Schizophrenia is a serious mental sickness characterized by a gradual decline of victim’s thinking processes, conscience and cognitive responsiveness (NIMH 2010). It is chronic and severe, disabling patients’ brains slowly after acquisition. Schizophrenic people get out of touch with reality, and sometimes allege to be hearing voices which normal people don’t hear, and develop a fear that their inner thoughts are being read and broadcast to the outside world.
Schizophrenia develops usually in the late teens for men and early twenties and thirties for women. However, some rare cases have been reported of the condition occurring in early childhood. Symptoms of Schizophrenia are varied but mainly include social withdrawal, deficiency in cognitive spontaneity, hallucinations, disordered thinking processes and mental delusions (NIMH 2010). The cause of schizophrenia could either genetic factors, social factors, prenatal factors and substance abuse. Statistics Schizophrenia currently affects an average of 1. percent of the total population of the United States above 18 in any given year. As stated above, the average onset is 18 and 25 years for men and women respectively. Schizophrenic rates are almost flat from country to country, prevalence levels lying between 0. 5 and 1 percent. The 1. 1 percent rate or prevalence in the U. S. means that 7. 2 out of every 1000 people is schizophrenic, meaning that about 3. 2 million Americans are schizophrenic. Around 100,000 people are diagnosed with Schizophrenia every year in the U.
S (NIMH 2010). Schizophrenia is a very expensive illness. In the U. S. , its management costs in direct treatment, costs to the society and families totals over $63 billion annually. The condition accounts for more that a quarter of all mental healthcare costs, taking up one in every three beds in psychiatric healthcare institutions (NIMH 2010). Most schizophrenia patients are rendered economically unproductive, and so they have to be supported by public assistance raising the burden even further.
Conclusion Schizophrenia, by virtue of its exact cause being unknown, has no cure; but treatments are available to eliminate or alleviate most of its symptoms. Psychological and social interventions are sometimes invoked in the management of the illness, for example CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), neuropsychological rehabilitation (NIMH 2010) and family therapy. In other words, there is hope for schizophrenic patients even though a cure remains a contentious issue.