Schizophrenia: the Facts and the Myths
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Schizophrenia: the Facts and the Myths

Schizophrenia is a very mysterious mental disorder. Thanks in large to the media, many people have a skewed belief about schizophrenia. In this article, I dispel the common myths about schizophrenia and give a background on the information, including symptoms, causes, and treatment. After viewing this article, readers will have a better understanding about the disorder.

There are many misconceptions about schizophrenia, mostly because of the inaccurate media portrayals. Many people believe that those suffering from schizophrenia are unpredictable and violent, but these are imprecise stereotypes. The truth is, those with schizophrenia are more likely to harm themselves than others. Those with family members or close friends with schizophrenia know that these misconceptions can be frustrating. Schizophrenia is a very complex mental disorder, with many causes and symptoms. Not everyone diagnosed will experience the same complications, but there are a few generalities on the illness.

Symptoms

Schizophrenia is a very complex disorder that makes it hard to think rationally and tell real experiences from false experiences. It also hinders the sufferer’s ability to behave normally in social activities because the illness affects emotional responses. Those with schizophrenia may seem completely unresponsive and have incoherent speech. This is called being in a catatonic state, where the person may remain motionless and avoid speaking. Paranoia occasionally affects those that have schizophrenia. People with the disorder may also have irrational beliefs, which can become very real to them. Auditory and visual hallucinations may also occur in those with schizophrenia. As you can see, those with schizophrenia suffer from a wide range of symptoms.

Treatment

As the years have passed and medical technology as improved, schizophrenia has been better taken care of. What was once an automatic sentence to a mental health hospital is now a well maintained disease. The most effective form of treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication that balances out neurotransmitters in the brain. However, since there is no cure at the time for this disorder, medication must be taken for life. The other big conflict with the medication is that people with schizophrenia may refuse to take it, due to irrational beliefs they may have. This can become very cumbersome to those trying to take care of loved ones with the disorder. Medication may also be coupled with support therapy for extra treatment. Many techniques, such as behavior management and social skills, can be taught to better manage symptoms. It is also important for those close to a person with schizophrenia to be well educated about the disorder, because this will offer needed support.

Causes

The causes of schizophrenia are not set in stone. However, it is generally accepted that a combination of environmental and genetic factors cause the onset of this disorder. On the genetic side of schizophrenia, the children or siblings of someone with the illness have around a ten percent chance of having the disorder. The most current accepted studies have led scientists to believe that genetics make a person vulnerable to developing the disease, and then environmental factors set it off. Stress is the biggest environmental factor on schizophrenia, with early parental separation or sexual abuse being big causes. Because environmental factors can bring the disease out, it is important that those with family members who have schizophrenia to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of onset.

Outlook

The outlook for schizophrenia varies greatly. With medication, therapy, and a supporting family, it is not uncommon for symptoms to be successfully controlled. Often times, though, schizophrenia will cause the need for close supervision. No matter how controlled the illness may seem to be, medication needs to be continued to used or symptoms will return. With an optimistic view and the right tools around, people with schizophrenia can lead normal and productive lives.

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Comments (3)

Informative and educational. Thanks.

Interesting. Thank you Christopher. Voted.

An educational read.

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