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Schizophrenia is a disease of the mind that causes the patient to have difficulties in telling the difference between the real and the unreal experiences. This mental disorder hinders the patient from thinking logically. Patients suffer loss of train of thinking. Schizophrenia is a complex disease; one who suffers from it cannot have normal emotional responses making it difficult to behave normally in a social environment (Germine, & Hooker, p.938). This is because it disintegrates the thought process and emotional responsiveness of the patient. Hallucinations, paranoid delusions, disorganized thinking and speech characterize schizophrenia. There are five subtypes of Schizophrenia. They include the paranoid type, disorganized type, Catatonic type, un-differential type and Residual type. 

Medical specialist began to use the term Schizophrenia in 1911. Before 1911, the disease was thought to be just a mental illness. However, medical professionals throughout written history have described its symptoms. In the history of Greeks, Indians, Egyptians and Chinese, there are positive symptoms comparable to those of Schizophrenia. These include irrational, uncontrolled and unintelligible behavior. The first physician who clearly analyzed Schizophrenia is Phillipe Pinel. He recorded a detailed case in 1809.   In the history of many communities, those who suffered from Schizophrenia were thought to be possessed by evil powers. Accounts of individuals who suffer from the disease are rare in historical records especially before 19th century.

Due to the complexity of the disease, experts in medical field do not know exactly the causes of the disease. The contributing factors that cause the disease include genetics, substance abuse, psychological processes and early environment (Gingerich, & Mueser, p.100). Research has also shown that some of the drugs that are prescribed to the patients worsen the symptoms.  Genetically, if a first-degree relative suffers from the disease, one has a more than 6% likelihood of suffering the same. Genes involved in the development of language, human nature and speech may be blamed for causing the disease. However, other theories disapprove this and the main cause of the disease remains unsubstantial.

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The environmental factors that are connected with the disease include the early living standards, the use of drugs and stressful homes. Urban dwellers have a higher probability of suffering from the disease (Buckley Peter F, Miller Bill J, Lehrer David S, & Castle, p.67).  Other environmental factors include social isolation, migration related to social difficulty, racial unfairness, family dysfunction, unemployment, and deprived housing conditions. If a child experienced abuse, he is at a risk of suffering from schizophrenia later in life. Substance abuse is also linked to the disease. The use of drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, and amphetamines causes Schizophrenia. It is also known that more than fifty percent of patients use these drugs or excessive alcohol to cope with depression and loneliness.

The criteria that are used to analyze Schizophrenia vary widely; there is no single test that can show that a patient is suffering from Schizophrenia. Doctors diagnose the disease by gathering a large number of information from various sources like family, comprehensive medical report and mental health information. The patient’s personal background may also be analyzed in details (Whitford, et al. p.957). Factors like patients’ gender, sex, cultural background, religious beliefs, ethnic background and socioeconomic status are considered in this analysis. This is followed by a thorough physical examination.

This include taking of a lab test to examine the patients general health. This analysis is important to determine whether he has a medical condition associated with psychological symptoms (Jahn, p.938). Mental health screening explores presence of other mental illnesses apart from Schizophrenia. These may include schizoaffective disorder, substance abuse, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder and personality disorder. These are normally difficult to distinguish from Schizophrenia. Apart from providing the appropriate treatment after diagnosis, checking the presence of other mental illnesses is important.

 A number of medication and treatments can be provided to those suffering from Schizophrenia. Medications are meant to reduce the intensity of psychotic symptoms. The medications offered to the Schizophrenia patients are called antipsychotics. Medical professionals normally prescribe one or more of the medication to increase their benefit to the patient. Medications given include olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone, aripiprazole, paliperidone and asenapine (Whitford, et al. p.957). These are the new group of medications to Schizophrenia patients. Compared to the traditional medications, this group has the capability to work more quickly with patients.

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The only limitation that they have is the side effects associated with them. The side effects like dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and boosting of patients’ appetite.  Other forms of medication that can be administered to patients who suffer from Schizophrenia are the mood stabilizer. This is because most of the patients suffer from acute mood swing. The medications in such cases include lithium, divalproex and lamotrigine. Antidepressants may also be prescribed where patients suffer from depression.  

Psychosocial interventions

Patients not only need the medications, they also need other social interventions to help in improving their conditions. This calls for the education of family members to provide support to the patient. The family members should be educated about how to access health care providers in cases of emergency and various problem-solving skills (Germine, & Hooker, p.939). The interventions from family members are effective in reducing the relapse rate for patients. It also improves emotional and social outcomes of those suffering from the disease. Family interventions coupled with Assertive community treatment (ACT) work even better. This calls for the medical personnel to meet with the patient daily in a public setting. Such places include at home or at work.

The review of findings about the disease is important especially in identifying risk factors and finding associations. One in every 10,000 adults develops Schizophrenia annually. The available figures show that throughout the world, there are 24 million people who suffer from the disease. This figure might be significantly less because statistics obtained in developing nations are hardly ever accurate. In relation to the restrictive diagnosis and use of standardization to assess large population, there is stability in the various incidences over time. In the last 50 years, there have been uneven prevalence rates (Whitford, et al. p.957).  Patients are not born in social or ecological disadvantage. Schizophrenia occurs in the age range of 20 to 35 years.

Medical specialists are unsure on how to classify Schizophrenia that occurs in ages above 60. They argue on whether to classify it as schizophrenia either psycho pathologically or etiologically. In more than 70% percent of the cases, it is preceded by a mean of 5 years prodromal phase. The standard rate is that women fall ill later than men do. They take four to five years longer. Most women show a second peak around menopause. The sex difference also varies with genetic load (Germine, & Hooker, p.940). It is much smaller in high genetic load and vice versa. The core common symptoms however do not differ between the male and female patients. This is true with the only exception of socially negative behavior in the young men who suffer from the disease. Generally, social course and outcome are height of social growth at onset.

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Schizophrenia is a physiological condition affecting brains of inflicted patients. Approximately, the disease affects one percent of the total population worldwide. That means that out of every 100 people, one of them suffers from Schizophrenia. The disease is characterized by varying periods of psychosis. Psychosis is a result of the patient experiences imaginary things (Jahn, p.934). An individual suffering from Schizophrenia loses touch with the reality often.  At times, some patients tend to experience a combination of both the real and unreal world. The symptoms of Schizophrenia may include delusions, disorganized thinking, bizarre thoughts and hallucinations (Whitford, et al. p.959).

It is commonly associated with depression. When Schizophrenia occurs with depression, the condition is known as Schizo effective disorder. Three or more relatives of the individual who suffers from Schizophrenia are most likely going to experience disruptions in their life. The patients most of the time talk to themselves addressing an imaginary audience. They often think that either they have an enemy who is following them or plotting evil against them. They may think that an unknown party is interfering with their thought patterns.  Their talk or the things they write often do not make sense. Schizophrenia patients at times may withdraw from friends and family members (Jahn, p.942).

Thoughts, actions and feelings are transmitted through the central nervous system (CNS). The transmission takes place as electrochemical impulses. These impulses travel towards the presnaptic neurons. Neureotrasmmited chemicals released go through the synaptic cleft. The chemicals bind to their respective receptor sites through postsynaptic neurons. This actions trigger electrical changes (Whitford, et al. p.961). The changes can either inhibit or accelerate the conduction of the impulses. Each kind of neurotransmitter is linked with the conduction of the impulses at various areas of CNS. Serotonim is transmitted and it innervates receptors.  The receptors may be in the Pons, Medulla or the Thalamus. If serotonic levels reduce, it causes acute depression. The continual depression later results in Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia patients show moderate visual impairment of memory. In addition to this, they suffer from delayed verbal memory. Recalling is a difficult task to most of them.  This shows that they have a general cognitive deficit. Other failures include integrative dysfunction around the frontal lobes and mesial temporal. The frontal lobes include the left and right hemispheres. However, selectively determining the lesion site is difficult. 

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