Why do most of the time think that someone who suffers from Schizophrenia is simply a “crazy” person? We are easy to judge someone because we think that they are just someone who is on drugs and are just simply crazy. Little do we know that those people who have a mental illness like Schizophrenia have actually gone through a very hard situation in their lives which impacted them to be and act a certain way. But have you thought about how schizophrenia affects the person living it? Although schizophrenia may be known as a simple mental illness, schizophrenia is a traumatizing illness, it has four different types, it can be caused by a traumatizing event or it can be genetic, it is hard to live with, and it is often compared with other mental illnesses like bipolar and depression.
Schizophrenia may seem like it just another mental illness and that its not that much of a big deal. In reality schizophrenia is one of the most traumatizing mental illnesses someone could go through. This illness can clearly impair someone with their daily lives and it can also be considered as a disability according to the Mayo Clinic. A person with schizophrenia is required to take lifelong medication to treat their illness. According to the Mayo Clinic there are five symptoms of schizophrenia. The symptoms include, “ delusions, which are false beliefs that are not based in reality, hallucinations which are hearing and seeing things that do not exist, disorganized thinking or speech, extremely disorganized and abnormal motor behavior, and lastly negative symptoms which is the lack of ability to function normally”(Schizophrenia 2018). In the article by the Mayo Clinic it is said that Schizophrenia varies from the ages, “In men, schizophrenia symptoms typically start in the early to mid-20s. In women, symptoms typically begin in the late 20s. It's uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and rare for those older than age 45” (Schizophrenia 2018). I think that schizophrenia can affect any person at any age because it is unpredictable when someone could face a traumatizing event in their lives.
Schizophrenia may just seem like one simple mental illness, but you would not think that there are more than one type of this illness. According to the article “What Are the 4 Types of Schizophrenia”, there are four catagorized types of schizophrenia. The first one is paranoid schizophrenia, which consists of one being paranoid about everything, even to the point of thinking that you are being followed or looked for. The second one is catatonic schizophrenia, which means that the patient shows no emotion and seems to be paralized without moving for a long period of time. The third type is undifferentiated schizophrenia, which is not caring for anything like not showering or not even talking. Finally the last type of schizophrenia is schizoaffective disorder, which consists of delusional thinking along with other symptoms of schizophrenia.
There is not yet a clear answer on why people suffer from schizophrenia but it can be due to a traumatizing event they went through, or it can even be passed down through genetics. I personally think that schizophrenia is caused by a traumatizing experience. According to the National Health Service of the UK, there can be many things that can trigger for someone to develop this mental illness which include, “stress like losing your job or home, sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or drug abuse”(NHS). I agree with this because I have an aunt who has this mental illness and my mom has told me that the reason my aunt is like that is because she faced many traumatizing events in her life. My aunt was sexually abused when she was young, she married at a young age and her husband used to abuse her physically and emotionally. My aunt now has to be on treatment for the rest of her life, and everytime she stops treatment she is a totally different person. It is hard to recognize her when she is not on treatment because she does things that are not her and people just call her “crazy lady”, but little do they know that my aunt has had a very hard life. Sometimes people would think that she was imply on drugs and that was why she acts like that, but since now mostly everyone in her town know her and know that she has a mental illness they understand her.
Can you imagine having to live with schizophrenia or being around someone with such an illness. It must be hard to comprehend someone who can't control their thoughts and someone who doesn't understand why from one day to another has had their life changed. According to PsycsGuide.com an American addiction centers resource, “If you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, the best thing you can do is to take an active role in managing your illness, have a plan of action to deal with those symptoms. The sooner you respond, the less time you will spend recovering” (Living With Schizophrenia). I think what this article is trying to say is that although you are going through this situation you need to have a plan before falling. For example, my aunt can have control of not getting sick because the only time she gets sick is when she stops taking her medication. The only time she does not take her medication is when she runs out, so now when she is about to run out, she makes sure to have my cousins send her money so that she can get more. Otherwise we know that she will lose control of herself and her actions.
Schizophrenia may most of the time be compared to bipolar disorder or even depression, but schizophrenia is a whole different story in which someone who is suffering from this illness needs the help and support of a family member or loved one . According to Champagne in Joshua’s story: Living with schizophrenia, “There are a lot of folks who do not have family support for one reason or another. They might have treated their family really bad and burnt bridges … Maybe the family is embarrassed due to the views of society. Whatever the case, it helps to have support. There are many programs and centers out there that offer peer-to-peer support … Peers can help fill the void when family support is not there” (Champagne 2018). It is clear that many people who suffer from schizophrenia need the love and support of someone special. I agree with this because like I have mentioned before my aunt suffers from this mental illness, and when we show and give her love she seems to feel like she belongs and is not embarrassed of who she is. In the article What is Schizophrenia by The American Psychiatric Association, “For many people living with schizophrenia family support is very important to their health and well-being and its important for families to be informed and supported themselves”(America Psychiatric Association). Family support should always be part of someone’s life whether they have a mental illness or not because being loved and cared for is all that matters. As mentioned in the article “What is Schizophrenia”, both the patient and the family member needs the support of a family member because they both need to be informed of what is going on and how to handle the situation.
Before judging a book by its cover, remember that everyone who has a mental illness has gone through a tough situation in their lives. These people are clearly not just “crazy” as we most of the time label them. There is a reason why they are like that, and why their actions are made. We need to be educated before judging mental ill people.
- (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/schizophrenia/causes/.
- Champagne, N. J. (2018, July 8). Joshua's Story: Living with Schizophrenia. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/joshuas-story-living-with-schizophrenia/.
- DeLisi, L. E., Szulc, K. U., Bertisch, H. C., Majcher, M., & Brown, K. (2006). Understanding structural brain changes in schizophrenia. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181763/.
- Living With: Schizophrenia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychguides.com/neurological-disorders/schizophrenia/living-with/.
- Schizophrenia. (2018, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354443.
- Team, S. (2019, January 11). What Are the 4 Types of Schizophrenia and How Do They Affect You? Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-are-the-4-types-of-schizophrenia-and-how-can-they-affect-you/.
- What is Schizophrenia. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2019, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/what-is-schizophrenia.
- Schizophrenia does affect the brain according to the article “Understanding the structural brain changes in schizophrenia” by DeLisi, Szulc, Bertisch, Majcher, & Brown.