The Focus in the paper is to discover the many aspects of a mental disorder called schizophrenia. Some of these key aspects will include the symptoms of the disorder, the characteristics, and the proper diagnostic settings. The goal of this paper is to give the reader more knowledge in all areas of the disorder. The areas of the disorder will look at the causes, proper diagnosis, how other will be affected, and the different treatments for the disorder. Also, this paper will look into the past and current studies being conducted on this disorder. This will help to see what needs to be looked at in future studies of schizophrenia. A Biblical worldview will also be discussed during the course of this paper.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that has affected many people throughout the world. The treatment for this disorder can be done through therapy, medication, or even a mixture of both. People the suffer from this disorder will go through things like confusion and because of the complexity of this disorder, there have been ongoing studies. Patients that are being treated for this disorder not only need how to effectively treat the disorder they also need to know how to prevent the symptoms. Being diagnosed with schizophrenia requires that the patient experience at least two symptoms that include: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2017). These symptoms need to happen over at least a six-month period, must cause the patient to have impaired functionality below normal function, and needs to have onset and continuous signs. Unfortunately, patients that meet these criteria and are showing these symptoms typically have a negative effect on their day to day lives. The patient will also need further testing to find the best treatment to help them in their daily life.
History of Schizophrenia
The mental disorder schizophrenia has been affecting people for centuries. However, it wasn’t until 1887 that a German Dr. by the name of Emile Kraepelin first coined the name of this disorder. The origin of the word was derived by to Greek phrases. The first part of the word, schizo, translates to split. Where the second part phrene translates to the word mind. By putting the words together, it defines the broken thinking patterns that people with this disorder are having. Researchers have found that this disorder even predates Christ and has had many changes to its meaning along the way. The topic of this disorder has been researched many times throughout the years, mainly to figure out what the risk factors of the disorder are. Basically, to get more knowledge on the topic itself and so see if genetics has any affects with its development (Clarke, Roddy, & Cannon, 2012).
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Even the treatments have changed throughout history as researchers find better methods. One of these such treatments was getting a lobotomy. This is done by drill two holes into a patient’s skull I an attempt to kill nerve cells in the brain. Some of the other treatments in history included putting patients in hospitals and institutions, deferent medications, and several forms of therapy (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2017). Throughout the trials of the different types of treatments, there have been negative and positive results. Much like other disorders thought, several did suffer throughout history to help patients in the future. Which has led to a much better way to treat the disorder and better diagnosis.
Research has found that there are several factors that may cause a person to develop schizophrenia. Some of the factors include sick families, abnormal chemistry in the brain, irregular structures in the brain, and even environmental factors. There are three phases show when a patient has schizophrenia and they are most prominent in late teens or people in their mid-30’s (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2017). Schizophrenia has three different types that have shown to have positive and negative types of symptoms. The three types of paranoia, catatonic, and disorganized. Some of the positive symptoms of this disorder are delusions, hallucinations, thinking problems, and even speech. On the flip side, there are negative symptoms that include alogia, flat affect, and avolition. The cause of schizophrenia has been a mystery to researchers all throughout history. Researchers have has even found biological links to the disorder. There have been genetic factors due to stress created by family problems and also biological irregularities that have been linked to dopamine in the brain (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2017). There was a study done by Paul Thompson that showed the rate of gray matter loss over a five-year span in healthy and schizophrenic teenagers, the loss of the healthy teenager is at 1%, while the teenager suffering from schizophrenia is 5% (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2011). Also, that the loss of matter mirrored the as the stages progressed and at the age of 19, the brain was like adults that also suffered from the mental disorder (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2011). There have also been studies on families, people that were adopted, and even twins. All of these studies have confirmed that there is a genetic relationship. It was witnessed by Dr. Choi that there is a strong connection between schizophrenia and families (2007). All of this shows that the people closely related to someone that has symptoms of schizophrenia there is more of a risk in them developing it themselves. The same thing can be seen in adopted individuals as well (Wynne & other, 2006).
When it comes to the treatment if this disorder there are several types of treatment that come in different forms, some that even last a lifetime. One of the more prominent types of treatment for schizophrenia comes in the form of an antipsychotic drug. The medication has been seen to reduce 65% of the symptoms that people with this disorder or suffering from. Which can last a long time as long as it is taken as instructed. (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2017) Another form of treatment is psychotherapy. This includes different type of psychosocial interventions such as individual therapy, social skill training, family therapy and vocational and supported employment (Hales, 2008). There has been research done using family therapy so see its effectiveness. It was found that of the entire family was involved during the therapeutic process There were much greater results (Smerud & Rosenfarb, 2011). However, for some of these treatments to be effective the patient needs to understand the disorder for themselves. Patients suffering from this disorder can educate themselves about the disorder in various ways. There are support groups out there to join, making sure goals or being set, keeping focus on what is important, and managing stress more effectively. Joining a group and having some type of community relations was found to be extremely effective. The community way of therapy for this disorder, even though has been very successful, is not very commonly found in places that offer group therapies, which unfortunately leaves many victims of this disorder with no form of treatment (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2017). Never the less, even though there are several types of treatment for schizophrenia, the majority of them will still have some type of relapse (Ascher-Svanum et al., 2010).
With the genetic factors that surround this disorder, several researchers don’t think there is a prevention to the disorder, just a way to reduce the symptoms as long as it is diagnosed early. (Rapoport, 2013). Rapoport mentions, however, that there is a special prenatal diet that’s may prevent schizophrenia before the baby is born (2013). A few studies have also shown that maternal contagion as a hereditary hazard factor for the psychological issue and would recommend explicit medications of maternal contagion with the end goal to counteract schizophrenia in embryos (Brown and Patterson, 2011). Plus, there are those that think proper nutrition and a good exercise schedule can also affect the symptoms of this disorder (McGroth et al., 2011). There has even been discussion that focuses on patents that are at a high risk for schizophrenia and that with the use of intervention it could help more than just one individual, so they may have a chance to prevent the disorder from getting any worse than it is (Mojtabai, Malaspina, & Susser, 2003).
Schizophrenia is not just bound to the U.S., it can be found in many countries, cultures and many socioeconomic groups around the world. However, where the patient’s location is will determine the type of treatment that they receive and how they are diagnosed. Because of all the different cultures around the world, peoples understanding of the symptoms and even how the disorder is talked about can change depending are where you are in the world, this is the same for the support systems for the disorder (Versola-Russo, 2006). The word schizophrenia itself can even change depending on what county the patient may live in and their culture. The Latinos population see schizophrenia as a mental illness differently from other cultures due to their specific acculturation (Massari, 2012). The Chinese use facial emotions recognition as part of their diagnosis for early and continuing stages of schizophrenia (Leung, Lee, & Lee, 2011). Also, the location of the patient can determine how fast they may be diagnosed or what type of treatment options might be available to them. Some cultures are accepting when it comes to mental disorders and will do what they can to help. On the other hand, there are some cultures that look at any type of mental disorder negatively and reject the individual or may even shun them.
Schizophrenia Biblical View
Even though treatments for schizophrenia come in many forms and have advanced throughout the years, there are still those that turn to faith to help them and guide them. Furthermore, there is researchers that do believe that faith is being used as a treatment for the disorder have been beneficial. There was even a study done to help demonstrate this theory. It was shown through prior histories of nonfaith-based coping may be a factor in forecasters of schizophrenia (Wasserman, Weisman, & Suro, 2013). Another study was conducted that focused on how schizophrenia was affected when the patient had God in their lives and to see if their faith in God through spiritual coping was hurting or helping the well-being of the patient (Danbolt, Moller, Lien, & Hestad, 2011). The same research did a second study to establish whether It was the faith and spiritual well-being of the patient that was allowing them to cope with the disorder or if other factors were involved (Danbolt, Moller, Lien, & Hestad, 2011). Even though the Bible never actually uses the word schizophrenia in any of the scriptures, it does mention how faith can heal most illnesses. God has done many things through miracles; however, he works in other ways as well. Either by counseling, through medication, changes that may happen to the environment, and most important prayer. God doesn’t want people to suffer and be miserable, he wants people full of life and prosperous.
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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
Schizophrenia can be seen to have several types of symptoms and effects all people differently. Even with what we know on the disorder now when it comes to how to diagnose it, the treatment, and prevention there is still work to be done. Thankfully, as technology advances and more information is found they will be better lives for those who suffer from it. From a better understanding of the disorder to even better ways to treat schizophrenia. Maybe even one day they will even find a way to prevent people from getting the disorder altogether, only time will tell.
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