There are so many mental disorders in the world and some can cure or some can’t. All of the mental illnesses are change the person’s behaviour, thinking pattern and functions of their healthy life. All changes are common in mental disorders. So what is schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a severe chronic mental disorder characterized by psychotic symptoms, mood changes and disordered thinking. These individuals can’t touch the reality of life.
Though schizophrenia is not a common disease, symptoms are disabling. This disease with complex symptoms can’t cure. The symptoms related to thinking and behaviour may affect the day to day life and impaired them. But with treatment and follow-up care, the sick person can live a healthy, successful life. They need lifelong treatments. Starting the treatment when starting symptoms is better. Early treatments help to keep symptoms under control and severe symptoms may lead to dangerous situations like self-destruction.
What is schizophrenia according to DSM-5%? The two or more symptoms (hallucination, Delusion, disorganized speech, catatonic behaviour or negative symptoms) must be present for a period of at least one month to decide schizophrenia. Usually, this disease starts to onset in late teenage or early adulthood. Commonly men showing symptoms earlier than women.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The manifestations of schizophrenia start to appear in late teenage or early adulthood. There are three types. They are positive, negative and cognitive symptoms.
All people have different features. The sufferers also have features, that we can’t see in a healthy person. positive symptoms are present in ill persons and can’t see in the healthy life of this person. These are positive features of schizophrenia;
These are false beliefs not related to reality. As an example, the individuals with delusion believe they have a superpower, they are loved by a popular person etc. There are different types of delusions like persecutory delusion, glandular delusion, bizarre delusion and love delusion etc.
All we identify the environmental changes because of the stimulations. Without some stimulations, we can’t identify anything in the environment. But patients with hallucinations experienced the perception without external stimulation. There are six types of hallucinations. They are a visual hallucination, auditory hallucination, command hallucination, olfactory hallucination, tactile hallucination and gustatory hallucination. Some times hallucinations are very dangerous. As an example; the sick are committing suicide due to the command or auditory hallucination.
The sufferers have disorganized thoughts gathered from disorganized speech. Owing to the disorganized speech, they face communication problems. When asking problem from them, they give partially or completely unrelated answers. Ward salad is an example.
There are agitated body movements can be seen in some people. These individuals can’t manage their movements and difficult to do tasks.
The features can see in patient’s healthy life and can’t see after the ill. Lack of ability to function normally, Reduced feelings of happy, Reduced speaking, neglect personal hygiene, lack of emotions, poor sleep, poor appetite etc..
We can see noticeable changes in memory of some patients. They can’t understand the things and make decisions. Poor attention and working memory (inability to use the information just after learning it) are examples.
Family history affects the disease. Being related to someone with schizophrenia highly increases the person’s risk of developing schizophrenia. But some times change the condition. Only the genes can’t occur cause schizophrenia. other risk factors help increase the risk.
The individual’s environment is important for schizophrenia to develop. Exposure to viruses, Problems during birth, psychosocial factors, malnutrition before birth and family environment are the examples.
Brain chemistry and structure
Imbalance of the brain chemicals likes, dopamine and glutamate is cause to schizophrenia. Sometimes birth defects may lead to this condition. Viral infection, a hormonal imbalance and nutritional imbalance increase the risk factor.
Treatments for Schizophrenia
After a person becomes mentally ill, they should take treatment which prescribes by health care providers to improve their mental health. After diagnosing the illness, start treatments immediately. If not, the risk of life and disorder condition increasing. The treatments for the schizophrenia is lifelong and focus on eliminating the symptoms. There are several treatments use to improve mental health.
Antipsychotic medications are the most common and best drug for schizophrenia. Used as pills, liquids and injections. Someone who is refusing to take medication consistently may need to be given injections once or twice a month. The goal of antipsychotic treatment is to reduce the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. These drugs can’t cure the patients. There are lots of side effects when starting medications. But they disappear after a few days. Examples are; Aripiprazole, Clozapine, Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Risperidone.
Thre is not enough only the medications, to improve mental health. Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a very important therapy type. This treatment helps the physician to identifies the problems behind the patient ith his emotions, behaviour and thoughts. There are several types of psychotherapies.
Psychosocial Treatments – help the person to participate in his/her day to day life. Health provider can understand how to work medications also. This less likely to have relapsed or be hospitalized when participating in the regular sessions according to the medical advice.
Individual Psychotherapy – Educating the patient on how to cope with his/her thoughts and behaviours. The patients can understand what is the reality of life as well as the condition and the effect of the disorder. These help patients manage their daily life.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – CBT teaches the patient to change their behaviour and thinking patterns. The important thing is to educate patients to face hallucination and delusion and how to reduce them.
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy – CET teaches people how to improve their attention, memory, and the ability to organize their thoughts. Can be conducted as individual or group sessions.
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