Schizophrenia is a condition which affects a person’s ability to think, reason, feel and distinguish what is real and what is imaginary. A person with schizophrenia may also have trouble in social settings.
Schizophrenia is often described as multiple personalities, but that is not accurate. Furthermore, many people fear those with schizophrenia, perceiving them to be violent and dangerous; this is largely due to media and entertainment portrayal, and once again this assumption is false.
Although the exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, latest research has found that human throat microbes may be linked with schizophrenia. Researchers from George Washington University are responsible for the discovery. One notable link was found between lactic-acid bacteria and schizophrenics.
Previous research on microbes revealed they may have a connection with mental health, so the recent findings just further demonstrate this theory. Other research also revealed a possible link between immune disorders and schizophrenia which, thanks to this new research, is now open for further possibilities of study.
The research may lead to better diagnosis and treatment, and it brings us one step closer to identify the cause of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia causes, early signs and symptoms
Theories about potential causes of schizophrenia include genetics and chemicals in the brain. In studies of schizophrenia, it has been found that those with a schizophrenic family member are at higher risk. Environmental events, such as high stress, may contribute to the mental health illness as well. Furthermore – as seen in many other mental health disorders – a chemical imbalance in the brain may be responsible for schizophrenia.
Early signs of schizophrenia may vary among each individual, but generally these are some signs which can indicate the onset of schizophrenia.
- Hallucinations or hearing sounds which are not real
- Paranoia or feeling watched
- Nonsensical way of speaking or writing
- Strange body positioning
- Feeling indifferent or apathetic – especially in important situations
- Academic and work performance deteriorates
- Changes in hygiene or appearance
- Changes in personality
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Irrational, angry or fearful response to friends and family
- Sleep disturbances; lack of concentration
- Changes in behavior
Early signs of schizophrenia can quickly progress into symptoms if the condition is not caught early. Symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Disordered thinking and speech
- Social withdrawal
- Extreme apathy
- Lack of drive or motivation
- Emotional unresponsiveness
Types of schizophrenia
There are a few different types of schizophrenia which consist of their own unique signs and symptoms as well.
Paranoid schizophrenic: suspicious, persecuted, grandiose
Disorganized schizophrenia: incoherent in speech and thinking
Catatonic schizophrenia: withdrawn, mute, negative
Residual schizophrenia: no delusion or hallucinations, but lacks motivation and interest in life
Schizoaffective disorder: common symptoms of schizophrenia as well as other mood disorders
Effects of schizophrenia on our daily life
If untreated schizophrenia can greatly impact a person’s life. Hallucinations, delusions, lack of emotion and social withdrawal can limit a person’s abilities and make partaking in normal activities very difficult.
Schizophrenia can affect a person’s relationships, normal daily activities, increase their suicide risk and lead them to develop a substance-abuse problem.
Relationships can become strained because a person with schizophrenia may become paranoid of those around them or withdraw completely from their loved ones. On the other hand, their loved ones may not understand what the person is saying or thinking and may simply not wish to be associated with them.
With job and academic performance being reduced, it can be difficult for people with schizophrenia to partake in normal daily tasks. Normal activities can become even harder if the individual experiences hallucinations or delusions as well.
What are the remedies for schizophrenia?
Treatment and remedies for schizophrenia vary, based on the individual and the type of schizophrenia they have. Additionally, when the schizophrenia is diagnosed can also impact the form of treatment.
Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, treatment aims to reduce symptoms and help the person regain their normal life as best as possible. Treatments for schizophrenia may involve:
- Case management
- Psychosocial rehabilitation programs
- Therapy groups
- Drop-in centers
- Housing programs
- Employment programs
- Personal therapy/counseling
- Crisis services
- Medications – antipsychotics (Medications may lead to unwanted side effects, always ensure medication is taken correctly and under guidance of a doctor.)
Cigarette smoking linked to onset of schizophrenia
Smoking tobacco can result in numerous illnesses, diseases and even death. New findings now show it may be a trigger for the onset of schizophrenia. Published in the Lancet Psychiatry, observational studies that documented smoking among those with psychotic disorders were compared with control groups. Continue reading…
Get to know the different types of schizophrenia
Although mental illness issues are becoming more openly talked about, there is still a heavy stigma that surrounds them. As news media portrays criminals as having some mental disorder, society associates mental illness with people who are harmful and dangerous. Continue reading…