December 10, 2010
Schizophrenia, one of the known illnesses but with a hard judgment of misconceptions and foolish pretenses that aren’t valid. History that lies in hand with this illness is interesting and is more complex than most would perceive it to be. As far back as the second millennium, people believed a Schizophrenic person was possessed by demons or poisoned. These people were considered the “abnormal” and were treated as so and were condemned to be mad. This disorder was known to be between dementia praecox and manic depression which was theorized by Dr. Kraepelin who was a German physician in 1887.
Schizophrenia, which came from the Greek language, means split mind to describe the thinking of a person suffering with this illness. Dementia Praecox was put into four categories including ‘simple’, ‘paranoid’. ‘Hebephrenic’ and ‘catatonic’. Kraepelin and Bleuler came up with five sub-division names for the symptoms of Schizophrenia, ‘disorganized’, ‘catatonic’, ‘paranoid’, ‘residual’, and ‘undifferentiated’. Schizophrenia is still considered a complex illness because it is hard to find insight into the functioning of how the patience’s brain works. Its’ causes and effects today are easier to understand and comprehend but the complexity is still there.
The Nineteenth Century was the beginning of moving towards a definition of Schizophrenia. It was a slow progression but started with four researchers who had defined this during the time period. In 1851, Falvet said it to be “cyclical madness”. While in 1871, Hecker defined it as hebephrenia which was to mean “silly” disorder in the mind. 1874, Kahlbaum put in catatonic and paranoid disorders. It seemed that Emile Kraepelin seemed to be the closest to a schizophrenic definition than anyone. He divided it into four stages as so, simple, paranoid, hebephrenic, and catatonic.
Schizophrenia 'In my senior year of high school, I began to experience personality changes. I did not realize the significance of the changes at the time, and I think others denied them, but looking back I can see that they were the earliest signs of illness. I became increasingly withdrawn and sullen. I felt alienated and lonely and hated everyone. I felt as if there were a huge gap between me ...
The Twentieth Century had seen many controversial cases of schizophrenia treatment which became known as bizarre and unusual. Man-kind has been dealing with mental disorders since as long as humans have lived on the planet. Archeologist dug up skulls that had appeared to have holes in the skulls that were looked to be inflicted while the person was still living. The holes were thought to be made to release evil spirits or demons.
People were considered mentally ill and in the older days of the times many thought of it as madness or demons in need of exorcising. Today they have tests for schizophrenics such as the cat test. They show a person who is diagnosed with schizophrenia a picture of a cat and ask them to draw what they see. This shows the delusional mind of a schizophrenic patient and what and how they perceive things. This test was more to show how people with this illness saw things.
The symptoms of Schizophrenia differ from person to person. There are three different types of categories for this illness, positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms distort normal functions. The symptoms for Positive are, delusions, hallucinations, thought disorder, and disorganized behavior. Negative symptoms are made up of characteristics that aren’t there. Negative symptoms are loss of interest in everyday activities, appearing to lack emotion, reduced ability to plan or carry out activities, neglect of personal hygiene, social withdrawal, and loss of motivation. Cognitive symptoms are problems with their thinking. Cognitive symptoms are problems with making sense of information, difficulty paying attention, and memory problems.
Mental Illness is a term used for a group of disorders causing severe disturbances in thinking, feeling and relating. They result in substantially diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. (Mental Illness Defined) There are some different perspectives on the causes of mental illness. The perspectives include the biological, psychodynamic, humanistic and existential, ...
Physical and emotional signs of schizophrenia are many in numbers. Physical symptoms such as, a blank, vacant facial expression, an inability to smile or express emotion through the face, overly acute senses (lights are too bright, sounds too loud), staring, while in deep thought, clumsy, unable to sleep, odd movements of the mouth or tongue, tremors, difficult to focus on objects that are slow moving, abnormal postures, and movement speeded up/down. Emotional signs such as cant express joy or pleasure when doing something, sometimes doesn’t feel anything, desire less, indifference, feeling detached from their own bodies, sensitive to insults or hurt feelings.
Other examples of emotional signs are sudden anger, depression, low motivation, suicidal thoughts, fast pace moods, and severe anxiety. Treatment for Schizophrenia mostly lies in medication. Such as antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics such as, Thorazine, Haldol, Prolixin, Navane, Stelazine, Trilafon, and Mellaril are all antipsychotics. Atypical antipsychotics had a new class which started with Clozaril, Abilify, Geodon, Invega, Risperdal, Saphris, Seroquel, and Zyprexa.
They also give the ECT treatment which is an electric shock sent into the brain to induce a seizure. ECT is one of the quickest ways to stop symptoms but is usually used as a last resort. Patients are put to sleep during the procedure because the muscles will relax and the seizure will limit hardly any movement. Patients must have this treatment at least three times a week for two to four weeks. ECT is followed by medicine usually and under psychiatrist’s care.
There is no cure for this illness. Effective treatments have been developed to help satisfy and help their lives. 1.1% of the population that is over 18 suffers from schizophrenia. 6 to 12 million people in China are affected by it, 4.3 to 8.7 million people in India, 2.2 million people are in the USA, 285,000 people in Australia, Over 280,000 in Canada, Over 250,000 diagnosed in Britain. Anyone can get Schizophrenia, it runs in the family or it just comes to be.
In Shakespeares Macbeth, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both show signs of what would today be diagnosed as symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is defined as "a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought, and ...
To conclude, Schizophrenia isn’t a illness of madness or being crazy, it is a serious and can be dangerous illness. There is no known cure but there is treatment of pills and therapy to help with the disorder. Many people are diagnosed with this illness every day. Treatments have succeeded in keeping the patient safe when attempting to bring down the effects that the schizophrenia has on them. There have been many names for Schizophrenia but all leaded to the same desired definition. There is much history on Schizophrenia and I think more is to come. It will be hard for us to ever fully understand or comprehend it but many scientists’ research better ways to obtain information to cure this illness.