What Is The Long
Without ongoing care, people with schizophrenia can be hospitalized multiple times, lose jobs and fall out of touch with their families.
Early treatment in whatever setting works best for the patient is important, says Dr. Bowers. If they are in the hospital, we want to be sure they have a good aftercare plan.
Patients need to have a clear idea about how to maintain their health by taking their meds, staying sober and getting community support.
This will help them maintain their independence and function better in society.
The road to diagnosis, treatment and stability is a challenging one. Along the way, she recommends getting education and support from national organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness , Recovery International and Emotions Anonymous.
To learn about local services, families can reach out to their county mental health board, local hospital or mental health center.
Causes & Risk Factors
It is not known for certain what causes schizophrenia, but like most other mental health problems, researchers believe that a combination of biological and environmental factors contribute to its development. Research has shown that:
- The risk is higher when a close family member has the illness.
- Schizophrenia may be influenced by brain development factors before and around the time of birth, and during childhood and adolescence.
- People who have experienced social hardship or trauma, particularly during childhood, have a higher risk.
- Cannabis use increases the risk of developing schizophrenia in youth and of triggering an earlier onset of the illness in people who are genetically vulnerable.
- Being born or spending ones childhood in an urban environment, rather than a rural one, increases the risk.
- Particular immigrant and refugee groups in Ontario may have a higher risk of developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
Exactly how these risk factors interact to cause schizophrenia is not yet fully understood.
What Is Schizophrenia Learn About This Mental Illness
- FACT CHECKED
Being diagnosed with a mental illness like schizophrenia can be daunting. Many people have the wrong idea about what such a condition might entail, and it can be difficult to imagine what your life might look like with a potentially severe disorder. However, no matter how worrying some of its symptoms may sound, a diagnosis of schizophrenia doesnt have to be an impossible obstacle to overcome. Read on to find out more about this disorder, its symptoms, and how best to treat it.
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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
- Being unable to make decisions
- Writing excessively but without meaning
- Forgetting or losing things
- Repeating movements or gestures, like pacing or walking in circles
- Having problems making sense of everyday sights, sounds, and feelings
How Can I Help A Loved One
Supporting a loved one can be hard. It can be difficult to understand what a loved one is experiencing, and their behaviour may be confusing at times. Many people worry about their loved ones future. The good news is that schizophrenia is treatableand love and support can go a long way. Here are some tips for helping a loved one:
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Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia
In some people, schizophrenia appears suddenly and without warning. But for most, it comes on slowly, with subtle warning signs and a gradual decline in functioning, long before the first severe episode. Often, friends or family members will know early on that something is wrong, without knowing exactly what.
In this early phase of schizophrenia, you may seem eccentric, unmotivated, emotionless, and reclusive to others. You may start to isolate yourself, begin neglecting your appearance, say peculiar things, and show a general indifference to life. You may abandon hobbies and activities, and your performance at work or school can deteriorate.
Addiction And Substance Use Disoder
There was evidence for the efficacy of CBT for cannabis dependence, with evidence for higher efficacy of multi-session CBT versus single session or other briefer interventions, and a lower drop out rate compared to control conditions . However, the effect size of CBT was small as compared to other psychosocial interventions for substance dependence, and agonist treatments showed a greater effect size than CBT in certain drug dependencies, such as opioid and alcohol dependence .
Treatments for smoking cessation found that coping skills, which were partially based on CBT techniques, were highly effective in reducing relapse in a community sample of nicotine quitters , and another meta-analysis noted superiority of CBT over nicotine replacement therapy alone . Furthermore, there was evidence for superior performance of behavioral approaches in the treatment of problematic gambling as compared to control treatments . One meta-analysis reported larger effect sizes of CBT when this treatment was grouped with other non-pharmacological treatments as compared to pharmacological agents , but CBT was not more efficacious than these other briefer, less expensive approaches.
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Who Does It Affect
Schizophrenia can affect anyone. It usually starts to affect people in the teen years, though females often start to experience the illness a little later than males. No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia or why it can affect people so differently. Genes, the way a persons brain develops, and life events may all play a part.
What Can I Do About It
While there is no cure for schizophrenia, people can and do recover. Recovery may mean learning to reduce the impact of problems, work around challenges, or maintain wellness. Most people use some combination of the following treatments and supports.
Some people need to spend time in hospital if they experience a severe episode of psychosis. This is a time to figure out the best treatment for you and begin your journey to health. Before you leave the hospital, care providers should help you map out the service providers who will be involved in your care and support your recovery.
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What Is Schizophrenia Or Paranoid Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a challenging brain disorder that often makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, to think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. It affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world.
The most common form is paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as its often called. People with paranoid schizophrenia have an altered perception of reality. They may see or hear things that dont exist, speak in confusing ways, believe that others are trying to harm them, or feel like theyre being constantly watched. This can cause relationship problems, disrupt normal daily activities like bathing, eating, or running errands, and lead to alcohol and drug abuse in an attempt to self-medicate.
Many people with schizophrenia withdraw from the outside world, act out in confusion and fear, and are at an increased risk of attempting suicide, especially during psychotic episodes, periods of depression, and in the first six months after starting treatment.
Take any suicidal thoughts or talk very seriously
If you or someone you care about is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-TALK, visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country, or read Suicide Prevention.
What Is The Outlook For People With Schizophrenia
With proper treatment, most people with schizophrenia can lead productive and fulfilling lives. Depending on how severe the condition is and how well they get and stick with treatment, they should be able to live with their families or in community settings rather than in long-term psychiatric hospitals.
Ongoing research on the brain and how brain disorders happen will likely lead to more effective medicines with fewer side effects.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia has a large variety of symptoms and can seem very different in one person from another. If its not treated, schizophrenia may lead to long-term psychosis.
The main symptoms of schizophrenia are:
- confused thinking: thoughts are jumbled and the person cant make sense of what other people are saying.
Someone with schizophrenia will have symptoms for more than 6 months. They may have unusual ideas or beliefs about themselves or the world around them, which may be frightening.
How Is Schizophrenia Treated
The goal of schizophrenia treatment is to ease the symptoms and to cut the chances of a relapse, or return of symptoms. Treatment for schizophrenia may include:
- Medications: The primary medications used to treat schizophrenia are called antipsychotics. These drugs donât cure schizophrenia but help relieve the most troubling symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and thinking problems.
- Older antipsychotic medications used include:
Note: Clozapine is the only FDA-approved medication for treating schizophrenia that is resistant to other treatments. Itâs also used to lessen suicidal behaviors in those with schizophrenia who are at risk.
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What Myths Are There About Schizophrenia
There are some myths or mistaken beliefs about schizophrenia which come from the media. For example,
- Schizophrenia means someone has a split personality
This is not the case. The mistake may come from the fact that the name ‘schizophrenia’ comes from two Greek words meaning ‘split’ and ‘mind’.
- Schizophrenia causes people to be violent
Research shows that only a small number of people with the illness may become violent. The same way as a small minority of the general public may become violent.
People with schizophrenia are far more likely to be harmed by other people than other people are to be harmed by them. But as these incidents can be shocking, the media often report them in a way which emphasises the mental health diagnosis. This can create fear and stigma in the general public.
Search Strategy And Study Selection
To obtain the articles for this review, we searched PubMed, PsychInfo, and Cochrane library databases using the following key words: meta-analysis AND cognitive behav*, meta-analysis AND cognitive therapy, quantitative review AND cognitive behav*, quantitative review AND cognitive therapy. This initial search yielded 1,163 hits, of which 355 were duplicates and had to be excluded. The remaining 808 non-duplicate articles were further examined to determine if they met specific inclusionary criteria for the purposes of this review. All included studies had to be quantitative reviews of CBT. In order to limit this review to contemporary studies, only articles published since 2000 were included. The final sample included in this review consisted of 269 meta-analyses . Out of those, we described a representative sample of 106 meta-analytic studies. The complete reference list for the final sample of included meta-analyses can be obtained by accessing the webpage www.bostonanxiety.org/cbtreview.html. As already noted, the majority of these studies was published after 2004, the most recent year covered by the meta-analysis by . The number of meta-analytic reviews per year is depicted in .
Number of meta-analyses published by year since 2000. Note that the number of studies corresponding to 2011 only covered studies until September of that year.
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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.
Here Are Some Things You Can Do To Help Your Loved One:
- Help them get treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment
- Remember that their beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to them
- Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things their way
- Be respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior
- Check to see if there are any support groups in your area
Some symptoms require immediate emergency care. If your loved one is thinking about harming themselves or others or attempting suicide, seek help right away:
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or text the Crisis Text Line .
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Developmental Disorders Including Autism
Developmental disorder is an umbrella term covering intellectual disability and pervasive developmental disorders including autism. Developmental disorders usually have a childhood onset but tend to persist into adulthood, causing impairment or delay in functions related to the central nervous system maturation. They generally follow a steady course rather than the periods of remissions and relapses that characterize many mental disorders.
Intellectual disability is characterized by impairment of skills across multiple developmental areas such as cognitive functioning and adaptive behaviour. Lower intelligence diminishes the ability to adapt to the daily demands of life.
Symptoms of pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism, include impaired social behaviour, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests and activities that are both unique to the individual and are carried out repetitively. Developmental disorders often originate in infancy or early childhood. People with these disorders occasionally display some degree of intellectual disability.
The community at large has a role to play in respecting the rights and needs of people with disabilities.
Positive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
In this case, the word positive doesnât mean good. It refers to added thoughts or actions that arenât based in reality. Theyâre sometimes called psychotic symptoms and can include:
- Delusions: These are false, mixed, and sometimes strange beliefs that arenât based in reality and that the person refuses to give up, even when shown the facts. For example, a person with delusions may believe that people can hear their thoughts, that they are God or the devil, or that people are putting thoughts into their head or plotting against them.
- Hallucinations: These involve sensations that aren’t real. Hearing voices is the most common hallucination in people with schizophrenia. The voices may comment on the person’s behavior, insult them, or give commands. Less common types include seeing things that aren’t there, smelling strange odors, having a funny taste in your mouth, and feeling sensations on your skin even though nothing is touching your body.
- Catatonia: In this condition, the person may stop speaking, and their body may be fixed in a single position for a very long time.
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How Is The Diagnosis Made
Some of the symptoms that occur in schizophrenia also occur in other mental health conditions such as depression, mania, and dissociative identity disorder, or after taking some street drugs. Therefore, the diagnosis may not be clear at first. As a rule, the symptoms need to be present for several weeks before a doctor will make a firm diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Not all symptoms are present in all cases. Different forms of schizophrenia occur depending upon the main symptoms that develop. For example, people with paranoid schizophrenia mainly have positive symptoms which include delusions that people are trying to harm them. In contrast, some people mainly have negative symptoms and this is classed as simple schizophrenia. In many cases there is a mix of positive and negative symptoms.
Sometimes symptoms develop quickly over a few weeks or so. Family and friends may recognise that the person has a mental health problem. Sometimes symptoms develop slowly over months and the person may gradually become withdrawn, lose friends, jobs, etc, before the condition is recognised.
Schizophrenia And Other Psychoses
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, affecting 20 million people worldwide1. Psychoses, including schizophrenia, are characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self and behaviour. Common psychotic experiences include hallucinations and delusions . The disorder can make it difficult for people affected to work or study normally.
Stigma and discrimination can result in a lack of access to health and social services. Furthermore, people with psychosis are at high risk of exposure to human rights violations, such as long-term confinement in institutions.
Schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. Treatment with medicines and psychosocial support is effective. With appropriate treatment and social support, affected people can lead a productive life and be integrated in society. Facilitation of assisted living, supported housing and supported employment can act as a base from which people with severe mental disorders, including schizophrenia, can achieve numerous recovery goals as they often face difficulty in obtaining or retaining a place to live and normal employment.
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