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During the 1950s, mentally disordered people who were harmful to society and

themselves could be treated with medications and were able to return safely to their

communities. During the 1980s, the cost of health care increased more than any other

cost in our national economy. As a result, strategic planning has been made to reduce

costs. "The political decision made to deinstitutionalize chronic mental patients started

with the appearance of phenothiazine medications. Dramatically reducing the instability

influenced by psychosis, these medications were of great significance to many

individuals with serious mental disorders. At both the state and federal levels,

legislators looked at the high cost of long-term psychiatric hospitalization. Social

scientists guaranteed them that community-based care would be in the best interests of

all concerned: the mentally ill and the general, tax-paying public (Barry 13)." It was

believed that a social breakdown syndrome would develop in chronically mentally ill

persons who were institutionalized. The characteristics of this syndrome were

submission to authority, withdrawal, lack of initiative, and excessive dependence on the


While deinstitutionalization was kindhearted in its primary logic, the actual

execution of the concept has been greatly undermined by the lack of good community

alternatives. At this time a large amount of the individuals using community mental

health treatment services are the homeless. Nearly half of the homeless are chronically

mental ill. These individuals are often separated from their families and all alone on the

dangerous street. These homeless schizophrenics stay away from social structures

such as community health treatment centers. Since they start a new life of

independence they often stop taking their medications, become psychotic and out of

place, and begin to live on the street. Since the schizophrenics are deinstitutionalized

they are thrown into a whole new world of independence. Since their brain functions

different than the usual human being they can't cope with the problems of life. The

schizophrenics drive themselves crazy wanting to kill themselves and others in order to

escape from this perplexing world.

Schizophrenia is the most common psychoses in the United States affecting

around one percent of the United States population. It is characterized by a deep

withdrawal from interpersonal relationships and a retreat into a world of fantasy. This

plunge into fantasy results in a loss of contact from reality that can vary from mild to

severe. Psychosis has more than one acceptable definition. The psychoses are

different from other groups of psychiatric disorders in their degree of severity,

withdrawal, alteration in affect, impairment of intellect, and regression.

The severity of psychoses are considered major disorders and involve confusion

in all portions of a person's life. Psychosis is seen in a wide range of organic disorders

and schizophrenia. These disorders are severe, intense, and disruptive. A person with

a psychotic disorder suffers greatly, as do those in his or her immediate environment.

Individuals suffering from withdrawal are said to be autistic. That is, the person

withdraws from reality into a private world of his or her own. The psychotic individual is

more withdrawn than a person with a neurotic disorder or any other mental disorder.

The affect, mood, or emotional tone in a person with a psychotic disorder is immensely

different from that of normal affect. In the mood disorders, one observes the

exaggeration of sadness and cheerfulness in the form of depression and mania. In the

schizophrenic disorders, affect may be exaggerated, flat, or inappropriate.

In psychotic disorders, the intellect is involved in the actual psychotic process,

resulting in derangement of language, thought, and judgment. Schizophrenia is called

a formal thought disorder. Thinking and understanding of reality are usually severely

impaired. The most severe and prolonged regressions are seen in the psychoses,

regression. There is a falling back to earlier behavioral levels. In schizophrenia this

may include returning to primitive forms of behavior, such as curling up into a fetal

position, eating with one's hands, and so forth. The symptoms of schizophrenia usually

occur during adolescence or early adulthood, except for paranoid schizophrenia, which

usually has a later onset. The process of schizophrenia is often slow, with the

exception of catatonia, which may have an abrupt onset. As an adolescent, a person

who later develops schizophrenia is often antisocial with others, lonely, and depressed.

Plans for the future may appear to others as vague or unrealistic.

It is possible that there may be a preschizophrenic phase a year



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