All You Need To Know About Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder. People with schizophrenia experience distortions of reality, repeatedly experience hallucinations and delusions.

There are many misconceptions about this disorder. For example, people think that it forms a split personality, whereas schizophrenia and split personality are two different disorders.

Schizophrenia can happen to men and women of all ages. Men usually develop the symptoms of this brain disorder in their late teens or early 20s. While women start reflecting the signs in their late 20s or early 30s.

Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

When schizophrenia is active, it can be identified when a person is unable to differentiate between real and unreal events. The duration, severity, and frequency of symptoms vary in any illness, however, in schizophrenia, the severe symptoms often decrease in a patient’s life. Consumption of alcohol or street drugs, ignorance of the prescribed medicines, and stressful situations can fuel its symptoms. The symptoms may include:

  • Early symptoms
    These symptoms usually reflect in teenage years or early 20s. These signs are usually neglected because of typical adolescent behaviors. It includes:

    • Getting yourself isolated from family and friends
    • Changing social group or friends
    • Lack of concentration or focus
    • Disturbed sleep
    • Getting irritated easily
    • Poor academic performance
  • Positive symptoms
    Positive symptoms are the psychotic behaviors that are not usually found in healthy individuals. These include:

    • Hallucinations
    • Delusions
    • Thoughts and movement disorders
  • Negative symptoms
    These symptoms interrupt the behavior, emotions, and abilities of a person and they include:

    • Unorganized thinking or speech
    • Lack of emotions
    • Lack of excitement in life
    • Social isolation
    • Trouble controlling impulses
    • Difficulty in experiencing pleasure
    • Trouble starting or following the plans
    • Difficulty in performing daily tasks
  • Cognitive symptoms
    Cognitive symptoms are mostly subtle and difficult to detect. However, it can affect your memory and thinking. The symptoms include:

    • Unorganized thinking, i.e. unable to focus or pay attention
    • Poor understanding information and trouble making decisions
    • Problem learning new things
    • Loss of insights

Causes Of schizophrenia

The exact cause of this brain disorder is still unknown, but medical researchers believe there are several contributing factors, such as biological, genetic, and environmental. Recent studies have shown up that chemical abnormalities are also responsible for many schizophrenia symptoms.

  • Risk factors associated with schizophrenia may include:
  • Exposure to toxins or virus
  • Presence of inflammatory or autoimmune disease
  • Use of mind-altering drugs
  • High-stress levels

Diagnosis And Tests For Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia cannot be diagnosed with one single test. Your doctor needs a complete psychiatric examination to diagnose it. You will be required to see a mental health specialist and he may ask you to answer the following:

  • Your medical history
  • Your mental health
  • Medical history of your family

Based on your answers, your doctor may conduct the following tests:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • CT (computed tomography) scan
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Treatment for schizophrenia

Currently, there are no cures available for this brain disorder. If you are diagnosed with it, then you would require lifelong treatment. Treatments can help to control or lower the symptoms of schizophrenia. It is very important that you reach out to a psychiatrist or mental health specialist for the treatment. Possible treatments of schizophrenia may include:

  • Medications: Antipsychotic medication is the most common treatment, as it can help to prevent hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms.
  • Psychosocial intervention: It is an individual therapy that helps you to cope up with stress and illness. It can also help to improve your social and communication skills.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: This treatment can empower with you the skills that can help you to return to work.

Family support is an important aspect that a person living with schizophrenia would require. It is important to take care of their health and wellbeing. For more information, give us a call on 9311112377.

Author: Dr. Deepak Raheja

Hope Care established under the guidance of Dr. Deepak Raheja, is a Psychiatric Centre of excellence that endeavors to restore hope and well-being to individuals and families afflicted by mental ill-health through comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services. Hopecare seeks to set benchmarks in innovative programs in treatment, care, and education.

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