Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Friday, 14 February 2014

Humans have a beautiful mind it is schizophrenia that shatters it

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There are film stars who have persisted with Schizophrenia

There are people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Some are famous like Dr. John Nash who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. This person has a film made about him.Dr. John Nash in the film titled 'Beautiful Mind' reminds us of not stigmatizing persons with schizophrenia. Such persons still contribute to society in many ways. By being treated as a distinguished member of society, feted at various platforms helpedDr. John Nasha lot. The film shows Dr. Nash's apparent capacity to move from insanity to sanity. Thisis attributed to engaging in work. His own claim, "I began to tire of certain types of irrational thinking. I was doing things at the time, studying or doing some calculations,” is testimony to this. In 1994 he won a Nobel Peace Prize. Let us attempt to understand schizophrenia then.


Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by impaired emotional responses (Concise Medical Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2010). Genetics, early environment, neurobiology, psychological and social processes appear to be important contributory factors. Some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. Clinically it is a splitting of mental functions.

Schizophrenia in our life

Have you or someone you know suffered from Schizophrenia?

  •  Yes
  •  No
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Symptoms of schizophrenia

The common symptoms include delusions, such as paranoid beliefs; hallucinations; disorganized thinking; and negative symptoms, such as lack of emotion and lack of motivation. Not all symptoms may be present in all forms of schizophrenia. The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are usually divided into two categories- positive and negative symptoms. A third category of cognitive symptoms is also included in some descriptions of the disease. Symptoms are further characterized by type. These types include motor, behavioral and mood disturbances. Symptoms can be positive or negative motor, behavioral, or cognitive disturbances

Classifications of schizophrenia

The major classifications of schizophrenia fall into the following: In 2013, theAmerican Psychiatric Association released the fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5). To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, two diagnostic criteria have to be met over much of the time of a period of at least one month, with a significant impact on social or occupational functioning for at least six months. The person had to be suffering from delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech. A second symptom could be negative symptoms or severely disorganized or catatonic behavior. The definition of schizophrenia remained essentially the same as that specified by the 2000 version of DSM (DSM-IV-TR), but DSM-5 makes a number of changes.Psychotic symptoms may be present in several other mental disorders, including bipolar disorder,borderline personality disorder,drug intoxication anddrug-induced psychosisDelusions ("non-bizarre") are also present in delusional disorder, and social withdrawal in social anxiety disorder, avoidant personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder (Buckley PF, Miller BJ, Lehrer DS, Castle DJ. Psychiatric cormobidities and schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2009).
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Challenges of dealing with schizophrenia

Some people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia stop taking the medicines. This could be because of mood disorders. Disorders of mood and affect include what is known as affective flattening. It is a reduced intensity of emotionalexpression and responsiveness that leaves patients indifferent and apathetic. But some of the causes of not taking medicines are clinical others are social. Homelessness can affect priorities. In the case of young people, peer pressure can affect the way they take medications.
Mood disorders patterns are also known as disorders of mood may manifest as unchanging facial expression, decreased spontaneous movements, a lack of expressive gestures, poor eye contact, lack of vocal inflections, and slowed speech. Anhedonia, or the inability to experience pleasure, is also common, as is emotional emptiness. Patients may also exhibit inappropriate affect. Inappropriate affect examples are: expectation of visitation by long dead loved ones, laughing at a funeral. Hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions (often bizarre or sense of being persecuted), and disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to speech that is not understandable known as word salad in severe cases. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia (Carson VB (2000). Mental health nursing: the nurse-patient journey).

Schizophrenic persons in a family setting

There are many challenges in dealing with a schizophrenic person. Most of the problems arise because persons suffering from schizophrenia are not conforming. “People conform to gain social acceptance and to avoid disapproval,” Sears, Freedman and Peplau, 1985, page 331. The schizophrenic person's behavior considered inappropriate in a family setting of people who are not trained or counseled may trigger disapproval. At the level of society this may cause stigma. Stigma and discrimination followed by ill-treatment are common. Individuals with severe mental illness including schizophrenia are at a significantly greater risk of being victims of both violent and non-violent crime (Maniglio R. Severe mental illness and criminal victimization: a systematic review. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009;119(3):180–91).
It is hoped that through education and empowering communities with information on schizophrenia decisions to support those diagnosed with it will improve reception and regard.

Take back home messages

1. Avail yourself literature or education sessions on disorders.
2. Join support teams in your community
3. Educate others about disorders such as schizophrenia.
4. Help fight and eradicate stigma-related to schizophrenia
5. Humans are dignified whether one has schizophrenia or not.

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