It is a chronic brain condition characterized by a “disconnection” from reality. These disconnections might appear as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and disorganized or odd movements. The term “schizophrenia” can apply to both a single condition and a group of conditions classified as psychotic conditions. Signs and Symptoms of schizophrenia also discuss below.
Schizophrenia does not mean a split or multiple personalities. Multiple personalities are a symptom of dissociative identity disorder. Most people with schizophrenia are not any more dangerous to society. While it is a common misperception that people with schizophrenia end up homeless or in hospitals. The majority of persons with schizophrenia live at home, in group homes, or on their own.
Schizophrenia and psychosis are two concepts that are closely related, but they also have significant differences. Psychosis is a collection of symptoms characterized by a loss of connection with reality and the world around you. Other medical diseases, such as Bipolar Disorder, can cause psychosis. Schizophrenia is a range of conditions that involve psychotic symptoms.
What are the Signs of the Active Stage?
The primary symptoms of schizophrenia are most likely to occur during the active period. These symptoms can include any of the following:
- Delusions are persistent false beliefs that continue despite apparent or reasonable proof that they are untrue. The most common are persecutory (or paranoid) delusions, in which a person feels they are being hurt or tormented by another person or group. These are incorrect ideas that a person will not alter despite evidence to the contrary.
- Hallucinations are the illusion of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, or experiencing things that are not really there. They are clear and distinct, giving the appearance of normal experiences. The most prevalent type of hallucination in schizophrenia is an auditory hallucination, or “hearing voices.” These are things that don’t exist, yet you believe they do.
- Disorganized thinking and speech. It refers to thoughts and speech that are disorganized, confused, and/or do not make sense. They may struggle to keep on topic, or it may be severe enough that you are unable to comprehend them because their words are jumbled or incomprehensible. People suffering from schizophrenia frequently struggle to organize their thoughts when speaking.
- Disorganized or abnormal motor behavior. These are motions that can range from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation, disturbing or repetitive movements. When the behavior is severe, it might interfere with the performance of daily activities. It comprises catatonia, a condition in which a person does not react to the stimuli as expected. They may strike a certain pose, fail to reply to the person speaking to them or begin moving around excessively for no apparent reason.
- Negative symptoms. These are declines in specific behaviors, not negative symptoms. Impaired emotional expression, decreased voice output, fewer or no movements with their hands or other parts of their body, and decreased feeling of enjoyment are some examples. They also have a lack of motivation especially when it comes to socializing or doing things they normally love.
What are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia normally develops in stages, with various symptoms and behaviors associated with each stage.
- Onset (prodrome). This is a preliminary stage that occurs before a person gets more severe symptoms. It might appear as social withdrawal, anxiety, a lack of drive, and a disregard for personal cleanliness.
- This is when psychotic symptoms become fully apparent. Another word for this is “psychotic break,” which occurs when a person loses touch with reality.
- People in this stage still have certain signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, although they are not as severe. The most visible symptoms include strange thoughts, lack of motivation, lower sensations of delight or pleasure, limited speech, and less emotional expressiveness. Many people typically heal to the point where they appear to be partly or completely recovered.
What are the Risk Factors of Schizophrenia?
Genetics. People with a family history of schizophrenia are far more likely to develop the disorder.
Environment. Many environmental factors can raise your chance of acquiring schizophrenia. Certain disorders that impact your brain might also put you at risk. Long durations of extreme stress might also contribute to its development.
Birth and development situations. If your mother suffered gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, malnutrition, or a vitamin D deficiency when pregnant with you, your chance of schizophrenia increases. If you were underweight at birth or if there were difficulties during your birth, your risk increases.
Drug usage for recreation. Researchers have connected schizophrenia to the use of some recreational drugs, particularly in bigger quantities and earlier in life.
How is it Diagnosed?
Your healthcare professional can diagnose schizophrenia or similar diseases using a mix of questions, symptoms you describe, and observations of your activities. They’ll also ask inquiries to rule out other possible causes besides schizophrenia. They next compare their findings to the criteria for a schizophrenia diagnosis.
How is it Treated, and is there a cure?
Though there is no treatment for schizophrenia, many individuals manage their symptoms completely. People with schizophrenia can recover completely in a small fraction of cases.
Two types of medicines are used to treat schizophrenia.
Typical antipsychotics. These drugs interact with the way your brain utilizes dopamine, a neurotransmitter used for cell-to-cell communication.
Atypical antipsychotics. These inhibit both dopamine and serotonin, two important brain communication neurotransmitters. However, it has a rare serious side effect that needs constant blood testing to keep individuals safe, which is why other antipsychotics are typically prescribed first.
Cognitive behavioral treatment can assist persons with schizophrenia to cope with and manage their condition. It may reduce symptoms and enhance function. Long-term therapy can also assist with secondary conditions that accompany schizophrenia, such as anxiety, sadness, or substance abuse.
- Electroconvulsive therapy
This treatment includes applying an electrical current to your scalp, which stimulates certain regions of your brain. This stimulation generates a short seizure, which can help persons with severe depression, agitation, and other issues improve their brain function.
When certain drugs fail to treat a person’s schizophrenia and the individual is at danger of self-harm or injuring others, healthcare practitioners may propose using electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). When medicine alone takes too long to work, this procedure can provide immediate results.
Treatment, Medication, and therapy for schizophrenia at Novus Beginning Psychiatry in Sugar Land, Texas
Follow these steps to begin counseling at Novus Beginning Psychiatry:
- Get in touch with our office to schedule an appointment or to learn more about schizophrenia
- Meet our experienced psychiatrist who will look for solutions to assist you.
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Additional Services We Provide
At Novus Beginning Psychiatry, we provide therapy and medication treatment services for people of all ages having anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, depression, ADHD, autism, and women’s issues. We provide couples and marriage counseling, counseling for children, young adults, and teenagers, family therapy, men’s issues, trauma counseling, and group counseling. Please contact Novus Beginning Psychiatry immediately if you’d like to know more about our psychiatrist, therapist, and counseling service.