What To Consider As Marijuana Becomes More Acceptable More Available
The growing body of research about the medical uses of marijuana can make it possible to overlook the real risks that can also be associated with the drug. How marijuana should be regulated and used has strong advocates on both sides it can be hard to find unbiased information about the benefits and risks.
Seeking Help For Meth And Schizophrenia
The Treatment Specialist will connect you to a treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment to help you or your loved one immediately treat crystal meth induced psychosis. A specialist has extensive experience in these fields and are available to offer free information and guidance toward treatment options. If your loved one is struggling with meth and schizophrenia, reach out to a Treatment Specialist today at 644-7911.
Can You Recover From Schizophrenia
Is schizophrenia a life sentence or was Krapelin wrong?
When Emil Krapelin first described schizophrenia in 1898 he called it dementia praecox or premature dementia because he thought that it involved a progressive deterioration of the patients functioning over time. This view persisted for many years into the 20th century.
Dr Emil Kraepelin who first described schizophrenia in 1896.
We now know that this is not the case and that the receipt of a diagnosis of schizophrenia is not a life sentence to an existence of low achievement. 1 Many people who have suffered an episode of schizophrenia or even multiple episodes go on to recover a very high level of functioning and often to be able to re-join mainstream society.2
Rule of thirds and rule of quarters
For much of the 20th century psychiatrists thought of recovery rates from schizophrenia in terms of what was known as the rule of thirds. According to this rule of thumb about one third of those diagnosed with schizophrenia would recovery completely, a further third would be improved over time, leaving the remaining third who would not show any improvement.
With improvements in treatment methods and newer medications, this model was seen to be unrepresentative and doctors now tend to use another rule of thumb which they call the rule of quarters and which suggests the outcomes after 10 years from diagnosis.
Disparity between clinical and social outcomes in schizophrenia
Factors affecting the outcome in schizophrenia
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Schizophrenia And Polysubstance Abuse
Polysubstance drug abuse involving mind-altering substances such as potent opiates and illicit street-drugs can have a dramatically negative effect on schizophrenia. Even in individuals with relatively normal genetics and a strong physical constitution, polysubstance drug abuse can take a crippling toll. With regard to schizophrenia, specifically, the disorganized thought patterns, auditory and visual hallucinations, erratic behaviors, and communication difficulties react with far greater volatility to the presence of mind-altering substances and create long-term damage.
The already disjointed, neurologically dysfunctional brain of a schizophrenic is not designed to withstand the assault of hard-core substances. Although typical antipsychotic medications such as Haldol and Proxilin, and atypical antipsychotic medications such as Seroquel and Risperdal can be very effective in alleviating certain symptoms of schizophreniathey interact badly with mind-altering substances and run the risk of producing serious, potentially fatal, complications. For this reason, it is imperative that individuals suffering from schizophrenia refrain from any unnecessary drug use.
Disorganized Or Abnormal Motor Behavior
Someone with this symptom can go from not moving or speaking to hyperactivity within minutes and without any trigger. This could also be displayed through silliness or unpredictable agitation. Some behaviors include resistance to instructions, inappropriate or bizarre posture, a complete lack of response, or useless and excessive movement.5
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How Schizophrenia & Addiction Build On Each Other
Specialists have known for years that drug addiction can be an escalated form of self-medication for mental illness. But now research is catching up to reveal that not only is addiction often evoked by mental instability, it has the potential to become the origin of various mental health disorders.
Research published in Milan at the Early Psychosis Association meeting last week illuminates the relationship between drug addiction and the early onset of schizophrenia.
Our results illustrate robust associations between almost any type of substance abuse and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life, researchers concluded.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness often passed down through a genetic chemical imbalance. The disease controls the thoughts and actions of the person it afflicts. Those with schizophrenia often hear voices that tell them what to do, which may lead to unfortunate consequences such as violence and cerebral entropy if left untreated. Symptoms of the disorder include losing touch with reality, hysteria, visual hallucinations, paranoid delusions, trouble focusing, memory loss, and decreased sensations of pleasure. All of which are also common symptoms of substance abuse.
According to the research published in Milan, Italy, cannabis is 5.2 times more likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and alcoholism is 3.4 times more likely. Hallucinogens broaden the risks by 1.9 times.
What If I Am A Carer Friend Or Relative
Supporting someone struggling with dual diagnosis can be difficult. It might help to speak to the person you are helping, to see what support they want. For example, some people might just want someone to talk with. Other people might want more practical help, such as with booking appointments or helping them speak to professionals.
We Are With You and Adfam are two charities that offer support and advice to relatives, friends and carers of those struggling with substance misuse. You can find their contact details in the Useful Contacts section below.
You might also feel that you need support for yourself. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says that carers who support someone with a dual diagnosis should be offered a carers assessment under the Care Act 2014. You may be able to get practical support to help you with your caring responsibilities.
NICE also says that if you are caring for someone with a dual diagnosis you can:
- be involved in their care planning, and
- work with services to help those services improve.
But this can only happen if the person who you care for wants you to be involved. Speak to the mental health team if you have ideas about what services should be available or how things could work better.
You can find more information about:
- Supporting someone with a mental illness by clicking here.
- Carers assessments and support planning by clicking here.
- Confidentiality for carers, friends and relatives by clicking here.
What Makes Schizophrenia Symptoms Worse
What makes symptoms worse?
This is a question I get a lot. Some people with schizophrenia disorders feel like their symptoms are random and unpredictable. Its true that we cant pinpoint exactly which symptoms are going to be up or down on a specific day, there are things that will usually make them worse. For ways to manage symptoms, see previous blogs. However, if you want to know what NOT to do, keep reading.
Using Alcohol and/or drugs. Over 50% of people with a serious mental illness abuse alcohol or drugs at some point in their lives, and this can really mess with your symptoms. It makes the effectiveness of your meds lower, it makes your emotions fuzzy and numb, and it makes symptoms worse overall. Plus people who are under the influence tend to make poor decisions and be more vulnerable to people taking advantage of them. Alcohol and drugs can make you feel numbed out for a while, but that will be canceled out by the negatives of using.
Ignoring stress. People with schizophrenia disorders are often affected by stress more than people without those disorders. You need to learn about stress management, and use those skills whenever stress comes up. Try to avoid situations that you know will bring you unhealthy stress, such as usign drugs or spending time with unsafe people.
Genetic Underpinnings Of Schizophrenia And Co
Based on epidemiological data and family studies, it appears clear that genetic factors significantly influence susceptibility to schizophrenia. The concordance rate for schizophrenia in monozygotic twins is 40â50% . Genetic factors are also thought to play a role in the susceptibility to develop schizophrenia and a co-occurring substance use disorder. Indeed, polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia are also associated with cannabis use, cocaine use, nicotine use, and severe alcohol use .
It appears that gene x environment interactions generate risk of schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorders. Three distinct genes, encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor , catechol-O-methyltransferase , and protein kinase B , have garnered the most attention for their relationship with both schizophrenia and substance use. While polymorphisms of BDNF , involved in synaptic plasticity and the activity of dopamine , are not associated with alcohol dependence alone, they are strongly associated with schizophrenia and co-occurring alcohol dependence, suggesting that these BDNF variants may be important in the co-occurrence of these disease states .
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Using Marijuana Has Been Linked To Psychiatric Disorders
There is evidence that links marijuana use with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, says Streem. A 2002 study found the more marijuana an adult consumed, the higher their risk of developing schizophrenia. The authors concluded that 13 percent of the schizophrenia cases in their cohort could be attributed to smoking cannabis, he says, referencing research published in the journal BMJ.
Another study, published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, showed that patients who use cannabis regularly and experience a first episode of psychosis could improve their prognosis if they quit using cannabis, states Streem.
Schizophrenia And Marijuana Use
While acute psychosis is well documented and recognized in a small percentage of people who use marijuana, the connection to schizophrenia is more elusive. There have been connections proven, though it is not possible to say that the drug causes the mental illness.
Some studies, for instance, have found that teens and young adults who use marijuana are more likely than their peers to develop schizophrenia later. This does not prove the drug causes the condition, though. It may mean that someone predisposed to schizophrenia is more likely to use marijuana.
There is also proof from research that in someone who is predisposed to develop schizophrenia, such as through family history, use of marijuana can increase the risk. Being predisposed to a mental illness does not mean that an individual will be diagnosed with it, but in this particular case cannabis use makes it more likely. This is especially true when the drug use occurs in adolescence, probably because this is when the mental illness begins to develop.
The risk of developing schizophrenia because of using marijuana is extremely low, as is the risk of having cannabis-induced psychosis. However, there is a connection, and it is important for anyone who may be predisposed to develop schizophrenia to be aware that early use of the drug can increase the risk.
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The Default Mode Network
When weâre just hanging out — the dishes are done, weâve finished our homework, or we’ve completed a tough project at work — our thoughts are free to roam. This âdefault modeâ allows us time to daydream, reflect, and plan. It helps us process our thoughts and memories. Scientists call this the default mode network. When weâre not focused on a given task, it âlights up.” If you have schizophrenia, your default mode network seems to be in overdrive. You may not be able to pay attention or remember information in this mode, one study shows.
Data Suggests Some People May Be Especially At Risk For Schizophrenia
They found an increased risk of developing schizophrenia for the people with a family history of the condition, regardless of whether they had used pot. Researchers concluded that marijuana doesnt cause schizophrenia by itself, but it may initiate the onset of the disease in a genetically predisposed person.
If you have psychotic illness in your family then you might want to be especially careful, says Bostwick. If you have a tendency to the illness yourself, using marijuana could bring the illness out sooner and more intensely,” he says.
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Does This Mean That Lsd Wont Cause Schizophrenia
There is still no clear cut answer as to what causes schizophrenia in the first place. Some think its based on genetic susceptibility, while others believe its a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. There is also evidence that usage of illicit street drugs could play a role in causing brain changes that would lead an individual to develop schizophrenia. Many famous people with schizophrenia are thought to have developed the illness as a result of hard drug abuse.
Of course we have the chicken and egg argument which came first the schizophrenia or the substance abuse. In cases of substance abuse, would the person have gone on to develop schizophrenia if they had not abused drugs. Currently, most of the research supports that although there is a correlation between substance abuse, there is no major evidence supporting the idea that drug abuse can cause schizophrenia. Many illicit drugs including Ecstasy can cause hallucinations and similar symptoms to schizophrenia.
Although usage of LSD may mimic schizophrenic symptoms and induce a state of psychosis, it is not thought to cause a person to develop schizophrenia. A state of drug induced psychosis is not the same as schizophrenia. With that said, LSD usage is thought to make symptoms of schizophrenia more intense and severe.
Brain Reward Circuit Dysfunction As A Missing Link
One manifestation of the genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia may be dysfunction within brain circuits involved in reward and motivation that may drive both the initiation and continued use of substances. Reward processing in healthy subjects is related to dopaminergic activity in the ventral striatum , which may be impaired in patients. Thompson et al., found that patients with schizophrenia and a co-occurring substance use disorder have decreased striatal dopamine release the authors suggested that this decreased release might be due to the substance use history in these patients. Importantly, the authors also suggested that in such patients, there might be a hypersensitive dopamine system we propose that this hypersensitivity may further contribute to their vulnerability toward substance use.
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What Is Drug Induced Psychosis
Psychosis is a mental health problem that temporarily causes someone to interpret the world differently from those around them. Drug-induced psychosis, also known as stimulant psychosis, happens when you experience episodes of psychosis such as delusions or hallucinations as a direct result of substance abuse. This can either exacerbate or trigger the onset of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which can be characterised by symptoms of psychosis, due to being predisposed to the condition.
Drug-induced psychosis is often caused by taking too much of a certain drug, so that its level of toxicity provokes paranoia and a psychotic episode. It can also occur when if you have an adverse reaction from mixing different substances, or withdrawing from a drug, prescribed or otherwise.
Psychosis is often characterised by delusions or hallucinations, which are experiences that are far removed from reality. Delusions are irrational beliefs that a person holds, even when they are presented with evidence that contradicts these beliefs. Hallucinations refer to intense sensory perceptions of phenomena that are not real, and are characterised by individuals vividly feeling, seeing or hearing things that do not truly exist.
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Considering The Links And Risks When There Are So Many Unknown Facts
One way to think about the relationship between schizophrenia and marijuana use is to look at the symptoms or behaviors of each, he says. If you already have a tendency toward psychosis or paranoia due to one illness and then you start using a substance that has a tendency toward psychosis or paranoia on top of that, then you have a double effect thing going on, he says.
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How Substance Abuse Can Lead To Mental Illness
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry sheds light on this issue. It reports that about one-third of patients with drug-induced psychosis went on to develop mental illness.
It is known that an underlying mental health disorder can be a risk factor for developing a substance use disorder. This study concludes that a high number of addicts acquired a psychotic disorder as a result of the substance abuse.
This happens most with people who use cannabis and then have a psychotic event. After the event about 50% of them ended up with sustained mental illness, states The British Journal of Psychiatry. This study revealed that young male cannabis users were at highest risk for this outcome.
Chemical Changes In The Brain
A series of complex interrelated chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, are responsible for sending signals between brain cells.
Low levels or imbalances of these chemicals are believed to play a role in the development of schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.
Dopamine, in particular, seems to play a role in the development of schizophrenia.
Researchers have found evidence that dopamine causes an overstimulation of the brain in people with schizophrenia. It may account for some of the symptoms of the condition.
Glutamate is another chemical thats been linked to schizophrenia. Evidence has pointed toward its involvement. However, there are a number of limitations to this research.
Complications before and during birth may increase the likelihood a person will develop mental health disorders, including schizophrenia.
These complications include:
Because of the ethics involved in studying pregnant women, many of the studies that have looked at the connection between prenatal complications and schizophrenia have been on animals.
Women with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for complications during pregnancy.
Its unclear if their children are at an increased likelihood for developing the condition because of genetics, pregnancy complications, or a combination of the two.
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