A severe mental disorder, schizophrenia impacts how an individual thinks, reacts to emotions, and perceives reality. It results in a variety of symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia that can cause the patient to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. At present, roughly 1% of the total population suffer from this mental disorder.
Schizophrenia cannot be cured, however, it can be managed with the help of medications and therapy. This disorder can affect anyone. It typically develops in men during their late teens or early twenties. On the other hand, in women, the symptoms of schizophrenia begin to surface during their twenties or early thirties.
The following are some commonly observed symptoms of this condition:
The doctor will run a few tests of medical tests and conduct a physical exam to be sure of the condition and rule out other conditions. The patient then might be referred to a psychiatrist to evaluate the extent of this disease. symptoms are observed for more than six months, then the diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Causes of schizophrenia
Experts haven’t narrowed down the exact cause of schizophrenia. However, investigations have concluded that this mental disorder has a biological basis and is not necessarily a consequence of personal weaknesses or bad parenting. The following are some factors that can strongly contribute to the development of schizophrenia:
The objective of the treatment for schizophrenia is to inhibit the symptoms and reduce the possibility of a relapse. The doctor can use multiple antipsychotics that can help assuage symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive issues. Another option is CSC (Coordinated Specialty Care) where a combination of medications and therapy is used along with employment and educational initiatives, and social services. The family of the patient is also actively involved in this kind of therapy.
To resolve various psychological, social, and occupational issues, the doctor may recommend psychosocial therapy that involves various learning techniques. These can help improve one’s attention, planning, problem-solving skills, and memory. Likewise, such therapy can also strengthen a person’s interpersonal skills so that they can function efficiently in professional and personal circles.
People dealing with severe symptoms of schizophrenia, like inciting suicidal thoughts, may have to get treatment in a hospital on an outpatient basis until the condition stabilizes. If medications fail or if the patient suffers from serious episodes of depression or catatonia, then ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) can be used. In this procedure, small electric shocks are delivered to the brain to improve thinking patterns and moods. This treatment is administered once every 2 to 3 weeks.
At the moment, research is underway about DBS (Deep Brain Simulation), a neurological procedure that is already used for severe cases of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors. In this treatment, electrodes are implanted in specific areas of the brain that control functions related to thinking and perception.