Throughout recorded history, the disease we now know as schizophrenia has been a source of bewilderment. Those suffering from the illness once were thought to be possessed by demons and were feared, tormented, exiled or locked up forever.
In spite of advances in the understanding of its causes, course and treatment, schizophrenia continues to confound both health professionals and the public. It is easier for the average person to cope with the idea of cancer than it is to understand the odd behavior, hallucinations or strange ideas of the person with schizophrenia.
As with many mental disorders, the causes are poorly understood. Friends and family commonly are shocked, afraid or angry when they learn of the diagnosis.
Expectations become more realistic as schizophrenia is better understood as a brain disease that requires ongoing treatment. Demystification of the illness, along with recent insights from basic neuroscience, gives new hope for finding more effective treatments for an illness that previously carried a grave prognosis.
Bengston, M. (2006). An Introduction to Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/an-introduction-to-schizophrenia/000703
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
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