The Science of Schizophrenia

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is usually characterized by withdrawal from reality. The symptoms that a sufferer of schizophrenia goes through interfere with his or her everyday life. Illogical patterns of thought, delusions, hallucinations and varying degrees of emotions are the most common symptoms. If a person has these symptoms then he or she may have the mental disorder called schizophrenia. Schizophrenia was first recognized as a mental disorder about a hundred years ago and researchers have been looking for the cure ever since. Today though, people are still baffled about what might cause it and are wondering if it may have multiple causes. Many scientists have developed lots of different theories to explain what causes this disease. The four main theories are The Environmental Theory, The Biochemical Theory, The Genetic Theory, and The Bio Psycho Social Theory.

The Environmental Theory has little information to support it. The theory?s main hypothesis is based on how stress affects humans.

Most researchers think that the main cause of this disease could not be stress alone. Though they do agree that stress could probably make the symptoms of a schizophrenia patient worse or trigger the onset of the disease. Another hypothesis of this theory focuses on drug abuse. Some drugs that are available, such as amphetamines, can also make psychotic symptoms worse if a person already has the disease. Other researchers that support the Environmental Theory also think that a virus may be the cause because some viruses can go undetected for long periods of time. The signs and symptoms of these viruses are delayed and may occur many years following the infection. I feel that this is a valid theory, but I do think that the other theories contribute to the disease more.

The Bio-Chemical Theory states that schizophrenia?s caused could...