Relationship Between Schizophrenia And Culture

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The Relation between Schizophrenia and Culture

Schizophrenia has been described in all cultures throughout the world. The perception of mental illness within cultural dynamics may affect the diagnosis, treatment, style of coping and support system of an individual with schizophrenia (Russo, 2006). Therefore it is important to take all cultural explanations of schizophrenia into consideration. In order to explore Schizophrenia within a South African context, this essay will discuss the following; what schizophrenia is, the etiology of schizophrenia, the treatment of schizophrenia and the relation between schizophrenia and the culture bound syndrome within South Africa.

What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a rare, debilitating mental illness …show more content…

The environmental factors include teratogens, early psychological trauma, and disturbed family conditions. Mothers who are malnourished or exposed to German measles (rubella) or the influenza virus while pregnant, as well as mothers who have complications while giving birth, are more likely to have children who are at a higher risk of becoming schizophrenic. This is because such events can disturb the child’s brain development therefore making them more vulnerable to a psychotic break (Coon & O'Mitterer, …show more content…

Because of this, hereditary factors are looked at.

It has been long understood that schizophrenia runs in families. People who have a close relative with schizophrenia are more likely to develop the disorder than those who have no relatives with the disorder (Lewis, 1987). This is because children inherit certain genes that make them more vulnerable to developing the disorder (Coon & O'Mitterer, 2012).

Lastly, we will look at the biological factors. Many researchers believe that schizophrenia may be caused by disturbances in brain chemicals (Coon & O'Mitterer, 2012). One of the brain chemicals includes dopamine. Dopamine appears to trigger a flood of thoughts, feelings and perceptions. Therefore, through the over activity in brain dopamine systems and the over-sensitivity of dopamine receptors, hallucinations and delusions may be caused. The neurotransmitter glutamate also appears to be related to schizophrenia as it influences brain activities in areas that control emotions and sensory information, as well as alters dopamine systems when its level is altered by stress (Coon & O'Mitterer,

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