Throughout history, schizophrenia has been a rare disease that strongly affects one’s mind. This disorder makes it hard for a person to tell the difference between real and imaginary things. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affect’s how people respond to everything around them. There is no direct cause to schizophrenia; it can vary from your brain chemicals to family inheritance. Schizophrenia is a devastating disease that not only affects the patient but their family and friends as well. Many people believe that the sufferers of schizophrenia are “crazy” all the time but this is not true. Most people that suffer from schizophrenia do not have the symptoms all the time and will appear to be just a normal person. The movie, A Girl Interrupted, portrays this disease very clearly. The main character Lisa in this movie is diagnosed with schizophrenia and there are many examples throughout the movie that prove so.
In the United States alone, it is on average that about 2.5 million people have this disease, and 1% of people worldwide. “People with schizophrenia are well known to be the most dangerous to be around. Certain events that might take place in someone’s life may trigger schizophrenia for people who are at risk for it because of there genes. Schizophrenia equally affects men more than woman, and it usually begins in early adulthood. Although, there is also children that can have this disorder, which is very rare and can be very hard to tell apart from other childhood illnesses, like autism. For children, this usually begins after the age of five.” (Catherine Harrison, PhD. November 2007. http://schizophrenia.about.com/od/whatisschizophrenia/a/what_is_schiz.htm). There are many symptoms to schizophrenia that vary depending on how severe it is. For example, early stages of schizophrenia include symptoms like irritability, tense feelings, trouble concentrating, and trouble sleeping. As the illness worsens, someone might have problems with how they perceive the world, including thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Some examples include, bizarre behaviors, hallucination, and isolation in fear of hurting others, lack of emotions, delusional beliefs, and easily jumping from different topics. Besides the stages of schizophrenia, there are different types of it as well. “There is paranoid schizophrenia with symptoms that include anxiety, anger, and false beliefs that others are trying to harm you or those you care about. Disorganized schizophrenia may include childlike behavior, problems thinking and explaining your ideas clearly, and often showing little to no emotion. Catatonic schizophrenia, which includes grimacing, or odd expressions on the face, lack of activity, rigid muscles and posture, and rarely responding to other people. Also, there is undifferentiated schizophrenia where patients show a mixture of psychotic symptoms including, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and negative symptoms. Lastly, there is residual type schizophrenia, more rarely used than the other four types. It is the most severe type, and is usually a mixture of the other four.” (MICHAEL BENGSTON, M.D. January 2006. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/types-of-schizophrenia/). When diagnosing this disorder, it is important to seek a psychiatrist first for the loved one who you believe is showing signs to schizophrenia. There is no blood test or brain scan that can indicate someone with this illness, therefore, only someone with special training can accurately diagnose someone. In order to be sure, a doctor will perform a variety of psychological tests and interviews to determine the patient’s idea of what is normal. It is very important to keep in mind that symptoms of schizophrenia are very similar to other psychotic disorders such as shared psychotic disorder, brief psychotic disorder, and delusional psychotic disorder. When treating someone with schizophrenia, it is important