A Study on Schizophrenia
Artrel B. Ratliff
Hinds Community College
A Study on Schizophrenia
A disorder characterized by the inability to differentiate between reality and delusion, schizophrenia affects almost two and a half million American adults in a given year. Symptoms are varied in presentation and severity and include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech and behavior. Patients with schizophrenia can recover completely, have periods of relapse or require lifelong treatment due to the debilitating effects of the disorder. Those suffering from this affliction have a higher mortality rate due to an increased risk of suicide and ...view middle of the document...
” (NIH, 2009)
When attempting to understand the symptoms of schizophrenia, professionals typically break them into positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are symptoms that appear to be in excess of their normal associated functions; for example, delusions are false beliefs about a person’s reality or condition which cannot be altered with the presentation of logic. They are considered positive symptoms because the delusions are additions to their perceptions caused by the disorder. “Examples of bizarre delusions include an individual reporting his heart is missing or that aliens are seeking that individual to rule their planet.” (Lieberman, 2012, p. 17) Hallucinations are also positive symptoms and can be visual, auditory, olfactory, or tactile in nature. The most common hallucinations in schizophrenics are voices that talk to the person and sometimes give orders or warnings. Other positive symptoms include thought and movement disorders, the first of which is characterized by difficulty organizing thoughts and the latter includes repetitive motions or catatonia, the complete cessation of movement. Negative symptoms tend to be expressed as disturbances in normal emotions and behavior. These are less noticeable and can oftentimes be mistaken for other disorders, such as depression. Symptoms in this category include loss of motivation, dulled speech, introverted behavior, and inability to carry out necessary daily tasks such as personal hygiene.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
The specific causes for schizophrenia remain unknown, and therefore most treatment options are focused on lessening or eliminating the symptoms caused by the disorder. The medications of choice are typical antipsychotics such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine which have been available since the 1950’s and the recently concocted atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone and olanzapine. The side effects of these drugs tend to be mild and usually cease with use, and include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, tremors, and skin rashes or sensitivity. Supportive treatment consists of workplace and home rehabilitation, family...