The Two Sided Mirror:The Many Sides Of Schizophrenia

1550 words - 6 pages

To many people, schizophrenia is a disease that is very confusing as well as life-altering. I chose this topic because of its complexity and how it affects the lives of those who suffer from it and of those around them. For many people, this condition is troubling and difficult to understand, but there are medications and different kinds of therapy that can help to minimize its effects. Another reason why I chose this subject as the focus for my paper is because my cousin Holly, who is now 21, was diagnosed at 12 with this disease and has been receiving treatment for a number of years. It is hard to know how to behave when someone in your own family is diagnosed with schizophrenia. How would you feel if someone in your family or circle of friends thought they could hear voices telling them what to do? Would you still treat them the same? These are some of the many questions that came to mind, and so I researched what the disease was and what types of treatments were available. Schizophrenia is a disease and needs to be understood and recognized. It's important to find out the facts if someone you care about has been diagnosed.What is schizophrenia?As I have mentioned above, schizophrenia is a disease and a relatively common disorder. About 1% of the population, or 2.2 million Americans ages 18 and older, will develop schizophrenia in their lifetime. According to AMI/FAMI, "Schizophrenia, a disease of the brain, is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man" (2). "Approximately 2.2 million American adults have schizophrenia in a given year" (NARSAD 1). It is a disease that has not been understood for a very long time and has simply been a mystery to doctors and psychologists worldwide."Like cancer and diabetes, schizophrenia has a biological basis; it is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. Schizophrenia is, in fact, a relatively common disease, with an estimated one to one and a half percent of the U.S. population being diagnosed with it over the course of their lives" (AMI/FAMI, 3).What are the symptoms?Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a "split personality." Schizophrenia is a psychosis; a type of mental illness in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images and sounds. The behavior and symptoms of people with schizophrenia may be very strange and even shocking. For example, a sudden change in personality and behavior may occur when people with schizophrenia lose touch with reality or have what is called a psychotic episode.Some of the symptoms that are associated with this disorder are very predictable. The basic symptoms that come with schizophrenia are abnormal behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health,Psychosis, a common condition in schizophrenia, is a state of mental impairment marked by hallucinations, which...

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