Schizophrenia: Different Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Methods
Schizophrenia is a potentially debilitating condition that can affect one emotionally, mentally, and physically. The condition has been the topic of many conversations, studies, as well as on the minds of those suffering from the condition, and those who know someone suffering from schizophrenia. One of the most debilitating conditions, schizophrenia is comprised of 1% of the US population, yet is one of the most costly conditions in the United States (Velligan, Alphs 24). Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that is often misunderstood, has a wide range of symptoms, causes, and includes different forms of treatment depending on the individual.
Schizophrenia has a number of different signs and symptoms varying from person-to-person. In order to be diagnosed with the condition, you must have at least two or more positive, negative, or disorganized symptoms (Durand, Barlow 474). The most well known symptoms of schizophrenia are often portrayed in the media when highlighting the condition; these are known positive symptoms. Positive symptoms are considered thoughts or perceptions that are too bizarre to be classified as normal thoughts by the general public (Comer 426). One positive symptom is delusions – delusions occur when someone has a deeply rooted belief in something that is not true, or most members of society would believe the belief to be a misrepresentation of reality (Durand, Barlow 474). This is not of much assurance to those suffering from delusions, as people with schizophrenia honestly believe that their false perceptions are in fact true (Comer 427). Delusions of persecution are especially common. These delusions often lead schizophrenics to believe that others are out to get them (Durand, Barlow 474). There are also delusions of grandeur, which could cause someone to believe that they are God, or in control of the weather. The hallmark symptom of schizophrenia is hallucinations, which causes one to have perceptions that feel real, but are not. The person experiencing these perceptions may hear voices, feel or see things that are not there, and some even taste or smell things that are not there (Durand, Barlow 474-475).
Negative symptoms are experienced by 25% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia. These symptoms can include, poverty of speech, emotional and social withdrawal, and apathy (Durand, Barlow 477). These symptoms can cause one to show a lack of emotional interest, they may want to stay in bed all day, and it can be very difficult for them to participate in even short conversations. One common negative symptom experienced by schizophrenics is avolition, which causes the sufferer to become unable to start and finish activities that they otherwise would have no problem doing (Durand, Barlow 477). Anhedonia makes it difficult or impossible to experience pleasure, which can also exacerbate other symptoms. Flat affect is a condition affecting those with...