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Who Does Schizophrenia Usually Affect

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What is schizophrenia? – Anees Bahji

About one-third of people with schizophrenia dont believe anything is wrong with them. Many more dont seek help on their own, for cultural reasons or because they lack resources.

So problems often come to light only when their erratic behavior or other troubles trigger a crisis. Patients are often brought to the hospital by family, teachers or the police, says Dr. Bowers.

To decide whether to admit someone, psychiatrists consider whether patients pose a risk to themselves or others whether they can take care of themselves and whether they could benefit from hospital treatment.

Psychotic Symptoms And Schizophrenia Diagnosis By Race

  • The lifetime prevalence of self-reported psychotic symptoms is highest in black Americans , Latino Americans , and white Americans .
  • The lifetime prevalence of self-reported psychotic symptoms is lowest in Asian Americans .
  • Research has found that black Americans are three to four times more likely than white Americans to receive a Schizophrenia diagnosis.

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.

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Who Does It Affect

Schizophrenia affects about 1% of Canadiansthats about 40,000 people in British Columbia. While scientists are still working hard to figure out what causes schizophrenia, we do know that it affects:

  • Young people: Schizophrenia usually first shows up between the ages of 18 and 25 in men and between 25 and 35 in women.
  • Men and women: Schizophrenia affects men and women equally as often. Men usually start to experience symptoms at an earlier age than women.
  • Families: Schizophrenia seems to run in families. If a close family member experiences schizophrenia, you may experience an increased risk of schizophrenia. However, its important to remember that there is much more to schizophrenia than your genesgenes are one of several risk factors.

Treatment Of Cognitive Deficits In Schizophrenia

What are the Causes and Risk Factors for Schizophrenia?

As mentioned above, the traditional characteristic signs and symptoms of psychosis are less stable than cognitive impairments. They tend to fluctuate naturally throughout the course and have been found to be more treatment responsive. Conventional antipsychotic medications conferred little benefit across cognitive domains and often result in extrapyramidal side effects, requiring anticholinergic treatment that impairs memory . The emergence of second generation antipsychotic medications resulted in several publications that observed cognitive improvements with atypical antipsychotic treatment . These changes were greater than placebo and the conventional antipsychotic medications and found in a number of cognitive domains. Several of these studies, however, were methodologically limited. A review by noted several methodological shortcomings and calculated only modest effect sizes for improvements across atypical multiple antipsychotic medications and cognitive domains. While these improvements were statistically significant, the severe cognitive impairment found in most schizophrenia patients brings their clinical meaningfulness into question.

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What Are The 4 Main Types Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia looks different from one person to the next. But there are four main categories into which patients fall:

  • Paranoid schizophrenia: The persons paranoia may be extreme, and they may act on it. They may show up at the door of the FBI and ask, Why are you following me? says Dr. Bowers. They may also behave oddly, have inappropriate emotional responses and show little pleasure in life.
  • Catatonic schizophrenia: The person shuts down emotionally, mentally and physically. People appear to be paralyzed. They have no facial expression and may stand still for long periods of time, she says. There is no drive to eat, drink or urinate. When catatonia lasts for hours, it becomes a medical emergency.
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia: The person has various vague symptoms. They may not talk or express themselves much. They can be confused and paranoid, says Dr. Bowers. The person may not bother to change clothes or take a shower.
  • Schizoaffective disorder: The person has delusional thinking and other symptoms of schizophrenia. But they also present with one or more symptoms of a mood disorder: depression, mania and/or hypomania, says Dr. Bowers.
  • The Warning Signs Of Suicide

    The warning signs that people with depression and schizophrenia may be considering suicide include:

    • making final arrangements such as giving away possessions, making a will or saying goodbye to friends
    • talking about death or suicide this may be a direct statement such as, “I wish I was dead”, or indirect phrases such as, “I think that dead people must be happier than us”, or “Wouldn’t it be nice to go to sleep and never wake up?”
    • self-harm such as cutting their arms or legs, or burning themselves with cigarettes
    • a sudden lifting of mood this could mean a person has decided to commit suicide and feels better because of their decision

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    When To See A Doctor

    As schizophrenia usually develops gradually, it can be difficult to pinpoint when changes in behavior start or know whether they are something to worry about. Identifying that you are experiencing a pattern of concerning behaviors can be a sign you should consult with a professional.

    Symptoms may intensify in the run-up to an acute episode of psychosis in schizophrenia. The warning signs include:

    • A worrying drop in grades or job performance
    • New difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
    • Suspiciousness of or uneasiness with others
    • Withdrawing socially, spending a lot more time alone than usual
    • Unusual, overly intense new ideas, strange feelings, or having no feelings at all
    • Difficulty telling reality from fantasy
    • Confused speech or trouble communicating

    While these changes might not be concerning by themselves, if you or a loved one are experiencing a number of these symptoms, you should contact a mental health professional. It can be difficult for those with schizophrenia to want to get help, especially if they are experiencing symptoms such as paranoia.

    If you or your loved one is thinking of or talking about harming themselves, contact someone who can help right away. You can call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-237-8255.

    If you require immediate emergency care, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

    Early Warning Signs And Symptoms

    How Schizophrenia Affects My Life

    Usually, a person with schizophrenia has gradual changes in their thoughts and perceptions. Families are often the first to see early signs of psychosis and schizophrenia in a loved one.

    Before the first episode of psychosis, you go through what is known as a premorbid period. This is the 6 months before the first symptoms of psychosis. During this period, you might experience gradual changes.

    Although sleep disturbances are not included in the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia, people with the condition consistently report them.

    Early warning signs include:

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    Does Schizophrenia Affect Motor Skills

    motormotormotor activityschizophrenia

    . Consequently, does Schizophrenia affect movement?

    Some people with schizophrenia can seem jumpy. Sometimes, they’ll make the same movements over and over again — and sometimes they might be perfectly still for hours at a stretch, which experts call being catatonic. Contrary to popular belief, people with the disease usually aren’t violent.

    One may also ask, how does schizophrenia affect you socially? Social Deficits and Schizophrenia. This condition robs people with schizophrenia of their ability to interact with people and enjoy the company of others. People with schizophrenia often have problems relating to or socializing with others. Social issues appear in each group of symptoms.

    Simply so, what are the psychomotor symptoms of schizophrenia?

    Motor symptoms frequently observed in schizophrenia are abnormal involuntary movements neurological soft signs referring to motor coordination, sequencing and sensory integration catatonic symptoms including pure motor signs, disturbance of volition, inability to suppress

    What are the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

    Positive and negative symptoms are medical terms for two groups of symptoms in schizophrenia. Positive symptoms add. Positive symptoms include hallucinations , delusions , and repetitive movements that are hard to control. Negative symptoms take away.

    Behavioral Treatment Of Cognitive Deficits

    Although fewer studies have been funded or published, behavioral approaches to treating cognitive deficits in schizophrenia have produced very promising results. These strategies include training on computerized tasks similar to existing cognitive tests, teaching new learning strategies, training on novel tasks, and/or performing tasks repetitively. A drawback of these strategies is that they tend to be labor intensive, and expensive. While they have been criticized for lack of external validity, recent evidence suggests that treatment of specific cognitive domains can result in symptom improvement and positive vocational outcomes . Another potential area for mediation is that of social cognitive deficits, which are thought to link cognitive deficits and real world functional deficits. demonstrated the malleability of social cognitive deficits with a trial of social cognition enhancement training. Translation to real world functional improvements would be a major step forward for the field.

    Combined with pharmacological treatment, these behavioral approaches might represent the best chance for improving or normalizing cognition in schizophrenia. The effects of cognitive improvements in the real world, however, are still unknown.

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    Is Schizophrenia A Threat To Other People

    Here it would help if you keep in mind that the intensity and severity of the symptoms of schizophrenia are different among different people. In a few people, there may be mild symptoms. Moreover, many people get schizophrenia, but they do not threaten other people. However, this disease is always responsible for causing adverse effects on peoples social life, emotional well-being, and career.

    The best news here is that you can treat schizophrenia nowadays. Different courses of schizophrenia treatment work for several people. Significant possibilities involve medications, psychotherapy, and art therapy. It would be best if you opted for a proper remedy to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia and live a healthy life.

    What Risks And Complications Can Schizophrenia Cause


    Physical health

    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,

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    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.

    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.

    Want to know more?

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    When Schizophrenia Symptoms Start

    Symptoms usually start to develop in early adulthood, between late adolescence and the early 30s. The disorder typically becomes evident slightly earlier in men than in women. Symptoms often emerge between late adolescence and the early 20s in men and between the early 20s and the early 30s in women.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

    At What Age Does Schizophrenia Develop? | Schizophrenia

    Each person may feel symptoms differently. These are the most common symptoms:

    • False beliefs not based on reality

    • Seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling things that are not real

    • Disorganized speech and behavior

    • Feeling like someone or something is out to get them

    • Withdrawal from others

    • Inflated self worth

    These symptoms can make it very hard to function in the world and take care of yourself. People with this illness are usually not violent.

    The symptoms of schizophrenia may look like other problems or mental health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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    Treating Women With Schizophrenia

    Though treatment for mental illness is not typically separated by gender, clinicians serve women best by considering their unique experience of schizophrenia as well as the unique challenges they face. Because women have later onset of the illness and are less likely to experience affective symptoms, clinicians must be careful to rule out other mental illnesses, such as schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder, when giving a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    Treatment for women with schizophrenia should include psychoeducation and support for the needs of mothers with children. Antipsychotic medication can affect the ability to breast feed and the amount of energy a mother has to parent her children.7 Treatment plans tailored for women should include education about physical health as well. Women with schizophrenia are less likely to care for their physical health. This leaves them at risk for untreated breast cancer, osteoporosis, and thyroid conditions. Mental health professionals should also consider creating safety plans for women with schizophrenia who are at increased risk for committing suicide.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia And How Is It Diagnosed

    How is schizophrenia diagnosed?

    Only a psychiatrist can diagnose you with schizophrenia after a full psychiatric assessment. You may have to see the psychiatrist a few times before they diagnose you. This is because they need to see how often you are experiencing symptoms.

    There are currently no blood tests or scans that can prove if you have schizophrenia. So, psychiatrists use manuals to diagnose schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

    The 2 main manuals used by medical professionals are the:

    • International Classification of Diseases which is produced by the World Health Organisation , or
    • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is produced by the American Psychiatric Association .

    NHS doctors use the ICD-10.

    The manuals explain which symptoms should be present, and for how long for you to receive a diagnosis. For example, according to the NHS you need to be hearing voices for at least 1 month before you can be diagnosed. Mental health professionals may say you have psychosis before they diagnose you with schizophrenia.

    What is the future of diagnosis in schizophrenia?There are many research studies being conducted across the world on how to better diagnose schizophrenia. For example, a recent study found through looking at images of the brain, there may be different sub-types of schizophrenia.

    What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

    The symptoms of schizophrenia are commonly described as positive symptoms or negative symptoms. This doesnt mean that they are good or bad.

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