Research studies estimate that Schizophrenia affects 1 percent of the population and especially adults worldwide. It is a mental disorder that appears in late adolescence or even early adulthood. It commonly strikes between the age of 16 and 30, and most of the males compared to females tend to show off the symptoms at a slightly younger age.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that really changes how a person behaves and their thinking patterns. The condition can take time to develop during the teenage years, but the symptoms start showing during the early 20s. Schizophrenia symptoms include being socially withdrawn, unresponsive, or changes in sleeping patterns amongst other behavioural changes.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The symptoms are classified into – Positive and Negative Symptoms.
Positive symptoms include any change in behavior, or experiencing hallucination or delusions.
This happens when a person sees, hears, smells, tastes, or feels stuff that does not exist in reality. The most common hallucination is hearing voices or auditory hallucinations. This experience is very real to the person experiencing them, even if normal people around them can’t experience the sensations. The voices may sound like they are describing activities, discussing thoughts, giving instructions, and so on.
A delusion is a strong belief in something that may not be real, and schizophrenia mental disorder can include delusions. For instance, they may feel like someone is following them or monitoring their actions.
The Negative symptoms include people withdrawing from social situations, taking no interest in the world around them, and appear apathetic or emotionless.
What causes Schizophrenia?
The causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood. They are likely to be a combination of heredity and other factors. It is probable that some people are born with a predisposition to developing this kind of illness, and that certain things- for example, stress or use of drugs such as marijuana, LSD can trigger their first episode.
The other factors contributing to the onset of schizophrenia are-
Genetical inheritance triggers– Do you know the chance of you developing schizophrenia is higher than 50 percent if you have a twin with the disorder? However, there is less than 1 percent chance of developing it If there is no history of this disorder in the family. But the risk rises to about 10 percent if a parent is diagnosed with schizophrenia. In many cases, schizophrenia can run in families. If an individual’s family members have schizophrenia, the individual would be more vulnerable to it when compared to others who do not have a family history of schizophrenia.
Environmental Triggers- Studies show that stress-inducing factors such as exposure to viral infections, low oxygen levels during the birth, early parental loss, bad-tempered and stressful experiences can cause schizophrenia.
Chemical imbalances in the brain– Experts believe that abnormalities in the brain structure or abnormal brain chemistry also cause schizophrenia. Studies also show that the brain structure of schizophrenics is quite different than it was at the time of birth. Particular differences in brain structures play an important role in schizophrenia. These changes are present in all individuals with schizophrenia, but they do suggest that it is a disorder of the brain. Some of the differences are larger brain ventricles and lesser brain connections.
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that play an important role in controlling body and brain functions. It is believed that certain imbalance in these brain chemicals can also result in schizophrenia symptoms. This assumption persists because medications that increase or decrease these chemicals are seen to be effective in reducing the majority of these symptoms.
Drugs and substance abusers- The psychotropic drugs such as LSD, marijuana can possibly lead to schizophrenia. The more prolonged the drug abuse, the more likely there is a chance of you getting the symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions, hallucinations, inappropriate emotions, and trouble in thinking.
Stress: If the individual already has a vulnerability to schizophrenia, stress can trigger the symptoms to surface. These involve stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, loss of employment, and any lifestyle changes that can be stressful to the individual.
Social factors: Social factors may not cause schizophrenia but they are seen to be significant in relapse. When an individual with schizophrenia is able to manage his/her symptoms but is criticized and discriminated against beyond their tolerance, they may fall back to their previous state.
Diagnosis of Schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia causes and the triggers of the condition are diagnosed after a thorough assessment.
Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed if-
- You have experienced delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices, incoherent speech, or apathy.
- Your symptoms have a significant impact on your ability in your daily routines like work and study.
- Once all other causes like recreational drug use and bipolar disorder are ruled out.
Diagnosing kids and young adults:
Schizophrenia disease is quite intense if found in children and young adults, which is why it’s essential to refer to a mental health doctor as soon as possible. There should be an early intervention service for kids who are 14 years or younger, the team should include psychiatrists and professionals specialized in dealing with children and adolescents.
Sometimes it’s not very clear when someone has schizophrenia, especially when they are exhibiting signs that are similar to other mental disorders. Diseases that are similar to bipolar disorders and schizoaffective disorders.
If a diagnosis is suspected then the GP will refer you to a Rehabilitation facility for schizophrenia. Here there are various mental health professionals who can prescribe the right treatment plan and medication. In severe episodes, a longer stay at a Rehabilitation center may be advised until symptoms are under control.
There is no specific way to prevent Schizophrenia mental disorder. However, early treatment and diagnosis may help to get the symptoms under control before the development of serious complications.
With proper treatment, the schizophrenics can lead a productive life. The treatments for schizophrenia can help in relieving many symptoms. The most effective types of treatments for schizophrenia people involves a combination of the following-
- Medications such as anti-psychosis drugs
- Therapies such as Cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, etc
- Self-help resources
- Psychological counseling methods
Adhering to the treatment plan can help in reducing the worsening of the schizophrenia condition and also helps in preventing the risk factors like relapses.
Since the patients have delusions and hallucinations, they hesitate to go to a general Physician because they believe that nothing is wrong with them. If someone has acute schizophrenic episodes for the first time then it’s necessary that a friend or a loved one persuade them to visit a GP. Family intervention is essential in ensuring that the individual gets the timely treatment they need.
Schizophrenia, if left untreated, can result in serious problems that can affect every area of your loved one’s life. If you have a loved one with schizophrenia then you need not worry as Cadabam’s can provide the right kind of treatment and support.
For more details on Schizophrenia treatment and support, call us @+91 96111 94949