 1% of people are globally affected by schizophrenia; ages between 16 to 30 years are most like to show the symptoms of this horrible disease, however, it can also develop from early childhood in rare cases (“Schizophrenia,” 2016).

Onset

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are usually categorized into three types, positive symptoms, negative symptoms and cognitive symptoms. Positive symptoms are also known as psychotic symptoms because this is what they gain into their everyday life; they include hallucinations, delusions, unorganized thoughts and disturbed physical movements. Hallucinations are more likely to be audible than visible in the form of random voices a person hears which are actually not there. Or in the form of strange feelings that are only experienced by the person suffering from schizophrenia but he is unable to fully explain them or what has caused these emotions (“Schizophrenia,” 2016). Delusions make the person believe that they have some sort of superpowers or abilities and they act accordingly, making their behavior beyond understanding for others around them. A schizophrenic person finds it difficult to think straightly as all his thoughts become dysfunctional and the logical relation between them changes abruptly accordingly to the emotions of the person. While acting upon those irrational thoughts and delusional beliefs, a schizophrenic person may exhibit certain repetitive bodily movements which makes it nearly impossible for the others to calm him down and bring them back to a true reality.

Symptoms

Negative symptoms are highlighted when a person appears to be less lively with each passing day, as he becomes emotionally unavailable and speaks less in a disconnected manner (“Schizophrenia,” 2016). This is due to the fact that negative symptoms represent what an individual loses as a person. Also, he becomes demotivated and loses all interest in life while shutting everyone out of it. Isolation is an extreme symptom that often worsens the schizophrenic state. Other reported negative symptoms are apathy, emotional empathy absence, and limited social functioning. For example, people with severe schizophrenia are usually disconnected with the society around them, unable to make necessary connections with people. It is not that they do not want to communicate, but in fact, they cannot communicate properly or understand the essence of emotions (Andreasen et al., 2012). Other examples of the negative symptoms are the inability to visit their friends, inability to socialize and even when they socialize; they cannot communicate appropriately. Ultimately making the individual feel defeated because of this condition.

Social Condition

Cognitive symptoms are highlighted when schizophrenia affects the cognitive skills of a person making it difficult for him to memorize or recall anything, decision making becomes impossible and it creates trouble for maintaining focus on any task. Schizophrenic individuals generally have disorganized thinking as well as reduced concentration and memory. They might not have lost their memory, but they only remember a limited number of incidents and trying to remember something they know is there somewhere can create distress for them. The weak cognitive functions of these patients cause them to have difficulty in summing up, explaining or trying to explain their feelings and behaviors (Andreasen et al., 2012). In some severe case, schizophrenic patients have no control over their bodily functions such as crying, urination, and other acts. These are the signs and symptoms which describe the schizophrenia diagnosis. However, in spite of symptoms, there is no true diagnosis protocol. Usually, a pattern of symptoms is being observed with at least one-month duration (van Os & Kapur, 2009). Positive signs are mainly observed for this diagnosis process (Andreasen et al., 2012).

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