Schizophrenia – Causes and Symptoms
Schizophrenia, from a Greek origin meaning, “splitting of the mind,” is a chronic psychiatric disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is deceptive. This illness alters a person’s ability to think or act, identify reality, portray emotions, and relate to others. Attitudes and behaviors that coincide with this infirmity are contradictory, and the persons who obtain this sickness must learn to live with the conflicting lifestyle. Schizophrenia is a severe illness that possesses numerous theories of causation and eccentric symptoms.
Although there are countless theories for the causes of schizophrenia, the ultimate answer ...view middle of the document...
(Schiffman et al. 6). Heike Tost and Andrea Meyer-Lindenberg believe that risk in some individual environments is exceedingly great. “Two environmental stressors stand out for having an impact predominantly on schizophrenia: urban upbringing and migration. Meta-analysis show (sic) that the incidence of psychosis is doubled in individuals raised in urban environments.” (212).
According to Maria Karayiorgou and Joseph A. Gogos, one percent of the worldwide population may suffer from schizophrenia, but the disorder is more rampant in families that hold a history of pathophysiology. To understand schizophrenia, one must consider the affected person’s gene pool. This can be complicated because any one gene does not cause the disease; however, there are several, vulnerable genes can combine to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia (512). “To summarize this literature briefly, schizophrenia is familial, or ‘runs’ in families…thus, schizophrenia is best viewed as a complex trait resulting from both genetic and environmental etiological influences” (Sullivan n. pag.).
Although each patient may develop schizophrenia through a different cause, the symptoms usually remain the same. Schizophrenia involves a vast range of cognitive deficits. These deficits may consist of problems with simple verbal and visual recollection, observation, and concentration (Trivedi n.pag.). Schizophrenia can conquer a person’s processing speed, and as a result, their motor speed is affected (Rajji et al. 14). Such symptoms weaken a person’s ability to manage everyday activities, and their quality of life is endangered (Mäkinen et al. 334).
The most apparent symptoms of schizophrenia are physical, such as movement retardation (Wilson n.pag.). For example, some patients develop the “blunt effect,” which means they cannot perform any kind of expression or movement. Communicative expressions, including body language and facial expression, are hindered (Mäkinen et al. 335). In addition, many schizophrenic patients have trouble with controlling emotions and processing them in an ordinary manner (Tseng 1).
“The most common and positive symptom in schizophrenia, involving approximately 70% of all patients is auditory hallucinations of speech. [Scientific] studies show that speech hallucinations experienced by schizophrenia subjects are accompanied by excitation in the auditory cortex [of the brain]” (Bennett 922). Most people that suffer from this illness experience hearing a person speak when no one is present. This is a phenomenon that is not well understood, but it is believed that the affected individual does not recognize the voice as his own. It seems that the speech they are hearing is actually self-generated, but they hear it as an alien voice (Fernyhough n.pag.).
Delusions often accompany hallucinations – not only are patients hearing a voice, but they believe they are seeing a person that is producing the voice. In his article Delusions and Metacognition in Patients...