Kaplan University
Introduction to Psychology
Allison Christine
March 30, 2014

Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects the brain.   It affects a person’s actions, how they think and view the world around them.   Their perception of reality is often altered and they lose contact with reality too.   It often presents during the late teens or early adult years.   Schizophrenia is chronic and requires medication and treatment for life.   Genes, environmental factors and stress can trigger this illness.   Most people diagnosed with schizophrenia live their lives and can function on their own.   Diagnosing and treating it early is essential and key to a better outlook (Stangor, 2010).
Mary is a seventeen year old female that left home because she had a physically abusive father.   She would often hide her face and eyes behind her hair and lacked self-esteem and self- confidence.   She was staying with friends here and there but recently started staying at a homeless shelter for youths.   Mary would often find herself hearing voices and talking to people that weren’t there.   She suffers from hallucinations and feels that those around her want to cause her harm.  
According to the DMS IV in our textbook, Mary is exhibiting signs of schizophrenia.   She is experiencing delusions, hallucinations and at times loses contact with reality.   Treatment options vary from patient to patient.   In this case, Mary would need to seek psychiatric treatment from a referred psychiatrist.   To rule out any underlying medical conditions or possible cause, I would recommend and order laboratory tests and an imaging study.   Medication will also be prescribed such as an antipsychotic; Risperdal and Thorazine reduce dopamine and alleviate any negative symptoms.   Since Mary is living in a shelter, getting her medication that is affordable and through programs that can assist with prescriptions would be ideal.   Mary must take her medication for life; if she...