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Schizophrenia. Its probable causes and tentative treatments.

Updated on January 28, 2016


Its probable causes and tentative treatments.

There are many types of emotional illness as a result of social pressures, ignorant religious teachings, and social stigma caused by unfounded guilt, fear and hatred.

Schizophrenia is by far the most common of all mental disorders. It has been estimated that 80% of all neuro psychiatric hospital beds are occupied by patients diagnosed as Schizophrenic. The word "Schizophrenic" is derived from the Greek words: schezin (to split) and phren (mind). This does not mean that the patient has multiple personalities, but rather it is a splitting of the thought process from emotions. The patient's intelligence my remain normal, but the emotions do not fit real life situations.

One example of this disorder is a blunting or dulling of emotional expression, or the display of an emotion that is inappropriate of the situation, or the thought, being expressed.

Schizophrenic patients may be emotionally disturbed, aggressive, and destructive. They may return to childish behavior and become unable to care for themselves. Some withdraw into fantasy and hallucination. Most have serious difficulty in adjusting to reality.

In general, doctors can rarely prevent or cure this disorder, but can often help the patient to adequately adjust to a somewhat "normal" life.

Different forms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia occurs in several forms and is the most frequently diagnosed mental disorder found among patients in mental hospitals. Schizophrenia affects both male and female.

1. In catatonic schizophrenia a person may become completely inactive and immobile, and not seem to react or respond to reality at all. His muscles become rigid and he may stay in one position for hours at a time without moving, or seeming not to know anything that goes on around him. On the other hand, he may become wildly excited and behave in violent and strange ways.

2. In hebephrenic schizophrenia a person acts and talks in an irrational manner, and may behave childishly. These patients suffer rapid mental deterioration and must remain in mental institutions all their lives.

3. The paranoid schizophrenic believes that everyone is against him, or out to persecute him, and reacts accordingly.

4. In simple schizophrenia this person is emotionally dull, withdrawn, and isolated. He shows no strange or bizarre symptoms and goes along for some time before his illness is detected. His emotions slowly disappear.


The symptoms of schizophrenia are so many and varied that perhaps the term is improperly being used to cover more than this one type of mental disorder.

Primary symptoms can be summarized as follows, but not every schizophrenic will show all these symptoms.

1. Disturbance of effect: This means not showing emotions in a normal way, usually appearing dull and apathetic or displaying inappropriate emotions. For example, speaking of tragic events without any emotion or while actually smiling.
2. Autism: The withdrawal from real life into an inner fantasy world. Inappropriate emotional behavior can sometimes be explained by the fact that the patient may be reacting to what is going on in his private world rather than to external events. He may be so enmeshed in his fantasy that he is disoriented in time and space.
3. Withdrawal from active interchange with the realistic environment: The loss of all interest in people and events around him. In extreme cases he may remain silent and immobile for days and must be cared for as an infant.
4. Delusions and hallucinations: The most common delusion experienced are the beliefs that external forces are trying to control his thoughts and actions or that certain people or groups are persecuting him. Hearing voices or auditory hallucinations are more common than visual hallucinations. When persecutory delusions are predominant, the patient is classed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
5. Bizarre behavior: This behavior may include peculiar gestures, movements, and repetitive acts that make no sense to the observer but are closely related to the schizophrenic's fantasy world.
6. Disturbance of thought: His speech is frequently incoherent and disconnected. He makes associations that seem senseless and often coins new words to express his peculiar thoughts. When the disorder is long standing there is progressive deterioration of intellectual ability as measured by standard intelligence tests. This exemplifies heberephrenic schizophrenia.


Doctors classify mental illnesses into two general types: organic and functional.

1. Organic mental illnesses result from defects that occur in the brain before birth, or when injury or illness cause damage to the brain.

2. Functional mental illness involves no apparent change in the brain, yet the mind does not work properly.

Most mental illnesses are functional rather than organic. Arguments over organic or functional causes of behavior disorders still surround schizophrenia. The fact that schizophrenia is classified as a functional psychosis does not mean that it will necessarily remain in that category.
Research on schizophrenia can be classed into three groups, each having a different point of view about cause.

1. The first group shows good evidence in favor of a heredity factor in schizophrenia as shown by the multiple studies of twins taken place since 1928. If a schizophrenic has a monozygotic, or identical, same sex, twin developed from a single egg, the probability is 46 % that his twin will also become schizophrenic. Even if the twin is not diagnosed as schizophrenic there is high probability that he will be abnormal in certain aspects. A review of a number of studies suggests that only about 13 % of the monozygotic twins of schizophrenics can be regarded as normal, or nearly normal. The child of a schizophrenic has a 49 % chance of being schizophrenic and if both parents are schizophrenic the possibility increases to 66 %. Although strong evidence favors a hereditary factor in the causes of schizophrenia, there is no clear idea how this susceptibility is transmitted.

2. Those of the second group promoting a functional theory believe that early child care practices and interpersonal relationships in the home are crucial variables in schizophrenia. They have looked for factors in the parent-child relationship, particularly the relationship with the mother, that would account for the social withdrawal, poor reality contact, and insecurity characteristic of the schizophrenic. Mothers of schizophrenics have been found to be both overly involved and neglectful, over protective and rejectful, too restrictive and too permissive. Fathers of schizophrenics have tended to be characterized as weak and ineffectual, or aloof and uninvolved with their children.

However, it is not clear whether the behavior of the parents does actually differ from that of other parents. It is difficult to determine whether the parents' attitudes caused the schizophrenia or whether the child was deviant to begin with and the parents' behavior was in response to this abnormality.

Also it is indicated that the disruption of the home by the death of one or both parents occurs more frequently in the background of schizophrenics than in that of normal individuals. Also more prevalent in their backgrounds, are some environments in which there is intense conflict, with both parents trying to dominate and

3. This third group is concerned with the study of internal chemistry in relation to psychosis. It has revealed evidence that manic-depressive and schizophrenic patients differ measurably in blood chemistry from each other as well as from normal individuals. The interpretation of such differences requires great caution, however; they may be a result of the psychosis rather than a cause of it. It is reasonable to assume that a psychosis, through disruption of normal activity and interference with nutrition and sleep, might have extensive effects on the body chemistry.


Because schizophrenia is such a common, tragic, long lasting, and crippling disorder, research into its causes has been pursued vigorously. As yet, nobody has proven conclusively any one cause of schizophrenia. In the absence of firm knowledge of the causes of schizophrenia, a wide variety of treatments have been proposed. The trend in therapy, or treatment of schizophrenia, is increasingly stressing the psychological, rather than medical methods of treatment. The trend is also toward the prevention of severe disorders through the treatment of the mildly ill, and more readily treated, individuals.

Therapy for schizophrenia, as well as other mental illness, is of two kinds: medical therapy and psychotherapy.

1. Medical therapies consist of psycho-surgery, shock therapy, narcosis, and chemo-therapies.

Psycho-surgery is surgery of the brain for the purpose of treating and relieving mental and behavioral symptoms. The most common form of this surgery involved the pre-frontal lobes of the brain. By the removal of tissue from these frontal lobes (lobectomy), or the severing of the connections between the frontal lobes and the lower area of the brain (lobotomy), it was thought that the individual would be less concerned and worried about future events. Because this method was of little therapeutic value and dangerous to the individual, it is not used today.

Shock treatment includes several different kinds of therapy which put the patient into an unconscious state for a time. In most cases, this state is preceded by convulsions, similar to epileptic convulsions. No one is quite sure why, or how, this treatment works. All that is known is that some patients are improved after a series of shock treatments. The shocks are administered by either electric impulses to the brain or via chemical induction.

Narcosis is the use of narcotic drugs to put a person to sleep. It was used extensively to keep agitated patients under control. By itself, it has no therapeutic value, other than the use of Sodium Amytal, or the "truth serum", which enables a patient to remember things otherwise deeply buried in his subconscious.

Chemotherapy is the use of tranquilizers to reduce symptoms, thus making it possible for others to deal with the patient rationally. They treat only the symptoms, not the illness.

Of the first two medical therapies, electroshock treatments are now most widely used.

Narcosis and chemotherapy are employed more to make the patient available to psychotherapy than to produce long lasting beneficial results.

2. Psychotherapy is the treatment of a disease by mental influences. The aims of this therapy consist of some combination of: changes in life situations, providing mental support through a crisis, achieving insight, and learning to replace bad social conduct with that which is more socially acceptable.

Four major types of psychotherapy may be distinguished: directive therapies, client centered therapy, psychoanalysis, and behavior therapies:
1. Directive therapy emphasizes changing the situation and re-education of the individual.

2. Client centered therapy provides a permissive situation for the patient, and attempts to help him talk out and solve his personal problems.

3. Psychoanalysis follows the teachings of Freud. As a therapy, psychoanalysis emphasizes the analysis of free associations, resistance, dreams, and transference's, or the transfer of attitudes from one person to another.

4. The behavior therapies concentrate on the deviant behavior as such and attempt to modify it by use of conditioning and learning techniques.

Recovery from all religious brainwashing to peace of mind

Effectiveness of treatments and Prevention

Studies of the effectiveness of psycho-therapeutic techniques are very difficult to do, but those which have been done may be interpreted as indicating that psychotherapy is far less effective than we would like it to be.

One implication of this, is that prevention of behavior disorders must assume greater importance.

Normal individuals may do much to improve their own personal adjustments by attempting to achieve self understanding and learning various measures to reduce conflict and frustration.

Self understanding is aided by learning to accept and tolerate anxiety, avoiding the excessive use of defense mechanisms, and attempting to understand one's own motives.

Conflict and frustration may be minimized by postponing certain satisfactions to a foreseeable time, acquiring greater frustration tolerance, finding socially acceptable ways of venting emotions, and keeping occupied with useful work.

Mental health is a problem that concerns everyone. So many people are, have been, or will be, mentally ill or seriously maladjusted that none of us can escape some personal contact with it. Therefore, it is felt that everyone should have some understanding of what mental illness is, its probable causes, detection of symptoms, and available treatments of it.

With all the hypotheses about causes, and treatments, no one has dared to approach one of the most probable causes in all walks of life. It is a logical conclusion from first hand observations and study, that 90 % [+/-] of all mental disorders are directly related to the bombardment of incongruent and inconscient (unsuitable, mindless, thoughtless, irrelevant, illogical) religious indoctrination techniques on a child's developing psyche. The subconscious damage done by these "teachings" is indisputable and irreversible and most of all, inexcusable.
Among those tentative cures cited heretofore in this article, there should be one more added and that is 'deprogramming'. The reversal of brainwashing techniques that children are subjected to every day of their lives from the time they are born until they escape the confines of influence by their parents, and religious leaders.
After many years of working with the mentally ill, i found that greater than 90 % of those in hospitals and later outpatient treatment programs were "hung up" on sexual, or religious related guilt, extreme low self image, low self worth, low self esteem, etc, to such a degraded level that they were non functional in a 'normal' society.

Although, it must also be noted here that while most people subjected to religious indoctrination's do manage to function at a so called "acceptable" level in society, they still retain suppressed feelings of low esteem, guilt (without reason) and intense fear of eternal pain and suffering without any realistic justification.
Those children with higher conceptual abilities are the ones most damaged by the "tearing down" of a child's mind by the demeaning of their spirit through the innocuous brainwashing techniques used by all religions' unique indoctrination processes into their respective religious cults, sects, or denominations. Bombarding a child's mind with superstitious fears before they reach the age of reasoning is inappropriate and should be considered child abuse.
Those children that 'learn' to conform, can never break free of those chains around their minds. Until this cycle of emotional child abuse is dealt with on a universal scale, we will continue to have inner conflict, turmoil and an unnecessary part of our society suffering from mild to severe mental disorders filled with hatred and fear.
The first line of defense against this monstrous cycle of abuse are the parents.
I personally am not an atheist, but whether you are, or not, is irrelevant. The video i have attached is applicable to all who have children, or plan on having children in the future. It should be a required viewing for all parents.

The parents are the only ones responsible for the healthy development of their children, both in mind and body.

by d.william

Does Religious Child Abuse Directly Contribute to Mental Disorders?

© 2011 d.william


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    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank your for reading and your astute observations. The stigma in this country against all mental illness is outrageous. When this country decided to close those mental hospitals, it was just an attempt at the denial of such tragic numbers of mentally ill, and the shameful lack of the ability to solve the problem. Much like sweeping your floor and hiding the dirt under the rug. The dirt is still there, just hidden from view.

      The only thing it did, was to make their lives even more miserable and add to the number of homeless people (that this government also denies).

    • Chatkath profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Very good hub and clarification of a term that I think is misunderstood because as you explain so well: "The symptoms of schizophrenia are so many and varied that perhaps the term is improperly being used to cover more than this one type of mental disorder". It is very unfortunate especially since there are so very few resources available to help those who really need it in our Country!

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you so much for reading and your support. Sorry to hear about your brother. It is quite a devastating diagnosis, and the causes are still unknown, but i think that those born with greater sensitivity are most apt to be affected by the conflicting input into their brains. Sad.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very informative indeed. I had ( he passed away ) a brother, Fred, who was diagnosed with Schizoprenia at the age of eighteen. He was given many shock TX., plus a Vasectomy. He was able to function at times, but mostly institutionalized throughout his life. I always wondered if his problem stemmed from a dysfunctional home life, being one of twelve children.( This was before i was born ) I believe that teaching a child that God will punish instead of teaching that God is love, leaves a child confused. Thank you for another thought provoking article.

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for your comments. And, yes, it is, just another American shame. When i first started working with the mentally ill, they were still doing some lobotomies and lobectomies. I thought this was one of the most barbaric treatments that i could imagine. And how in hell did anyone EVER figure out that electric shock therapy actually worked? I can't help think that this revelation was somehow left over from the German rampage on the world era.

      Now, i view chemo therapy for cancer (prophylactic) treatment in the same category.

      I hope your stepson has found some middle ground and peace for himself.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for this well-researched compilation on a mysterious illness. My stepson was schizophrenic and seemed to go from periods of lucidity to garbled nonsense to moments of brilliance.

      The care and attention we provide for the mentally ill in this country is shameful.


    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you so much for your comments. There are so many issues that are conflicting to a young child's mind that when they are over exaggerated and that child is constantly being told they are 'sinners', and 'god hates sinners', it takes its toll on the mind. But not only religious inconsistencies are to blame, this was only to mention one that has not been previously explored by the psychiatric community. We can never dismiss any negative input into the learning mind of a young child. Even telling a child over and over again that they are stupid can do irreparable damage to an undeveloped mind incapable of logical reasoning. If my parents tell me i am ugly, and stupid, then it must be so. We should be telling our kids that they are beautiful and smart; and that everyone is beautiful in their own way, etc..

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for visiting my hub pages and your comments. They are appreciated. I will look up Meta-Medicine, thanks for the tip. I have been retired from nursing for 3 years, and there are probably other things i am not aware of, but the basics are still the same.

      You state that 'religion is not the cause, emotional issues maybe". That is exactly my point. The religious teachings are a direct cause of emotional issues in many, many people, and the cause/effect of those teachings is certainly a major factor in emotional disconnection of such contradictory input between them and actual reality. Young minds cannot make that distinction.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Great information here. l find it a bit scary that we still don´t know what causes schizophrenia.

      Wonderful, informative article. Thank you.

    • PAPA-BEAR profile image

      John W Townsend 

      8 years ago from London England UK

      Schizophrenia is being treated with a great deal of success using Meta-Medicine. It use the hospital diagnosis as the baseline, then roots out the emotional factors that hold onto the condition. Worth looking into, look it up under Meta-Medicine. Religion is not the cause, emotional issues maybe.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I can understand that logic. I am a woman of faith, and I do find comfort in organized religion to a point. I do wish, however, that the evil individuals who scare children and do horrible things to them in the name of religion would go away. I'm devastated by some of the stories I hear. Thanks for respecting my comments, though.

      I do understand the major differences between schizophrenia and BPD. Schizophrenia is such a terrible illness to battle, and my heart goes out to everyone who suffers from it. I do pray that they find a way to pinpoint a cause someday, and that if they're able to do that, they'll be able to help nip it in the bud, if that's even a possibility.

      Again, though, this was a very GOOD hub, and quite useful to folks doing their best to understand mental illness. Great job, my dear!

    • d.william profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I did consider leaving that part off, but i feel it is important for people to understand what putting the "fear of God" into their children can cause as a long term effect. And as i said, 90+% of the mental patients i cared for were totally hung up on religion and/or sex. All of the disconnected schizophrenics that hallucinated did so with religious babblings, or something sexual.

      So, yes, this may ruffle a few feathers, but it is an accurate assessment of one more possibility for the causes of Schizophrenia, and other emotional disorders. Bipolar Disorder is not part of the group of emotional disconnect disorders, as it is known to be due to a chemical imbalance, so you cannot equate this disorder with this article.

      And although, i do not currently (or ever will) belong to any organized religion, i was brought up in the Roman Catholic church, and still retain some terrible memories of the wickedness and evil they implanted in our young and yes, innocent brains, that carried my feelings of low self worth through most of my lifetime.

      This article is NOT about religion. It is just a small part of the probably causes. We cannot hide this probability under the carpet just because it might offend some overly religious folks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      d.william, I was really impressed with this hub until I hit the end. While I understand your feeling that religion helps to cause mental illness (although I suffer from Bipolar Disorder and was not raised in a religious home), I think it sort of took away from the very productive objectivity of the hub.

      Other than that, it was highly professional in presentation and extremely informative. Kudos for that. Definitely voted up!


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