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.
Brain Circuitry And Implications For Adolescence
Contrary to long-held ideas that the brain was mostly grown-up after childhood, it is now clear that adolescence is a time of explosive growth and development of the brain. While the number of nerve cells does not change after birth, the richness and complexity of the connections between cells do, and the capacity for these networks to process increasingly complex information changes accordingly. Cortical regions that handle abstract information and that are critical for learning and memory of abstract conceptsrules, laws, codes of social conductseem to become much more likely to share information in a parallel processing fashion as adulthood approaches. This pattern of increased cortical information sharing is reflected in the patterns of connections between neurons in different regions of the cortex. Thus, the dendritic trees of neurons in the prefrontal cortex become much more complex during adolescence, which indicates that the information flow between neurons has become more complex . The possibility that schizophrenia involves molecular and functional abnormalities of information flow in these circuits suggests that such abnormalities may converge on the dynamic process of brain maturation during adolescence and increase the risk of a psychotic episode in predisposed individuals.
What Is The Prognosis For Schizophrenia
The prognosis for people with schizophrenia can vary depending on the amount of support and treatment the patients receives. Many people with schizophrenia are able to function well and lead normal lives. However, people with schizophrenia have a higher death rate and higher incidence of substance abuse. When medications are taken regularly and the family is supportive, patients can have better outcomes.
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: “Schizophrenia In Children.”
- Brown University: “Schizophrenia .”
- National Alliance on Mental Illness : “Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents.”
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.
The Most Common Early Warning Signs Include:
While these warning signs can result from a number of problemsnot just schizophreniathey are cause for concern. When out-of-the-ordinary behavior is causing problems in your life or the life of a loved one, seek medical advice. If schizophrenia or another mental problem is the cause, getting treatment early will help.
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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.
Are People With Schizophrenia Dangerous
Popular books and movies often depict people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses as dangerous and violent. This usually isnât true. Most people with schizophrenia are not violent. More typically, they prefer to withdraw and be left alone. When people with mental illness do take part in dangerous or violent behaviors, itâs generally a result of their psychosis and the fear that theyâre being threatened in some way by their surroundings. Drug or alcohol use can make it worse.
On the other hand, people with schizophrenia can be a danger to themselves. Suicide is the top cause of premature death among people with schizophrenia.
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Section 1: Diagnosis And Classification Of Schizophrenia
Classification is the process of organising symptoms into categories based on which symptoms cluster together in sufferers. Psychologists use the DSM and ICD to diagnose a patient with schizophrenia.
Diagnosis refers to the assigning of a label of a disorder to a patient. The ICD-10 is used worldwide and the DSM-5 is used in America.
In order to diagnose Schizophrenia the Mental Health Profession developed the DSM still used today as a method of classifying mental disorders .
It is also used as a basis for the ICD used by the World Health Organisation in classifying all disorders .
Note: you may come across the terms DSM-IV and ICD-10. These refer to the latest editions of the two classification systems.
Inflammation And Immune Function
Immune function is disturbed in schizophrenia. Overactivation of the immune system may result in overexpression of inflammatory cytokines and subsequent alteration of brain structure and function. For example, schizophrenic patients have elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines that activate the kynurenine pathway, by which tryptophan is metabolized into kynurenic and quinolinic acids; these acids regulate NMDA receptor activity and may also be involved in dopamine regulation.
Insulin resistance and metabolic disturbances, which are common in the schizophrenic population, have also been linked to inflammation. Thus, inflammation might be related both to the psychopathology of schizophrenia and to metabolic disturbances seen in patients with schizophrenia.
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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 Kind Of Symptoms Might People With Schizophrenia Have
People with schizophrenia may have a number of psychotic symptoms. These symptoms can come and go in phases, or they can happen only once or twice in a lifetime. When the illness begins, psychotic symptoms are usually sudden and severe.
During psychotic phases, the person may still understand parts of reality. He or she may lead a somewhat normal life, doing basic activities such as eating, working and getting around. In other cases, the person may be unable to function. Symptoms during psychotic phases include:
- Seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling things that are not real .
- Having strange beliefs that are not based on facts . For example, the person may believe that people can hear his or her thoughts, that he or she is God or the devil, or that people are putting thoughts into his or her head.
- Thinking in a confused way, being unable to make order out of the world, shifting quickly from one thought to the next.
- Having emotions, thoughts and moods that do not fit with events.
People with schizophrenia also may:
- Have a lot of energy or be overly active, or become “catatonic,” a state in which the body becomes rigid and cannot be moved.
- Talk in sentences that do not make sense.
- Not wash or groom.
- Cut themselves off from family, friends and the outside world.
- Be unable to function in school, work, or other activities.
- Lose interest in life.
- Be very sad or have mood swings.
- Have dulled emotions.
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Treatment And Medical Options For Schizophrenia
Over the past 30 years, researchers have identified more than 100 genes that may increase the risk of schizophrenia, and they have begun finding novel pathways and making other discoveries that may help identify new targets for drug therapy.
There is no cure for schizophrenia, and as with many diseases that can be managed but not cured, early detection and treatment are important.
Seek medical treatment if you or someone you know might be experiencing signs of psychosis or schizophrenia. Early treatment can improve a persons chance for a successful recovery. Whats more, proper treatment helps minimize symptoms and improve quality of life. Yet even after symptoms have ceased and schizophrenia is managed, most people with schizophrenia require ongoing drug and nondrug treatment.
How Does Schizophrenia Affect Families
Schizophrenia takes an enormous toll on afflicted families. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty maintaining a job or living independently, though it is important to recognize that treatment, especially at the onset of symptoms, allows individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia to lead meaningful, productive lives.
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What Are The Treatments For Schizophrenia
Ninety-nine percent of patients with schizophrenia need lifelong treatment with antipsychotic drugs, counseling and social rehabilitation, says Dr. Bowers.
This will reduce their symptoms and help them get to a place of stability in their lives, she says.
Antipsychotics are given orally or by injection. Depending on the type of schizophrenia, other medications may be needed as well:
- People with paranoid schizophrenia usually respond well to antipsychotics, which decrease paranoid thinking and help them readjust to their environment.
- People with catatonic schizophrenia require benzodiazepines to relax their muscles, allowing them to become more active and to react to the environment.
- People with undifferentiated schizophrenia are slower to respond to antipsychotics because thinking is disturbed across the board. The medication makes them more alert and able to care for themselves, but it doesnt always clear their thinking, she says.
- People with schizoaffective disorder require a combination of antipsychotics and antidepressants or mood stabilizers.
Despite significant side effects, its important to keep taking these medications.
When people go on and off their meds, their symptoms return, and they often end up back in the hospital, says Dr. Bowers. Also, the more episodes you have, the further you get from your healthy baseline.
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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What Occurs In The Brain
|The picture below showsmagnetic resonance image brain scans of a pair of twins:one with schizophrenia, one without schizophrenia. Notice that theventricles are larger in the twin withschizophrenia.|
A reduced size of the hippocampus, increased size of the basal ganglia,and abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex are seen in some people withschizophrenia. However, these changes are not seen in all people withschizophrenia and they may occur in people without this disorder.
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.
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Schizophrenia Testing And Diagnosis
No single, definitive test exists for schizophrenia.;Thorough clinical interviews are used to diagnose the disease. A doctor will test for or diagnose schizophrenia by ruling out other medical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
Other conditions that can be associated with psychotic symptoms include:
- Legal or illegal drug use, including marijuana; substance use
- Brain tumors or;other cancers
The process of testing and diagnosis will include:
Psychological Evaluation;A doctor or mental health worker will ask you a range of questions about your thoughts, moods, delusions, hallucinations, and substance use. ;This evaluation is considered the most important part of the diagnostic assessment.
Medical Tests;A health worker may draw your blood for tests that can help rule out other conditions.
These tests will also screen for any alcohol or drugs in your system that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Your doctor may also recommend imaging studies of your head, such as a computerized tomography scan or;magnetic resonance imaging .
A diagnosis of schizophrenia requires that some symptoms persist for six months or longer, with two or more of the symptoms occurring most of the time over a one-month period.
At least one of these symptoms must be delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech.
What Research Is Being Done On Schizophrenia
Repetitive transient magnetic stimulation , a procedure that involves multiple sessions of applying magnetic pulses to the brain, has been shown in some studies to decrease hearing voices in schizophrenia sufferers as a result of stimulating certain areas of the brain. However, more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of this intervention before it is widely used.
Cognitive remediation continues to be an experimental treatment that addresses the cognitive problems that are associated with schizophrenia . Clinical trials using this intervention in combination with vocational rehabilitation to improve work functioning have shown some promise, but more research is needed, particularly that which focuses on improving how well the person with schizophrenia functions in real-world situations as a result of this treatment.
Peer-to-peer treatment is a promising possible intervention since it promotes active constructive involvement from people who have schizophrenia, provides role models for individuals whose functioning is less stable, and may be accessible in individual and group settings, in person as well as by telephone or through the Internet. However, further research is necessary to demonstrate its effectiveness in decreasing symptoms or otherwise clearly improving functioning for people with schizophrenia.
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