Schizophrenia and its causes Essay

This essay has a total of 840 words and 5 pages.

Schizophrenia and its causes



Introduction


In the search to find out what schizophrenia is and its causes, researchers have now
determined that schizophrenia is a neurological or physical brain disorder as opposed to
earlier diagnosis as mental disorder. These questions have plagued everyone who has had
contact with someone with schizophrenia, from the public to the medical profession alike.
It is now clear that schizophrenia is caused by a brain defect. People with schizophrenia
show a number of biological abnormalities, all of which point to a severe problem in the
way the brain functions. The terms in which researchers have chosen to define
schizophrenia are neurobiological disorders (neuro meaning the disease is a dysfunction of
the nervous system and biological because the origins and primary manifestations are
biological in nature) (Andreasen p646) .


For many years the word schizophrenia has aroused a lot of discomfort in the world.
Invested with meaning once feared it is still used as an instrument of ridicule in
ordinary conversation, in the media and among professionals themselves. Schizophrenia,
the disease, continues to be an illness about which the public at large remains ignorant
even though, along with other psychiatric disorders, it has become more susceptible to
modern scientific investigation producing information that has clarified the origin,
process, and outcome of the disorder. Brilliant advances in brain and behavioral research
over the last twenty years have armed scientist and clinicians to such a degree that both
diagnosis and therapeutics now rest on more solid ground than ever before.


Anyone who has ever had a friend or a family member diagnosed with schizophrenia knows
firsthand the anguish, confusion, and a sense of helplessness that often accompany this
diagnosis. Schizophrenia is a serious medical illness that affects about 2 million
Americans regardless of race, nationality, or economic background. Even though this
disease is widely misunderstood and unfairly stigmatized, schizophrenia is a highly
treatable disease of the brain just as cancer or heart disease. Although recent advances
in accessing brain structure and function have created a wealth of new information about
this common yet devastating disease, and have provided new treatment options many
clinicians and families are still unaware of these new developments.


However, one of the principal questions that anyone who knows someone who develops
schizophrenia ask is “Could I have known somehow? There has be a significant amount of
research on the pre-illness characteristics of persons who develop schizophrenia. The
results of those studies suggest that there is a great deal of diversity in the way people
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