Schizophrenia Is a Mental Disorder That Affects Human Brain
- Pages: 12
- Word count: 2926
- Category: Emotional Intelligence
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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects one of the most complex organs in the human body, the brain. Because of the complexity that surrounds schizophrenia, the mental illness is often misunderstood. The media typically portrays individuals with schizophrenia as monstrous killers or having a lack of intelligence. These negative stereotypes simply are not true. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness and without proper treatment can be life threatening. Understanding schizophrenia can potentially save the life of someone suffering with schizophrenia. In this literature review the focus will be on the symptoms of schizophrenia, the risk of suicide, possible causes of schizophrenia, and the outlook on recovery.
Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder that disturbs the individual’s ability to think clearly, as well as causing abnormal social behavior, and difficulty differentiating reality and hallucinations. To fully understand schizophrenia, it is important to know the symptoms, the types of schizophrenia, and the causes and factors of. The article “Schizophrenia” by Marco M. Picchioni and Robin M. Murray analyzes and defines the meaning of schizophrenia. Picchioni and Murray simplified the main symptoms of schizophrenia as lack of insight, hallucination, delusions, and thought disorder. (SYMPTOMS) Lack of insight is simply not believing the symptoms of schizophrenia are real, or that the symptoms are caused by schizophrenia. Hallucinations typically take effect by “hearing voices,” though hallucinations can also occur in any of the senses such as touch, smell, taste, and vision (Brock 2018; Picchiono; Murray). Hallucinations can be described as something that is apparent to the individual but do not exist in reality.
The brain can manifest false realities that can be hard to distinguish from real life (Brock). Picchioni and Murray describe delusions as somewhat similar to hallucinations and lack of insight. The person with schizophrenia will begin to believe false information that is not a shared belief with others. Delusions can evolve along with personal themes. Patients who think they are victims, are in danger, or involved in a conspiracy are within the Persecution delusion theme according to Picchioni and Murray. If the individual feels that their being is being controlled by another force or person, this symptom is called the passivity theme. Delusions can follow any personal develop theme whether it be a sexual, religious, or grandiose theme. According to healthofchildren.com the symptoms described by Picchioni and Murray typically appear quicker in males.
The beginning of the symptoms can appear between the ages of 16 and 30. It is rare if the early onset of schizophrenia happens before the age of thirteen. Children who experience the symptoms explained by Murray and Picchioni are connected to more severe symptoms and will go through intense stages before the illness fully takes over (Brock 2017; healthofchildren.com). The stages involves a period of time where a person will go through specific symptoms before the schizophrenia fully consumes the individual. Healthofchildren.com calls these stages prodromal stage and acute stage. During the prodromal phase many individuals with schizophrenia experience illogical thinking and delusions despite objections from others. Typically they feel that someone is after them usually a demonic force. Sometimes they can experience hallucinations such as hearing voices.
According to healthofcihldren.com, during the acute phase, the person with schizophrenia will begin rambling or speaking nonsensical words. They often display odd physical behavior, pacing back and forth, rambled thinking and sometimes they will become violent towards themselves. During this phase, about 15 to 20 percent of people with schizophrenia commit suicide because of their condition or because their hallucinations like voices in their head telling them to kill themselves . According to the 2013 study in JAMA Psychiatry, teens with psychotic symptoms are 70 times more likely to attempt suicide than adolescents in the general population. Adding to this study, surprisingly, a 2011 Schizophrenia Research literature review ‘found that the more intelligent the teen, the greater the suicidal risk than those less cognizant of what is happening to them’. The teen with higher intelligence likely can hide their suicide attempts as well. They can mask their symptoms with other common illness that are often seen in teen puberty such as depression, irritation.
Depression can also manifest and turn into a serious mental illness. According to Janet Lynne depression and schizophrenia have been correlated with suicide attempts. This is why WebMD says it is important for parents to understand the warning signs so they will not be dismissed. Knowing the development of any possible mental illness symptom could possibly save someone’s life. The latest study concerning suicidal tendencies was published in the journal “Nature Human Behavior.” by the author Marcel Adam Just. In this study a team of scientist use machine-learning algorithm and brain imaging to identify those with suicidal tendencies. The study consisted of 34 subjects, 17 of them had suicidal tendencies and the other 17 we neurotypical subjects. The brain activity of these subjects was recorded with a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they were presented with three lists with a series of 10 words.
The first list had death-related words such as ‘fatal’ and ‘death.’ The second list only had positive words such as ‘carefree,’ ‘praise.’ The final list had negatively related ideas like ‘trouble’ and ‘boredom.’ ‘The researchers’ algorithm examined the brain scans and was able to correctly distinguish the suicidal group from the control with an accuracy rate of 91 percent’ (newatlas.com). The brain imaging allowed the researchers to correctly identify the members of the suicidal group who attempted to kill themselves versus those who only thought about it. The study showed that the subjects with suicidal tendencies have different emotional responses to certain words compared to the neurotypical subjects. Marcel Just from Carnegie Mellon University says that ‘People with suicidal thoughts experience different emotions when they think about some of the test concepts.” Certain words such as death “evoked more shame and more sadness in the group that thought about suicide” (Just 2014). In conclusion to the study, Marcell Just suggested that a form of treatment can possibly alter the emotional response to certain situations.
With continuing research, theories such as this can further the development of suicide prevention. A question that is commonly asked by the people is what is the cause of schizophrenia? There is not one main cause for schizophrenia, although it is demonstrated that a combination of genes, drugs, environment, and age can make the risk of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses increase. A combination of treatment, therapy and medication can make the odds of recovery possibly as well. Those that have family members with schizophrenia have a higher risk of getting schizophrenia. livingwithschizophreniauk.org says if the family members brother or sister has schizophrenia then their chances of having schizophrenia increases by 9 percent.
That percentage increases by 28 percent if the sibling is an identical twin. If an individual has a parent that has schizophrenia, then the chances of them having schizophrenia grow by 13 percent. If both of the individual’s parents have schizophrenia, then their chances increase to around 36 percent. The reasons why genes play a factor is still a mystery. Researchers have not yet found the exact DNA or genetic makeup that causes schizophrenia. Picchioni and Murray say genes mixed with environmental factors can double the risk becoming schizophrenic. Infants that experience complications during their birth such as premature birth, low birth weight or perinatal hypoxia are more likely to have schizophrenia during adulthood. Other environmental stressors that increase the chances of schizophrenia are social isolation, migrant status, and urban life. The way the parents raises the child can significantly impact the future vulnerability of gaining schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Studies show that patients with supportive parents are mentally better than those that had hostile parents.
Drug abuse also has a vital role in the causes of schizophrenia. Stimulants like meth can cause the user to experience symptoms similar to paranoid schizophrenia. Picchioni and Murray researched recent studies that say that cannabis such as marijuana is smoked significantly more with people with established schizophrenia than the general public. ”Collectively, these risk factors point to an interaction between biological, psychological, and social risk factors that drive increasingly deviant development and finally frank psychosis” Mental disorders often are complicated and hard to treat. Mental disorders like schizophrenia directly affect the brain which is one of the most complex organs in the human body. Because of the complexity, mental disorders typically cannot be treated with only one type of medicine. A combination of treatments such as therapy and medical drugs is one of the keys to a successful recovery. Each person responds differently to different types of medications and therapy so finding the right combination of treatments is trial and error.
For the recovery to succeed it is essential that the person with schizophrenia follows their regime of treatments. That is why it is helpful for the person with schizophrenia to have an active support group that can encourage them to continue with their treatment. Knowing your mental disorder and researching the condition can also be helpful. Knowing what can make the condition worse or better is useful knowledge. For hundreds of years and to this day schizophrenia is seen as a life sentence. With the help of modern science and research, treatment and possible recovery for schizophrenia have increased. ‘Many people who have suffered an episode of schizophrenia or even multiple episodes go on to recover a very high level of functioning and often to be able to re-join mainstream society’. It is not guaranteed that any treatment methods will 100 percent work, but there is a chance that some of the people with schizophrenia will recover.
Doctors use the term ‘rule of quarters’ which suggest that 25 percent of people diagnosed with schizophrenia recover from their first episode and can continue to live with no recurring symptoms in the future. Livingwithschizophrenia.com explains the rule of quarters the next 25 percent of people with schizophrenia can progressively improve their condition with treatment and almost eliminate all of the symptoms with few relapse events. Another 25 percent of people can only slightly recover from schizophrenia and will still need support and treatment to function normally as well as help recovering from the multiple relapse events that will occur in intervals throughout their life. The final 25 percent of people will unfortunately not see much of any recovery from schizophrenia. From the final 25 percent of people, 15 percent of them will continue suffering from schizophrenia through their life with repeated hospital stays with little or no improvement. The last 10 percent will most likely commit suicide. With this rule of thumb, doctors can predict somewhat the recovery percentage of those diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Some factors affect the outcome of those with schizophrenia. If schizophrenia is diagnosed during adolescence, the symptoms are usually much more severe than someone diagnosed during adulthood. Schizophrenia also tends to be stronger in men than women. If the schizophrenia symptoms are positive with hallucinations and delusions, thean the likelihood of recovery is higher than those with more negative symptoms. A history of alcohol or the usage of street drugs can make the outcome much worse, primarily if they regularly use drugs or alcohol. Social support is also a factor in possible recovery. If the person with schizophrenia has great support and strong relationships, the chances of recovery are much higher. The factors that will be analyzed as the independent variables that influence domains of recovery will be social support, duration of illness, perceived stigma and illness severity. There is evidence that social support can influence a decrease in stress in the individual with schizophrenia and promote a positive influence on the road of adjustment.
Unfortunately, it is seen that the social network, especially the immediate family, connections are more extensive in a normal functioning individual than someone afflicted with schizophrenia. There is also a decrease in communication and relationships between the family members compared to a typical individual. The narrowing of the network grows even more if the individual has repeats of hospitalization. Individuals that have long-term schizophrenia tend to decrease the connections of their social networks. The interactions between their already small group continue to drop with time. A study of different types of support measured by the Arizona Social Support Interview indicated that ‘the subject’s perceptions of support were important rather than the actual amount of support’.
Possibly those with schizophrenia that experience a more substantial amount of negative symptoms can find it harder to see any support as positive. It may take longer for the negative symptoms to subside but continuous social support has been observed to influence a path to recovery in those with schizophrenia strongly. ‘Recovery is often complex, time-consuming process’ (Anthony p.15 1993). With most illnesses, coming to terms with your situation and going through the stages of coping and adaptation is a necessary part of recovery. The process of time is dependent on the person and varies. A factor in the ability for the individual to adapt and recover is affected by the duration that the individual is ill. The time between diagnosis and intervention can be crucial. An example is when cancer develops in the body. The longer it is in the body, the more massive it becomes, it is much easier to treat while in the early stages when the cancer is small. Similar to individuals with schizophrenia, the longer the wait between diagnosis and intervention, the harder it becomes to treat because the illness continues to take hold of the individual. Stigma, judgment, and labeling theory have been known to have strong connections with mental illness.
Sociologist Goffman defines stigma as follows. ‘Those who have dealings with [the stigmatized person] fail to accord him the respect and regard which the uncontaminated aspects of his social identity have led them to anticipate extending, and have led him to anticipate receiving; he echoes this denial by finding that some of his attributes warrant it’. Stigma is given and distinguished by those with mental illness such as schizophrenia. Hyler, Gabbard, and Schneider, 1991 have analyzed the depictions of individuals with mental illnesses in the media, and it is recorded that most of the perceptions are negative. Surveys were given to the general public, individuals with mental illnesses, and the family members of the mentally ill, have shown that the negative public attitude toward the mentally ill continues. The attempt to change the negative attitude toward the mentally ill with short-term education programs has mixed results. There has even been a mixture of success in improving views of the health professionals.
The study aim was to analyze the public perception of the mentally ill. The study represents the public perceptions of stigma across many western countries such as U.S, Britain, and Germany. There has been a case where stigma was a significant conflict and barrier for an individual to recover from their schizophrenia. The stigma of the mentally ill has been proven to conflict substantial adverse impacts on quality of life for the mentally ill. There has been evidence of the negative effects on job searching, self-esteem, and the social network size. To combat the stigma in the serious mentally ill, coping mechanisms of withdrawal and secrecy have been seen to worsen the result of the stigma as estimated by demoralization and employment status. The severity of the negative symptoms can result in the individual to deny the hope of recovery.
Individuals suffering from severe negative symptoms can cause functional losses which in turn make the recovery plan dismal. Full-recovery would be hard to achieve, but there may still be a chance on other domains of recovery. Co-morbid depression is also an aspect of illness severity. Depression is commonly seen as a symptom of schizophrenia. Depression and schizophrenia have been correlated with suicide attempts, and thus can be an influence in recovery as well. What idea or point do they start with? Explain your understanding of it to them What idea/point/source do they connect this to? Explain your understanding of the next source/idea/point Explain how you think the ideas are connected. Repeat b and c for their entire draft. They introduce schizophrenia and state that there is an unknown cause but has multiple factors that go into it and lists the examples and how things affect it.
Schizophrenia from the introduction gets explained in the second paragraph, making a connection. Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder that affects a person in many ways (hearing, visions, etc) and that there are some key symptoms that are looked for. I think they’re connected because schizophrenia was not introduced in the first paragraph which was a lead in and the second paragraph elaborates more on the definition as well as the symptoms that occur. The next subject introduced was how it affects people and what generally happens through percentages. It relates to the second paragraph by saying how much the symptoms can affect people, especially at age. It goes on to talk about what can help or make it worse, such as family connections versus no connections.
It relates because the previous topic mentioned negative outcomes that can result with a lack of support. They connect the last paragraph to the next paragraph because it mentions how stigmas give labels, and that with no support, labels can make situations worse in all cases. It relates because stigmas can create a lack of connection needed. The last paragraph talks about how hard recovery can be as well as how stigmas can lead to other mental illness, creating two connections. It relates because it recalls two subjects: mental illness in daily lives/stigma how it affects lives, and how a lack of help can make it worse.