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Schizophrenia - What Causes It?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Psychiatry, Master of Public Health (MPH) Sweden
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  17 years experience
Schizophrenia - What Causes It?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which is characterized by disturbed mental thoughts in the patient, paranoia, phobias, hallucination, slow dementia and etc. As it is clear from this brief definition, Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness which can leave a patient stranded from performing basic day-to-day activities or even keeping healthy relationships with their close ones.

Even though there is no particular age where people are vulnerable from suffering from this disease, yet from a common observation and study conducted on the patients, it has been observed that schizophrenia hit men in their early 20’s and early 30’s in case of women. The study also feels that it is impossible for a schizophrenic to be of age younger than 12 or older than 40. According to another study conducted by the universities, the life of a schizophrenic patient is not guaranteed.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia:

As mentioned above, there is a common pattern in each schizophrenic patient, however, it is next to impossible to diagnose schizophrenia in teenagers since the onset of the disease is symbolized by the patient's constant change of friends or decrease of performance in school, both of which is normal in teen years. Schizophrenics also isolate themselves and become moody which again, is a common instinct of the teenager. However, apart from these, there are other differentiating symptoms as mentioned below which help in the accurate diagnosis of the disease.

  1. Hallucinating
  2. Delusional
  3. Emotionally dull and disconnected with their loved ones
  4. Negative social life and academic performance
  5. Dementia
  6. Disability of remembering easy-to-learn and remember things

Causes of Schizophrnia

According to the researchers, there are more than one reasons for this disease. Read them all below:

  1. Genetic mutation and inheritance- genetics play an important role in this disease. It needs more than one mutational combination of schizophrenia to happen and that is why it is observed in less than 1% of the population only. Those who have had a family history of schizophrenia are very hard to inherit the disease because patients hardly ever reach the stage of life called marriage. But a family history of psychosis is sure a determining factor.
  2. Neurotic reason- this reason includes the brain chemistry and important brain chemical such as- dopamine and glutamate.
  3. Drug abuse- it has been revealed that consuming hallucinating and mind-altering drugs during teenage years are greatly responsible for the increase in the number of schizophrenia cases in early 20’s.

Treatment

As it was mentioned above, there is absolutely no way to cure schizophrenia known to man as of yet. However, the only way to approach it medically is by managing its symptoms separately. Such as:

  1. Antipsychotic medication
  2. Psychotherapies Self-help groups
  3. Nursing care
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