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Schizophrenia
is an unceasing and serious mental disorder that influences one’s thoughts,
feels, and life in general. Individuals with schizophrenia may appear like they
put some distance between themselves and reality. Despite the fact that
schizophrenia is not as regularly experienced as other mental issues, the side
effects can be extremely unbearable.

 

what is
schizophrenia?

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Schizophrenia is a mental
disorder symbolized by unusual social behavior and deficiency to understand
reality. Popular symptoms include false thoughts, confused thinking, hearing
sounds and voices that others do not, reduced social expression, and inadequacy
of motivation. Signs usually come in gradually. They start off in young
adulthood and last a lifetime. Diagnosis depends on observed behavior of the
sufferer, and their reported experiences in the past. Schizophrenia is often
confused with a split personality disorder, which it does not imply or relate
to. Typical treatment of schizophrenia includes antipsychotics, along with
counseling and social rehabilitation. According to the National Institute of
Mental Health (2016), “The Prevalence Rate for schizophrenia is
approximately 1.1% of the population over the age of 18.” Males are more
likely to be affected and usually experience more severe symptoms. The ordinary
lifespan of people with this disease is approximately ten to twenty-five years
less than the average person. That is the result of more physical health issues
and a higher suicide rate.

 

Signs and symptoms

Common signs of schizophrenia
include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech. Sufferers may just
lose their train of thought every while or even have their speech not
understandable at all. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of hygiene and dress are
also usual symptoms of a schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is often divided into
positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms.

·        
Positive symptoms: Positive symptoms are behaviors not
generally observed in healthy people. Symptoms include:

a)     
Hallucinations

b)    
Delusions

c)     
Thought disorders (unusual
or dysfunctional ways of thinking)

d)    
Movement disorders
(agitated body movements)

 

 

 

·        
Negative symptoms:
the negative symptoms of a schizophrenic are associated with the lack of normal
emotions and behaviors. Symptoms include:

a)     
“Flat affect” (reduced
expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone)

b)    
Reduced feelings of
pleasure in everyday life

c)     
Difficulty beginning and
sustaining activities

d)    
Reduced speaking

 

·        
Cognitive symptoms:
For some patients, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are faint, however
for others, they can be more severe. Symptoms include:

a)     
Poor “executive
functioning” (the ability to understand information and use it to make
decisions)

b)    
Trouble focusing or paying
attention

c)     
Problems with “working
memory” (the ability to use information immediately after learning it)

 

Risks and factors of Schizophrenia

There are a few factors that
contribute to the risk of evolving schizophrenia.

·        
Genes and environment: scientists
have always known that schizophrenia occasionally runs in families.
Nonetheless, many schizophrenics do not have their disease running in the
family. Many scientists suppose that a lot of different genes may increase the
risk of schizophrenia, but think that there is no specific one that causes the disorder
by itself. They believe that different interactions between genes and aspects
of one’s environment are mandatory for schizophrenia to develop. Environmental
components may include:

1.       
Exposure to viruses

2.      
Malnutrition before birth

3.      
Problems during birth

4.     
Psychosocial factors

 

·        
Brain chemistry and
structure: scientists assume that an instability in the chemical reactions
of the human brain associating with the neurotransmitters like dopamine,
glutamate, and possibly others, play a role in schizophrenia. Some specialists
also suggest that problems during brain development before birth may cause
faulty connections. Puberty, scientists think, can trigger psychiatric symptoms
because of the many changes the brain undergoes during that process of physical
and mental development in a child’s body.

 

 

 

How is schizophrenia
treated?

Since the causes of schizophrenia
still remain a mystery, most treatments focus on eradicating its side effects.
This involves antipsychotic medication and psychosocial therapy.

Schizophrenics usually are asked
to take antipsychotics daily in pill or liquid form. Specific antipsychotic
drugs can cause visible weight gain and an increase in cholesterol levels, and
they may heighten the risk of getting diabetes. People considering an
antipsychotic for schizophrenia should be cautious for their risk of heart
disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to a researched published in Diabetes
Care (2004).

Psychotherapy plays a big role in
helping a schizophrenic cope with their disorder. Using coping skills to focus
on everyday challenges of schizophrenia can help people with perusing their
life goals, such as going to school or work. Sufferers who participate in
consistent psychosocial treatment
are less likely to be hospitalized later on in their life.

Hobbies can also
temporarily calm a schizophrenic down by distracting them from any negative
thoughts, Kate Fenner,18, has taken advantage of that. “I have always been
an ‘artist’, I just didn’t realize what that meant until my mental illness
appeared,” she says. “I draw a lot of my hallucinations, as drawing helps
me deal with it.” Fenner was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 17, to
cope with its side effects, she creates artwork about her hallucinations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schizophrenia much of the time
starts with general, hard to locate changes to somebody’s reasoning, feeling,
and conduct. They tend to go back and forth, however, if left untreated, they
get worse through time.

There is a strong perception that
people suffering schizophrenia are likely to be violent and dangerous, however,
it is not true. It is when people act fearfully or judgmentally, a
schizophrenic feels violated and more self-conscious than they already are.

 

 

References:

–        
Schizophrenia. (22 January 2018,). In Wikipedia.
Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

–        
Houston R. (2011). A Cry
for Help: A Family’s Struggle with Schizophrenia. Retrieved from http://books.google.com

–        
Smith, M. and Segal, J. (April,
2017). Schizophrenia Symptoms, Signs, and Coping Tips. Retried from https://www.helpguide.org/

–        
Psychotherapy for
Schizophrenia. (n.d.) Retrieved from www.schizophrenic.com/

–        
Barnes, S. (22 April 2017).
Artistic Teen Illustrates Her Hallucinations to Cope with Schizophrenia. Retrieved
from https://mymodernmet.com/

–        
Schizophrenia. (n.d.)
Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/

–        
Hawkes, E. (n.d.)
Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from www.schizophrenia.com/

 

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