Season Of Birth And The Role Of Infection
Those born during winter or early spring in the northern hemisphere are more likely to develop schizophrenia in later life than those born at other times of the year.24,25 A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of northern hemisphere season of birth studies reports a pooled OR of 1.07 and population attributable risk of 3.3% for the excess of winter/spring births.26 Many potential mechanisms for the season of birth effect have been postulated, including obstetric complications, variations in light, temperature, nutrition, and seasonal genetic effects.27 Exposure to infectious agents such as influenza during pregnancy is the best studied of the potential explanations for the association.28
Postnatal infection may also play a role in the etiology of schizophrenia. Childhood viral CNS infection determined prospectively was found to be associated with adult schizophrenia in the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, although the effect was thought likely to be modest at a population level.44 Similarly, childhood meningitis was found to be associated with adult psychosis, but not other psychiatric disorders in a Brazilian sample.45Toxoplasma gondii an intracellular parasite, has also been considered to be a putative etiological agent acting both before and after birth to increase risk of psychosis.46
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Schizophrenia is a condition where the outlook varies greatly from person to person. People who have schizophrenia tend to struggle with work, relationships and self care. However, with treatment, some are able to work, care for themselves and have fulfilling relationships.
This condition also often affects people in cycles. That means many people with this condition go through periods where the condition flares up and their symptoms get much worse, followed by a period where symptoms improve but they still have some ongoing struggles.
Despite how serious this condition is, treatment does make it possible for people with schizophrenia to live with the condition and minimize how it affects their lives.
How long does schizophrenia last?
Schizophrenia is a lifelong condition. While some people will recover from this condition after having only one or two episodes, schizophrenia symptoms can return unpredictably. People with a history of schizophrenia are in remission as long as symptoms dont return.
Whats the outlook for this condition?
Schizophrenia itself isnt a deadly condition. However, its effects on a person can lead to dangerous or harmful behaviors, to both themselves and the people around them.
Schizophrenia: The 7 Keys To Self
Seek social support. Friends and family vital to helping you get the right treatment and keeping your symptoms under control. Regularly connecting with others face-to-face is also the most effective way to calm your nervous system and relieve stress. Stay involved with others by continuing your work or education. If thats not possible, consider volunteering, joining a schizophrenia support group, or taking a class or joining a club to spend time with people who have common interests. As well as keeping you socially connected, it can help you feel good about yourself.
Manage stress. High levels of stress are believed to trigger schizophrenic episodes by increasing the bodys production of the hormone cortisol. As well as staying socially connected, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your stress levels. Try adopting a regular relaxation practice such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.
Get regular exercise. As well as all the emotional and physical benefits, exercise may help reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, improve your focus and energy, and help you feel calmer. Aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days, or if its easier, three 10-minute sessions. Try rhythmic exercise that engages both your arms and legs, such as walking, running, swimming, or dancing.
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When Schizophrenia Symptoms Start
Symptoms usually start to develop in early adulthood, between late adolescence and the early 30s. The disorder typically becomes evident slightly earlier in men than in women. Symptoms often emerge between late adolescence and the early 20s in men and between the early 20s and the early 30s in women.
Schizophrenia: Nature Vs Nurture
Researchers have estimated that about 80 percent of the risk for developing schizophrenia is hereditary and yet that doesnt mean people with that genetic component in their family history will actually develop the disorder. Sometimes schizophrenia risk increases through a random mutation that is not passed from parent to child. In this episode, well be looking at the role genetics plays in the development and onset of schizophrenia. Is it all about your genes? Or are there other potential risks that can trigger it? To help answer some of these questions well be talking to two people Dr. Robert Stowe, a behavioural neurologist in the UBC Neuropsychiatry Program and a member of the Genetic Testing Task Force of the International Society for Psychiatry Genetics and Courtney Cook, who works as a genetics counsellor on UBCs MAGERS project.
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What Risks And Complications Can Schizophrenia Cause
Research suggests that people with serious mental illness , such as schizophrenia, have a shorter life expectancy. People with mental illness may die 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population. This may because people who live with SMI are at higher risk of having a range of health issues. Such as being overweight, having heart disease, smoking and diabetes.
Because of these issues, NICE recommends that when you start taking antipsychotic medication, your doctor should do a full range of physical health checks. This should include weight, blood pressure and other blood tests. These checks should be repeated regularly.
Mental health professionals are responsible for doing these checks for the first year of treatment. Responsibility may then pass to your GP. Your doctor or mental health team should offer you a programme which combines healthy eating and physical health checks. You should be supported by a healthcare professional to help stop smoking.
The risk of suicide is increased for people with schizophrenia. Research indicates that around 513% of people who live with with schizophrenia die by suicide.
Research has found that the increased risk is not usually because of positive symptoms. The risk of suicide is associated more to affective symptoms, such as low mood.
Key risk factors for suicide include:
- previous suicide attempts,
If A Friend Or Family Member Has Did How Can I Help
Having a loved one with DID can be confusing and overwhelming. You may not know how to respond to their different alters or behaviors. You can help by:
- Learning about DID and its symptoms.
- Offering to attend family counseling or support groups with your loved one.
- Staying calm and supportive when sudden behavior changes occur.
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How Common Is This Condition
Here are some statistics about how common schizophrenia is worldwide:
- New cases: There are about 2.77 million new schizophrenia diagnoses every year worldwide.
- Average number of worldwide cases: There are about 22.1 million cases globally at any time .
- Odds of developing it at some point in your lifetime: About 0.85% of the global population will experience schizophrenia at some point in their life.
Final Thoughts: Getting Past The Stigma
Stories abound of individuals who have schizophrenia attempting to hide their condition from others. Despite research and mental health outreach efforts, the ignorance surrounding mental health issues is prevalent. This has led to a shameful social stigma attached to conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and others.
As global citizens, we must do better. When people who are suffering feel support and encouragement, they are far more likely to seek potentially life-changing treatment.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a serious mental health disorder, please reach out for support. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Hotline can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.
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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.
Looking After Your Own Brain
You can do your part by taking good care of your body and brain. This includes things like getting exercise, eating well, and avoiding things that are bad for the brain. Cannabis, crystal meth and other street drugs are particularly hard on the brain. For example, using cannabis on a regular basis can increase your risk of getting schizophrenia by 40%.
If you like, you can talk to a genetic counsellor, who can help figure out what illnesses you might be at more risk for, and what you can do to stay well.
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Other Causes Of Schizophrenia
Along with genetics, other potential causes of schizophrenia include:
- The environment. Being exposed to viruses or toxins, or experiencing malnutrition before birth, can increase the risk of schizophrenia.
- Brain chemistry. Issues with brain chemicals, such as the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, may contribute to schizophrenia.
- Substance use. Teen and young adult use of mind-altering drugs may increase the risk of schizophrenia.
- Immune system activation. Schizophrenia can also be connected to autoimmune diseases or inflammation.
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Suggests That Schizophrenia Can Be Detected In Childhood Even Traced To The Womb According To Studies Performance Of Children Destined To Develop The Illness Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia Why Body Parts Are Often Malformed In Schizophrenic Patients
Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder that usually manifests itself between the ages of 15 and 30, burdening sufferers with hallucinations and delusions. But two new studies suggest that the illness can be detected in childhood–even traced to the womb.
Mary Cannon, M.D., and colleagues have found that children who will eventually fall prey to the illness perform worse in certain school activities than their peers. Cannon, a clinical lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, tracked down the elementary school files of 400 Finnish residents diagnosed with schizophrenia, and compared their records with those of mentally stable adults. “We did not find that preschizophrenic children performed worse in academic subjects,” such as reading, writing and math, Cannon says. “But children destined to develop schizophrenia performed consistently poorer in sports and handcrafts during their early years.” Subtle abnormalities in motor development, social behavior and mental ability in childhood may thus be warning signs of schizophrenia, she reports in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Says Cannon: “This finding fits with other work showing that children who later develop are slower at learning to stand and walk.”
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Is Schizophrenia A Disease Youre Born With Or Can You Develop It Throughout Your Life
Question by Meghan: Is schizophrenia a disease youre born with or can you develop it throughout your life?
Answer by jkeenI feel that it is something that you are born with,it may not actually form until you are older but think that it is buried inside a persons mind. I think that there can be incounters that could make this disease surface. Trama and differant situations can bring out many diseases that we never knew we had tucked away.
Answer by microGenetic factorsGenetic factors make a person more likely to develop schizophrenia. In the whole population the risk of getting schizophrenia is about one in a hundred . If someone in the family has schizophrenia, the risk of getting it is higher. If a parent has schizophrenia, the children have a risk of about 10% of getting it . It seems that many changes within the genes are needed to be at risk of getting schizophrenia. It is not a simple inheritance pattern like colour blindness or the colour of the eyes.However , there are other factors such as biochemical factors and stress.
Odds Ratios For Schizophrenia In Relation To Indicators Of Foetal Growth Impairment And Short Gestational Age
Those who were SGA , showed delay in gaining weight after birth or whose mothers had had pre-eclampsia all showed trends towards greater risk of schizophrenia, although this was not statistically significant . The odds ratio for schizophrenia in subjects whose birth weight was less than 2500 g was 1.8 . Adjusting for length of gestation barely affected the odds ratios in relation to birth weight, birth length, ponderal index and head circumference. The odds ratio for schizophrenia in those who had extremely short gestational age was 2.7 .
Table 1Odds ratios for schizophrenia in relation to indicators of foetal growth impairment and short gestational age
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Who Does It Affect
Schizophrenia typically starts at different ages, depending on sex. It usually starts between ages 15 and 25 for men and between 25 and 35 for women. It also tends to affect men and women in equal numbers.
Schizophrenia in children, especially before age 18, is possible but rare. However, these cases are usually very severe. Earlier onset tends to lead to a more severe, harder-to-treat condition.
About 20% of new schizophrenia cases occur in people over age 45. These cases tend to happen more in women. Delusion symptoms are stronger in these cases, with less-severe negative symptoms and effects on the ability to think and focus.
How Is It Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider can diagnose schizophrenia or its related disorders based on a combination of questions they ask, the symptoms you describe or by observing your actions. Theyll also ask questions to rule out causes other than schizophrenia. They then compare what they find to the criteria required for a schizophrenia diagnosis.
According to the DSM-5, a schizophrenia diagnosis requires the following:
- At least two of five main symptoms. Those symptoms, explained above, are delusions, hallucinations, disorganized or incoherent speaking, disorganized or unusual movements and negative symptoms.
- Duration of symptoms and effects. The key symptoms you have must last for at least one month. The conditions effects must also last for at least six months.
- Social or occupational dysfunction. This means the condition disrupts either your ability to work or your relationships .
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The Turning Point: Adolescence
An interaction between something in your genes and something in your environment probably causes the disease. Researchers still have a lot to learn about it, but it’s likely that many things play a role. Some, like exposure to a virus or malnutrition , might have happened while you were still in your mother’s womb. For vulnerable individuals, cannabis use can increase the risk of developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
No one knows exactly why it usually crops up in late adolescence, but there are many theories.
Your brain changes and develops a lot during puberty. These shifts might trigger the disease in people who are at risk for it.
Some scientists believe it has to do with development in an area of the brain called the frontal cortex. Others think it has to do with too many connections between nerve cells being eliminated as the brain matures.
Hormones also play a major role in puberty. One theory is that women get schizophrenia later than men because they go through puberty earlier and the hormone estrogen might somehow protect them. Know how to recognize the signs of schizophrenia in teens.
How Is Childhood Schizophrenia Treated
Treatment for early schizophrenia depends on the child and the type and severity of symptoms. Treatment usually includes therapy and education for both patient and family. Depending on the childs age, the doctor may prescribe antipsychotic medications to help control symptoms.
In addition to medications, doctors often recommend social skills training and counseling for the child and family. Ongoing individual therapy helps children with schizophrenia learn coping skills. This support can help them maintain relationships and do well in school.
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What Can I Do To Manage Schizophrenia
People deal with their experience in different ways. You might need to try different things before finding something that works.
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support. Hearing about the experiences of others can help you feel understood. This may help you feel less alone and boost your self-confidence.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area, or get help to set up your own support group if you follow this link:
Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525 for more information.
Recovery colleges are part of the NHS. They offer free courses about mental health to help you manage your experiences. They can help you to take control of your life and become an expert in your own wellbeing and recovery. You can usually self-refer to a recovery college. But the college may tell your care team.
Unfortunately, recovery colleges are not available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525 for more information.
Peer support through the NHS
- side effects,
- recognising and coping with symptoms,
- what to do in a crisis,
- meeting other people who can support you, and recovery.