Mental Health: Schizophrenia


	The mind is a vital element of human being as it is the central point, where all functions and acts of a human being are controlled. Therefore, mental health is an integral aspect of human health, which should be observed for smooth living (World health Organization, 2004). Mental health is seen as a condition of wellbeing, where an individual is able to use his ability to deal with normal life stresses, and be fruitful in the community. This paper will analyze mental health and look into depth the mental condition known as Schizophrenia.  Mental health is an important aspect for an individual to have a smooth life style. There are different factors said to contribute to cases of mental conditions (Friedli, 2004). Areas of deprivation, low income, less education and poor living conditions experience high cases of mental illness. 20% of the population suffering from mental conditions is made up of lone parents, who are unemployed and living in poverty conditions (Friedli, 2004).  
	Schizophrenia is a serious mental condition or brain disorder, affecting about 1% of the United States population. This condition is also known as Psychos, and it affects the patient by altering their thoughts, perception and affecting behavioural patterns (Bhugra, 2010). Individuals suffering from this condition do not necessarily have to exhibit the same characteristics but their symptoms are influenced by different circumstances (Bhugra, 2010). Schizophrenia is commonly seen among the young adults or sets in at the early stages of adulthood and may persist to adulthood (Andreasen et al. 2011). 
	The main sign that helps in identification of a schizophrenia patient is change in their behaviours. This change happens differently depending on individuals, where some people change their behaviour suddenly. However, the condition might be different for other people as the change of behaviour might be gradual, making the diagnosis slow. It is not distinct, why some people are at risk of suffering from Schizophrenia, while others are not. Due to differences of opinion and existing debates on the major causes of the disorder, there are factors believed to be the main contributors to the suffering. These include; inheritance and drug use.
	There are families, which are more prone to the illness than others, hence suggesting genetic component to the development of the illness in the family (Flyckt, Edman, Venizelos & Borg, 2011). An individual might not have the schizophrenia gene from the family but might inherit from the family, certain genes that might make him or her more vulnerable to suffering from the condition (Bennett, 2009). Having these genes does not generally mean that an individual must suffer from schizophrenia, but  in most cases, individuals, whose parent suffer from the condition are much likely to get it (Flyckt, Edman, Venizelos & Borg, 2011). 
	Studies of the effects of different drugs in the human body have shown that use or abuse of drugs, such as cannabis and other street drugs leads to development of schizophrenia symptoms in an individual (Kerfoot et al., 2011). Abusing drugs result0s in instability in an individual character and they become very vulnerable to changes in moods. These people exhibit aggressiveness and other characteristics exhibited by schizophrenia patients, hence increasing chances of getting the mental condition (Kerfoot et al., 2011). Not only does the drug abuse pose a threat of causing the mental condition, but use of alcohol and nicotine also reduces the effectiveness of drugs used for treatment of the condition (Kerfoot et al., 2011). 
	Brain damage may happen during child’s birth and this might affect the flow of oxygen to the brain, hence increasing the chances of getting schizophrenia (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2004). Compared to people, who do not suffer from schizophrenia, brain scan of the patients show that some parts of the brain may not have developed normally, leading to the contradictions. Brain damage may also result in viral infection of the baby during the first months of pregnancy and develop to later cause schizophrenia (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2004). 
	Results from studies and from accounts of personal nature indicate that stress in life can be a major trigger to getting schizophrenia (Sinclair et al., 2011). Stress due to daily activities such as work lead to social isolation of an individual. As a result, one does not have a platform to exhale the accumulated stress as a result of continued working. This eventually leads to schizophrenia and other mental issues as a result of accumulated stress. In most case, people, who have been harassed or abused, are at high risk of getting schizophrenia (Sinclair et al., 2011). People, who suffers from schizophrenia as a result of stress exhibit different symptoms, due to the nature of human brain capacity to handle stress at different levels. Some people are highly susceptible to stress than others and therefore making them more prone to schizophrenia (Brunelin et al., 2008).  
	Scientists have identified that the imbalance between dopamine and glutamate contribute to development of schizophrenia (Nagy et al., 2010). These are brain substances that allow brain cells to communicate with each other. An imbalance in these substances results in confusion of brain functions resulting to a malfunction and eventually developing to schizophrenia. There is a difference in the brain of people with schizophrenia and those without, where the brain of those with illness, have less grey matter (Nagy et al., 2010). Schizophrenia symptoms exhibit themselves in different levels based on the difference with the individuals.
	These are the changes that happen in an individual and that are not found in normal people (Sadock, 2007). They are behaviours that signify an individual has lost touch with the reality and come and go depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment. They can be severe, making it possible to easily notice that an individual has a mental disorder, or can be hardly noticeable (Sadock, 2007). They are the behaviour with the patient, which are not common for people. They include, hearing voices, seeing, smelling or feeling what normal people do not feel (Tsuang, 2011).  Most people with schizophrenia see things that are not existent and hear voices talking to them. According to research, most people with schizophrenia hear voices talking to them (Sadock, 2007). The voices could be discussing the patient behaviour or instructing them to do something.
	People suffering from schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions and as a result, their thought process is altered (Ventura et al., 2010). This results into mixed thought making it hard for anyone to comprehend what they are thinking. Thinking for this people is hard and speech becomes hard for one to comprehend. This eventually leads to isolation and loneliness, which makes the situation even worse (Ventura et al., 2010).
	These are the form of symptoms that seems to decrease the normal or daily human being functions. The main character of the people is lack of emotional response to situations, inability to concentrate and avoiding people (Shean, 2004).  They are described as negative symptoms as they show a reduction in the normal human functioning. These include; poverty of speech, flattened effect, and loss of motivation. This is the fall of emotional response to satiations. The patient does not show responsiveness to situations and do not maintain eye contact, when speaking with someone (Shean, 2004). The person changes their speaking, and uses a dull voice and face. 
	The person lacks pleasure in everyday life and do not seem to be motivated to take part in normal activities (Ritsner, 2011). The individual is normally not willing to do anything and even neglect the daily hygiene, hence making them miserable. This is a confusing situation that can be seen as a withdrawal sign as a result of depression or other form of stressing situations. These people suffering from schizophrenia tend to lose interest in conversations and cannot maintain a long conversation (Ritsner, 2011). They are less likely to initiate a conversation and when asked anything, they reply with very brief responses.
	Cognitive symptoms are the subtle symptoms, which are hard to recognize as signs of schizophrenia (Stahl, 2008). These are only detected through conducting medical tests. They include the inability to understand information or to use the same information for the purpose of decision making.  They may also include fugitiveness and makes it hard for the individual to lead a normal life. It creates a complex situation, which can eventually result in to emotional distress if not taken care of.
	Acute schizophrenia is usually characterized by the positive symptoms, while chronic schizophrenia is characterized by the negative symptoms (Stahl, 2008).These symptoms are exhibited by people at different levels based on individual ability to handle stress. The symptoms are usually exhibited by people in their teen age and early adulthood. It is also important to note that these conditions are prevalent in all countries without any exceptions. Due to the fact that the main cause of schizophrenia is not knows, the treatment is normally focused on elimination of the disorder symptoms (Hans et al., 2001). This is in the aim to and bring the patient back to their normal life condition. 
	There are psychological and biological solutions, used to manage the condition. In the psychological form of treatment, the patient is attended by a psychiatrist, who helps him identify things that he or she has problems with and come up with solutions (Rubin, 2011). The main aim of this form of treatment is to have the patient understand what they are going through, the symptoms and device ways of defeating them. This can happen with the help of a professional or through a self help group that enables the patient to even learn from experience of others and learn how to cope with the situation. 
	The offer of moral support to the patient has been realized to have help in supporting the patient in coping with the situation. The patient can be taken to rehabilitation centres, where they will be taken care of and helped in going through the situation. Self help group and family support is very important for the person as it will help them to feel loved and accepted and will feel encouraged to work toward defeating the symptoms.
	In the biological treatment, drugs are used to help the patients control the situation. Sometimes, the patient my get out of control and the drugs have to be used to help them relax. In this case, rapid tranquilization may be used to calm the person down in a hurry. After the person wakes up, he or she should receive explanation on what happened. However, the rapid tranquilization should not be frequently used as it is traumatic and carries with it risks, which includes hallucinations (Neal, 2010). 
	There has also been a new form of treatment known as the trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, which is new and still in the research stages. It is done by using magnetic impulses in the stimulation of the frontal brain regions.  It is a highly preferred method as it is not invasive is can be used on patients with negative symptoms, and has also been used before in treatment of hallucinations (Rubin, 2011).  This treatment is done using antipsychotic medications and other psychosocial treatments methods. The neuroleptic drugs used for treatment of the disorder are made to control the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. These drugs have undesirable side effects, which include involuntary muscle movement, rapid heart bits and constipation. The drugs are administered based on the individual’s level of the condition (Neal, 2010). 
	In conclusion, human mind is the central point of control, which determines our behaviour, and character.  As a result is important for individuals to keep healthy through stress management and maintaining good diet and relationships. This will enable individuals to have sound mind and to handle situations without much stress. Those suffering from schizophrenia should be treated with care and solutions sort fast enough before the conditions develops to high levels. 

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