Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects the way the brain processes outside stimuli. If you are suffering from schizophrenia, you will not see or understand things in the same way that an unaffected person does. Instead, you may have difficulty experiencing appropriate emotions, acting in an appropriate manner, or perceiving reality as it actually is. Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It usually develops in early adulthood in men and in the late 20s and 30s in women. Childhood schizophrenia is rare but can occur.
What Causes Schizophrenia?
The causes of schizophrenia are still unknown. The disorder it is thought to be the result of a problem with the brain's neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain that send messages to different nerve cells telling your body how to react. Schizophrenics may have low levels of these neurotransmitters, or have defects in the nerve cells in their brains, preventing correct messages from being sent. Schizophrenia may also be caused by a problem in the limbic system, the center of the brain that controls our emotions.
This defect in the brain is probably the result of a gene abnormality present at birth. This means that a person can be born with a "schizophrenia gene" that will be triggered at some point in their lives. Therefore, a person cannot avoid developing schizophrenia they are born with the disorder. Schizophrenia does tend to run in families, suggesting that schizophrenia is a genetic condition. This gene may be triggered by environmental factors, including drug abuse, stress, childhood, and illness. Once triggered, schizophrenia may develop gradually or it can have a rapid onset.
I've never met someone who is schizophrenic, but I am so super intrigued by the condition, especially about that 7 year old schizophrenia girl, Jani. (Look it up if you haven't heard about it) I was so touched by that story, in the way of how her parents love her so much and work with the daughter they have, and having faith in the situation. It's amazing. I couldn't even imagine, from the outside looking in, I know a lot of others out there, unfortunately, who wouldn't even try to raise their child if they knew they'd have to completely love that child to the fullest and make such sacrifices. It's an amazing story, ongoing story, and if anything, I just hope that Jani is happy and finds her way.