Approximately 20% of North Americans will be affected by a mental illness during the course of their lifetime (Saha, Welham, Chant, & McGrath, 2008). Schizophrenia continues to develop new challenges today and continues to be a complex mental illness. It is a brain disorder that can happen to anyone occurring in any culture, affecting men and women equally and all areas of functioning, including thought, emotion, perception, and behavior.
Most commonly, schizophrenia strikes a person between his or her late teens and early 20s. Nonetheless, it can affect children as young as 12-years-old, or may lay dormant in a person until their late 20s (Saha, et al., 2008; Ueland & Rund, 2005). The cause of Schizophrenia is not fully known. However, it shows that Schizophrenia may be caused by the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Biological interpretations have dominated in previous studies. Nevertheless, neither the biological nor the environmental categories is determinant completely, and there is no guarantee that one will confirm if he will or will not develop Schizophrenia.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The symptoms of schizophrenia range in severity and consistency. The most common symptom that people with schizophrenia experience is the inability to distinguish between real events from hallucinations and dreams. Some other usual signs and symptoms occur are anger, tendency to argue, intensity when interacting with others and violent behavior. They may appear very suddenly, or they may gradually come over an extended period (Saha, et al., 2008). Symptoms vary between individuals, and for periods of time a person with schizophrenia may experience no symptoms before experiencing a psychotic episode in which the symptoms immediately increase (McGurk & Mueser, 2004). The distinction between reality and imagination is unclear to an individual with schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia believe the time they are living through is nothing but a dream, or that the individual they pass on the street was only a hallucination. On the contrary, they may have a dream or experience a hallucination that they are sure is real.
Hallucinations are another common symptom of schizophrenia. People diagnosed with schizophrenia may see people or things that do not exist, and may hear voices or sounds that do not exist (Saha, et al., 2008). A person with schizophrenia often converses with the people he or she sees or the voices he or she hears, which appears to others as if he or she is talking to himself or herself. Often, this causes others to be uncomfortable and avoid people with schizophrenia. As a result, people with schizophrenia to lead lonely lives.
Issues associated with Schizophrenia as a disorder
Again, schizophrenia is a brain disease, just like Alzheimer’s. It cannot be predicted or prevented as moral weaknesses, character flaws, or poor parenting skills. Schizophrenia is also not a Multiple Personality...