Introduction to Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that “disrupts the function of multiple brain systems, resulting in impaired social and occupational functioning” (Lewis & Sweet, 2009, pg. 706). Lewis (2009) suggests these functions usually consist of the confluence of disturbance in perception, attention, volition, fluency and production of language, recognition and expression of emotion, and capacity for pleasure. Schizophrenia has calamitous effects on people, and such devastating illness afflicts “0.5%-1% of the world’s population” (Lewis & Sweet, 2009, pg. 706). Lewis (2009) states that people with schizophrenia are at high risk of cardiovascular disease as well as excessive nicotine, alcohol, and substance abuse; 5%-10% commit suicide; and most experience a lifetime of disability and emotional distress. “Schizophrenia is one of the most severe and disabling of all mental disorders” (Bernstein & Nash, 2008, pg. 480). The purpose of this paper is to inform readers about the symptoms, risk factors, aftermaths and treatments of schizophrenia.
Types of Schizophrenia
Lewis (2009) states that schizophrenia manifests as a wide range of disturbances in perceptual, emotional, cognitive, and motor processes that are arranged in three categories.
The first category is characterized by positive symptoms, or the presence of abnormal brain function. It consists of “delusions, false beliefs firmly held in the face of contradictory evidence; perceptual disturbances and hallucination, which may occur in any sensory modality but are most commonly auditory and experienced as hearing voices distinct from one’s own thoughts” (Lewis & Sweet, 2009, pg. 706). Lewis (2009) also mentions that other positive symptoms of schizophrenia include abnormalities in the form of thoughts that are usually manifested as loose association, over-inclusiveness, and/or neologism, as well as abnormal psychomotor activity that is usually manifest as grossly disorganized behavior, posturing, and/or catatonia.
The second category is characterized by negative symptoms, or the absence of normal brain function. It consists of “asociality, which is manifest by withdrawal or isolation from family and friends; avolition, impaired initiative, motivation, and decision-making; affective disturbances, which reduce capacity to recognize and express emotional states” (Lewis & Sweet, 2009, pg. 706). Lewis (2009) states that other negative symptoms of schizophrenias consist of alogia, inability or poverty in the amount or content of speech; and anhedonia, lack of pleasure or of the capacity to experience it.
The third category is characterized by symptoms including “a number of cognitive abnormalities such as disturbance in selective attention, working memory, executive control, episodic memory, language comprehension, and social-emotional processing” (Lewis & Sweet, 2009, pg. 706).
Effects schizophrenia has on spatial and visual...