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Schizophrenia Essay, Research Paper

During my research I found out that many more people have Schizophrenia than most would like to admit. In fact, one percent of our entire population suffers from this disease. That is over 2 million people. The only good news is that this disease has a low rate of genetic inheritance. If one of your parents has this disease you would only have a 10 percent chance of getting it yourself. And only a one percent chance if you have no known sufferers in your family.

Schizophrenia is a disease that takes over your brain. It distorts your reality and turns life into a confusing daily journey. The newest theory is that children are born with it. During their childhood and early teen years schizophrenics go through a latency stage where the disease is not apparent. The first occurrence of this disease may transpire in their late teens or early twenties. This may be as simple as any shocking change in behavior. Schizophrenia emerges at different times in men and women. It can become

visible as early as 17 in males, while it appears in their late twenties and early thirties for females.

The classic symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, false reality experiences, social isolation, unusual speech or behavior, and disorganization of thoughts of speech. They may become preoccupied with their fictitious world. The hallucinations deal with your taste, smell, sight, sound, and visual senses. During these hallucinations they hare voices in their head. These voices may be telling them to perform certain activities, talk to the person they are hearing, or even may be warning them of a future dangerous situation. There can be seven different voices all talking at once, thus causing the patient to become confused.

Because people with Schizophrenia cannot grasp the cause of what is affecting them, they do not believe they are sick. This causes problems with doctors who are trying to give them treatment. Because the patient is oblivious to the disease, they are unwilling to so much as accept treatment. Surprisingly there is not a sure fire way of curing schizophrenia at the moment, but doctors are working hard to find one.

According to the American Psychological Association Monitor, there have been great advances in medicine for schizophrenia. Doctors believe

that ten to twenty percent of those with schizophrenia can recover. Other studies have shown a percentage recovery rate of 68 percent. These numbers are based on a program best known as Psychosocial Rehabilitation. This program is practiced in over 4,000 centers across the country.

According to Ruth Hughes, PhD, only one in ten of the people who need psychosocial care for schizophrenia is getting it. However, the National Institutes of Health states that nearly a quarter of all mental illness costs combined are connected to schizophrenia. The Institute also reports that the total costs of Schizophrenia treatment reaches 30 billion to 65 billion dollars each year! It makes you wonder where all that money is going!

After all of my work I am more upset than ever about the way schizophrenia is viewed, and the way people with it are treated. Around 2.5 million Americans suffer from this disease, yet none of them are getting the treatment they so desperately need. I hope this paper has cleared up a few questions about schizophrenia. I only with there was a way to get the word out to more people.

McGuire, Patrick A. New Hope for People With Schizophrenia. American

Psychological Association Monitor February 1998. 24-28.

Vonnegut, Mark. The Eden Express New York: Praeger Inc. 1975

Laing, R.D. The Self Divided Tavistock publications. 1959

Sechehaye, Marguerite Autobiography of Schizophrenia Girl Grune &

Stratton, Inc. 1968

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