Most of us would consider ourselves as normal, but when someone is described as insane, what do you think about them? Perhaps you would think of them as talking to their self or delusional? The person described is a schizophrenic. Studies and specialists have found some very interesting points that outline the basics of schizophrenic people. They have concluded, at the very least, that there is more to schizophrenia than hearing voices. In this paper you will find an overview of the mental disorder including: what schizophrenia really is, how one becomes schizophrenic, how it can affect a person’s life, and possible cures for the disease.
The knowing of seemingly insane people is written about before and during biblical times so the concept of crazy people, now considered schizophrenics, is not new. A few (1,400) years later, “holy men performed exorcisms on schizophrenics in an effort to expel the devil from their bodies… In the middle ages and early Renaissance, a series of incidents occurred in which mentally ill individuals who were believed to be possessed by demons were burned at the stake.” (Young, 1988)
Overview Schizophrenia is both a disorder and a disease. It is caused by either a lack or excess of certain chemicals in the brain. Myers (2004) describes schizophrenia as “a psychotic disorder in which a person loses contact with reality, experiencing grossly irrational ideas or distorted perceptions.” This causes a changed view of the world and of society. Schizophrenia translated means split-mind. Not a personality split but a split from reality (Myers, 2004) and leads to disorganized thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions. Schizophrenia is a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined (Santorelli, 2013). This can leave a person feeling alone in the world in which they live. Many schizophrenics suffer from inappropriate emotional displays, hallucinations, and delusions.
Young (1988) took a look into the minds of schizophrenics and stated that “The delusions of schizophrenics often involve ‘knowing’ they are being watched or that people can read their minds. It is very frightening and threatening to feel that every stranger they pass on the street knows their innermost thoughts and deepest secrets.” The voices that schizophrenics are known for hearing come from the hallucinations that they are experiencing. Many emotional and social problems occur with the disease. The cognitive difficulties experienced by individuals with schizophrenia are not limited to attention, memory, and problem solving. Even if these domains were significantly improved, many individuals would remain markedly socially disabled because of impairments in social cognition (Eack, 2012).
According to Santorelli (2013), there are two main types of schizophrenia: paranoid-type schizophrenia (characterized by delusions and auditory hallucinations, such as hearing voices that don’t exist, but relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of emotions.) and disorganized-type schizophrenia (characterized by speech and behavior that are disorganized or difficult to understand, and flattening or inappropriate emotions). The two are very closely related and most people suffering from the disease have undifferentiated-type schizophrenia which is characterized by some symptoms seen in the other two types, but not enough of either of them to define it as another particular type of schizophrenia.
Causes of Schizophrenia
Almost all specialists believe that schizophrenia is a genetic disease caused by distinct genes. In fact, many scientists believe that they have located the exact place where the gene for schizophrenia is stored through studies. These studies have focused on the 5-HTT gene, which regulates how much serotonin is available to move information between cells. The