One’s physical well-being and one’s mental well-being are two very different things. Someone who appears to be perfectly healthy may be struggling internally, and someone who has many medical problems may be slap happy. However, sometimes these worlds can collide. People suffering from the disease Schizophrenia are battling for not only their mental health, but also their physical health.
Schizophrenia is a psychological and neurological disorder. Those suffering from it lack the ability to properly process sensory information. The world of a schizophrenic patient is disoriented and often times skewed. There are several things that factor in to the exact cause of schizophrenia. (Science Daily.)
Up until the 1800s, it was thought that schizophrenia was a strictly psychological disease. Studies done in the past 200 years have shown this to be wrong. While many genetic and biological traits can add to the development of the disorder, research has proven that the human brain can show tell tale signs of a schizophrenic patient. (The Treatment Advocacy Center.)
Much of it has to do with the grey matter in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. Grey matter works with the nervous system and is responsible for sensory and stimulation. Those diagnosed with schizophrenia were shown to have a loss of up to 25% of this grey matter. (News Medical) It has also been seen that the prefrontal area, the area of the brain used for planning and thinking about ourselves, is often less developed in those diagnosed. Many of those with the disorder will show enlarged amygdala. The amygdala is a set of neurons located in the temporal lobe. These neurons are responsible for many things like fear, aggression, sexuality, and social interaction. Problems with these neurons are often linked to depression and alcoholism. It has also been tested that an overproduction of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain related to pleasure, could attribute to the sensory difficulties brought on by schizophrenia. (The Treatment Advocacy Center.)
Aside from the brain, many other factors can bring on schizophrenia. Those whose relatives carried the disorder could inherit it. Things like a bad environment, separation anxiety, and physical or sexual abuse can trigger schizophrenia. Stress is a major contributor to schizophrenia. (Smith, Segal.) An increase in stress causes an increase in the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands involved with energy, memory, and pain. An overproduction of cortisol can throw off the body’s chemical balance, causing it to go into a schizophrenic fit. (Scott.) The stress brought on by pregnancy puts expecting mothers more at risk of the disorder, as the stress can trigger an attack. Children are 5-10 times more sensitive to stress, which is why often patients suffered very traumatic childhoods. (Smith, Segal.)
Schizophrenia affects those who have it and all those around them. 1.1% of the world is currently...