Scientific inquiry into the causes and methods of treatment for mental illnesses has been minimal and as a result mental illness has been largely misunderstood by the general public. People often fear what they do not understand which has led to the often barbarous treatment of mental illness patients. In an attempt to help educate the public about what living with schizophrenia is actually like and how it affects both the individuals afflicted and their families, there has been an increase in literature on the subject.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by delusions, disorganized thinking, and hallucinations. Major depressive disorder has also been associated with schizophrenia as a prevalent symptom (Tandon, 17). According to the Medical Dictionary by Farlex,
“Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder (or a group of disorders) marked by severely impaired thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Schizophrenic patients are typically unable to filter sensory stimuli and may have enhanced perceptions of sounds, colors, and other features of their environment…The patient must have two (or more) of the following symptoms during a one-month period: delusions; hallucinations; disorganized speech; disorganized or catatonic behavior; negative symptoms” (“Schizophrenia”).