December 18, 2006 by  

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by Elizabeth Morgan

There are many mental disorders whose root cause is the psyche of the person, particularly traumas from early childhood. But schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder caused by a disabling brain illness. About one percent of Americans are afflicted with this problem at any given time. It does not make much difference with sex and age, but becomes most apparent when people reach their teens.

Though it is clear that a brain disorder is the root cause, there is no concluding proof as to exactly what is the problem. There is much encouraging research to pin down the problem. The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that the most probable cause could be linked to faulty neuron connections during the development of the child in the womb. It lies dormant until puberty, and the effect may become visible afterwards. Persons with schizophrenia lose touch with the real world. Their perception of people and events starts divorcing from the reality. Their hallucinations, delusions and the strange voices that they hear are very real to them. They delude themselves into believing that they are the victims of cheating, persecution or conspiracy. Generally they lose the capacity for logically carrying out their thought process, particularly when a lot of thoughts crowd in the brain. Their emotions are rather subdued, and expressions mostly blank. Contrary to popular thinking, the schizophrenia is no more violent than a normal person. But the tendency for suicide is higher with schizophrenia.

Not knowing the exact cause or the mechanism of schizophrenia, the treatment is mainly symptomatic. Based on clinical experience, a whole series of anti-psychotic medications are available to the physician. The drugs effectively reduce and sometimes eliminate the symptoms. But there is no complete cure. Anti-depression, anti-anxiety and anti-convulsive drugs have also proved effective. In a small number of acute schizophrenia patients Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) has proved very effective.

Though this is a brain disease and not a mental disorder, family support, social support and, more importantly, psychotherapy are other factors that can help the patient enormously. A lot of research has gone into getting to the root cause of the problem but a lot more still needs to be done. The efforts include genetic, brain and epidemiological studies.

Schizophrenia provides detailed information on Schizophrenia, Types Of Schizophrenia, Symptoms Of Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Treatments and more. Schizophrenia is affiliated with Side Effects Of Antidepressants.

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2 Responses to “Schizophrenia”
  1. Nice to see my article still being quoted.

    Have a look at the blog and website – there’s much more stuff been produced since then.



  2. But there is no complete cure.

    Your facts are incorrect. Reference…

    In the early years of the nineteenth century, when psychiatry was just beginning, a furious argument raged between people with very different opinions about the nature and course of mental disorders. On the one hand, psychiatrists like Eugene Bleuler believed that recovery was possible and indeed likely for the vast majority of people suffering from serious mental disorders like schizophrenia (then called dementia praecox).

    On the other hand, psychiatrists such as Emil Kraepelin insisted that recovery was impossible and that sufferers would never recover. Indeed he believed that their condition would get worse throughout their lives. Kraepelin won the debate and the idea of permanent illness and disability formed the basis of mental health services for almost two centuries.


    We who have recovered from mental illness know from our personal experience that recovery is real. We know that recovery is more than remission with a brooding disease hidden in our hearts. We have experienced healing and we are whole where we were broken. Yet we are frequently confronted by unconvinced professionals who ask, “How can you have recovered from such a hopeless situation?” When we present them with our testimonies they say that we are exceptions. They call us pseudoconsumers. They say that our experience does not relate to that of their seriously, biologically ill, inpatients.


    when we talk about subjects who are recovered, we’re talking about no medications, no symptoms, being able to work, relating to other people well, living in the community, and behaving in a way that you would never know that they had had a serious psychiatric disorder. And if you have heard of that old belief that one third get better, one third get worse, and one third stay the same, we found that it was not true. In the Vermont Longtitudinal Study, we took the bottom third of this population and found that two-thirds of them also turned around. So that our old views of schizophrenia are considerably different than they have been for the last hundred years.


    Ongoing research shows that over 80% of those treated with the approach return to work and over 75% show no residual signs of psychosis. Official government statistics comparing 22 health districts in Finland found that Dr. Seikulla’s district was the only one not to have any new chronic hospital patients in a two year period and led the National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health to award a prize for “over ten years ongoing development of psychiatric care”.

    “…85% of our clients (all diagnosed as severely schizophrenic) at the Diabasis center not only improved, with no medications, but most went on growing after leaving us.”


    Psychiatrist Naren Wig crossed an open sewer, skirted a pond and, in the dusty haze of afternoon, saw something miraculous.

    Krishna Devi, a woman he had treated years ago for schizophrenia, sat in a courtyard surrounded by religious pictures, exposed brick walls and drying laundry. Devi had stopped taking medication long ago, but her articulate speech and easy smile were eloquent testimony that she had recovered from the debilitating disease.


    Over the past few days I’ve been reflecting on my clash with those two “psychiatrists” [I use the term loosely because I’m still not convinced that the first one is what she says she is.] and pondering deeply, what it was all about. Psychiatrist #2 says that I only see what I want to see, that I have my own agenda. To be perfectly honest, I think she’s just described herself to a “T” but I can also see that she and I don’t speak the same language. She wants me to see and accept that what she sees and what she says is “true”. Psychiatrist #1 also wants me to see and accept that what she sees and what she says is “true”. But for me to see what either of them see, I’d have to close one eye. “Cure” is part of the language of my reality and I’m not capable of pretending that it isn’t.


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