Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder where individuals interpret reality abnormally and it affects the way they behave, think, and see the world Schizophrenia characterizes a combination of delusion, hallucinations, abnormal thinking and impaired behavior affecting daily activities.
Schizophrenia is not to be ignored! Schizophrenia is not curable, but if left undiagnosed, this condition can worsen, hence timely treatment is needed to manage schizophrenia symptoms. A schizophrenic person can cause harm to self and to others. Early detection of Schizophrenia Symptoms in adults can help the person to manage schizophrenia and live a normal life.
Schizophrenia usually starts amid ages 16 and 30. It disproportionately affects men more than women. A schizophrenic person needs a collaborative treatment of medications, therapy, social support, lifestyle modifications etc. It is estimated that 50 percent of the people can lead normal lives with schizophrenia, while 50 percent need family or medical support. The hard fact lies in that there is poor awareness about this psychiatric disorder and caregivers can suffer more than the suffering individuals.
To learn more about what are the symptoms of Schizophrenia and how a schizophrenic person deals with their daily life. Watch this video of a popular film ‘A beautiful mind’ based on a protagonist who struggles with Schizophrenia.
There are two types of symptoms majorly seen in schizophrenia i.e. positive and negative. The concept of positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia has been around for quite a while. A schizophrenic person may exhibit positive symptoms or negative or even a combination of both. Like some individuals may experience negative symptoms at first and positive symptoms later on vice versa.
Why are they called positive symptoms? Does it mean that they are good or beneficial? The answer is ‘No’. These positive symptoms do not imply that the patient is cured. Schizophrenia causes a surplus of mental experiences and positive symptoms refers to those which are in excess or added to normal mental functioning. Positive symptoms consist of hallucination such as hearing voices and delusions.
Negative symptoms are where the individual may have a lack of facial expression, have monotonous and monosyllabic speech. They may seem to be less interested in other people. They find it difficult to experience pleasure or act spontaneously. A schizophrenic person tends to lack interest in activities. These symptoms are hard to recognize in teenagers because healthy adolescents also may have frequent mood swings.
Negative symptoms affect greatly on an individual’s quality of life and influence their ability to experience many facets of life such as long term relationships, financial stability, and work.
Among the most widely known schizophrenia facts, there has been evidence that the disorder affects thinking and cognitive abilities. These symptoms are often very hard to detect:
Signs of schizophrenia are quite difficult to detect and may be easily missed which leads to late diagnosis and possible complications later in life.
Schizophrenia treatment includes a combination of medications, therapies, social support and lifestyle changes to help reduce Schizophrenia symptoms. Even if a schizophrenic person feels better within a few months of treatment, long term treatment for schizophrenia is very crucial to avoid new episodes and to effectively manage
Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can prevent complications. Family and friends play a major role in encouraging and supporting the individual to seek treatment and follow it.
There is no single health test or a brain scan that can suffice for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Since the doctors are still unaware of the exact cause of schizophrenia, to determine how to treat schizophrenia, multiple psychometric tests and exams need to be done before confirming the diagnosis. These health exams comprise of the following:
People with schizophrenia lose interest in things. One of the common examples is a lack of self-interest in hygiene and grooming. These signs can be hard to find, especially in cases of teenagers, because of the reason that teens have big emotional mood swings between highs and lows. Also, depression has the same symptoms as that of schizophrenia. One-fourth of people diagnosed with schizophrenia meet the criteria for depression. It’s very easy to misjudge a person’s disorder as the following symptoms are common in depression and schizophrenia –
Research studies show that family support is vital to help schizophrenic patients manage the symptoms of schizophrenia in adults. If you or your loved one is fighting Schizophrenia, seeking early treatment is key to a better quality of life.
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