The Correlation Between Schizophrenia and Suicide

Essay by whitey1045University, Bachelor's April 2005

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"The relatively young age of onset, coupled with the realization that one will likely lose the ability to hold a job, have meaningful relationships, and function as a productive member of society, along with the disease process of schizophrenia, leads many patients to attempt and succeed in committing suicide," (Reinstein et al). Suicides amongst schizophrenics have become well-recognized as a serious issue. Numerous studies have been performed providing strong evidence to this correlation between the disorder and action. Why do individuals suffering with this disease have a greater risk of suicide and suicidal tendencies? With the ongoing advancement of technology and medication, how do these individuals lose hope? Is a cure possible?

Schizophrenia is a serious psychopathological disorder. Pathologists understand a lot about this disease and the way it works. "Its main symptoms are disorders of cognition, social withdrawal, disruption of emotional response, and in many cases, the construction of a private world accompanied by delusions and hallucinations," (Gleitmean et al).

Based on the symptoms evident, a patient is classified into schizophrenia's three subcategories: paranoid, catatonic, or disorganized. The possible biological causes involve the malfunctioning of the neurotransmitter dopamine or atrophy of brain tissue, (Gleitman et al). Genetics have recently come into the picture as a predisposition to the disease. Socioeconomic and family issues could also be stressors that would develop this disorder, (Gleitman et al). All of this information is well-known and has been concluded from much research, but the suicidal tendency of the sufferers is still unresolved.

"Suicide is a significant cause of death among patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, affecting some 10 to 15% of patients," (Reinstein et al). A population-based study researched 72,208 individuals listed in the Danish Psychiatric Case Register over the course of 21 years (Hiroeu). The results showed that 25 percent of...