Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder which can affect how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty in distinguishing between what is real and imaginary. Common symptoms that might include confused thinking, false beliefs, hearing voices, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation.
People with schizophrenia may often have additional mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, major depressive illness. Symptoms come on gradually, begin in the young adulthood, and last a long time.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Early warning signs of schizophrenia include:
• A constant feeling of being watched
• Hearing or seeing something that isn’t there
• The peculiar way of speaking or writing
• Strange body positioning
• Deterioration of academic or work performance
• Change in personal hygiene and appearance
• Personality changes
• Increasing withdrawal from social interaction
• angry or fearful & irrational, response to loved ones
• Inability to sleep or concentrate
Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviours not generally seen in healthy people. Positive symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality. Symptoms include:
• Hallucinations – most reported are hearing voices
• Delusions – unusual beliefs not based on reality
• Muddled thoughts- based on delusions or hallucinations
• Cognitive dysfunction- The deficits impacting the cognitive function are found in a large number of areas: working memory, long-term memory, verbal declarative memory, episodic memory, run attention, learning (particularly verbal learning)
• Movement disorders (agitated body movements)
Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviours. Symptoms include:
• “Flat affect” (reduced facial expression or voice tone)
• Reduced feelings of pleasure
• Difficulty in sustaining activities
• Reduced speaking
You Might Also Like:
Causes of schizophrenia
Several factors contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia.
Genes and environment: Schizophrenia sometimes run in families. However, there are many people with schizophrenia who don’t have a family member with the disorder.
Scientists believe, many different genes can increase the risk of schizophrenia, but no single gene causes the disorder by itself. It is not yet possible to get genetic information to predict who will develop schizophrenia.
Scientists also think that interactions between genes and environment are necessary for developing schizophrenia. Environmental factors may involve:
- Malnutrition before birth
- Exposure to viruses
- Psychosocial factors
- Problems during birth
Different brain chemistry and structure: Scientists think that interrelated chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia.
Treatments and Therapies for schizophrenia
The exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms. Treatments include:
Antipsychotic medications are usually taken daily in pill form. Some antipsychotics injections are given once or twice a month. Some people may have side effects when they start taking medications, but most of the side effects go away after a few days.
These treatments are helpful after finding a medication that works. Learning and using coping skills to address the everyday challenges of schizophrenia, such as attending school or work. Individuals who participate in customary psychosocial treatment are less liable to have relapsed or be hospitalized.
Coordinated speciality care (CSC)-
This treatment model integrates medication, psychosocial therapies, case management, family involution, and fortified edification and employment accommodations, all aimed at reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life.