Genetics is a fascinating subject which has received much attention during present times in the field of medical science as it gives the solutions to many a puzzle. The same applies to the hard to pronounce medical term ‘schizophrenia’ that refers to a mental disorder which disrupts the innate human ability to feel, express, behave, and think clearly.
The condition is a chronic illness, and the disorder may last for years or even a lifetime. Often considered to be the most disabling of mental illnesses, schizophrenia does not refer to multiple or split-personalities. It is more about psychosis where patients become unable to differentiate between reality and fiction.
How does the condition manifest itself?
The symptoms of schizophrenia are rendered into three categories. The positive signs include delusions, hallucination, movement disorders, and dysfunctional, and unusual ways of thought. The negative symptoms include the inability to experience happiness or pleasure in everyday life, reduced talking, and difficulty in sustaining or beginning any activity. While ‘positive’ means exaggerating certain behavior in this context, the term ‘negative’ does not imply bad behavior, but the absence of regular behavior patterns. Then follows the cognitive aspect (the subtlest behavior changes) which includes trouble in paying attention, or problems with using memory, etc.
What could be the possible causes?
There’s no specific reason that may cause schizophrenia; however, some factors play an important role in making a person have this mental condition. Various environmental factors are suspected to be responsible for the condition; these may include viral infections, excessive exposure to toxins like marijuana, extreme stress, etc. In some instances, schizophrenia can occur solely due to abnormalities or chemical imbalances in the brain. Experts note that a history of schizophrenia in the family tree can increase the risk of schizophrenia in future generations.
Who can develop schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia can develop at any age. However, it is during the teenage years or the 20s when the condition takes effect. Though rare, it can sometimes invade the minds of children below five years of age.
How can it be treated?
There’s no cure available for schizophrenia. However, the periods of recovery from this illness and its symptoms can be reduced through various possible treatments. These include medication and psychosocial therapy, supportive psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychosurgery. The administration of these procedures can reduce the chances of recurrence and relapse. Sometimes hospitalization may become necessary as a part of treatment to stabilize patients that do not have anyone to take care of them at home.
Modern medicine is yet to discover failsafe remedies for schizophrenia. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the condition in patients. Hospitalization can reduce the chances of a relapse and can prevent the mental condition from worsening. The moment any sign of schizophrenia is noticed, one is strongly advised to opt for psychological treatment. These actions can help to reduce disruptions in a patient’s personal and social life.