Schizophrenia is a consequential brain mess. It warps the way a person thinks, speaks, acts and expresses oneself. The person affected by schizophrenia will have trouble in differentiating between the reality and imagination. It will leave him permanently disabled to function well in school, college, office and other social places. To the person the world will only be a fragment of sounds, thoughts, people and others. It makes the person feel frightened and to be confined into one’s shell. Though it cannot be cured, it can control the attitude of the person. Some people associate schizophrenia with Dissociative Identity disorder. It is can be defined as a mental illness in which the person will lose the vision of the reality. The behaviour of the person affected by schizophrenia is completely weird and the episode that occurs after the person has lost touch of the reality is called as psychotic episode. It is characterized by changes in behaviour and character. The intensity of the schizophrenia varies from person to person. Some people will have a single episode while others have more than one episodes. The people will lead a normal life between the episodes. The people affected by schizophrenia will have hallucinations and delusions that sways the normal intellectual level of the people. The people will over a period of time develop of time develop more intense form of the psychotic episodes. This leads to deterioration of health.
Classification Of Schizophrenia :
Based on the behavioural characteristics of the people, the schizophrenia will be classified as follows :
1. Catatonic type :
In this type people will show extreme excitement and autism alternatively. The people will exhibit stupor with inability to speak to speak or move.
2. Paranoid :
The people affected by this type will be deluded and experience auditory hallucinations. They will easily be provoked to anger. They will be in a frightened state, argumentative and sensitive in such a way that they will think that they are being spied all the time.
3. Disorganised type :
In this type the person will feel confused. They will laugh and cry without any reason. It is seen in many people. This is a progressive one that affects the quality of life in some people.
4. Undifferentiated Type :
The person affected by this type do not fit into any of the types of schizophrenia. They will have mixed aura of all the types.
5. Residual Type :
These persons will once have been affected by schizophrenia but now show no possible traits of it. It will take months or years to check if the symptoms fit the illness.
Doctors are of the opinion now that these types no longer fit into the general category because they now suggest treating patients based on their symptoms.
Symptoms Of Schizophrenia :
Schizophrenia can be determined by many symptoms like changes in capability, thoughts, perception, social behavior, and overall personality. When the illness first sets in, symptoms usually are unexpected,rare and severe. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be grouped into positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia :
Positive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia :
These are those which obviously point that the people are suffering from this disorder.
It includes :
- Scribbling on walls or paper with no real intent.
- Having delusions. These delusions are those that make the person believe that others see things also that are not real. It will be difficult to convince that they are false and imaginary.
- Hallucinations : the hallucinations experienced by them include hearing voices that command, order, insult, praise or speak to them.
- Forgetting things often.
- Switching from one thought to next.
- Speaking in irrational tems.
- Slow movements.
- Not able to make decisions
- Exhibiting Recurrent movements.
Negative Symptoms Of Schizophrenia :
These symptoms do not mean bad but they define some symptoms that remain dormant in a person and do not exhibit normally. They include :
- Emotionless or limited emotions.
- Abolishing from social activities.
- Low energy.
- Minimal amount of speech.
- No motivational spirit.
- No interest in life.
- Unhygienic habits.
Cognitive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia :
The symptoms include :
- No capacity to understand information and work them.
- Difficulty in working the conditions after hearing them.
Causes Of Schizophrenia :
The exact causes for schizophrenia is not known but it is thought to descend from biological factors. It does not manifest by poor upbringing or parental care. The factors that are thought to cause them in the first place are as follows :
1. Hereditary :
A person who has any one affected by schizophrenia is prone to be affected by that mental illness more than others. It is not mandatory that he should be affected but it is said that he has more chances of being affected.
2. Chemical Changes In The Brain :
Due to changes in the brain, schizophrenia can be brought forth. People are found with abnormal regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain that affect thoughts and behavior. Many brain circuits form networks that communicate in the brain. Researchers are of the opinion that complications on the working of these circuits result from disturbances in neurotransmitters and other cells in the nervous system.
3. Brain Anomalies :
Scientists have found abnormal brain functions relate to schizophrenia. But this abnormality is not common in all schizophrenics.
4. Environmental factors :
Proofs show that some external environmental factors like viral infections, prolonged exposure to toxins and stressful conditions may result in schizophrenia in people. It more often affects when the body experiences hormonal and physical alterations.
Treatments Of Schizophrenia :
The doctor will conduct a complete medical check up. Though there are no laboratory tests to diagnose it, the doctor uses different tests like blood tests and brain imaging tests to check the other illness as the symptoms. If he finds no other reason he will refer a psychiatrist to the person who specially diagnose and cure such mental illnesses. They have specially designed interviews and assessment techniques to check a person for any mental disorder. They construct the diagnosis on the individual’s and family’s facts of symptoms and observation of the attitude and behavior. A person is then declared to be affected by schizophrenia if they exhibit any valid symptoms that has endured for about six months. The treatment will aim to minimize the symptoms and the risks of return of the symptoms.
Treatment for schizophrenia may include :
1. Medicines :
The premier medicines used to treat schizophrenia are antipsychotics. These do not cure but help to relieve the symptoms like delusions and hallucinations. Other medications include: haloperidol, thioridazine and trifluoperazine. Modern medicines that treat are asenapine, brexpiprazole, cariprazine, clozapine, paliperidone, risperidone and ziprasidone.
2. Therapy :
Therapies like psychosocial treatments treat the behavioral, social, psychological and other problems linked with the illness. Therapy helps patients to control their symptoms.
The therapies include:
- Rehabilitation that changes the social skills to help people with schizophrenia perform well in the community and lead an independent life.
- Cognitive remedies has learning techniques to recompense for implications with information processing, coaching and computer exercises, to hold mental skills like attention and memory.
- Psychotherapy that help the person comprehend the illness and cope to solve problems.
- Therapy involving families that effectively deal with an amiable one.
e.Support groups that provide constant mutual support.
3. Hospitals :
Schizophrenic patients are treated as outpatients. But people with severe symptoms may need to be hospitalized to equate their plight.
4. ECT :
In this procedure electrodes are attached to the person’s scalp and under anesthesia, a small electric shock is given to the brain. It usually takes 2-3 treatments a week to several weeks. The shock treatment results in a controlled seizure. A series of it over time enhances mood and thinking. Seizures induced by ECT affects the secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain. ECT is usually beneficial when medicines fail or if other severe factors make the illness hard.
5. Neurological Surgery :
A neurological surgery known as a prefrontal lobotomy is used to treat severe agitation with psychosis. But it resulted in grave and irreversible contrary effects the procedure is no longer used as a psychiatric remedy. Modern procedures that treat schizophrenia are deep brain stimulation. It is a different method that involves stimulating electrodes implanted in brain areas surgically. It is believed to manage thoughts and perception.