Sometimes imagination gives you wings and making it becomes a dream. Being an imaginative person can make you see the world differently, appreciating every tiny thing. Life is all about imagination and how new ideas are conceived from it. Like- Wordsworth once said,“ imagination is the means of insight and sympathy, the power to conceive and express images removed from normal objective reality.”(copied)
But what happens when life takes a U-turn and makes it difficult to differentiate between imagination and reality? A person’s mental health is important and if it gets affected then it affects their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Schizophrenia a chronic psychiatric disorder also belongs to one a mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. This is a weird disease that can cause you to lose touch with reality. This mental illness can lead to misery in the life of that individual, their friends, and family. The treatment is important otherwise the symptoms can result in persistent and disabling. If you procure proper treatment on time in a coordinated and sustained matter then the treatment is proven to do wonders for individuals to engage in school or work, achieve independence, and enjoy personal relationships. Prejudice of reality, often experiencing delusions or hallucinations, are some common symptoms of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia and Split personality — medically termed as dissociative identity disorder are two different disorders, however, there is a lot of misconception about this disease that it creates ‘split personality. It is common in all age groups and genders. Men often get associated with this disease in their late teens or early 20s and women show signs in their late 20s and early 30s.
There are several factors that affect the development of schizophrenia.
Genetics: Everything that functions in your body is related to genes. Family history plays a crucial role when it comes to getting diagnosed with any disease. Schizophrenia at times runs in families. It is not necessary that if someone in the family is affected with schizophrenia then you can be affected as well. However, Genetic studies reflect different genes higher chances of getting diagnosed with schizophrenia. Predications are uncertain while looking at family history.
Environment: Scientists have come up with the theory that a combination of genes and an individual’s environment may play a significant approach in the development of schizophrenia. Some environmental issues that arise while growing up include living in poverty, stressful surroundings, or exposure to viruses or nutritional problems before birth effect and increase the risk of schizophrenia.
Brain structure and function: Research shows every brain has a different structure, function, and interactions among chemical messengers (called neurotransmitters) that might add to the chances of getting affected by schizophrenia. For instance, when some specific components in the brain vary with how different regions of the brain work and are connected, and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, originate in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. These differences might emerge even before birth. When there are changes in the brain during puberty then there is a chance of triggering psychotic episodes in people affect and vulnerable owing to genetics, environmental exposures, or the types of brain differences discussed above.
Symptoms of schizophrenia
Symptoms of schizophrenia are associated with positive and negative impacts including the following:
Teenage life and early 20s are meant to enjoy their life but some people start getting early signs of this disease. Sometimes these signs are often misinterpreted with typical adolescent behaviors.
Early symptoms include:
- Isolating oneself from friends and family
- Changing friends or social groups
- A change in focus and concentration
- Sleep problems
- Irritability and agitation
- Difficulties with schoolwork, or poor academic performance
A “Positive” symptom of schizophrenia is not as positive as it includes behaviors that aren’t typical in otherwise healthy individuals. These behaviors include:
- Hallucinations. It triggers your mind when you start seeing things, hearing voices, or smelling things others around you don’t experience. This is the proper case of hallucinations where things may seem real but is just a trick showcased by your mind.
- Delusions. Being delusional can lead you to a wrong path as it makes you believe things that are contrary to the facts and evidence.
- Thought disorders. This is the case when your mind adapts to an unusual way of thinking or processing information.
- Movement disorders. Your mind affects your body too. Therefore, in this scenario, we see agitated body movements or strange postures.
A negative symptom of schizophrenia has the power to disrupt a person’s typical emotions, behaviors, and abilities. The symptoms include:
- Disorganized thinking or speech, where the person changes topics hastily while speaking or uses made-up words or phrases
- Trouble controlling impulses
- Odd emotional responses to situations
- A lack of emotion or expressions
- Loss of interest or excitement for life
- Social isolation
- Trouble experiencing pleasure
- Difficulty beginning or following through with plans
- Difficulty completing normal activities
Cognitive symptoms affect your memory and thinking, however, the signs can sometimes be subtle and hard to detect.
These symptoms include:
- Disorganized thinking, such as difficulty in focusing or paying attention
- Poor “executive functioning,” or understanding information and using it to make decisions
- An issue with learning information and using it
- Lack of insight or being unaware of their symptoms
Schizophrenia has its history as it was once categorized into five subtypes which were later eliminated in 2013. (Copied from- https://www.healthline.com/health/schizophrenia#types) In today’s world schizophrenia is one diagnosis.
These subtypes lead a helping hand to all the healthcare professionals to plan their treatment accordingly. However, they are being eliminated from the clinical diagnosis.
These types included:
- Paranoid. Doctors in 2013 considered paranoia a positive symptom of the disorder and not a separate type.
- Hebephrenic or disorganized. This was the case where people diagnosed with this type struggled with disorganized speech or behaviors instead of facing hallucination.
- Undifferentiated. This was associated with those who reflected than one type of prime symptom.
- Residual. This is the most common when diagnosed at an early stage in life but never experience sign later.
- Catatonic. Doctors diagnosed people with this type reflected signs of mutism or who developed a stupor-like effect.
Schizophrenia Diagnosis and Tests
Schizophrenia is a complex disease and with it comes complexity to diagnose it as it does not depend on a single test, but a complete psychiatric exam can assist the doctor make a diagnosis. A psychiatrist or a mental health professional is most suitable for the treatment.
At your appointment, you might have questions about:
- Your medical history
- Your mental health
- Your family medical history
Your doctor may conduct the following:
- A physical exam
- Blood work
- Imaging tests, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan
Sometimes, there is the proximity of other reasons for your symptoms, despite being like those of schizophrenia. These reasons may include:
- Substance use
- Certain medications
- Other mental illnesses
You are most likely to get diagnosed with schizophrenia if you’ve found yourself in the situation of being affected with at least two symptoms for one month.
These symptoms must include:
- Disorganized speech
Researchers and medicine are still looking for a cure to treat schizophrenia. Being diagnosed with this disorder will leave you with a lifelong battle with the disease. A thorough treatment has chances to reduce the symptoms.
Life is a journey and to reach the end you will be connected to people, likewise, if you are going to battle this disease then fighting alone will only lead you towards darkness. What you need is a helping hand of a psychiatrist or mental health professional.
Potential treatments include the following:
Antipsychotic medication is seen to be the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. Medication can help stop:
- Symptoms of psychosis
There are chances that psychosis may occur, in that case, you might be hospitalized and get treated under close medical supervision.
Another treatment option for schizophrenia is psychosocial intervention. This includes individual therapy to help you cope with stress and your illness.
Social training can improve your social and communication skills.
Vocational rehabilitation can provide you with the skills you need to return to work. It may make maintaining a regular job easier.
Alternative treatments for schizophrenia
Treatment of schizophrenia is crucial, and lifesaving based on proper medication. Although some individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia choose alternative medicine and consider complementary medicine more effective. However, these medications should only be prescribed when your doctor says so and under his guidance.
Types of alternative treatments used for schizophrenia include:
- Vitamin Treatment
- Fish Oil Supplements
- Glycine Supplements
- Diet Management
Always remember with every kind of disease or mental illness comes complications but that should not affect you or the treatment. This severe mental illness higher the risks and complications including:
Schizophrenia makes your life unstable affecting your life and daily routine. It increases the chances of poverty and homelessness if you are not financially stable. It also affects your personal and professional life.
Prevention is better than cure. However, the prevention of schizophrenia is unattainable. Researchers have spent day and night coming up with the diagnosis, cure, and prevention in recent years and still face difficulty with this disease.
Being healthy, when you are diagnosed with schizophrenia, looks like a dream. However, with a doctor’s guidance and support, this dream can be achievable, and you can enjoy a symptom-free life as the signs and symptoms often go and come for a while, slowing down the progression.
To begin the path of recovery, things to be followed are:
- Learn about your condition
- Understand the risk factors
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan
“HealthLink.news does not have any intention to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide its users and/ or the general public with information to better understand their health. All content (including text, graphics, images, information, etc.) provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment. HealthLink.news makes no representation and assumes no responsibility/ liability for the accuracy of the information, advice, diagnosis, treatment provided herein or on its website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ IT HERE OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE HealthLink.news WEBSITE.”