By Elizabeth Gividen and Kayla Dunn; Farnsley Middle School (Louisville, KY)

One day, I (Elizabeth) was walking around in a local store. After passing the shampoo aisle, I saw a woman make a comment to her son about a man with strange behavior. She was telling him to stay away from the man. The man showed no emotion and the woman with him was escorting him around. I thought about the man’s behavior. It appeared that he had a mental disorder.
Schizophrenia is a disorder that is able to change a person’s life very quickly. We have observed this happening many of times when we are out in public, and have heard people make comments or stare at their strange behavior. It is important to understand that sometimes people struggle with their disorders.
Schizophrenia causes many different types of symptoms. According to, a website that contains information about multiple mental disorders, some of the symptoms, which can be severe, include delusions, hallucinations and thought disorders. The severity of these symptoms varies.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some symptoms of the disorder that reduce the ability of the brain to function normally. The example used on Mayo Clinic was “the person appears to lack emotion, such as not making eye contact, not changing facial expressions…” The person may lack the ability to carry out normal activities like a decrease in talking and may have a loss in interest in everyday activities.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are symptoms referred to as cognitive symptoms. These are symptoms that affect your memory and other aspects of thinking. This may include trouble focusing or paying attention, poor ability to understand and make decisions and the ability to use information immediately after learning it. Therefore, they will struggle with parts of everyday life.
Schizophrenia affects groups of people differently. According to Mayo Clinic, schizophrenia affects men and women equally, but men tend to experience symptoms earlier than woman. This causes doctors to find schizophrenia in men earlier than in women. Most of the time schizophrenia will not appear after the age of 45. It occurs at the same rates in all ethnic groups around the world.
According to Mental Health America, scientists have found that the disorder tends to run in families. People inherit a tendency to develop schizophrenia. The disorder can also be triggered by events in your life. Viral infections, highly stressful situations or a combination of both are examples of life events that can cause you to develop schizophrenia. Schizophrenia appears when the body goes through hormonal/physical changes, like those that occur during puberty in teens and young adult years.
According to Mayo Clinic, it is harder to detect schizophrenia in teens due to the early symptoms in the disorder are common during the development in teen years.
There is no cure for this mental disorder, but there are treatments. Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment, even when the symptoms have become less severe to the patient.
According to Mental Health America, with the right treatment people can lead productive and fulfilling lives. Treatment can vary from medication to rehabilitation programs.
Mayo Clinic states that psychosocial therapy can also help manage the condition and …“During crisis periods or times of severe symptoms, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety, proper nutrition, adequate sleep and basic hygiene.” This means that during a crisis period you should seek help.
Schizophrenia is still being researched to this day. According to many of the sites, including and National Institutes of Health, current research topics on schizophrenia include gene research and understanding Childhood Onset Schizophrenia.