What is Schizophrenia?
We all know it as a debilitating mental illness that plagues people across the globe. Schizophrenic patients often feel like they are being overtaken by situations and events that are beyond their control. They may complain of seeing people who are not there or hearing voices where there are none. This happens because the neurotransmitters in the brain of the patient do not function appropriately. There are various types, causes and symptoms of this disease. Read up to know more.
- Symptoms: Psychotic symptoms like delusion are common in patients suffering from this disease. Also, the patient may be severely blunted in the emotional sense and may bear a lost look and wear a feeling of loss or absence at all times. The thought process or cognition of the patient may also suffer in such cases. Poor concentration and lack of coordination are some symptoms of this kind of suffering. Hallucinations and distorted thought processes also characterise the patient to a great extent. The patient may also display certain typical symptoms like social withdrawal, extreme apathy, and lack of motivation. The patient will also be in an emotionally numb state once the delusions have lessened.
- Causes: So what causes Schizophrenia, really? While no tests or conclusive examinations exist to pin point the exact diagnosis or cause of the disease, there are many factors that can contribute to the development and progression of the same. Hereditary factors play up in many cases while chemical imbalances in the brain also lead to this condition. The serotonin levels and the functioning of the neurotransmitters are the most significant causes of this disease, in such cases. Excessive abuse of drugs like LSD and cannabis can also contribute to this condition, while family relations and a dysfunctional environment can also lead to this disease.
- Types: There are many different kinds of Schizophrenia. One of them is Paranoid Schizophrenia, which makes the patient highly suspicious. Disorganised Schizophrenia can lead to incoherence in speech and thought. Catatonic Schizophrenia can cause social withdrawal while Residual Schizophrenia can lead to a complete lack of motivation. Finally, Schizoaffective Disorder can lead to major mood swings.
The various kinds of Schizophrenia are characterised by varying degrees of mood swings, depression, paranoia and delusional thinking. The progression of the disease can be checked with the help of cognitive behavioural therapy, which can help in reprogramming the brain of the patient to a great degree. Rehabilitation programs as well as case management can help in the long run. But the key here is to recognise the symptoms early on and get the treatment or counselling started to reduce the symptoms and their spread.