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Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects how a person acts, thinks, expresses emotions, relates with others, and interprets reality. Schizophrenia may be combined with delusion, hallucination, and abnormal thinking or behaviour that disrupts daily functioning. This is the most disabling and chronic mental disorder, and it usually requires lifelong treatment. People with this disorder find it challenging to live a normal life involving work, school, society and relationships. They often feel frightened, and they lose touch with reality. 

Causes

The exact cause of schizophrenia is not yet known, but some factors can make someone more prone to developing the condition; these factors include: 

  • Problems with brain chemistry and circuits.
  • Genetics.
  • Environmental factors include viral infections, toxins or hard drug exposure, and chronic stress
  • Abnormal brain structure.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia 

Many people with this condition do not usually recognise that they have it, but the people around them may easily notice the symptoms, which include:

  • Social withdrawal.
  • Changes in academic performance.
  • Temper flares.
  • Hallucination.
  • Delusion.
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Disorganised or unusual movement.
  • Incoherent or disorganised speaking. 
  • Inability to make decisions.
  • Slow movement.
  • Repeated movement or gestures.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Resistance to instructions.
  • Trouble understanding information.
  • Poor hygiene and grooming habits.
  • Loss of interest in life.
  • Inability to make sense of sound, sight and feelings.
  • Inability to function normally.

Treatment

There is no cure for schizophrenia; the goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and help the person live a relatively normal life. These treatment options include:

Medication

The major drugs used to treat schizophrenia are antipsychotic drugs; they don’t cure the condition but will relieve the most troubling symptoms, which are delusion, hallucinations and thinking problems. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe other medications for other symptoms and to manage the side effects of antipsychotic drugs, such as tremors.

Coordinated Speciality Care (CSC)

This treatment program is designed to offer collaborative care for people with certain mental disorders like schizophrenia. It combines medicine and therapy from psychiatrists, mental health clinicians, case managers, social services, education and employment. It is a full-package treatment plan for people with this condition, and the family will also involved. 

Family Therapy

Family therapy is focused on helping families deal with a loved one who has schizophrenia; it enables them to understand the condition better and to care for their loved one in the best way possible. 

Psychosocial Therapy

This therapy can help a person with schizophrenia manage the behavioural, social, psychological and occupational problems that go with the condition. Patients can learn how to observe and manage their symptoms better. It will also help them feel in control of the condition.

Group Therapy

This provides an environment for people with the same condition to associate with each other and get mutual support. 

Electroconvulsive Therapy

An electroconvulsive therapy is a procedure that involves sending a small electric shock to the brain through electrodes that are attached to the scalp. The treatment is done 2 to 3 times a week, and it causes a brief seizure, which improves brain function, mood and thinking.

Hospitalisation

Some people with schizophrenia can be treated as outpatients, but those with severe symptoms, such as the tendency to harm themselves or others, and those with no one to care for them at home need hospitalisation so they can get adequate care and attention from professionals.

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