The Effects Of Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic brain disorder in which a person interprets reality abnormally. It is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to think clearly, solve problems, respond to emotion, act normal, and tell the difference between their reality and actual reality. It is defined as a “split mind” because it disrupts the normal balance of thinking and emotions. Depression is a common factor that is caused by the decreased production of serotonin which in return will drop the serotonin levels in the brain. Researchers have theories that the illness is caused by certain neural chemicals that are impaired. They are utilizing images to look at the brain’s structure and function. The main risk factor is genetics. Other factors could include abuse, drug addiction, and excessive stress. Research has shown that schizophrenia has an earlier onset in males. They are also likely to die younger than most because of their medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. People with schizophrenia are harmless and nothing to be afraid of.

What is schizophrenia? It is a long-term mental disorder involving a loss of connection between emotion, thought, and behavior. It causes a withdrawal from reality and relationships. There are more than 200,000 cases per year of people with this disorder. Treatment is usually lifelong although the condition cannot be cured. The exact cause of schizophrenia isn’t known, but it changes your brain chemistry completely. The effects of schizophrenia are extreme and divergent. People with schizophrenia suffer each day more than anyone could imagine because their mental illness transforms them completely.

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Schizophrenia alters the brain and changes it dramatically. According to Yu (2016), “Numerous imaging studies have revealed reduced grey matter volume in patients with schizophrenia involving multiple brain regions, such as the frontal cortex, temporal lobe, and insula.” (Yu, 2016). The temporal lobe is affected which alters their hearing and speech. This makes it hard for them to communicate with others and share relationships. Patients often have trouble with recalling situations or remembering. As stated by Bowie (2007), “Severe impairments are observed in measurements of declarative memory and executive functioning. Declarative memory is the ability to learn and recall verbal information, such as a shopping list.” (Bowie, 2007). They have difficulty encoding, storing, and recalling words. Memory is an important part of the human brain and without it, people would be completely lost and just wandering through life. The changing of the brain and loss of memory can affect the amount of productivity they accomplish and how well they can handle everyday problems.

Auditory hallucination is the most common and the most important disorder of perception. Ranjan (2010) explains that hearing voices is core characteristics of schizophrenia. Hallucinations are conventionally treated as a psychotic phenomenon where there is a break from reality (Ranjan, 2010). They are false perceptions that cause them to hear, see, taste, touch, or smell what others do not. The hallucinations adjust their reality and can cause them to not think straight. Stated by Dow (2004), “In the acute phases of schizophrenia, patients are likely to hear voices or noises. They can also smell and see things. Sometimes, the voices are reassuring, at other times menacing.” (Dow, 2004). People with this disorder often have severe depression because of being constantly criticized and shamed by the voices in their heads. Chronic hallucinations are not sufficient enough to not take place in everyday activities.

Talking nonsense and difficulty in speech are also common with schizophrenia. This normally occurs when a person is in the active phase of the illness. According to Dow (2004), what the patient says becomes incomprehensible because the sentences are unconnected to each other. Words may take on special meanings in schizophrenia either because attention is usually paid to individual sounds rather than whole words (Dow, 2004). They may also try to avoid certain words because they sound harsh or evil. In the acute phase, it is hard to make sense of what they’re saying. It is nearly impossible to communicate with them when they’re in this stage and becomes very frustrating to family. As stated by Dow (2004), “When lost in thought, schizophrenics do not want to be distracted and do not appreciate conversation or shared activities at those times.” Concentration and preoccupation are usually seen in the active phase of the illness which can lead to daydreaming. Distractions help them not to sit around and think for long periods of time. Their sleep, health, and social interactions must be maintained to stay well.

People with schizophrenia suffer each day more than anyone could imagine because their mental illness transforms them completely. The symptoms include hearing inner voices, unorganized thoughts, and speech, showing no emotion, and experiencing hallucinations. These symptoms may leave a person feeling alone and frightened. They lose touch with reality and feel like the world is against them. Their disorganized behavior can be viewed as terrifying to others. The illness is fairly common and is lifelong because there is not an effective way of curing it completely. It is exceptionally tough to hold a relationship with them because they are extremely paranoid and cannot trust those around them. Although, they need all the love and support that they can get considering every day is like a living hell for them.               


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