Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
Essay title: Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
Millions and millions of people have been, and are, plagued by some type of mental disorder. There are many types of disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance-related disorders. The mental disorders can range from minor cases to very strong, extreme cases. Two mental disorders that deal with the shifting of a human’s personality and character are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is characterized by the persistent defects in the perception of one’s reality, but the disorder mainly affects cognition. Schizophrenia translates from Greek to mean, roughly, shattered mind. Popular culture confuses schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder (also known as multiple personality disorder/ split personality), when in all actuality; they are not the same things. This mental disorder tends to begin in a person in their late teenage years or early adulthood and normally in withdrawn, seclusive individuals. Women usually will show signs of schizophrenia later than males. The symptoms are things like disturbances of perception, disturbances of thought, and most frequently appearing as visual or aural hallucinations.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness and is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a persons mood, energy, and ability to function. Bipolar disorder is different from the normal ups and downs of life that every person goes through because the symptoms of bipolar disorder are much more severe than a moment of distress. The symptoms of someone who is bipolar can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even in extreme cases suicide. Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some of the people that possess it have their first symptoms during childhood, and then some develop them late in life. Bipolar disorder is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. It is like diabetes or heart disease in the sense that it is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a persons life.
Psychologists have done much research on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Some scientists believe they have accounts that date back as back as 2000 B.C. that relate to symptoms of schizophrenia. The concept of “madness” had been around for thousands of years, but psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin was the first to make a distinction between schizophrenia and manic depression in 1887. Eugene Bleuler officially developed the term “schizophrenia” to refer to the lack of interaction between thought processes and perception and he was also the first to describe the symptoms as “positive” or “negative.” In the second century A.D. Aretaeus of Cappadocia first recognized some symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and felt they could be linked to each other, but his findings went unnoticed until 1650, when a scientist named Richard Burton wrote a book, The Anatomy of Melancholia, which focused specifically on depression. Later, in 1913, Emil Krapelin established the term manic-depressive, with an exhaustive study surrounding the effects of depression and a small portion about the manic state. Within a span of fifteen years, his approach to mental illness was fully accepted and became a widely discussed topic of the early 1930’s. During the 1980’s research was able to distinguish between adult and childhood bipolar disorder, but today more studies are still needed to find the possible methods to treat the illness.
Schizophrenia affects approximately one percent of the world’s population, with 1.5 to 2 million people in the United States alone. Even though it occurs at the same time ages in life for people all around the world, studies have shown that the amount of people who develop schizophrenia