This paper discusses schizophrenia, a debilitating but treatable brain disease. It also discusses how the American culture views persons suffering from schizophrenia negatively.

This paper stresses that schizophrenia is a disease, and social workers should advocate for their schizophrenic patients with the same vigor that they would for any other patient. The author points out that recovery is contingent upon access to treatment, proper diagnosis, interventions, access to medications, support systems, and the way an individual’s culture responds to its citizens suffering from mental illness. The paper reports that schizophrenics experience barriers to employment opportunities and housing and are vulnerable to a variety of crimes and deceptions.

Table of Contents
Ideology and Genetic Disposition
Environmental and Cultural Factors
Social Worker’s Role
“The Mayo Clinic (2004) reports that schizophrenia is an illness that affects approximately one percent of the population worldwide. It most commonly appears between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five, and often earlier in males than in females. In men, schizophrenia typically emerges in the teens or twenties. In women, the onset typically is in the twenties or early thirties. Schizophrenia is a very cruel condition that lasts for at least six months and includes at least one month of active-phase symptoms. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2000) defines the characteristic symptoms that need to be met in which two or more of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a one-month period.”

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