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This a project for a high school AP Psychology course. This is a fictionalized account of having a psychological ailment. For questions about this blog project or its content please email the teacher Chris Jocham:

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  1. 1. Schizophrenia- Living With the Disease<br />
  2. 2. Basic Overview<br />Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally.<br />Patients, such as myself, are known to experience non-existent stimuli that they perceive as senses such hearing and vision. Examples include random bright lights and loud noises.<br />The symptoms I commonly experience is said to be attributed to other mental illnesses, and no one symptom can pinpoint a diagnosis of schizophrenia. <br />
  3. 3. 5 Types of Schizophrenia<br />Paranoid-type schizophrenia is characterized by delusions and auditory hallucinations but relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of affect. This is what my doctor classifies me to be.<br />Disorganized-type schizophrenia is characterized by speech and behavior that are disorganized or difficult to understand, and flattening or inappropriate emotions. <br />Catatonic-type schizophrenia is characterized by disturbances of movement. <br />Undifferentiated-type schizophrenia is characterized by some symptoms seen in all of the above types but not enough of any one of them to define it as another particular type of schizophrenia.<br />Residual-type schizophrenia is characterized by a past history of at least one episode of schizophrenia, but the person currently has no positive symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior). <br />
  4. 4. Positive Symptoms<br />Positive symptoms in schizophrenia come from an abnormality in normal functions.<br />These symptoms may include:<br />Delusions. These beliefs are not based in reality and usually involve misinterpretation of perception or experience. They are the most common of schizophrenic symptoms. I cannot bring myself to believe that MY beliefs, that aliens are out to get me, are delusions. My doctors thinks they are though.<br />Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don't exist, although hallucinations can be in any of the senses. Hearing voices is the most common hallucination among people with schizophrenia. <br />Disorganized behavior. This may show in a number of ways, ranging from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation.<br />
  5. 5. The noises never seem to leave me alone!<br />I am always seeing bright lights, and getting headaches.<br />
  6. 6. Negative Symptoms<br />Negative symptoms of Schizophrenia come from a lack of normal functions.<br />The person loses interest in everyday activities.<br />He/she appears to lack emotion.<br />He/she is not able to perform simple tasks such as brushing his/her teeth; A state of confusion<br />Neglect of personal hygiene <br />
  7. 7. Confusion is a common negative symptom.<br />A lack of motivation is another common negative symptom.<br />
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  9. 9. Origins<br />The origin of schizophrenia still has not been pinpointed. However, most researchers believe that the ailment is a by-product of both genetic and environmental factors. My father was diagnosed with schizphrenia, and he too, was brought up in an unsafe drug filled household<br />Scientists have been able to find correlations with deficiencies in the neurotransmitter dopamine that have been found in schizophrenic patients.<br />Although there is no definite answer, scientists are sure that schizophrenia is a brain disease.<br />
  10. 10. Patients with schizoprenia are shown to have overused parts of their brain (red area).<br />
  11. 11. Tests and diagnosis<br />When my doctors suspected me of having schizophrenia, he ran a battery of tests. These tests and exams generally included:<br />Laboratory tests. My doctor ran a complete blood count (CBC), other blood tests that may help to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, screening for alcohol and drugs, and imaging studies, such as an MRI or CT scan.<br />Psychological evaluation. A doctor or mental health provider assessed my mental status and presence of psychosis by observing my appearance and demeanor and asking if I had any thoughts, moods, delusions, hallucinations, substance abuse and potential for violence or suicide.<br />
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  13. 13. SUPPORT PROGRAMS AND THERAPIES<br />After I learned some behavioral techniques, such as social skills training, can be used during therapy or at home, I was able to function better in society.<br />I was also told that programs that emphasize outreach and community support services can help people who lack family and social support.<br />Learning life skills, such as job training, money management, use of public transportation, relationship building, and practical communication<br />Family members and caregivers are often encouraged to help people with schizophrenia stick to their treatment.<br />
  14. 14. The therapy I went through encouraged patients to form relationships with people<br />My doctor encourages his patients to engage in jobs in society<br />
  15. 15. Risk Factors<br />The risk factors have not been pinpointed, but scientists have found tendencies of patients to have:<br />Having a family history of schizophrenia<br />Exposure to viruses, toxins or malnutrition while in the womb, particularly in the first and second trimesters<br />Stressful life circumstances<br />Older paternal age<br />Taking psychoactive drugs during adolescence and young adulthood<br />
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  17. 17. Famous People Who have Schizophrenia- Some of My Heros<br />Tom Harrel- Jazz Musician<br />Peter Green- Guitarist for Fleetwood Mac<br />John Nash- Nobel Prize Winner<br />
  18. 18. Biography on Steve Nash- My All-time role model<br />Nash began to show signs of extreme paranoia and his wife later described his behavior as erratic early in his adulthood.<br />Nash seemed to believe that all men who wore red ties were part of a communist conspiracy against him. Nash mailed letters to embassies in Washington, D.C., declaring that they were establishing a government.<br />As years went on, Nash finally began to accept his delusions as what they were, just projections of his mind, and was able to fit back into society to a large extent. <br />
  19. 19. Schizophrenia Trivia<br />Schizophrenia affects both men and women equally.<br />It affects 1% of people world wide<br />Electroconvulsive theory is actually affective in treating schizophrenia.<br />The most common delusion of this ailment is the thought that “somebody is out to hurt you.”<br />
  20. 20. This a project for a high school AP Psychology course. This is a fictionalized account of having a psychological ailment. For questions about this blog project or its content please email the teacher Chris Jocham:<br />