Medical Care And Wellness
People living with schizophrenia are subject to many medical risks and typically receive poor medical care and mental health help. High rates of smoking and co-occurring alcohol and drug problems can endanger an individuals health and jeopardize mental health recovery. Risks of obesity and diabetes related to some of the medications noted above are also of significant concern. Research shows that monitoring is often not adequate for these metabolic side effects. Learning how to better manage your own health becoming a self advocateis very important.
Better and more integrated care is essential for people living with schizophrenia. Diet, exercise and other supplements play a big role in managing health. There is interest in the potential of omega-3 fatty acids to improve brain health and outcomes for individuals living with mental illness. Ask your doctor about the latest research on this evolving area of the field and how these can be integrated in your schizophrenia treatment
Schizophrenia Is A Serious Mental Illness
One definition of schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that messes with perception, thoughts, feelings, cognitive processing, and behavior. Some professionals prefer to use the term SMI rather than the official name schizophrenia.
The term SMI is considered by some to be clearer and more logical.
- Schizophrenia is actually a group of symptoms and features rather than a single illness
- The illness is unique to each individualno two people experience it the same
- It doesnt carry the emotional, often negative, connotation that schizophrenia does
One thing that is consistent for everyone living with it: schizophrenia interferes in life. It decreases someones functioning in one or more life areas such as
Dont Use: Committed Suicide
Instead, use: Died by suicide or lost by suicide
When someone believes that ending their life is truly the best decision, they are likely not seeing reality around them clearly. This is a symptom of some mental illnesses. To say someone committed suicide suggests blame. We would never blame someone for dying from cancer. So, we should use language that avoids blame if someones mental health issues caused them to die by suicide.
Make It OK is a HealthPartners campaign that works to end the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. It offers tools and resources for how to have a conversation. Sign the pledge and take a stand against stigma. Its an important first step in getting people with mental illnesses the help they need.
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Dont Use: Schizophrenic Psychotic/disturbed/crazy
Instead, use: Person living with schizophrenia Person experiencing psychosis, disorientation or hallucination
We would never call someone a cancer-ic or heart diseased. People with mental health issues are unfairly labeled by their medical condition. People are people, not illnesses. This is another example of person first language.
What Are The Different Types Of Schizophrenia
Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health condition that interferes with a person’s perception of reality. People with schizophrenia have difficulty with emotions, thinking rationally and clearly, and in interactions and relationships with others.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
Until the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was published in 2013, schizophrenia was officially recognized as having five distinct subtypes.
Because the symptoms of these subtypes were not felt to be reliable or consistently valid, the American Psychiatric Association determined that having distinct subtypes hindered diagnosis and removed them when they published the DSM-5.
Although they are no longer used for diagnostic categorization, some mental health professionals still find these subtypes useful for understanding the ways in which schizophrenia can present. This nuanced understanding can help determine the best ways to approach treatment plans.
As we look at the different subtypes of schizophrenia, it is important to keep in mind that the symptoms of these subtypes overlap with other disorders, and that to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, a person must meet the criteria outlined in the DSM-5.
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Disorganized Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
These are positive symptoms that show that the person canât think clearly or respond as expected. Examples include:
- Talking in sentences that donât make sense or using nonsense words, making it difficult for the person to communicate or hold a conversation
- Shifting quickly from one thought to the next without obvious or logical connections between them
- Moving slowly
- Repeating movements or gestures, like pacing or walking in circles
- Having problems making sense of everyday sights, sounds, and feelings
Development Of The Term And Concept Of Schizophrenia: A Brief Overview
Early descriptions of the symptoms of a syndrome which we still call schizophrenia since more than 100 years can be traced back to thousands of years ago . However, the modern concept and name of schizophrenia were shaped in the early 20th century when the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler introduced the term as an extension and replacement for what was formerly coined dementia praecox by Emil Kraepelin . The psychoanalytically inspired intention behind the new term was to cover the observed deconnection of psychic functions among personality, thinking, memory and perception, which Bleuler assumed to be the prominent feature of the illness. He intended to introduce a broader disease concept and spoke of the group of schizophrenias, undermining his understanding of a heterogeneous group of diseases with different aetiopathogenesis, course and outcome thereby introducing a much more positive prognostic concept instead of the single Kraepelinian disease entity with deleterious outcome. Bleuler made a distinction between primary and secondary symptoms, the former assumed as being closer to the underlying neurobiology, as well as fundamental and accessory symptoms .
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Articles On Schizophrenia Overview
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Though schizophrenia isnât as common as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling.
People with schizophrenia often have problems doing well in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. They might feel frightened and withdrawn, and could appear to have lost touch with reality. This lifelong disease canât be cured but can be controlled with proper treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split or multiple personality. Schizophrenia involves a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person canât tell whatâs real from whatâs imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. Their behavior may be very strange and even shocking. A sudden change in personality and behavior, which happens when people who have it lose touch with reality, is called a psychotic episode.
What Is The Outlook
- In most cases there are recurring episodes of symptoms . Most people in this group live relatively independently with varying amounts of support. The frequency and duration of each relapse can vary. Some people recover completely between relapses. Some people improve between relapses but never quite fully recover. Treatment often prevents relapses, or limits their number and severity.
- In some cases, there is only one episode of symptoms that lasts a few weeks or so. This is followed by a complete recovery, or substantial improvement without any further relapses. It is difficult to give an exact figure as to how often this occurs. Perhaps 2 in 10 cases or fewer.
- Up to 2 in 10 people with schizophrenia are not helped much by treatment and need long-term dependent care. For some, this is in secure accommodation.
- Depression is a common complication of schizophrenia.
- It is thought that up to a third of people with schizophrenia misuse alcohol and/or illegal drugs. Helping or treating such people can be difficult.
- About 1 in 10 people with schizophrenia end their own life.
The outlook is thought to be better if:
Newer medicines and better psychological treatments give hope that the outlook is improving.
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Patient Discussion About Schizophrenia
Q. how to treat schizophrenia?
Q. How can we treat a schizophrenic person? A member of my family is a schizophrenic and was diagnosed when he was 25 years old. Today at almost 60 he refuse to be treated and certain that nothing is wrong with him. The problem is me and my family feels that his illness is getting worst and we can’t help him. How can we get treatment for him and if not what is the next phase we should expect to encounter?
Q. Am i going to get schizophrenia and what are the signs towards it? My mother is 50 years old and i knew she was bi polar and tonight i found out she has schizophrenia too from a nurse at the hospital she was sent to for going crazy out of no where tonight. I am very different from her and i am 17 years old. My dad side of the family has no disorders. How likely am i to develop schizophrenia? What are the first symptoms? Can i see signs now? and any other info.
How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed
If symptoms of schizophrenia are present, the doctor will perform a complete medical history and sometimes a physical exam. While there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophrenia, the doctor may use various tests, and possibly blood tests or brain imaging studies, to rule out another physical illness or intoxication as the cause of the symptoms.
If the doctor finds no other physical reason for the schizophrenia symptoms, they may refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, mental health professionals trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interviews and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a psychotic disorder. The therapist bases their diagnosis on the person’s and family’s report of symptoms and their observation of the person’s attitude and behavior.
A person is diagnosed with schizophrenia if they have at least two of these symptoms for at least 6 months:
One of the symptoms has to be
- Disorganized speech
During the 6 months, the person must have a month of active symptoms. Symptoms should negatively affect them socially or at work, and canât be caused by any other condition.
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How Common Is Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is more common than most people think. About 1 in 200 of the people in the United States will develop schizophrenia over the course of their lives. It’s also important to know that schizophrenia has many different symptoms and can show up in many different ways.
Schizophrenia is not the same as a “split personality.” A split personality is another type of mental illness. Split personality is much less common than schizophrenia.
Causes And Risk Factors
The precise cause of schizophrenia with paranoia isnt known. Schizophrenia itself can run in families, so theres a possibility that the condition is genetic. However, not everyone with a family member who has schizophrenia will develop the disorder. And not everyone who develops schizophrenia will have symptoms of paranoia.
Other risk factors for the condition include:
- brain abnormalities
- low oxygen levels at birth
- virus exposure during infancy or before birth
A diagnosis of schizophrenia requires a series of tests and evaluations. Your doctor will look at your:
- blood work and other medical test results
- medical history
- results from a physical exam
Your doctor may also order a psychiatric evaluation.
You may be diagnosed with this condition if youve experienced at least two major symptoms in the last month. These symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with your everyday activities.
Successful long-term treatment relies on a combination approach. This primarily includes medications in conjunction with various forms of therapy. In severe cases where symptoms create an unsafe environment for you or others, hospitalization may be needed.
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The Social Aspects Of Mental Illness
Living with mental illness means living within a society and all its specific cultural, economic and political factors. In addition to competent mental health care, people living with schizophrenia need strong social supports. Individuals and families should work together to create the best environment to management recovery.
Negative Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
The word “negative” here doesnât mean “bad.” It notes the absence of normal behaviors in people with schizophrenia. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Lack of emotion or a limited range of emotions
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and social activities
- Less energy
- Loss of pleasure or interest in life
- Poor hygiene and grooming habits
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What Causes Schizophreniform Disorder
Although the exact cause of schizophreniform disorder is not known, researchers believe that genetic, biochemical and environmental factors may be involved.
- Genetics : A tendency to develop schizophreniform disorder might be passed on from parents to their children. This increases your risk of developing the disorder compared to the general population. However, this does not guarantee that the disorder will be passed on.
- Brain chemistry: If you have schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder, you might have an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, are substances that help nerve cells in the brain send messages to each other. An imbalance in these chemicals can interfere with the transmission of messages, leading to symptoms.
- Environmental factors: Evidence suggests that certain factors in the environment might trigger schizophreniform disorder in people who have inherited a tendency to develop the disorder. These factors can be poor social interactions or a highly stressful event.
Dont Use: Afflicted By Mental Illness Suffers From Mental Illness Or Is A Victim Of Mental Illness
Instead, use: Living with a mental illness
Having a mental health diagnosis isnt necessarily a negative thing. Suffering implies that someone is unwell and unhappy. People with mental health issues are able to live fulfilling, healthy lives. And there are a wide range of treatments. So there are many reasons to stay hopeful.
Some people with mental health issues find that their experiences have actually changed their life for the better. They may be more empathetic, more artistically inclined or better able to help others around them. We would never say that someone is suffering from asthma or suffering from diabetes. We would say they have diabetes, or they have asthma. A mental health diagnosis shouldnt be construed more negatively than any other health condition.
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What Is Schizophrenia Definition Dsm
Schizophrenia is a disease that affects perception and undermines the part of our brain that knows what is real and what is not. Dr. R. Douglas Fields
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that a great many people have heard of but not manyincluding medical professionalsfully understand. And rightly so, for schizophrenia is complex. Perhaps the best way to understand what schizophrenia means is to break it up and examine the pieces.
Psychiatrists, neurologists, and other medical professionals specializing in the brain have, through research and observation, concluded that schizophrenia is a
- Disease of the brain
- Medical illness
- Mental illness, psychotic disorder
As a brain disease, medical illness, and psychotic disorder, schizophrenia significantly disturbs thoughts, emotions, speech, and behavior. It also affects perception and how someone takes in, interprets, and interacts with the world around him/her.
The American Psychological Association, in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition seeks to explain schizophrenia in more detail.
Proposals For Alternative Terms
Why changing the name of a disorder and how to select a new one? Is the stigma conveyed by the name or the illness itself? As mentioned above, the concept of dementia praecox transported a much poorer prognosis than schizophrenia or even the group of schizophrenias including 20% of courses with a single, remitting episode. It may be the name itself and its translated meaning which may play a role in cases like in Japan , but what exactly do people imagine by split mind? Negative connotations mainly arise from the underlying or subsumed illness concept and its anticipated practical consequences, and less from the correct meaning of its name which the lay public usually does not know anyway. Whereas today the internet can give information on illness concepts, course and outcome as well as treatment options and prognosis, in former times patients, families or the public were referred to outdated conversation lexica with mainly negative content to inform themselves. Certainly, schizophrenia is still one of the most severe mental illnesses, but much more differentiated information is available nowadays. However, even with a new name the illness will not run a better course until further improved treatment and care options will be available and being supported by ongoing public and targeted campaigns on awareness-building and against stigma .
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Dont Use: Mentally Ill Person Or Person Who Is Mentally Ill
Instead, use: Person with a mental illness or Person living with a mental health issue
People with mental health issues have far more sides to them than their mental illnesses. To accept someone as a person first is not only more respectful, but honors many other parts to them outside of their diagnosis. This is called using person first language.
Schizophrenia In The Dsm
The DSM-5 definition of schizophrenia doesnt so much as define the disorder in succinct terms as it does describe its features. Because of its complexity, there isnt a single cut-and-dried definition of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is an intricate illness of the brain that is very individualized. It is different for every person that lives with it. Further complicating things is that schizophrenia has five subtypes , and each of these is experienced uniquely by individuals.
That said, this mental and medical illness does have defining symptoms, features, and diagnostic. There are positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as cognitive symptoms. Schizophrenia has neurological signs, too, as well as certain behaviors that point to the illness.
The DSM-5 refers to schizophrenia as a constellation of symptoms rather than as a single, definitive disorder. Further, the markers of schizophrenia exist as a range, and they vary in intensity from person to person, and even in the same person over time .
Schizophrenia is described in the DSM-5 as having these traits:
- A decrease in functioning in important life areas
- Possible neurological problems such as movement/motor skills, sensory integration, and more
- Behaviors such as mumbling aloud in public, doing things that make sense in the persons inner world but not in the real world
These characteristics are a description of what schizophrenia is. What does schizophrenia mean?
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