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Schizophrenia comes from Greek words which means “split” and “mind”, but ironically people who have schizophrenia does not have a split mind or a split personalities (Schizophrenia, p 1). Schizophrenia refers to a group of disorders characterized by severe personality disorganization, distortion of reality, and an inability to function in daily life (Introduction to Psychology, p 645). The disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses, occurring to 1% of the population, found all across the globe in all races and cultures. This disorder equally affects both sexes (Schizophrenia p 1).
Description of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is of three basic types, one is the disorganized schizophrenia which was also called “hebephrenic schizophrenia” characterized by lack of emotion and disorganized speech. Another type is the catatonic schizophrenia which is characterized by waxy flexibility, reduced movement, rigid posture, and sometimes too much movement. The last type is the paranoid schizophrenia which is characterized by strong delusions or hallucinations (Schizophrenia, p 1).
Before a patient is diagnosed to have schizophrenia, the person must have two or more of the following symptoms for at least a month according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). The symptoms are delusions or the bizarre, false beliefs; hallucinations or the bizarre, unreal perceptions of the environment which could be auditory hallucination, visual hallucination, olfactory or tactile hallucinations; disorganized thinking or speech; negative symptoms or the absence of normal behavior which includes social withdrawal, absence of emotion and expression, reduced energy, motivation and activity. People with schizophrenia usually appear to have a poor hygiene and grooming habits. Another symptom is catatonia or immobility and waxy flexibility. People with these symptoms are considered to be in an active phase.
Do neurotransmitters have something to do with schizophrenia? Neurotransmitters were investigated for a possible role in the development of schizophrenia. Researchers came up with the dopamine theory. This theory presents that the symptoms of schizophrenia is correlated with the excess dopamine release in important brain regions (Schizophrenia: From Nash to Neurotransmitters, p 1). Evidences presented to support this theory are: schizophrenic symptoms may be reduced with drugs that block dopamine; these drugs have side effects similar to Parkinson’s disease which is also caused by lack of dopamine in the basal ganglia; drugs that are found best to treat schizophrenia resemble dopamine which blocks dopamine receptors (Schizophrenia, p1).
Schizophrenia, a complex disorder may be hard to understand. It is a mental disorder that is common among all men. Thus, it needs a deeper observation for patients with schizophrenia in order to treat the disorder accordingly. This should be looked into more closely because this may disorder may be mistaken to other disorders which has almost the same symptoms.
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