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Schizophrenia is a serious chronic mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality and disturbances of thought mood and perception Schizophrenia is the most common and the most potentially sever and disabling of the psychosis a term encompassing several severe mental disorders that result in the loss of contact with reality along with major personality derangements Schizophrenia patients experience delusions hallucinations and often lose thought process Schizophrenia affects an estimated one percent of the population in every country of the world Victims share a range of symptoms that can be devastating to themselves as well as to families and friends They may have trouble dealing with the most minor everyday stresses and insignificant changes in their surroundings They may avoid social contact ignore personal hygiene and behave oddly Kass 194 Many people outside the mental health profession believe that schizophrenia refers to a split personality The word schizophrenia comes from the Greek schizo meaning split and phrenia refers to the diaphragm once thought to be the location of a persons mind and soul When the word schizophrenia was established by European psychiatrists they meant to describe a shattering or breakdown of basic psychological functions Eugene Bleuler is one of the most influential psychiatrists of his time He is best known today for his introduction of the term schizophrenia to describe the disorder previously known as dementia praecox and for his studies of schizophrenics The illness can best be described as a collection of particular symptoms that usually fall into four basic categories formal thought disorder perception disorder feelingemotional disturbance and behavior disorders Young 23 People with schizophrenia describe strange of unrealistic thoughts Their speech is sometimes hard to follow because of disordered thinking Phrases seem disconnected and ideas move from topic to topic with no logical pattern in what is being said In some cases individuals with schizophrenia say that they have no idea at all or that their heads seem empty
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