Schizophrenia disorder refers to an uncommon condition in which a person manifests two or more personalities. Weiten indicated that schizophrenia disorders entail a group of disorders marked by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and deterioration of adaptive behaviour (Weiten 418). On the other hand, Warner defined schizophrenia “as a psychosis that is a severe mental disorder in which a person’s ability to recognize reality and his or her emotional responses, thinking processes, judgment and ability to communicate are so affected that his or her functioning is seriously impaired” (Warner 4). He continues to say that hallucinations and delusions are frequent features of psychosis (Warner 4). In their definition, Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt described schizophrenia “as a disabling disease in which those affected experience altered thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behaviours” (Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt 1).
Schizophrenia disorder generally involves noticeable decline in quality of the person’s everyday functioning in work, social relations and individual care. Individual suffering from schizophrenia experience distorted perception (Weiten 418). The most common type of distorted perception is auditory hallucinations. Hallucinations refer to sensory sensitivities that occur in the deficiency of a real, exterior stimulus or are gross deformations of perceptual input (Weiten 418). Delusions also occur in schizophrenia in which they present the individual the sense that he or she is being controlled by outside strengths or that his or her thoughts are being relayed or interfered with (Warner 5). Smythies articulated that schizophrenia is an illness where afflicted individuals have great obscurity interacting with adapting to the surroundings (Smythies 22). The common discrepancy symptoms of schizophrenia include poor eye contact, flat, effect and withdrawal. In this context, Smythies noted that “afflicted persons are both perceiving misinterpreted sensory stimuli and reacting dysfunctional to appropriately receive sensory information” (Smythies 22). Because neuroplasticity entails the capability of the brain to respond in an activity dependent manner or particular stimuli, schizophrenia may be considered of as a disorder of dysfunctional neuroplasticity.
According to Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt schizophrenia is a mental illness which has major effects for affected individuals, their families and society (Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt 1). The disturbance of such basic facets of life can be crippling, resulting in a lifetime of disability, periodic hospitalization and a failure of family and social relationships. These relationships are often disrupted as a direct effect of the affected individual’s withdrawal and inability to communicate which may alternate with bouts of disruptive behaviour (Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt 1).
Studies indicate that the onset of schizophrenia is typically post pubertal, commonly occurring when an individual is in the later years of high school or just beginning college (Smythies 20). In addition the onset of positive and negative symptoms in a previously normally functioning person, coupled with a lifetime of waxing and waning symptoms. This is also accompanied by the possibility of a steady decline in social, occupational and cognitive functioning (Smythies 20). Schizophrenia is a devastating condition that affects over 2 million people in the United States and over 50 million people worldwide (Smythies 20). Hogarty noted that “violence is less common among those who have schizophrenia than in the general population” (Hogarty 154).
Although schizophrenia has been studied and researched for over a century much remains unknown about its origins, development, pathology and treatment. The advancement in unravelling these mysteries has increased in the last four decades (Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt 1). Present approaches view schizophrenia as a point or endpoint on a variety of uncharacteristic mental functioning rather than a distinct disease entity. This view has in turn changed the way in which the treatment and care of schizophrenia is approached (Tsuang, Faraone and Glatt 1).
It is important to note that the ever increasing depth and breadth of our indulgent of schizophrenia as a discrete or diverse analysis has also had turnaround effects. This is because with ever increasing knowledge of the basis of schizophrenia, inroads have been developed into revealing the definite pathologies and treatments of other schizophrenia spectrum disorders by their equivalence to schizophrenia explicit features.