Different Types Of Schizophrenia
You may have heard of someone with paranoid schizophrenia or disorganized schizophrenia.
People with schizophrenia may show a number of symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech and behavior.
In the past, doctors split schizophrenia patients into five subtypes depending on their dominant symptoms. Guidelines published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 eliminated schizophrenia subtypes, because they weren’t helpful to doctors. Thats because schizophrenia symptoms can change over time, and symptoms may overlap. The new guidelines opted instead for a broader schizophrenia definition.
Some schizophrenia symptoms include the following:
- Auditory or visual hallucinations
- Delusions or false beliefs
- Absent or inappropriate reactions or emotional responses
- Neglecting personal appearance or hygiene
- Profound lack of energy
People with paranoid delusions are often said to have paranoid schizophrenia. Paranoid delusions may make it difficult for a person with schizophrenia to cooperate with treatment and can increase the likelihood of problems such as homelessness, notes the NAMI.
Differences In Brain Chemistry
Studies show that people can be more likely to experience schizophrenia if their brain development was disrupted during pregnancy or early childhood. Changes in brain structure do not appear in everyone with schizophrenia though.
Some chemicals also seem to behave differently in the brains of people who experience schizophrenia. These chemicals are thought to include dopamine, which helps to carry messages between brain cells.
Some research suggests that an imbalance between certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, may be one of the causes behind schizophrenia.
Antipsychotics, which are sometimes used to treat schizophrenia, can help to lower dopamine levels.
For more information see our pages on antipsychotics.
“More recently my physical health has deteriorated. I have become more agoraphobic and find group settings harder than before.”
Paranoid Schizophrenia: Main Symptoms
Paranoid schizophrenia is perhaps the most well-known and prototypical type of schizophrenia of this disorder. It is considered as such to that type of schizophrenia characterized by a predominant presence of positive symptoms, there being mainly psychic symptoms in which auditory hallucinations and delusions appear. The subject does not usually present other alterations common in other types of schizophrenia, such as catatonia, impoverishment of thought or alterations of speech or movement.
Also, we are facing the type of schizophrenia that minor cognitive deterioration causes and what better response to treatment usually has.
Generally we find that the hallucinations of patients with this auditory disorder, often in the form of third-person voices that speak about the subject and that tend to have a pejorative and threatening content for the subject. These hallucinations and their content tend to be persecutory , the patient feeling that something or someone intends to harm them and may trigger reactions of fear, anguish or aggression .
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Ways You Can Look After Yourself
Be aware of the warning signs
Learning to spot the early signs of becoming unwell can prevent you having a relapse. Signs can include losing your appetite, not sleeping well or feeling anxious. You may develop mild symptoms such as hearing quiet voices, feeling suspicious, or finding it hard to concentrate. Tell someone you trust or your doctor or support worker if you notice any early signs so that you can get help to avoid a relapse.
When youre unwell, it may be difficult or impossible to tell people how youd like to be treated. It can help to plan ahead by writing an advance statement to help friends, family and medical professionals make decisions on your behalf.
You could also make a crisis card, a small document you can carry in your pocket or wallet explaining what to do and who to contact if youre unable to communicate.
Look after your physical health
Find peer support
Peer support where you talk to other people who have the same diagnosis or symptoms as you can help you feel less alone, increase your self-esteem and share ways of coping. The Hearing Voices Network runs support groups for people who experience voices, visions or other sensory experiences.
Only 15% Of Dna Is Genes: Can The Cause Of Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder Develop Outside Of These
Medical progress took well into the 2000s before the complete human genome could be deciphered and recorded for the first time. Most of the DNA, however, raises more questions than it answers. The genes that make up parts of the strands of the DNA chains represent only a small part of the entire genome. The other sections are often referred to as the dark genome. This is exactly where scientists seem to have found two proteins that have been linked to the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia is a protracted psychiatric illness that is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and impaired thought processes. Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings from mania to depression. Little is known about the mechanism of these two diseases, which are considered extremely limiting, making diagnosis and differentiation difficult. Treatment options for those affected are also sparse. The proteins that scientists discovered appear to have evolved from an evolutionary advantage. However, if they are defective, they could promote the development of psychiatric illnesses. When we scanned the entire genome, we came across regions that cannot be called genes in the classical sense and that code for proteins that appear to be involved in the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, explains research director and author Sudhakaran Prabakaran in one Press release the University.
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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.
What Can Family Friends And Partners Do To Help
Friends, relatives and partners have a vital role in helping people with schizophrenia recover and make a relapse less likely.
It is very important not to blame the person with schizophrenia or tell them to “pull themselves together”, or to blame other people. It is important to stay positive and supportive when dealing with a friend or loved one’s mental illness.
As well as supporting the person with schizophrenia, you may want to get support to cope with your own feelings. Several voluntary organisations provide help and support for carers.
Friends and family should try to understand what schizophrenia is, how it affects people, and how they can help. You can provide emotional and practical support, and encourage people to seek appropriate support and treatment.
As part of someone’s treatment, you may be offered family therapy. This can provide information and support for the person with schizophrenia and their family.
Friends and family can play a major role by monitoring the person’s mental state, watching out for any signs of relapse, and encouraging them to take their medication and attend medical appointments.
If you are the nearest relative of a person who has schizophrenia, you have certain rights that can be used to protect the patient’s interests. These include requesting that the local social services authority ask an approved mental health professional to consider whether the person with schizophrenia should be detained in hospital.
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Causes And Pathophysiology Of Schizophrenia
The causes of schizophrenia are unknown so far. Therefore, the term schizophrenia refers to an empirically defined syndrome characterized by a combination of certain symptoms which occur in a particular temporal pattern. The idea that schizophrenia is a distinct brain disorder is rooted in Emil Kraepelin’s concept of dementia praecox . This concept emphasized one particular aspect of the disorder: the onset of persistent cognitive disturbances early in life. The term schizophrenia was coined by Eugen Bleuler , who wanted to emphasize the loss of coherence between thought, emotion, and behavior which represents another important feature of the disorder. Bleuler actually spoke about schizophrenias, implying a group of diseases rather than one distinct disease entity. The present diagnostic systems compiled by the World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association distinguish various subtypes of schizophrenia which are classified according to particular symptom combinations, and according to certain aspects of the course and prognosis of the disease. However, these subtypes are defined in a phenomenological manner which neither implies distinct causes for any of the subtypes nor any particular treatment.
Table 1. Subtypes of schizophrenia according to the major classification systems
James W. Little DMD, MS, … Nelson L. Rhodus DMD, MPH, in, 2013
Physical Development Risk Factors
People who have schizophrenia can have alterations in brain structure and function. Developmental theories of schizophrenia suggest that these differences occur during early brain development, possibly during the first few months of pregnancy and during adolescence.
Imbalances in certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters are also associated with schizophrenia.
Brain images of those with schizophrenia show that in certain areas there are differences in gray matter and white matter . For example, studies of those with schizophrenia have shown a loss of gray matter in an area called the prefrontal cortex, thought to be where we formulate plans.
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Major Life Events And Traumas
Although a major life event is unlikely to be a single cause of schizophrenia, it may act as a trigger for someone who is already susceptible to it because of another factor.
A major stressful event such as the death of a loved one or becoming unemployed causes big changes in someones hormone levels as they try and recover from the shock. It is not known exactly how, but these changes are thought to be involved in the development of schizophrenia.
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.
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Can Schizophrenia Be Treated
Yes. The main types of treatment are counseling and medicines to lessen or stop psychotic symptoms. Medicines will control psychotic symptoms in most people. In milder cases of schizophrenia, medications may not be needed. Medicines can:
- Lessen or stop hallucinations
- Help the person tell the difference between hallucinations and the real world
- Lessen or stop false beliefs
- Lessen feelings of confusion
- Help the person think more clearly
Lessening of these symptoms can help the person resume his or her normal lifestyle and activities. Medicines for schizophrenia need to be taken regularly, even after symptoms are gone. Some people with schizophrenia will stop taking their medicine because they believe the medicine is no longer needed, or they dislike the medication’s side effects. Psychotic symptoms often return when medication is stopped. Do not stop taking medicine without the advice of your healthcare provider.
Discuss any concerns you have about side effects with your healthcare provider.
Schizophrenia Treatment And Mental Health Recovery
Schizophrenia treatment requires an all-encompassing approach, and it is important to develop a plan of care that is tailored to each persons needs. Mental health care providers and the individual needing mental health help should work together to craft this plan.
Finding the right medication is one important aspect of symptom management, but other services are also needed in order to promote mental health recovery. Rehabilitation strategies involving work, school and relationship goals are also essential and need to be addressed in creating a plan of care. Peer support learning from someone who has been thereis a growing area of the field and can also provide employment opportunities for people needing mental health help. See the mental health resources section for peer support group information.
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Increased Risk Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia seems to run in families, but no single gene is thought to be responsible. Its possible that different varieties of genes make individuals more vulnerable to the condition. However, having these genes does not necessarily indicate youll develop schizophrenia.
Proof that the disorder is partly inherited comes from studies of twins. Identical twins share the same genes. In identical twins, if a twin develops schizophrenia, the other twin has a 1 in 2 chance of developing it, too. This is true even if theyre raised separately.
In non-identical twins, who have different genetic make-ups, when a twin develops the disease, the other only has a 1 in 8 chance of developing the same condition.
While this is higher than in the general population, where the chance is about 1 in 100, it suggests genes are not the only factor influencing the development of schizophrenia.
Educate yourself and others about schizophrenia. Learning about the illness can encourage you to follow your treatment plan and also help your loved ones be more supportive and compassionate.
Studies of individuals with this mental illness have shown there are slight differences in the structure of their brains. These changes are not seen in everyone with schizophrenia and can happen in individuals who do not have a mental illness. But they suggest schizophrenia may partly be a disorder of the brain.
Birth complications and Pregnancy
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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Family Education And Support
Educational programs for family members, significant others, and friends offer instruction about schizophrenia symptoms and treatments, and strategies for assisting the person with the illness. Increasing key supporters understanding of psychotic symptoms, treatment options, and the course of recovery can lessen their distress, bolster coping and empowerment, and strengthen their capacity to offer effective assistance. Family-based services may be provided on an individual basis or through multi-family workshops and support groups. For more information about family-based services in your area, you can visit the family education and support groups page on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.
Voluntary And Compulsory Detention
More serious acute schizophrenic episodes may require admission to a psychiatric ward at a hospital or clinic. You can admit yourself voluntarily to hospital if your psychiatrist agrees it is necessary.
People can also be compulsorily detained at a hospital under the Mental Health Act 2015. It is only possible for someone to be compulsorily detained at a hospital if they have a severe mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, and if detention is necessary:
- in the interests of the person’s own health and safety
- to protect others
People with schizophrenia who are compulsorily detained may need to be kept in locked wards.
All people being treated in hospital will stay only as long as is absolutely necessary for them to receive appropriate treatment and arrange aftercare.
An independent panel will regularly review your case and progress. Once they feel you are no longer a danger to yourself and others, you will be discharged from hospital. However, your care team may recommend you remain in hospital voluntarily.
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Paranoid Schizophrenia: Symptoms Treatments And Possible Causes
Schizophrenia is one of the most well-known psychotic disorders among most people, and one of the most socially stigmatized mental disorders throughout history. Although currently the existence of schizophrenia is considered as a single diagnostic entity, the truth is that until a few years ago it was divided into several types. Among them is paranoid schizophrenia , of which we are going to speak in this article explaining its associated symptoms, its treatments and its possible causes.
- Related article: “What is psychosis? Causes, symptoms and treatment”
What Is Schizoaffective Disorder
People with schizoaffective disorder typically show symptoms of a mood disorder, such as mania or depression, alongside schizophrenia symptoms.
In the past, the process of diagnosing schizoaffective disorder may have been imprecise. Today, there is a distinction between having schizophrenia and mood episodes and having schizoaffective disorder.
Because the symptoms can overlap, it is not always clear whether a person has bipolar disorder or depression with psychotic features, post-traumatic stress disorder , or a schizophrenia-like illness, such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.