Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder in which a person looses the ability to differentiate between real and unreal. This disease affects the person’s thinking, feeling and emotions resulting in abnormal behavior. Delusions, Hallucinations and cognitive problems are the characteristics of Schizophrenia. Patients of Schizophrenia may hear, feel or see things that are not real. It is a long-term disorder and can be a never-ending struggle for those, who has Schizophrenia or someone you are very close to, is going through this stressful disease. Based on a rough estimate, more than 5 million people in India are suffering from Schizophrenia. It affects both men and women in equal proportions and tends to develop at young age (16-35 years old).
However, with early detection and proper medical care treatment, one can learn to manage this disease and lead a normal life.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia has no such visible warning signs in its early stages, only close friends or family can sense that something is wrong, but cannot figure out what it is. This mental disorder is the result of chemical imbalance in the brain, which leads to sudden appearance of Schizophrenia.
- Delusions It is a paranoid disorder in which a person creates a firm belief about something that he knows can never be true or real.
- Hallucinations Hallucinations are the sound or other impressions that experienced as real which in fact are false. Hallucinations can involve perceptions through all the five sense organs. For example, listening or talking to someone who is not real.
- Lack of emotional expressions and loss of interest and enthusiasm, having always a feeling of being abandon.
- Cognitive symptoms like memory loss, poor concentration, repetitive movements, not able to carry on a conversation.
Causes of Schizophrenia
No doctor or researcher has been able to identify any particular cause of this disease. There may be the several factors contributing to Schizophrenia. Here are some causes that may make person vulnerable to Schizophrenia.
- Environmental Factors– Research say that inherited genes and stressful environment may be the prime cause of Schizophrenia. For e.g: physical or sexual abuse in the teenage, trauma or injury, premature birth, intake of harmful drugs such as LSD or cannabis.
- Abnormal Brain Mapping– Overflow of chemicals in the brain, when body is confronting to extreme stressful conditions, resulting in chemical imbalance of dopamine, neurotransmitter may also cause Schizophrenia.
Treatment of Schizophrenia
- Psychiatrists can effectively treat Schizophrenia with the combination of medication, changes in lifestyle, social support and psychological counseling.
- Medication– Taking medicines can help a patient to control delusions, hallucinations and frequent behavioral changes, but it cannot help them to interact or become social. It is possible that medication for Schizophrenia will be continue throughout the life.
- Therapy and Counselling plays a vital role in the treatment of the person diagnosed with Schizophrenia, by assisting them in learning stress management, improving concentration, improving memory and concentration.
Support from family and friends, regular exercise, giving up alcohol and drugs, eating healthy diet and plenty of sleep can be beneficial in combating with Schizophrenia.