Research Paper on Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that usually develops in early adulthood. It is characterized by difficulties in interpretation of reality, which leads to bizarre behavior and manner to speak, sometimes to raving.

The term “schizophrenia” comes from the Greek “σχίζειν” (schizein), meaning splitting and “φρήν” (phrên), designating the mind. It must be understood in the sense of splitting the mind with reality and not as a dissociation of the mind into several parts. Thus, schizophrenia should not be confused with the phenomenon of multiple personalities, which relates to dissociative identity disorder. However, the term schizophrenia (or its derivatives) is often misused, especially in the press and cinema, to designate a multifaceted entity or tugging between contradictory statements.

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The factors known to be associated with the development of schizophrenia are multiple: environmental, psychological, genetic, neurobiological, and even social. However, they are still to a great extent unknown. The mechanism of the disease is also identified incompletely.

At the early stages, the disorder is manifested mainly by feeling of alienation and persecution. This leads to the development of a paranoid delusion. A sick person demonstrates disorganized thinking and speech. In 20-30% of cases, the person may have hallucinations, especially auditory. These imaginary voices often talk to the patient to comment on his actions and choices. Schizophrenia also causes cognitive, social, and behavioral dysfunctions that evolve with alternation of acute and almost asymptomatic phases. However, patients with schizophrenia often suffer from other psychiatric disorders: depression, anxiety disorders, addictions (about 50% of cases).

The diagnosis is based on the behavior observation and symptoms reported by the patient. There are still no further complex diagnostic approach allowing to confirm the diagnosis. Various combinations of symptoms in people with schizophrenia evoked a debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disease or several distinct syndromes. The diagnostic period also intended to eliminate other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Schizophrenia is commonly treated with neuroleptics. These drugs act as suppressors on dopamine and serotonin receptors. The psychotherapy and social rehabilitation are also part of the treatment and is accompanied by a social and professional reintegration of the patient. In the most severe cases – when the individual poses a risk to himself or others – an involuntary hospitalization may be necessary. Today hospitalizations are shorter and less frequent than they used to be. However, only a small minority of people with mental disorders demonstrate behavior dangerous for others.

Schizophrenia is probably the most known mental disorder on the planet, but at the same time, we still do not know enough about it. Students, who write their research proposals on the subject, have to try to find a little more about this illness in their researches. And for decent presentation of the their investigation results on paper they may consult free research paper on schizophrenia, in any citation style APA or MLA.

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