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,
Cognitive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Cognitive schizophrenia symptoms are severe for some schizophrenic patients and subtle for the others. Some of the commonly known cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include:
Attention Deficit: Patients impacted by schizophrenia struggle in paying attention and focusing on even simplest of the things in their daily lives.
Dementia:Dementia is one of the most common cognitive schizophrenia symptoms found in patients. Dementia affects that area of the brain which is responsible for language, learning, memory, decision making, reasoning, and thinking. Hence patients exhibit impaired reasoning, memory loss and major personality changes.
Altered Executive Functioning: Schizophrenic patients experience altered executive functioning. This means that they struggle to manage time, organize and plan, pay adequate attention, remember details and switch focus. Schizophrenic patients also have trouble doing things independently and maintaining relationships. Even day to day functioning becomes challenging and complex for schizophrenic patients.
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
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Risk Factors For Catatonic Schizophrenia
As youd expect with schizophrenia, the risk factors of developing catatonic schizophrenia are the same. Schizophrenia symptoms typically appear in early adulthood. Men often experience their initial symptoms in their late teens or early 20s, while women show first signs of the illness in their 20s and 30s. Other subtle signs may appear earlier in life, including poor school performance, reduced motivation, and troubled relationships.
The most common risk factors for the condition include the following:
What We Are Doing
In our joint manifesto for better mental health we ask the next Government to introduce a quantified national reduction in premature mortality a major health inequality is people with mental ill health dying 20 years younger than the general population.
We want them to commit to a clear, transparent programme for maximum waiting times for mental health services everyone in mental distress should have speedy access to crisis care, and be able to access psychological therapies.
We also ask them to commit to continue momentum around the Crisis Care Concordat.
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What Are The Early Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
The condition usually shows its first signs in men in their late teens or early 20s. It mostly affects women in their early 20s and 30s. The period when symptoms first start and before full psychosis is called the prodromal period. It can last days, weeks, or even years. It can be hard to spot because thereâs usually no specific trigger. You might only notice subtle behavioral changes, especially in teens. This includes:
- A change in grades
- Difficulty sleeping
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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The Neurobiology Of Negative Symptoms
Negative symptoms of schizophrenia are likely to be the result of irregularities of distributed neural networks , as opposed to the disruption of any discrete region of the brain. Although several hypotheses may be implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and negative symptoms, the dopamine and glutamate hypotheses are among those that are best supported by current evidence. The dopaminergic hypothesis of schizophrenia proposes that positive symptoms are the result of hyperactivity of dopaminergic neurotransmission in limbic pathways, while negative symptoms, loss of motivation, and impairment in cognition are thought to arise from hypodopaminergic functioning in the frontal lobe and additional mesolimbic structures., However, recent imaging studies suggest that abnormal dopamine function in schizophrenia may be in the dorsal rather than in the limbic striatum.
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 Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Research shows that this serious and complex mental disorder known as schizophrenia can impact both men and women almost equally however, it has an earlier onset in men. Schizophrenia symptoms start appearing in the late adolescence around the age of 16 or early adulthood around the age of 30. In some of the cases, schizophrenia develops at a very slow pace and for years, the person affected by schizophrenia is actually not aware of its existence and in some cases, schizophrenia can develop quickly and strike suddenly. It is also common in children, these days.
Schizophrenia symptoms can be broadly classified into three categories, namely positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
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.
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What Is Deficit Schizophrenia
Deficit schizophrenia, which is not synonymous with deficit symptoms or negative symptoms, is diagnosed when patients have:
- At least two out of the six negative symptoms
- The symptoms are persistent, or present for at least one year, and the patient experiences them even during times of clinical stability
- The symptoms are primary, or not due to other causes like medication or other conditions
People with deficit schizophrenia have a poorer response to treatment, social and occupational functioning, and overall quality of life than people with non-deficit schizophrenia.
The Signs And Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The symptoms of schizophrenia can seem peculiar to people who observe them. However, when people are experiencing symptoms, they may have little or no insight that their thoughts or behaviors are strange. The lack of insight can make schizophrenia very frustrating and frightening for loved ones.
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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.
Psychotic Disorders & Schizophrenia Causes
While the exact cause of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, is unknown, researchers believe several a combination of physical, genetic, psychological and environmental factors play a role.
Like other mental health conditions, psychotic disorders are often genetic. There is evidence linking schizophrenia and genetic, however, no single gene is thought to be responsible. People with family members who have these psychotic disorders are at an increased risk.
Overactivity in brain chemicals that regulate normal functioning can also cause psychotic disorders. Additionally, studies suggest that people with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, have subtle differences in brain structures.
Some experts believe childhood schizophrenia could be linked to factors affecting mothers during pregnancy including drug or alcohol use, extreme stress, poor nutrition and exposure to some hormonal or chemical agents
Schizophrenia is more common in adults, but it also affects children and adolescents. When it occurs before the age of 18, its considered early-onset schizophrenia. Like adults, children with schizophrenia often inherit the condition. If a parent has the illness, a child has about a 10% to 15% chance of developing it. If more than one family member has the disorder, the risk is even higher.
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How Is Catatonic Schizophrenia Treated
Unfortunately, schizophrenia is a lifelong condition that requires management. However, catatonic symptoms may not persist. Those with the disorder require treatment on a permanent basis, even if their symptoms disappear for a while and the individual believes theyre better. For all forms of schizophrenia, treatment is essentially the same. However, the methods will vary depending on a persons age, health, and the severity of their symptoms.
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.
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How Can My Family And Friends Help
You may need to rely on your family and friends to help you cope with the symptoms of schizophreniform disorder. Try to trust them when they tell you that youre perceiving reality incorrectly. If possible, bring them with you to your psychiatric and therapy appointments. They may be able to help you better understand whats going on and how to improve your condition.
Who Gets Schizophrenia
Anyone can get schizophrenia. It affects people all over the world, from all races and cultures. While it can happen at any age, schizophrenia typically first appears in the teenage years or early 20s. The disorder affects men and women equally, although symptoms generally appear earlier in men. The earlier the symptoms start, the more severe the illness tends to be. Children over the age of 5 can have schizophrenia, but itâs rare before adolescence.
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What Are The Dsm
The specific DSM-5 criteria for schizophrenia are as follows :
In addition to the 5 symptom domain areas identified in the first diagnostic criterion, assessment of cognition, depression, and mania symptom domains is vital for distinguishing between schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press 2000.
Wright IC, Rabe-Hesketh S, Woodruff PW, et al. Meta-analysis of regional brain volumes in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Jan. 157:16-25. .
Tamminga CA, Stan AD, Wagner AD. The hippocampal formation in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Oct. 167:1178-93. .
Mattai A, Hosanagar A, Weisinger B, Greenstein D, Stidd R, Clasen L. Hippocampal volume development in healthy siblings of childhood-onset schizophrenia patients. Am J Psychiatry. 2011 Apr. 168:427-35. .
Sigmundsson T, Suckling J, Maier M, et al. Structural abnormalities in frontal, temporal, and limbic regions and interconnecting white matter tracts in schizophrenic patients with prominent negative symptoms. Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Feb. 158:234-43. .
Ellison-Wright I, Bullmore E. Meta-analysis of diffusion tensor imaging studies in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2009 Mar. 108:3-10. .
Coyle JT. The glutamatergic dysfunction hypothesis for schizophrenia. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 1996 Jan-Feb. 3:241-53. .
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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Characteristics Of Undifferentiated Schizophrenia
Undifferentiated schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disease that involves the presence of a wide variety of symptoms and manifestations.
It is classified as a psychotic disorder and presents a chronic course that usually deteriorates in a high way the functioning and the quality of life Of the individual who suffers.
The general characteristics of the disorder are a mixture of peculiar signs and symptoms that have been present a significant part of time during a minimum period of one month.
Also, some signs of the disease must have persisted for at least six months in order to be able to diagnose undifferentiated schizophrenia.
The symptomatology of the disorder causes a marked dysfunction or deterioration in the social or work environment of the person. Likewise, the alteration suffered is not caused by the direct effects of a medical illness or the Consumption of psychoactive substances .
Therapy And Cognitive Aspects
Within schizophrenia treatment medication is an important way to reduce symptoms, but some studies have shown that people living with schizophrenia can also benefit from changing their approach to symptom management. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be an effective part of a treatment plan for some people living with schizophrenia, and it is widely used in the United Kingdom. CBT, which is becoming more widely available in the U.S., engages the individual who needs mental health help, in developing proactive coping strategies for persistent symptoms.
Many people report that it is beneficial to have someone to discuss their experiences with. Talk therapy is a helpful tool in learning how to better manage mental illness. Peer support groups like WRAP encourage involvement in mental health recovery by working on social skills with others. The Illness Management Recovery model is an evidence-based approach that emphasizes setting goals and acquiring skills to meet those goals. The clubhouse recovery model promoted by the International Center for Clubhouse Development helps individuals move towards mental health recovery by providing a safe place to socialize and work. See the resources section for more information.
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