Is Schizophrenia A Unique Mental Disorder?

1335 WordsApr 10, 20156 Pages
One in four adults experience a mental health disorder every year. According to the Health Reference Series, schizophrenia affects 1.1% of the US population and the majority of those who suffer with schizophrenia go untreated or are unaware that they even have the disorder. Approximately 2,200,000 people in the United States suffer from schizophrenia, and they have a lifespan 20% shorter than those who do not have schizophrenia (Fentress, Moller 1). Schizophrenia is a unique mental disorder that is made up of distinctive characteristics, causes, signs and symptoms, and requires specific treatments. Blacks Medical Dictionary describes schizophrenia as “An overall title for a group of psychiatric disorders typified by disturbances in thinking, behavior and emotional response. The illness is disabling, running a protracted course that usually results in ill-health and often, personality change.” Schizophrenia can affect a variety of people. It does not affect a specific gender or race and is generally onset after puberty. Symptoms rarely occur after age 50 or before puberty, however, there have been some rare cases of confirmed schizophrenia in children as young as 5. Schizophrenic breaks tend to occur in the early teen years to mid twenties in males and early twenties to thirties in females (Fentress, Moller 1). The causes of schizophrenia are thought to be linked to hereditary and environmental factors. Children whose parents have schizophrenia have a 10% chance of
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