Mental illness is seen throughout society as a negative subject, many suffer through not only with the disorders but, also the shame that comes along. In this article we will look at one of the most severe mental disorders in hopes of achieving a better knowledge of the disorder and to debunk some of the misconceptions of having a mental disorder.
Approximately fifty million Americans suffer from mental illness. Of those fifty million only about twenty-five percent seek help due to the stigma behind mental illness. Mental illness ranges anywhere from extremely mild cases to some of the more severe illness such as schizophrenia (Brown, Kaylene; Bradley, Loretta J. 2002).
Schizophrenia is a mental illness, which affects one percent of the American population. It is a severe mental illness that affects the brain. For many people schizophrenia is debilitating it is known to prevent an individual from being able to have a normal life (Koch, J. 2010).
Hearing voices and having hallucinations are the two main symptoms and usually the reason for a person to seek help. Other symptoms include difficulty speaking and socializing, trouble displaying emotions and lack of overall day-to-day pleasures. Those with schizophrenia are often thought of being depressed by others (Koch, J. 2010).
Schizophrenia usually is diagnosed in late teens and early adulthood, although unusual it can be seen in later adulthood as well. This disease equally affects both women and men. It also affects all cultures and ethnicities equally around the world (Susser, Ezra, & Cannon, Mary, & Peter, B. 2002).
Schizophrenia was first recognized in 1893 by Kraepelin, he began to observe unusual patterns in individual’s behavior. He was able to focus on the patterns of the symptoms by separating major mood disorders revealing the underlining issues. Kraepelin, was eventually able to describe symptoms, which resulted in being able to diagnose an individual with this disorder (Snowden, A. 2008).
The disorder at the time was known as dementia praecox, and was put into a category, which included mood disorders. In 1911 the term schizophrenia meaning split mind was introduced by Eugene Bleuler. Bleuler concluded that the disease was a disconnection between behaviors, emotions as well as thoughts (Snowden, A. 2008).
It became difficult to gain creditability of this disease do the symptoms being variant and descriptions vague. However, it slowly became widely accepted and was introduced in the DSM-I. Through the years the DSM has changed and evolved adding more details and criteria to the diagnoses of schizophrenia. Currently the DSM-V includes four different types of schizophrenia (Snowden, A. 2008).
The exact cause of schizophrenia is still unknown, though it is believed that several factors are at fault. Biological factors are among the leading cause of schizophrenia, specifically genetics and brain function. The gestation period and birth is also an important aspect of...