Things to Know About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition affecting almost 1 percent of the population. It affects how a person thinks, acts or feels, people experiencing may have distortions in their thoughts and have a difficulty in identifying between what’sreal and imaginary.

Epidemiology

Age at which they may manifest is during their adolescence and men tend to be more affected than females, the mean age of onset for males is in-between 18-25years,and females is between 25-35years. This condition shows a hereditary pattern and the chance that one might develop schizophrenia when one of their parents is suffering is around 13 percent, and in the case of twins the chance another twin may develop if one twin suffers is around 40 percent.

This is a very distressing condition that can interrupt a person’s daily activity. Therefore,going to a leading psychologists in Perth early on is important.

Symptoms

The symptoms the patients may experience can be classified as positive and negative symptoms.

Under positive symptoms, a person can experience delusions, which can be delusions of persecution, where they feel that they are constantly being watched; delusions of grandiosity, where he might regard himself as someone great; delusions of jealousy, here the person might be convinced on something without any valid reason e.g. suspecting their partner to be unfaithful;

Another positive symptom is hallucinations (perceiving of something that’s not there),the most common form is the auditory hallucination, the persons constantly hears someone talking though there may be no one, these voices can be very disturbing, patients may report hearing someone commenting about them or commanding them or telling hurtful things to them

Catatonia- these are motor disturbances that are seen; may show no movement, maintaining some positions, repetition of certain actions

Disorders of thought and speech, where they feel that thoughts are being inserted

Negative symptoms are decreased speech, decreased motivation, no interest in any activity and do not show any emotions

Types of schizophrenia

Some show both positive and negative whileothers either the positive or negative may predominate based on this schizophrenia is classified in to:

Paranoid schizophrenia- the delusions and hallucinations are much prominent and the negative symptoms like decreased speech are absent and there is no catatonia here. This is the most common type of schizophrenia

Disorganized schizophrenia- symptoms like delusions and hallucinations are fragmentary and their behaviour is not predictable with mannerisms common. Negative symptoms can develop fast here

Catatonic schizophrenia- here there are motor dysfunctions.

Causes

The causes of schizophrenia are not known but it shows hereditary pattern and genetics where certain genes undergo modification due to environmental factors. For example, having a viral infection, severe stress and in certain research, it has been shown that these individuals have a disbalance in dopamine, serotonin and glutamate neurotransmitters.

Treatment

There are medications available to control like clozapine, olanzapine. Psychosocial involvement includes CBT- identifying the thought patterns and helping them normalize it. Social skills training- help them improve their communication and social interaction. Vocational rehabilitation and supported employment- helps people with schizophrenia to find jobs.

 

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