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Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects approximately one percent of the population. One out of every hundred people will at some point be diagnosed as schizophrenic. This syndrome was first described as a single disorder by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in 1896. He called it dementia praecox, dementia referring to intellectual deterioration and praecox to the fact that the symptoms first occur early in life. Later Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler renamed the disorder Schizophrenia to express his view that a prominent feature of the disorder is a splitting of psychic functions. (Bernheim p.5)
This disease is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including loss of contact with reality, bizarre behavior, disorganized thinking and speech, decreased emotional expressiveness and social withdrawal. Usually only some of these symptoms occur in any one person. The disease typically occurs between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Suicide rate among schizophrenics can be as high as eight percent. The illness may begin abruptly, but it usually develops slowly over months or years. (Bernheim p.7) The disease has a wide range of symptoms, ranging from delusion to hallucination. Another way to look at this definition is the Splitting off of portions of the psyche function. Meaning that the ideas and feelings are isolated from one another. This does not mean split personalities, but the separation of personality traits rather than a split into two or more separated logical personalities. On a social level, the split personality theory has been accepted as well as the multiple personality syndromes. (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)
Two Schizophrenic symptoms are positive and negative. Positive symptoms, not positive in the way of good, but rather indicate an excess or distortion of normal functions. This symptom includes, hallucinations, delusions or a formal thought disorder. Formal thought disorder meaning that the person may go from one topic to another in a way that makes no sense. They also make up strange words, or use words in ways that make no sense, and have difficulty performing simple activities of their daily living and have trouble with hygiene. The second one is negative symptoms that include lack of pleasure, not interested in anything, difficulty paying attention to anything. (About this disorder .n.pag)
The effects of schizophrenia, like the effects of drug or alcoholism, are not limited to the individual. The relationships an individual has in their everyday life are affected. Perhaps more than any other mental illness, schizophrenia has a debilitating effect on the lives of the people who suffer from it. A person with schizophrenia may have difficulty telling the difference between real and unreal experiences, logical and illogical thoughts, or appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Schizophrenia seriously impairs a person's ability to work, go to school, enjoy relationships with others, or take care of them self. (About this disorder.n.pag.) The illness can be either progressive or episodic. While it is a serious illness, the prognosis varies from individual to individual. The problems we face are how do we recognize the signs of the disease and how it is to be treated. Schizophrenia may initially appear as a change in the person's behavior or a dramatic change towards reality. For example, a patient may speak incoherently or express frightening or sad ideas in a happy manner. (Mc.Kenna p.88).
There are four major types of schizophrenia they are paranoid, hebephrenic, catatonic, and simple. The disease has been put into these major cate
Names mentioned in this term paper
Kayla F. SCHIZOPHRENIA, Bernheim.,
Health Conditions mentioned in this term paper
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.n.pag, Catatonic schizophrenia,
Keywords included in this term paper
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