Schizophrenia4 Paper

This essay has a total of 1278 words and 6 pages.


By: Darryl Klein-Geltink

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder marked by the loss of contact with reality. When a
person’s thinking, feeling, and behavior is so far from normal as to interfere with
his or her ability to function in everyday life, and delusions, hallucinations, irregular
thinking or emotions are produced, then he or she has a mental illness called

About one hundred years ago schizophrenia was first recognized as a mental disorder and
researchers have been searching for a cure since. The exact cause of schizophrenia is
still unknown and scientists are certain that schizophrenia has more than one cause.
Scientists have developed dozens of theories to explain what causes this disease, but
researchers are focusing on four leading theories. They are the Genetic Theory, the
Enivronmental Theory, the Biochemical Theory, and the Bio-Psycho-Social Theory.

The Genetic Theory argues that schizophrenia is caused by traits in a person’s
genetic makeup. As we all know, a person has twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. Each
pair contains one chromosome from each parent. In corresponding locations, called loci,
of each chromosome the genes for specific traits are located. Some researchers believe
that problems with these genes can cause schizophrenia. We inherit our genes from our
parents but this does not mean that the parents of a schizophrenic are mentally ill.
Problems in a persons genetic make up could come from mutated chromosomes or recessive
genes. In an attempt to prove this theory scientists study identical twins. Bue to the
fact that identical twins have the exact same genetic make up researchers will be able to
determine if heredity is the main cause of schizophrenia. However, evidence seems to
desprove this theory. This is because on some occasions both identical twins are
schizophrenics and other times only one is inflicted. To defend the theory, it should be
noted that this research is difficult and complicated. Identical twins are relatively
rare, expecially twins who are both diagnosed with schizophrenia. Further defending the
theory, studies have shown that children with one parent diagnosed with schizophrenia have
a ten percent chance of suffering from schizophrenia. When both parents are schizophrenic
their risk raises to about forty percent.

Very little is known about the Environmental Theory. It is built mainly on the effects
stress has on human behavior, however, most researchers agree that stress alone cannot be
the main cause of schizophrenia. Most researchers agree that stress can trigger or worsen
the symptoms when the illness is already present.

Other researchers focus on drug abuse. Like stress, certain drugs such as amphetamines
can make psychotic symptoms worse if a person already has schizophrenia. Furthermore,
these drugs can create schizophrenia – like symptoms in normal persons when the
dosage is large.

Other researchers that support the Environmental Theory believe that “slow
viruses” may be to blame. Slow viruses are viral infections that go undetected for
long periods of time therefore signs and symptoms are delayed and may occur many years
after the first infection.

The Bio-Chemical Theory suggests that schizophrenia is caused by mixed up signals to the
brain. When something acts upon on of our senses, electrical impulses are sent to the
brain. These impulses allow us to feel pain, smell, and they also manage our thought
processes. In our body we have a complex nerve system. For example, there is no one
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