Causes Of Schizoaffective Disorder
Scientists donât know the exact cause. Risk factors for schizoaffective disorder include:
- Genetics: You may inherit a tendency to get features linked to schizoaffective disorder from your parents.
- Brain chemistry and structure: If you have schizophrenia and mood disorders, you might have problems with brain circuits that manage mood and thinking. Schizophrenia is also tied to lower levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that also helps manage these tasks.
- Environment: Some scientists think things like viral infections or highly stressful situations could play a part in getting schizoaffective disorder if youâre at risk for it. How that happens isnât clear.
- Drug use: Taking mind-altering drugs.
Schizoaffective disorder usually begins in the late teen years or early adulthood, often between ages 16 and 30. It seems to happen slightly more often in women than in men. It’s rare in children.
Because schizoaffective disorder combines symptoms that reflect two mental illnesses, itâs easily confused with other psychotic or mood disorders. Some doctors may diagnose schizophrenia. Others may think itâs a mood disorder. As a result, itâs hard to know how many people actually have schizoaffective disorder. Itâs probably less common than either schizophrenia or mood disorders alone.
What Is The History Of Schizophrenia
The word schizophrenia has only been in use since about 1908, attributed to psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler. It was deemed a separate mental illness in 1887 by Emil Kraepelin. The positive, disorganized symptoms of psychosis were called hebephrenia. Despite that relatively recent history, it has been described throughout written history. Ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, and Roman writings described symptoms similar to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. During medieval times, schizophrenia, like other illnesses, was often viewed as evidence of the sufferer being possessed by spirits or having evil powers.
A number of accomplished individuals suffer from schizophrenia. The film A Beautiful Mind describes the life of John Nash, a noted scientist, and his struggles with what was previously called paranoid schizophrenia. The film The Soloist explores the challenges faced by Juilliard-trained musician Nathaniel Ayers as a result of schizophrenia. Despite those prominent portrayals of people with schizophrenia, this condition, like most mental illnesses, usually remains shrouded in secrecy and shame.
What Are The Types Of Schizophrenia
There are different types of schizophrenia. The International Classification of Diseases manual describes them as below.
- Pranks, giggling and health complaints.
- Usually diagnosed in adolescents or young adults.
- Unusual movements, often switching between being very active and very still.
- You may not talk at all.
- Negative symptoms are prominent early and get worse quickly.
- Positive symptoms are rare.
Your diagnosis may have some signs of paranoid, hebephrenic or catatonic schizophrenia, but doesnt obviously fit into one of these types alone.
This type of schizophrenia is diagnosed in the later stages of schizophrenia. You may be diagnosed with this if you have a history of schizophrenia but only continue to experience negative symptoms.
There are other types of schizophrenia according to the ICD-10, such as.
- Cenesthopathic schizophrenia. This is where people experience unusual bodily sensations.
- Schizophreniform. Schizophreniform disorder is a type of psychotic illness with symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. But symptoms last for a short period.
Symptoms meet the general conditions for a diagnosis, but do not fit in to any of the above categories.
Nursing Care Plan For Self
A typical nursing care plan for self-care deficit in schizophrenia may involve the following main characteristics:
- The ability to recognize schizophrenia and following the characteristic signs and symptoms of schizophrenia in the patients, like speech abnormalities, thought distortions, poor social interactions).
- A process to establish trust and rapport, and making sure that the nursing staff does not tease or joke with patients.
- The nursing staff needs to go in with the attitude of expectation that the patient is going to put them through rigorous testing periods.
- There must always be a formal introduction and an explanation of the staffs purpose.
- An assessment must be made of the patients ability to carry out activities of daily living.
- The positive or psychotic symptoms of the patient must be assessed, especially command hallucinations or any presence of fragmented, poorly organized, well-organized, systematized, or extensive system of beliefs that are not supported by reality. Assess for pervasive suspiciousness that may indicate delusions or delusional perception.
- Assess negative symptoms
- Assess medical and family history and figure out what kind of support system the patient has in place.
- Teach the patient and their family about the importance of medication adherence.
- Teach the family and friends who will be dealing with the patient about Expressed emotions.
What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service
You can find out more about:
Day Hospital Treatment Of Schizophrenia
One of the great discoveries about the treatment of the mentally ill was that they not only responded to these new medications but even benefited from participation in groups. Prior to this, it was believed that the mentally ill were completely isolated and unable to interact with other people because of their psychotic symptoms that interfered with reality.
Now it is known that there is more to the treatment of the psychotic illnesses than only the application of medications to relieve symptoms. In my experience working with acutely mentally ill people, one of the most effective forms of treatment combines medication for the control of symptoms along with immersion of the patients in a total social and community milieu that is designed to enable patients to understand, regulate and control their symptoms for the purposes of avoiding future decompensation and psychiatric hospitalizations and to help them live and work in the community to the best of their ability. Another way of stating this is that the goal of treatment of psychotic patients is rehabilitation and return to living and functioning in the community. To these ends was created the Psychiatric Day Hospital and Continuing Day Treatment.
Following is a description of my experience of working with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in a wonderful Day Hospital. Here is how entry into a Day Hospital occurs.
When Psychiatric Hospitalization Occurs:
A Day at the Day Hospital:
7:30 to 8:30 AM, Coffee
What Are Schizophrenia Causes Is Schizophrenia Hereditary
One frequently asked question about schizophrenia is if it is hereditary. As with most other mental disorders, schizophrenia is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically, and there is no single specific cause for this illness. Rather, it is the result of a complex group of genetic and other biological vulnerabilities, as well as psychological and environmental risk factors. Biologically, it is thought that people who have abnormalities in the brain neurochemical dopamine and lower brain matter in some areas of the brain are at higher risk for developing the condition. Other brain issues that are thought to predispose people to developing schizophrenia include abnormalities in the connections between different areas of the brain, called default mode network connectivity. Recent research is emerging that implicates potential abnormalities in the transmission of the brain neurochemical glutamate as a risk factor for having schizophrenia.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , symptoms of schizophrenia include the following:
Positive, more overtly psychotic symptoms
- Delusions are beliefs that have no basis in reality. Types of delusions include erotic, grandiose , jealous, persecutory, physical , mixed, and nonspecific.
- Hallucinations: hearing , seeing, feeling , smelling, or tasting things that have no basis in reality
- Disorganized speech: incoherent or often grossly off-topic speech
- Disorganized behaviors
How To Diagnose Schizophrenia
Based on the symptoms, doctors conduct several examinations to look for neurological patterns in the brain. Steps for diagnosis include:
- Physical Examination. It is done to rule out the other problems with the same symptoms.
- Screening Tests. MRI and CT scan are conducted to rule out other causes, and alcohol and drug test screening is done.
- Psychiatric Examination. A mental health test is done, where a doctor asks about changing moods, hallucinations, substance abuse, and potential suicidal threats.
- Diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. A mental health professional or a doctor may make use of the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Is It Possible To Prevent Schizophrenia
Prevention of schizophrenia for individuals who have yet to develop even the early symptoms of the disorder focuses on decreasing many of the environmental insults that increase the likelihood of developing the disorder. Therefore, improving prenatal care, ameliorating poverty, bullying, child abuse and neglect, as well as protecting people from family and community violence are important aspects of preventing schizophrenia. For people who show early signs of schizophrenia, some clinical trial research is exploring the potential use of medications to prevent full-blown schizophrenia.
Nursing Plans For Schizophrenia
While it is not possible to go into all the details of all possible nursing plans for schizophrenia, as they are often tailored to specific individuals according to their unique symptoms, here are some of the common strategies that may be used:
Incoherence in speech is assessed, and the professional assess whether it may be chronic or sudden
The professional identify the duration for which the antipsychotic medication has been taken or will be taken, as this determines the possibility of clear thinking or derailment in thought or looseness of association.
The professional who is taking care of nursing plans in schizophrenia also needs to have specific ways of talking to the patients, and often need to use a low voice, as it has been seen that a high-pitched/loud tone of voice can elevate anxiety levels.
The environment needs to be kept as calm, quiet, and as free of stimuli as possible, which will also keep the anxiety from escalating.
The nursing plans will often keep short, frequent periods with a client throughout the day, instead of long sessions all at once, as these will keep the patient more involved and interested in the process.
Shorter and periodic meetings also allow the patient to develop familiarity and safety.
The language used with patients must be clear or simple and any instructions or directions must not be such that the patient has difficulty processing them.
Getting Help For Others
If you’re concerned about someone you know, you could contact a GP for them.
If they’re receiving support from a mental health service, you could contact their mental health worker.
If you think the person’s symptoms are severe enough to require urgent treatment and could be placing them at possible risk, you can:
- take them to the nearest , if they agree
A number of mental health helplines are also available that can offer expert advice.
How Common Are Mental Illnesses
Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.
- More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.3
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.4
- 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.5
- 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.6
Is It Possible To Recover From Schizophrenia
Many people who live with schizophrenia have recovery journeys that lead them to live meaningful lives.
Recovery can be thought of in terms of:
- clinical recovery, and
- personal recovery.
What is clinical recovery?
Your doctor might have talked to you about recovery. Some doctors and health professionals think of recovery as:
- no longer having mental illness symptoms, or
- where your symptoms are controlled by treatment to such a degree that they are not significantly a problem.
Sometimes this is called clinical recovery.
Everyones experience of clinical recovery is different.
- Some people completely recover from schizophrenia and go on to be symptom free.
- Some who live with schizophrenia can improve a great deal with ongoing treatment.
- Some improve with treatment but need ongoing support from mental health and social services.
What is personal recovery?
Dealing with symptoms is important to a lot of people. But some people think that recovery is wider than this. We call this personal recovery.
Personal recovery means that you can live a meaningful life.
What you think of as being a meaningful life might be different to how other people see it. You can think about what you would like to do to live a meaningful life and work towards that goal.
Below are some ways you can think of recovery.
What can help me recover?
You may want to think about the following questions.
The following things can be important in recovery.
What Causes Schizophrenia
Nobody knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, it is likely to be the result of several factors. For example:
- Stress. Some people can develop the illness as a result of a stressful event, such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.
- Genetics. You are more likely to develop schizophrenia if you have a close relation with the illness.
- Brain damage. This is usually damage that has stopped your brain from growing normally when your mother was pregnant. Or during birth.
- Drugs and alcohol. Research has shown that stronger forms of cannabis increase your risk of developing schizophrenia.
- A difficult childhood. If you were deprived, or abused, as a child this can increase your risk of developing a mental illness. Including schizophrenia.
There is research to suggest that may be an association between menopause and schizophrenia. This may be due to the hormonal changes during this stage of life for women.
You can find more information about:
- Does mental illness run in families? by clicking here.
- Drugs, alcohol and mental health by clicking here.
- Cannabis and mental health by clicking here.
What Is Mental Health
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.1 Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.
What Are The Complications Of Factitious Disorder
People with factitious disorder are at risk for health problems associated with hurting themselves by causing symptoms. In addition, they may suffer health problems related to multiple tests, procedures, and treatments, and are at high risk for substance abuse and suicide attempts. A complication of factitious disorder imposed on another is the abuse and potential death of the victims.
What Are The Types Of Factitious Disorder
Factitious disorders are of two types:
- Factitious disorder imposed on self: This type includes the falsifying of psychological or physical signs or symptoms. An example of a psychological factitious disorder is mimicking behavior that is typical of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The person may appear confused, make absurd statements, and report hallucinations .
- Factitious disorder imposed on another: People with this disorder produce or fabricate symptoms of illness in others under their care: children, elderly adults, disabled persons or pets. It most often occurs in mothers who intentionally harm their children in order to receive attention. The diagnosis is not given to the victim, but rather to the perpetrator.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Factitious Disorder
Possible warning signs of factitious disorder include:
- Dramatic but inconsistent medical history.
- Unclear symptoms that arent controllable, become more severe or change once treatment has begun.
- Unpredictable relapses following improvement in the condition.
- Extensive knowledge of hospitals and/or medical terminology, as well as the textbook descriptions of illness.
- Presence of many surgical scars.
- Appearance of new or additional symptoms following negative test results.
- Presence of symptoms only when the patient is alone or not being observed.
- Willingness or eagerness to have medical tests, operations or other procedures.
- History of seeking treatment at many hospitals, clinics and doctors offices, possibly even in different cities.
- Reluctance by the patient to allow healthcare professionals to meet with or talk to family members, friends and prior healthcare providers.
- Refusal of psychiatric or psychological evaluation.
- Forecasting negative medical outcomes despite no evidence.
- The patient sabotaging discharge plans or suddenly becoming more ill as theyre about to be discharged from the hospital setting.
Can Your Mental Health Change Over Time
Yes, its important to remember that a persons mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.
How Is Factitious Disorder Treated
The first goal of treatment is to change the persons behavior and reduce their misuse of medical resources. In the case of factitious disorder imposed on another, the main goal is to ensure the safety and protection of any real or potential victims.
Once the first goal is met, treatment aims to resolve any underlying psychological issues that may be causing the behavior.
The primary treatment for factitious disorder is psychotherapy . Treatment likely will focus on changing the thinking and behavior of the individual with the disorder . Family therapy also may help in teaching family members not to reward or reinforce the behavior of the person with the disorder.
There are no medications to actually treat factitious disorder. Medication may be used, however, to treat any related disorder, such as depression or anxiety.
Wesley Willis 1963 2003
Age of Diagnosis: 26
Individual History: Wesley Willis was a singer and songwriter as well as a visual artist, appearing on widely viewed shows on MTV and on The Howard Stern Show. In 1989, Willis began hearing what he called demons and was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia. He was institutionalized for two months after his diagnosis. He often mentioned that his demons were named Heartbreaker, Nervewrecker, and Meansucker. Willis is among the list of famous people with schizophrenia to use his symptoms and put them to his advantage. He called his psychotic episodes hell rides, and alternatively, he declared rock and roll to be the joy ride music. It was only after his diagnosis and honesty about his diagnosis and symptoms that his career took flight. Willis gained a cult following that enjoyed his strange and comical lyrics, largely inspired by his disorder. He was diagnosed with chronic leukemia and died in 2003 at age 40.
Facts You Should Know About Schizophrenia
- Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness that affects about 1% of the population — more than 2 million people in the United States alone.
- With the sudden onset of severe psychotic symptoms, the individual is said to be experiencing acute psychosis. Psychotic means out of touch with reality or unable to separate real from unreal experiences.
- There is no known single cause of schizophrenia. As discussed later, it appears that genetic and other biological factors produce a vulnerability to schizophrenia, with environmental factors contributing to different degrees in different individuals.
- There are a number of various schizophrenia treatments. Given the complexity of this disorder, the major questions about the illness are unlikely to be resolved in the near future. The public should beware of those offering “the cure” for schizophrenia.
- Schizophrenia is one of the psychotic, also called thought-disordered, mental disorders and affects a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and social functioning.
- disorganized speech or behavior.
Mary Todd Lincoln 1818 1882
Wife of Abraham Lincoln and First Lady of the United State
Age of Diagnosis: Unknown
Individual History: Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of Americas 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was highly motivated to pursue his increasingly successful law career, and Mary Todd Lincoln had the same fierce ambition for success. She was a member of a large, wealthy Kentucky family, and was well educated. Before she married Lincoln, Mary was courted by his long-time political opponent Stephen Douglas. She and Lincoln had four sons together, only one of whom outlived her. In February 1862 her son Willie died at the age of 11 years old. After his death Mary spent a considerable amount of money to pay for mediums and spiritualists to try and contact her dead son. She supported her husband throughout his presidency. She witnessed his fatal shooting when they were together in the Presidents Box at Fords Theatre on Tenth Street in Washington. The First Lady had a history of migraines, mental illness, mood swings, fierce temper, public outbursts throughout Lincolns presidency, as well as excessive spending. Many historians and psychologists speculate that Mary suffered from bipolar disorder and/or Schizophrenia.
What Are The Causes Behind Schizophrenia
It is not known what causes schizophrenia. However, experts believe that a combination of brain chemistry, genetics and environment contribute to the development of this disorder.
Problems with some naturally occurring brain chemicals, such as neurotransmitters called glutamate and dopamine, cam contribute to schizophrenia. Neuroimaging studies reveal differences in central nervous system and the brain structure of people with schizophrenia.
The exact causes are still unknown. However, some major elements that can trigger schizophrenia are:
- Structural and chemical changes in the brain
What Is Factitious Disorder
Factitious disorder is a serious mental health disorder in which a person appears sick or produces physical or mental illness. People with factitious disorder deliberately produce symptoms of an illness for the purpose of receiving care and attention in a medical setting. The symptoms arent intended to get them practical benefits the gain is believed to be mainly psychological.
Factitious disorder is considered a mental illness. Its associated with severe emotional difficulties and patients likelihood of harming themselves by continuing to produce more symptoms, resulting in getting themselves unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
How Common Is Factitious Disorder
No reliable statistics are available regarding the number of people in the United States who suffer from factitious disorder. Getting accurate statistics is difficult because patients dont typically acknowledge their disorder. People with factitious disorders also tend to seek treatment at many different healthcare facilities, resulting in statistics that are misleading. Its estimated that about 1% of those admitted to hospitals are believed to have factitious disorder, but this is likely under-reported.