Mental disorder

“Daniel is 21-years-old. Six months ago, he was doing well in college and holding down a part-time job in the stockroom of a local electronics store. But then he began to change, becoming increasingly paranoid and acting out in bizarre ways. First, he became convinced that his professors were “out to get him” since they didn’t appreciate his confusing, off-topic classroom rants. Then he told his roommate that the other students were “in on the conspiracy. ” Soon after, he dropped out of school. From there, things just got worse. Daniel stopped bathing, shaving, and washing his clothes.

At work, he became convinced that his boss was watching him through surveillance bugs planted in the store’s television sets. Then he started hearing voices telling him to find the bugs and deactivate them. Things came to a head when he acted on the voices, smashing several TVs and screaming that he wasn’t going to put up with the “illegal spying” any more. His frightened boss called the police, and Daniel was hospitalized. ” (Smith and Segal, 2012) There are many stories just like Daniel’s. Approximately 1 percent of the population will develop schizophrenia, about 2 million Americans a year.

People suffering from this disorder have scary symptoms like hearing voices, thinking that people are reading their minds, or trying to harm them. Their speech and behaviour is normally so disorganized that they scare other people. This leads to them being fearful and withdrawn. There are medicines that can prevent symptoms but this is a chronic condition with no cure. This paper will introduce Schizophrenia, which is a mental health disorder. It includes the warning signs and symptoms of a person suffering with the disease. Research and studies have shown that Schizophrenia is caused by chemical imbalances and improper brain function.

It will outline the triggers that make this disorder present itself, but none of these triggers can be the cause. According to Bengston(2012) Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that impairs the person’s thought process and makes it difficult for the person to interact with people and their surroundings. The person may have hallucinations and/or delusions that may seem irrational to us but may be commonplace for the person suffering. 1/3 of the people diagnosed with schizophrenia will attempt suicide. The highest rate of suicide is in young males under 30 who have been recently discharged from the hospital.

These males were hospitalised because of an inability to deal with the symptoms of the disorder. The main symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behaviour, and a set of three negative symptoms. These negative symptoms include a flattening of emotions such as poor eye contact, reduced body movements, Alogia, which includes brief empty replies, and Avolition, which makes them unable to perform in goal directed activities like school or work. A person has to have at least 2 of these symptoms for at least a month to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is often associated with alcohol and drug abuse. According to Bengston (2012) because of their problems with insight and judgement they aren’t able to control the temptations of drugs and alcohol. Also, schizophrenics tend to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in an attempt to control the symptoms of their disorder. Nicotine abuse is also a problem. “Some researchers believe that nicotine affects brain chemical systems that are disrupted in schizophrenia; others speculate that nicotine counters some of the unwanted reactions to medications used to treat the disease.

” (Bengston, 2012) Like all medications the medications used to treat schizophrenia can have side effects. Some of these side effects like drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasms, tremor, dry mouth, or blurring of vision are easily dealt with. These can be controlled with other medicines or with adjusting the dosage. Some side effects are more intense and harder to control like an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, a sudden drop in blood pressure, extreme and serious increase in body temperature, and diabetes as well as others. There is no one exact cause for Schizophrenia instead it is a combination of things that lead to the disorder.

One cause is genetics, it has been known for a while that if you have a family member that has the disease then you are more susceptible. “A child whose parent has schizophrenia has about a 10 percent chance of developing schizophrenia themselves. A monozygotic (identical) twin of a person with schizophrenia has the highest risk — a 40 to 65 percent chance of developing the illness. People who have second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins) with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population. By comparison, the risk of schizophrenia in the general population is about 1 percent.

” (Pysch Central, 2012). There are some people who are at a higher risk of developing the disorder aside from the ones with close family members who have the disorder. Males between the ages of 15-24 are at a higher risk as well as females between the ages of 25-34. Twin and adoption studies show that a person is genetically predisposed to schizophrenia and then environmental factors act on this predisposition to trigger the disorder. Most times stress in the environment either during pregnancy or later in life increase the production of cortisol in the body and trigger the disease.

Although stress can trigger or worsen symptoms, it does not cause the disorder. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain. There isn’t one specific schizophrenia gene, but a combination of genes that are inherited from both parents. According to Smith, research has recently showed that people with schizophrenia have a greater rate of genetic mutation. This probably disrupts brain development. Studies also suggest that a gene that is critical in making brain chemicals malfunctions. When looking at the brain, the brain of a person with schizophrenia is different than that of a person not suffering from the disorder.

These differences can be seen with a MRI or through microscope after death. These discrepancies in the brain further let us know that people are genetically predisposed to the disorder. In conclusion Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder that affects millions of Americans yearly. This disorder has many symptoms that are scary both to the person that has the disease and others they may come in contact with. With medication these symptoms can be somewhat controlled. Twin studies show us that people who have this disorder are predisposed; we also know that brain mutations are a cause because of MRI and microscopic research.

Although stress plays a large part in this disorder it is normally a trigger for someone that has been predisposed to it. Bengston, M. (2012). All About Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 29, 2012, from http://psychcentral. com/lib/2006/all-about-schizophrenia/ Living in Chaos: Survival (2004). Retrieved August 27, 2012 from http://www. schizophrenia. com/blog21/ Mental Health, N. (2012). Side Effects of Medications for Schizophrenia.

Psych Central. Retrieved on August 29, 2012, from In Depth Guide (2012). Schizophrenia. The New York Times. Retrieved on August 29, 2012, from http://health. nytimes. com/health/guides/disease/schizophrenia/medications. html Psych Central. (2012). What Causes Schizophrenia?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 29, 2012, from http://psychcentral. com/lib/2006/what-causes-schizophrenia/ Smith, M. and Segal, J (2012). Understanding Schizophrenia. HelpGuide. org Retrieved on August 30, 2012, from http://www. helpguide. org/mental/schizophrenia_symptom. htm.

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