The Importance of Family and Friends in Helping People with Schizophrenia Maintain a Normal Life

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The Importance of Family and Friends in Helping People with Schizophrenia Maintain a Normal Life

Schizophrenia, an often-misunderstood disease, is usually interpreted by those not familiar with it as a Multiple Personality
Disorder. But this is not true. While a person who is afflicted with schizophrenia, may also suffer from multiple personality disorder, it is not the rule of thumb. Unfortunately, due to the lack of support from family or friends, many schizophrenics go without proper treatment and may wind up homeless.

There is nothing that can be measured to diagnose schizophrenia. Other diseases share many of its symptoms. What schizophrenia is or is not, cannot be decided on. However, German psychiatrist, Kurt
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It is however accompanied by an overwhelming loss of interest and initiative. "The sufferer of simple schizophrenia will also usually suffer from withdrawal and will blunt their emotions" (Torrey, 1983).

The part of the brain is thought to be affected by schizophrenia is the limbic system. It was realized that the limbic system might be the source of the malfunction when it was discovered that all the information and incoming stimuli must pass through the limbic system before being sorted out. Previously thee limbic system was disregarded, and considered simply a remnant of our primitive past." At that time the outer areas, the gray matter of the brain, was studied"(Torrey, 1983).

Occasionally schizophrenia runs in the family, although it is not well understood how. "It is known that close relatives (parents, siblings) of those with schizophrenia, have a 10 % chance of developing symptoms, compared to the 1% chance of the general population" (Torrey, 1983). Not much is known about what exactly causes schizophrenia, or which parts of the brain are affected. One guess to the cause of schizophrenia is that neurotransmitter dopamine is involved. "Some of the supporting evidence behind this theory is the fact that amphetamines, when given in large doses, causes the brain's dopamine levels to rise, this can cause the subject to show schizophrenia like symptoms" (Torrey, 1983). There are three different fields of thought
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