Schizophrenia

This wondrous soul once existed. She was a very remarkable individual. She had dimples on her cheeks that gave the impression of a smile. She was very stunning. She was a really brilliant student. Oh, she was a complete and utter genius. She had tenacity as well as academic ability. She was simply herself. She was a straight-laced woman. Her academic achievements were unwavering, and she broke records at every school where she was enrolled. Just before starting college, she began to detach at irregular intervals. She couldn’t hold a conversation and jumped from one topic to another without a clear beginning or end to what she was saying. The lovely young lady was slowly fading away. It got to the point where whatever was going on with her became so scary that those who were around her began to notice something odd. The crowd could hear her screams, watch her wilt, and feel her misery at not knowing what was going on. Whatever the case, they were at a loss for what to do next. When they took her to the doctor, they discovered that she did not have any physical issues. They tried to help her by giving her some drugs, but nothing appeared to help her condition. They took her church in the hopes of soliciting the assistance of an exorcist, but nothing changed. Trying to make it till the next sunrise, day after day, after year after year.

Individuals concerned about her were left wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, attempting to figure out what was wrong but only coming up with dead ends. Every day, she was paralyzed by fear, and the condition she was suffering from progressed on a daily basis. Later, the family made the decision to commit her to the only recognized mental facility in the country. Unfortunately, it was too late when the hospital called in a flurry to inform the family that she had passed suddenly. That lovely soul belonged to my cousin sister. I lived with her and witnessed her life slowly ebb away before my eyes every day, completely oblivious to what was going on. I’ll always wonder if we’d known or someone had known what was going on, whether things would have turned out differently–and whether she could still be alive.

It should be noted that, according to the World Health Organization, more than 69 percent of persons with schizophrenia do not receive sufficient care. Ninety percent of patients with untreated schizophrenia live in low- and middle-income nations. When the illness impacts the body, it can be toxic to the brain, which is one of the ways it manifests itself. A person with schizophrenia can suffer brain damage if they do not receive treatment, though specialists disagree on the methods by which this occurs. It is possible that their mental health will deteriorate. Non-only can the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia worsen, but they can also acquire other mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and Anxiety Disorders.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that manifests itself in various ways. In this case, the patient is suffering from psychosis, which is a type of mental illness characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, self-perception, and behavior. Despite the fact that schizophrenia affects approximately 20 million people around the world, it is far less common than many other mental disorders. Men are more likely than women to develop the disease earlier, and it is associated with significant disability, as well as the potential to impair educational and occupational performance. People suffering from schizophrenia are two to three times more likely than the general population to die prematurely. 

The symptoms and experiences associated with schizophrenia include hallucinations, which are the perception of things that are not there; delusions, which are fixed false beliefs or suspicions that are not shared by others in the person’s culture and that are firmly held even when there is evidence to the contrary; and paranoia, which is the fear of something happening that is not happening. Disordered behavior patterns include wandering aimlessly, mumbling or laughing to oneself, strange appearance, self-neglect or appearing unkempt; disorganized speech, which includes incoherent or irrelevant speech; and/or disturbances of emotions, which include marked apathy or disconnect between reported emotion and what is observed, such as a facial expression or body language.

What causes Schizophrenia?

There hasn’t been a single factor identified through research. It is hypothesized that schizophrenia is caused by a complex interaction between genes and a variety of environmental factors. Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are thought to have a hereditary component. People who have a family member who has schizophrenia – particularly a first-degree relative – are at increased risk of developing the disorder themselves. While schizophrenia affects only one percent of the population, it affects ten percent of those who have a relative who has the condition. Many people who develop schizophrenia, on the other hand, do not come from a family with a history of the disorder. The development of schizophrenia, according to some scientists, may be influenced by prenatal exposure to toxins, maternal malnutrition, or viral infection during pregnancy. Additional research suggests that birth trauma may increase the likelihood of developing the disorder. Scientists have discovered that schizophrenia is caused by an imbalance in the interrelated, complex, and interconnected brain reactions involving dopamine and glutamate (both neurotransmitters), which are interconnected and interdependent on one another. People who have schizophrenia also have distinct brain structures, such as the ventricles, which are important in the functioning of their brain.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 69 per cent of persons with schizophrenia do not receive sufficient care. Ninety percent of patients with untreated schizophrenia live in low- and middle-income nations. 

When it comes to major mental illnesses, schizophrenia is the most chronic and debilitating of them all. People who suffer from schizophrenia often have difficulties functioning in their daily lives, in societal structure, at school, and in their social interactions. A person’s level of severity of schizophrenia will vary from one to another; some will experience only one psychotic break in their lifetime, whereas others will experience an overall slowing of their ability to function, with little relief between full-blown psychotic episodes. While schizophrenia is a chronic disorder that causes people who suffer to become fearful and withdrawn, it is treatable with the correct combination of medications and treatment approaches.

The lack of resources and access to mental health services, particularly in developing countries, is a significant problem. Furthermore, people suffering from schizophrenia are less likely than the general population to seek treatment. People suffering from schizophrenia are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations, both inside and outside of mental health institutions. The disorder has a high level of social stigma attached to it. This contributes to discrimination, which can in turn limit access to general health care, education, housing, and employment opportunities for people of color. We must continue to address the widespread stigma associated with schizophrenia, as well as with other mental illnesses, indefinitely. Furthermore, governments of countries that do not have mental health policies should make an effort to take it into consideration. There is no such thing as health without mental health.

References

“Schizophrenia.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/schizophrenia.

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