Schizophrenia Reality Unraveled Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

Schizophrenia- Reality Unraveled

Fragmented, disoriented, detached from reality, and perpetually unable to function normally; this is only partially the life of a schizophrenic. Through the eyes of one suffering from schizophrenia it may be explained as “Dreaming while you are awake with few anchors to real life”(Harmon 10: 24). In early history people with abnormalities such as these were shunned from society and banished to asylums or to the streets. It was understood that they communicated with “voices” and experienced “visions,” causing some beliefs that they were either holy or possessed. In actuality none of these accusations are true; schizophrenics minds are filled with uncontrollable torturing thoughts, and lead lives filled with fear and loneliness. Today, the psychological disorder is most commonly described as having a “split personality”. The word schizophrenia is derived from the Greek word “schizo”, meaning split, and “phrene” , meaning mind but the simplicity of this definition can be misleading, for there are a far more factors that construct the disorder. Although there is no set diagnosis or treatment available, in order to understand this serious psychological disorder, one must analyze the causes, the symptoms, and possible treatment options.

Schizophrenia does not have a single cause, but as of 2002 three main contributors have been developed; genetics, biochemical abnormalities, and environmental aspects can make an individual more or less susceptible to developing the disorder. Scientists have evidence that there is some genetic predisposition to schizophrenia because it has a tendency to run in families. For years researchers have known, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, “first-degree biological relatives [immediate family] of individuals with schizophrenia have a risk for schizophrenia that is about 10 times greater than that of the general population” ("Diagnostic and Statistical Manual"). Recent studies have shown possible links to the disorder on human chromosomes, although there is not enough research to determine the theory for sure. Studies on identical twins have shown that the twin of a person suffering from this disorder only shows a 40% to 50% greater risk level, but because this percentage is not higher, evidence points to environmental influences having a strong impact as well as genetics. One may have genes that cause them to be more subjected to schizophrenia than others, but without certain “triggers” to activate these genes the mental disorder will never be experienced. Triggers that could bring the disorder to light may be major stressors that have to do with home life, such as death, separation, or the end of a romantical involvance. Certain environmental factors during pregnancy like the mother’s exposure to disease or starvation, have been linked to cause issues in the fetal development, leading to faulty nerve cell connections. These faulty nerve...

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