Schizophrenia - Understanding this Mental Illness by Investigating the Symptoms, Etiology, and Treatment

Schizophrenia - Understanding this Mental Illness by Investigating the Symptoms, Etiology, and Treatment

Schizophrenia is a severe form of mental illness that has continued to be studied by psychologists and researchers for over 100 years. With a complex number of symptoms and questionable etiology, schizophrenia continues to create confusion to doctors’ today. Although, five main subtypes of schizophrenia are recognized, catatonic, disorganized, paranoid, undifferentiated, and residual schizophrenia, it continues to be a complicated mental illness. This illness seems to be a common trend in serial killers and murderers, but is also a disease that can allow people to live normal and stable lives. More research and continued work with schizophrenic patients is necessary for further understanding of this illness, with hope that they can impact the life of patients with this disease. This paper discusses how to entirely understand this mental illness by investigating the symptoms, etiology, and treatment of schizophrenia.

My first analysis of schizophrenia was on the topic of the symptoms for this disease of the mind. According to “Schizophrenia” from BBC mental health there are four categories that separate the different symptoms; these categories are positive, negative, cognitive, and affective symptoms. Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized behavior and thoughts. Negative symptoms consist of loss of interest in daily activities, appear to have a of lack of emotion and ability to carry out planned events, neglect of hygiene, lack of motivation, and complete social withdrawal. Cognitive symptoms involve interference in daily activities, problems with making sense of information, memory complications, and difficulty paying attention. Affective symptoms include mood alters, depression, the person may appear inappropriate or odd, lack of awareness, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. All of these symptoms are what treatments and medications try to target for patients living with this illness.

The treatmentfor schizophrenia is generally a combination between “typical” and “atypical” antipsychotics and psychological therapy, (BBC Mental Health). Going to different therapists will help the patient fine someone whom they are most comfortable talking to. Like any illness, family and friends’ support is encouraged to help the patient through such a tough time in their life. Mayo Clinic Mental Health “Schizophrenia” states medications such as Aripiprazole (Abilify), Clozapine (Clozaril), Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Paliperidone (Invega), Quetiapine (Serquel), Risperidone (Risperdal), and Ziprasidone (Geodon) are often used to treat schizophrenia. These medications help a patient think more clearly and organized, and weaken hallucinations and delusion. Although both therapy and medication cannot cure schizophrenia, they help someone diagnosed with it control their symptoms.

The etiology or cause of schizophrenia is yet to be known. There are genetic links to relatives passing the disease to the next generation and one in ten people with schizophrenia have a parent with the same condition. Some doctors say that schizophrenia can develop in the womb from brain injuries or other defects. Schizophrenia can also cultivate from use of recreational drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, amphetamines (speed), cannabis and crack/cocaine. Another cause is also an overload of stress. There are many theories but the main cause is not known for sure. It is likely that several factor s, a combination that will vary from person to person, may have an effect.

By learning about symptoms,treatment, and etiology, one will learn to understand schizophrenia. Modern treatments are allowing people with schizophrenia to live fuller lives than at any time in history. It is extremely important for people to take their medication as prescribed, and work with their doctors to find the medications that work best for them. People with loved ones that are diagnosed with schizophrenia need to learn to accept it and be understanding toward choices and actions their loved ones make, remembering that their illness plays a big role in social aspects and controls the person’s life. People diagnosed with schizophrenia are very sensitive to stress and although they may seem odd or different it is important for family, friends, and the public to be polite and considerate to people with this illness.