Schizophrenia refers to a bunch of similar mental disorders that are associated with peoples’ inability to understand reality. Often, people with this mental illness have irrational thoughts and beliefs. They have a problem with social interaction and often exhibit unusual behavior without any logical explanation. The people going through this may even have hallucinations and other such symptoms that limit their abilities to perform normally in situations.
There are two kinds of symptoms that relate to schizophrenia, positive and negative.
- Hallucinations: They are related to sensing things that are actually not there. Some of the most common would be to hear things or voices that aren’t there, or seeing things happen that never have.
- Delusions: Delusions are unrealistic thoughts. It causes most schizophrenic people to be paranoid or causes them to believe exaggerated and irrational things. These occur in majority of the cases when a person had schizophrenia.
- Thought disorders: This would be a problem in processing and putting together information, and thus problems with speaking and communicating with people. They could be seen as unwanted pauses between a conversation ormentioning unusual phrases and adding together words that do not make sense.
- Confusing behavior: It means that they may act unusual in certain situations, they may start laughing without a plausible explanation or may get angry or restless without there being any trigger to it.
- Not paying attention to daily activities.
- Not being able to show emotions.
- Not being able to take care of themselves.
- No motivation to do things or initiate activities.
- Being anti-social.
Seeking medical treatment
Since people with this disorder do not realize what is going on and are not really aware of how their minds are changing, they need the help from professionals who know how to handle them and they need support from their loved ones. Their loved ones may also have to observe the patients because the psychiatrist may need to know how certain medication improves the peoples’ behaviors or whether it is giving undesired changes.
It is also good to know that people who suffer from this disorder commonly have a suicidal thoughts, so if the person has been diagnosed with it, people close to them should be extra sensitive towards their needs and people should make sure they are kept away from things that could be used to make them inflict any sort of harm to themselves.
Schizophrenia is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment, even when symptoms have subsided. Treatment with medications and psychosocial therapy can help manage the condition. During crisis periods or times of severe symptoms, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety, proper nutrition, adequate sleep and basic hygiene.
A psychiatrist experienced in treating schizophrenia usually guides treatment. The treatment team also may include psychologists, social workers and psychiatric nurses and possibly a case manager to coordinate care. The full-team approach may be available in clinics with expertise in schizophrenia treatment.
Medicine has an important role in the treatment of schizophrenia. There are mainly antipsychotic drugs and atypical antipsychotic drugs.
Antipsychotics are used by a lot of psychiatrists, however they may have negative side effects as well. They are responsible for regulating the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the patients, as there have been some clear signs that schizophrenia and these neurotransmitters are correlated.
Atypical antipsychotics also seem to have negative side effects, but these are becoming slightly more common than the average because they have less side effects as compared with standard antipsychotics. These could include drugs such as clozapine or risperidone.
Sometimes antidepressants may also be given along with the drugs mentioned, to remove negative and suicidal thoughts from the person’s mind.
Then there are treatments related to improving a person’s social skills. That could range from training to improve social skills or just your average individual therapy sessions helping people get better by helping them to deal with their problems.
All these methods have shown significant amount of changes in people with the disorder which is why it is important to not give up if one type of treatment does not work.
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