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Schizophrenia Essay, Research Paper

In a quiet, darkened hospital room a twenty five year old man with paranoid schizophrenia lies on a table. His eyes are closed. He is listening to the “voice” that has plagued him for more than two years. The voice is relentless, speaking once every ten seconds or so. “Don’t act stupid,” it says in a demanding tone. “Dirty rotten bastard”. This serious mental condition includes delusions, hallucinations, disorientation, and thinking disorders. Schizophrenia can be traced back to a persons genetics, and can have devastating effects.

This is one of the many problems that a schizophrenic person has to deal with daily. Some symptoms include visual and auditory hallucinations. Paranoia may make them think they are being attacked, delusional thinking may make them think their mother is the devil, and auditory hallucinations may order them to kill (Hurley 3).

Hearing voices in schizophrenics is common. The voices may yell out horrible insults to a person or force them to do cruel and nasty things. When a schizophrenic hears voices, blood flow to certain parts of the brain increase markedly. Such voices often utter scathing comments like ” You’re worthless ” or ” No one likes you”.

In schizophrenic people it is not as common to see things as it is to hear things. When they see things they are not usually happy sites. One twenty-three-year-old man sees disembodied heads rolling across a vivid backdrop (Bower1). Another person might think someone is going to kill them. These hallucinations do not happen too often.

Scientific studies show that schizophrenia can be caused by genetic flaws. No gene promotes schizophrenia on its own. Several genes may trigger a chain of physiological reactions that result in some forms of this severe disturbance of thought and emotion (Behavior 1). Previous studies have found that a susceptibility to schizophrenia appeared to be hereditary. A new study was the first two site a specific genetic cause (Medicine 1).

Recently there has been some questioning to the chromosome theory. New studies support earlier evidence of a connection between schizophrenia and a gene somewhere in a short stretch of chromosome six (Bower 1). Also, a link was found between schizophrenic and an abnormally functioning gene or cluster of genes on chromosome five, on of the forty-six human chromosomes that contain the complete genetic blueprint of the individual (Medicine 1).

There is also a controversy the idea of schizophrenia being hereditary. Sixteen percent of the children of schizophrenic mothers grow up to be schizophrenic themselves–compared to just 1.9 percent of the non-schizophrenic mothers (Psychology 1). Other studies have shown that higher rates of schizophrenia occur in offspring whose birth was marked by obstetric complications, and those born to mothers who caught the flu during the fifth month of pregnancy (Psychology 1). It has long been known that a tendency to develop schizophrenia runs in families (Saltus 1).

Another research topic on schizophrenia is a persons DNA. DNA is an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is the blueprint of an individual. New reports show that one relatively small DNA segment, containing several hundred genes at most, includes a gene that confers a susceptibility to schizophrenia (Bower 1).

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that mental illness costs our nation more than $129 billion each year. Schizophrenia is responsible for fifty billion of that (Saltus 2). For all this money schizophrenia must strike an amazing amount of people. Schizophrenia affects an estimated one percent of the population, usually striking young adults. Colleagues studied 186 Irish families each with at least two members diagnosed with schizophrenia. A total of 992 individuals gave blood samples for DNA analysis; of that 487 suffered from schizophrenia (Behavior1).

Schizophrenia is a sever disruption of thought and personality that stems from poorly understood brain disturbances, often includes hallucinations and delusions. There is no known cure for this illness. Schizophrenia can be traced back to a persons genetics, and can have devastating effects. It is complex disorder and can be cause by many factors.


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