Kurt was an intelligent young man with high aspirations. He
had been the captain of numerous high school athletic teams and
was at the top of many others. He was actively involved in his
high school and this involvement carried on throughout his university
Then, suddenly, he began changing. Things that he had always
loved, he no longer cared for. He said that there were voices
in his head that were fighting with each other. He later became
diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a terribly disabling disease of the brain.
It causes mental distress and also emotional distress. This disease
has been misunderstood by medical personnel for many years as
little has been understood by the general population. This disease
causes you to be unable to think clearly, control your emotions
or think rationally. There are many abnormalities that go with
this disease which are: delusions and hallucinations, changes
of the senses, being unable to respond appropriately and changes
in emotions, movements and behaviour.
One of the major misunderstandings of this disease is that
it is a split personality, when in fact split personalities are
something very rare and very different from schizophrenia. Another
misconception is that it is caused by bad parenting or by a weakness
in the person. Schizophrenia
is a disease that has a biological basis, which affects approximately
one percent of the population.
There are numerous symptoms. Positive symptoms, as they are
called, are normally related with this disease. These include
thought disorder, delusions and hallucinations. Thought disorder
is usually attributed to the disconnection of language. This
makes the person unable to participate in a conversation, which
usually causes distancing between family, friends and ultimately,
the entire society. Thought disorder causes a person to be unable
to think logically or rationally.
Delusions are one of the most common symptoms among sufferers.
This includes paranoid
delusions in which a person may believe that they are being conspired
against. Hallucinations most often take the form of voices, which
can be heard only by the person suffering from the disease.
While schizophrenia is not a curable disease, it is a very
treatable disease. In many cases, hospitalization is necessary.
This ensures the person's safety and also allows time for the
analysis of the person so that doctors can be sure that schizophrenia
is the proper diagnosis. Neuroleptics, which is an anti-psychotic
drug, can drastically improve the living capabilities of a person
with schizophrenia. Hospitalization is not usually necessary
once the majority of the symptoms have been contained. Many people
are involved in counselling and various types of therapy to help
them adjust to everyday life.
Schizophrenia is a disease that can disable people for a short
time but is with them for the rest of their life. Once treated,
they are capable to work just like any other person. Society
needs to see these people as people, and not treat them as though
they were incurable.