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What is Schizophrenia: Symptoms and Treatment

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which individuals interpret reality abnormally and may result in some combination of delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking. This behavior damages daily functioning and inactivates a person’s daily dealings in life. This condition needs lifelong treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

woman with a lot in her thoughts mentally
  • Abnormal motor behavior. This may show a number of ways, from silliness to unpredictable agitation without purpose. It can cause difficulties in the performance of daily life activities.
  • Negative symptoms. Where people reduce or lack of ability to function normally. Take no interest in everyday social interactions, often appear emotionless, and lack the ability to experience pleasure.
  • Disorganized thinking. People with disorganized thinking may speak inarticulately, respond to questions with unrelated answers, shift topics frequently, or say unreasoned things.
  • Delusions. Is a belief that a person holds that is not based in reality and is not altered or modified when the person is presented with contradictory evidence. 
  • Hallucinations. It can be in any of the senses, but hearing voices is the most common one.

What are the Causes of Schizophrenia?

This condition has no specific cause but it is believed that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental contributions can cause this disorder. Neuroimaging studies show differences in the brain structure and central nervous system of people with this condition. While researchers are not certain about the significance of these changes, they indicate that this is a brain disease. Common risk factors for this condition are:

  • Having a family history of schizophrenia
  • Some pregnancy and birth complications, such as malnutrition or exposure to toxins or viruses may impact brain development
  • Taking mind-altering drugs during teen years and young adulthood

Treatment of Schizophrenia

therapy - psychotherapy

This condition requires lifelong treatment, even when symptoms have subsided. Treatment with medications and psychosocial therapy can help manage the condition. However, some cases may also need hospitalization. 

Medications are the foundation for treating this condition. A patient may be recommended to take antipsychotic drugs that control the symptoms by affecting the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. The goal of this treatment is to manage signs and symptoms at the lowest possible dose. Other medications also may help, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. It can take several weeks to notice an improvement in symptoms.

Chlorpromazine is a typically recommended prescription for this condition. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain and reduce aggressive behavior and the desire to hurt yourself or others. It may also help to decrease hallucinations.

Doctors may also give long-acting injectable antipsychotics as an option if someone has a preference for fewer pills which may help with adherence. They are usually given every two to four weeks, depending on the medication. Psychological interventions also play a very important role in treating this condition. This may include individual therapy, social skills training, and family therapy.

Coping and Homecare Support

  • Learn about this condition. Education about the disorder can help the affected individual understand the importance of sticking to the treatment plan. It can help the people around to understand the disorder and be more compassionate with the person who has it.
  • Focus on the goals. Keeping treatment goals in mind can help the person with this condition stay motivated. If a family member has this condition, ensure to help to remind them about taking medications. 
  • Avoid alcohol and drug use. Using alcohol and recreational drugs can make it difficult to treat this condition. get advice from a professional if a family member or someone you know is addicted because quitting can also be a challenge. 
  • Get help. These services may be able to assist with affordable housing, transportation, and other daily activities.
  • Learn relaxation techniques. The person with this disorder and loved ones may benefit from stress-reduction techniques. Ask for help from professionals on how to incorporate healthy routines along with the recovery process. 

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