Directions: Read the following text carefully. You will then answer four questions, which ask you to respond to various aspects of the essay.
ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia. Be sure to talk about the biological bases of the disorder.
When we hear about Schizophrenia, most of us think that the person with schizophrenia has more than one personality. The truth is the victim with Schizophrenia has a mental disease characterized by unpredictable disturbances in thinking, emotion, perception, and behavior. The word Schizophrenia is divided into two components, which are schizo and phrenia. Schizo means "split ", which refers to personality and also focus when people are losing touch with reality. Phrenia means “ mind” and refers to a split mind . There are many different factors that cause Schizophrenia. Furthermore, the symptoms may be positive or negative. We can reduce these symptoms with treatments that can be useful to patients with this mental disorder. Unfortunately , although it can be treated , schizophrenia is not curable.
The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but many factors are involved in this disease. These factors include changes in the chemistry of the brain, changes in the structure of the brain, excessive levels of dopamine, and genetic factors. Also there are other factors, which are environmental, genetic and biochemical.
There are several environmental factors. Differential diagnosis is one environmental factor . This factor occurs when psychiatrists are concerned about identifying wealthy people as schizophrenics , so they diagnose more poor people as having a greater chance to get Schizophrenia. The second environmental factor is called downward drift. This factor occurs when people cannot stand their job and education and as a result of this they may become of low class. The third environmental factor happens when people live in poor places with high crime rates, and as a result of this, they get stress and at the same time they get schizophrenia.
Another cause of this disease is genetic factors. People who have relatives with schizophrenia have a 10% greater chance of developing it. Researchers have found that identical twins stand a 50% to 85% chance of sharing the disease.
Another cause of schizophrenia is biochemical factors. People with schizophrenia have a chemical imbalance in their brains. The brains of schizophrenics produce too much of the neurotransmitter, dopamine . Neurotransmitters allow nerve cells in the brain to send messages to each other to make the brain function normally. The brains of schizophrenics have too much of the brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience enjoyment.
There are four major subtypes of schizophrenia and each subtype has different symptoms. Also there are positive and negative symptoms. The difference between these symptoms is that a positive symptom shows clearly the attendance of not normal behavior and also may be controlled . On the other hand , negative symptoms , show the absence of normal behavior. The first subtype is simple schizophrenia. Simple schizophrenia has positive symptoms such as, hallucinations or delusions . In hallucinations , people may see, hear, touch smell objects that do not exist. Also, they may hear voices and they are the only one who can hear them. In delusions the schizophrenic may believe in something that is not true. The second subtype of schizophrenia is paranoid and its symptom is delusions of persecution. The person may believe that he or she is being persecuted or harassed. Also, they do not trust anyone. The third subtype is hebephrenic schizophrenia. Here people may have a disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, unusual mannerisms and facial expressions. The fourth subtype is catatonic schizophrenia, where symptoms are motoric immobility and waxy flexibility. Also the people with this subtype may have strange facial expressions, may mimic the behavior of others, and may repeat words that others say.
There is no cure for schizophrenia. Therefore, a schizophrenic needs lots of treatment to reduce his or her symptoms. The first treatment is hospitalization and the purpose of this treatment is to evaluate and diagnose the patient, to stabilize the dangerous behavior and to familiarize the patients with treatment. There are also drugs that help schizophrenics to reduce some symptoms; these drugs are called antipsychotic drugs. Drugs are useful for reducing hallucinations and delusions. Unfortunately drugs do not reduce other symptoms .
Schizophrenia affects 10% of the population. This disease affects the way people think, their speech, emotions, and behavior. The victims with this disorder lose touch with reality. Environmental factors, genetic factors and biochemical factors are some causes of schizophrenia. While scientists have not found the cure for this disease, they have discovered treatments to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.My Response
It was very interesting for me to learn about schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by unpredictable disturbances in thinking, emotion, perception, and behavior. However, poor people are more affected with this mental disorder because they have a lot of stress. Furthermore, the symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thought, disorganized behavior and difficulty expressing emotion. Also there are different subtypes of schizophrenia and these are simple schizophrenia , paranoid schizophrenia, hebephrenic schizophrenia and catatonic schizophrenia.
When I was in High School, I remember that an old man in the bus was always talking to himself and crying too. In those days I just wondered, what was wrong with him. He was always putting a bag next to him. I thought that he was mean and crazy. I think that he was just trying to be isolated from the people. Therefore, thanks to my research about schizophrenia, I have realized that this old man probably had the third subtype schizophrenia , hebephrenia, because when he was talking he had a strange facial expression and had very incoherent speech. For example, One day somebody asked him a question and he started talking like a person who did not know how to talk by saying words that were not understandable.
Learning about schizophrenia has been very helpful for me. Moreover, doing research about schizophrenia has helped to become more educated. When I was I in High School I did not learn and know about any mental disorders. As a result of this, it brought me negative thoughts about people who were schizophrenics and I did not know that they were schizophrenics. Nowadays, I feel proud of myself because I have a knowledge about schizophrenia.