It is very serious mental illness that affects thinking, feeling and behavior of a person. People suffering from schizophrenia fail to touch reality happening around there and this initiates distress for the individual, his family or the people he is living with. Symptoms of schizophrenia are constant and disabling if it is not treated well. Hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and bizarre behavior are common with schizophrenia patients. It impairs the daily routine of an individual with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia causes a long pause in speech of an individual. Schizophrenia is affecting about 20 million individuals all around the world. Schizophrenia patients see things and hear different voices that are not even there and this called hallucinations. People with schizophrenia can be easily distracted because they are already having distortions in their thinking. Schizophrenia has no cure but symptoms can be minimized by giving several medications. Some experts think that split personality and schizophrenia are the same mental disorder but the truth is they are different type of mental disorders. It can happen in all group ages of men and women. Women with schizophrenia suffer in their late 20 or early 30. But men show the symptoms earlier such as in their teens and early 20. Suicide and heart diseases are the major complications of this disorder.

Sign and symptoms of schizophrenia:

Sign and symptoms of schizophrenia vary from person to person. A wide range of problems are associated with this disease. Thinking problem, difficulty in managing behavior and emotions are involved with this disorder. Impaired speech, hallucinations and delusions are most common symptoms of schizophrenia. Some symptoms are discussed below:

Hallucinations: This happens normally with schizophrenia patients that they see or hear such things that don’t even existed their surroundings. They behave normally with hose non existing things. Hallucination can be in any form but most common is when the patient listen or hear voices.

Delusions: This is also very common with schizophrenia patients. They had a fake belief that is not linked with reality. They think someone is going to harass them, or they are harmed by anyone. They think something bad is going to happen. They are very famous and exceptional from others and anyone is in love with them.

Disorganized or impaired speech: Disorganization in speech is because of distracted thinking. They answer the question irrelevant. Communication is not effective. They use meaningless sentences and words while talking that are not possible for other person to understand.

Disorganized of abnormal behavior: there are many ways to show this abnormal behavior such as the individual start acting like a child or any other un predictable action. People with disorganized behavior fail to follow the instructions. Lack of response and inappropriate or immoderate movements are common with schizophrenia patients.

Negative symptoms: Negative symptoms are the person lost the ability to function like a normal person.  They ignore their personal hygiene and lack of eye contact or facial expressions are also common. Individual with schizophrenia may show zero interest in daily activities of life. Their ability to feel the pleasure is lost.

People with schizophrenia may go into the phase remission when they show no symptoms of this disorder. But mostly the severity of these symptoms may increase and get worsen. Schizophrenia uncommonly found in children and in a rare case it is found in adult with age 45.

Symptoms of schizophrenia in teenagers:

Symptoms in teenagers of schizophrenia are somewhat similar to adults but the condition of teenager is troublesome to identify. Some most common symptoms of teenagers are:

  • Lack in school performance
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Depressed mood or depression
  • Motivation is lost
  • Distancing from family and friends

Sometimes use of drugs like merijuana can also cause symptoms similar to this. When symptoms of teens are compared with adults, teen may have

  • Less delusions
  • They have visual hallucinations.

Causes of schizophrenia:

Authentic cause of schizophrenia is not known but researchers believe that genetics, environmental factors and chemistry of brain initiates schizophrenia. Some researchers thought that dopamine and glutamate changes in brain are responsible for schizophrenia.

Diagnosis of schizophrenia:

Diagnosis of schizophrenia is done by evaluating the symptoms of an individual and check that symptoms are because of abuse substances usage. Diagnosis of schizophrenia can be done by:

Physical exam: symptoms are discussed and risk factor is determined.

Tests and screening: Doctor will test and screen the patient for alcohol or any other drug use. MRI and CT scan is also suggested.

Psychiatric evaluation: doctor or psychiatrist will observe the mental status of an individual and ask about the symptoms like hallucinations and delusion or their thoughts about suicide. Family history is also asked.

Diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia: American psychiatric association published the criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia in statistical manual of mental disorders that is DSM-5. And doctors or psychologist may use that criterion to diagnose.

Treatment of schizophrenia:

Treatment of schizophrenia includes medication and psychological therapies.

Medications:

Most commonly antipsychotic drugs are prescribed for schizophrenia patients to reduce the symptoms. Other medications like anti-anxiety and antidepressants are also recommended and it takes weeks to improve the symptoms. However these medications have some serious side effects also

Second generation antipsychotics:

They have some side effects as compare to first generation antipsychotics. Schizophrena demands long life treatments. Antipsychotics of second generation include:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Asenapine
  • Cariprazine
  • Olanzapine
  • Quetapine
  • Risperidone
  • Ziprasidone
  • Lurasidone
  • Iloperidone
  • Clozaprazine
  • Paliperidone
  • Brexpiprazole
  • olanzapine

        First generation antipsychotics:

First generation antipsychotics have side effects like it may cause movement disorder that may not be reversible. First generation antipsychotic medications are:

  • Chlorpromazine
  • Fluphenazine
  • Haloperidol
  • Perphenazine

Long acting injectable:

They are given subcutaneous or intramuscular. Give after two or four weeks depending on that dose. Common injectable are:

  • Arioiprazole
  • Fluphenazine
  • Haloperidol
  • Paliperidone
  • Risperidone

Psychological interventions:

Psychotherapy is recommended with the combination of medications. Some psychological intervention may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Social skills training
  • Family therapy
  • Vocational rehabilitation.

Hospitalization:

In some severe case of symptoms hospitalization become an important part to treat the patient because proper nutrition, patient’s safety, proper sleep and hygiene is highly demanded.

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