Essay Schizophrenia and Samuel E. Wood

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Running Head: Assignment #3

RESEARCH PAPER: SCHIZOPHRENIA
Zena Thwaites
Columbia College
Judy Leith
Basic Concepts of Psychology - PSYC 110
July 5th 2013

Schizophrenia is one of the most widely used terms when dealing with issues of mental disturbance. One percent of Canadians have been diagnosed as having schizophrenia, a disorder of the mind that can cause a person to have irregular and irrational thoughts, emotions, and behaviours as well as withdraw from society. (Carlson , 2005 )
The Canadian Schizophrenia Society recognizes these as the main behaviour and personality changes associated with the disorder. When a combination of these symptoms continues to disrupt a person’s normal functions, it is indicative that they should seek professional mental help as they are possibly suffering from a schizophrenic disorder.
•Withdrawal from activities and social contacts
•Irrational, angry, or fearful responses to friends and family
•Sleep disturbances
•Deterioration in studies or work
•Inappropriate use of language—words do not make sense
•Sudden excesses, such as extreme religiosity, extreme activity
•Deterioration in personal hygiene
•Difficulty controlling thoughts, difficulty concentrating
•Hearing voices or sounds others don’t hear
•Seeing people or things others don’t see
•A constant feeling of being watched
•Inability to turn off the imagination, delusions, off-the-wall ideas
•Mood swings, increased anxiety
•Somatic symptoms: weakness, pains, bizarre body sensations (schizophrenia Society of Canada,2013)
“Schizophrenia usually first appears in a person during their late teens or throughout their twenties. It affects more men than women, and is considered a life-long condition which rarely is "cured," but rather treated.” (Schizophrenia treatment)

Schizophrenia has been described as being the “cancer” of mental illness: elusive, complex, and varying in form. It produces two kinds of symptoms, which are described as being Active or Positive, or Negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are an addition to normal behaviour such as an exaggeration or distortion of normal thinking processes and delusions. “Positive symptoms are so named not because they are desirable, but rather because they are present as opposed to being absent” A person may withdraw from society due to paranoia or hallucinations and dive into their own type of fantasy world. Negative symptoms involve the loss of or absence of normal abilities a human would possess or appreciate such as speech or the ability to take care of oneself or hold down a proper job .(Wade , 2007)(Huffman , 2010)
Persons with Schizophrenia experience many different symptoms. Changes in perception can include, hallucinations. Hallucinations are one of the clearest signs that a person may be suffering from schizophrenia. Auditory hallucinations are most common , where patients experience hearing voices that are usually negative. These voices can be heard in their head, although they may feel like they are coming out of the tv, radio, or any inanimate object. They may hear people yelling at them constantly, telling them people are going to die, or even that they must kill a certain person in order to save everyone else. “Hallucinations are false sensory experiences that feel intensely real to the sufferer. Some sufferers of schizophrenia are so tormented by these voices that they commit suicide to escape them” (Samuel E. Wood, 2008)
Visual and tactile hallucinations can also occur although these hallucinations are reported less frequently than auditory types. Visual hallucinations can include things like a patient seeing animals chasing them, or people in their house that aren’t there, or even constantly seeing a celebrity in the mirror talking to them. A schizophrenic may also have tactile hallucinations such as feeling they are on fire, spiders eating their brain, or ants in their bloodstream. To a normal person this just seems silly since we know that…