Schizophrenia is one of the most common diseases in the world of psychology. Approximately between 0.3 and 0.7% of the American population is affected by this disease. According to a report published in the domestic media, only 10% of people with schizophrenia in the country are aware of their disorder. With these interpretations, even if you are a normal and healthy person, you should not ignore schizophrenia; Because this psychological disease is considered one of the most dangerous mental illnesses in the world, if the necessary measures are not taken correctly, the patient will probably commit suicide.
What is schizophrenia?
The patient with schizophrenia suffers from symptoms that cannot be easily treated. He treated them. The patient suffers from frequent auditory hallucinations. That is, a person feels that he hears voices, but in reality there is no one present at the place. In a stronger degree, the patient may also experience visual hallucinations. It means to see people around him who are not real and are all the product of the patient's imagination.
Apart from the mentioned symptoms, one of the worst and most destructive symptoms that a schizophrenic patient can deal with during his life. It is nothing but pessimism or paranoia. By default, humans will experience a sense of paranoia about being in awkward situations or facing people who do not have a natural appearance; It means that a person has a bad feeling towards people and the environment and feels dangerous. This feeling is actually a part of human instinct, but if a person experiences this feeling in an exaggerated and continuous way, it should be said that he has suffered from paranoia. The sick person is constantly trying to escape from society; Because every person and every environment has a plan for their life.
In schizophrenic patients, due to visual and auditory hallucinations that people experience, pessimism is gradually added to the set of symptoms. From the point of view of many psychologists, paranoia is the central core of psychosis. In the process of treating schizophrenic patients, from one point onwards, efforts are made to significantly reduce the patient's sense of pessimism; Because if paranoia is left alone in this group of patients, the possibility of suicide will increase significantly. However, a person must protect his life from the dangers around him. Now imagine how far a schizophrenic patient who can no longer understand the border between reality and fantasy can struggle with paranoia.
Schizophrenia is different from dissociation disorder
Schizophrenia The illness is often said to be the first time a person experiences psychosis. This group of people's mind is not working properly under the influence of molecular interactions and they are not able to correctly distinguish reality from imagination. We mentioned that psychosis can include hallucinations, delusions, and disturbances in speech or thinking. Patients will probably panic when they first encounter this group of symptoms; Because it is really a scary experience. schizophrenia gradually negatively affects the social behavior, mood and even the way of thinking of the patient. Ordinary people may confuse schizophrenia with another similar disease called "Dissociative Identity Disorder". However, it is interesting to know that except for a few general similarities, these two diseases have different symptoms than each other.
A patient who suffers from "dissociation disorder", instead of experiencing hallucinations and delusions, feels that He is separated from the world around him. People who are living with this disorder are not necessarily confused and bad people; Because "identity dissociation disorder" can cause a person to lead a very regular life. They have a good control over the situation they are in and often don't lose time. Schizophrenic patients are not like this and often experience feeling dumb and lost. They cannot properly distinguish reality from imagination due to the signs of hallucinations. With a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, patients can be better understood and perhaps more accurately and effectively helped.
Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia
People affected by schizophrenia are likely to exhibit multiple psychotic symptoms. For example, they don't think properly, they have strange external behaviors and they have problems with smell, hearing and even visual perception. Patients may feel that they live in a world that is somewhat different. For example, aliens to earth have attacked In order to issue a definitive verdict that a person has this disease, the mentioned symptoms must be seen in the person for at least six months.
It is interesting to know that schizophrenia is not necessarily an acquired condition and a person can be Genetically involved in this disease. However, at the time of writing this article, no gene has been discovered that can be considered the exact cause of schizophrenia, but there is a possibility that this dangerous condition can be inherited from parents to children.
Symptoms of schizophrenia from the beginning Adulthood can emerge. Researchers believe that there are signs of schizophrenia in adolescence, but because it is mild, not everyone takes them seriously. It is interesting to know that men usually show symptoms of schizophrenia until their early thirties. While women show these symptoms from the age of 20 onwards. If the patient is treated with medication, the probability of symptoms usually decreases with age.
Symptoms of schizophrenia are classified into three general categories: positive, negative and irregular symptoms.
Positive symptoms of schizophrenia
Positive symptoms often refer to symptoms that should not be there, but the patient is experiencing; Like hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations, as mentioned earlier, involve seeing or hearing things that are not there. For example, hearing people's voices or watching the awe of people who actually died in the past years. Delusions are often referred to as patients' wrong beliefs, which can be easily proven otherwise. For example, the patient believes that he has supernatural powers or that he came to earth from Mars and is actually an alien.
Negative symptoms of schizophrenia
Negative symptoms mean negative experiences. is what a patient encounters during his life. The patient can:
- Lose his motivation towards work or life
- Having difficulty in daily planning
- Inability to carry out continuous daily activities
- Feeling general uneasiness about routine life
- Not expressing emotions through face and speech
- Slow and short speech and type of speech
This group of symptoms can occur in normal people during their daily life. However, the main difference between schizophrenic patients and healthy people is in the temporal range of these experiences. On the other hand, schizophrenic patients will face many problems in learning new skills and knowledge; Because the lack of concentration due to the symptoms of psychosis will stop the learning process.
Schizophrenic patients can experience symptoms that we call irregular. This means that patients do not think correctly and their thinking framework is not based on real world science and logic. Patients face many difficulties in concentration, memory and understanding of a subject. If you talk to schizophrenic patients, they jump from one topic to another and talk in a choppy manner. Other irregular symptoms include abnormal hand and foot movements of people. For this reason, you should not be surprised if a schizophrenic patient cannot sit comfortably on a sofa and talk.
Schizophrenia in teenagers
Do children and teenagers also get schizophrenia? In response, it should be said that these people can easily get this disease. Of course, almost 90% of the mentioned symptoms should be seen in them. However, adolescents may suffer from the following symptoms:
- Isolation from family members and friends
- Lack of motivation to go to work or school and lack of participation in social activities.
- Changing sleep patterns
- Mood swings with family members and friends
- Decreased performance in school
Based on According to various studies, teenagers are less likely to suffer from the symptoms of visual and auditory hallucinations. Of course, if the disease worsens and more severe symptoms appear in the patient, and on the other hand, there is no treatment process, the probability of experiencing hallucinations increases significantly. /h2>
Many materials and articles have been published about this disease, which give part of the wrong information to the audience. In the following, we will review some facts about this mysterious disease.
Often, schizophrenic patients do not seek treatment. After they understand what disease they are involved in, they are less willing to enter the treatment process through pills and oral drugs. This category of patients, unfortunately, from one point onward also develop physical diseases and their quality of life drops significantly.
It is interesting to know that schizophrenia patients can be associated with diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. take On the other hand, sick people can also suffer from type 2 diabetes. However, schizophrenia is not necessarily an underlying disease to develop a physical illness. That is, a schizophrenic patient can have a mental abnormality get infected again Of course, if the patient is not treated from the beginning.
Unfortunately, the suicide rate among schizophrenic patients has been reported to be very high. For example, in the American society, it is reported that five percent of patients end this disease by committing suicide. Fortunately, fifty percent of patients can increase their quality of life by following the treatment process.
What are the environmental factors that affect schizophrenia?
Still, all the intervening factors in this the disease has not been discovered; Because the molecular mechanism of schizophrenia is still in the aura of uncertainty. However, it can be claimed that only one factor is not enough to get this disease, and in fact, a set of factors must be present in the environment for a healthy person to get this disease.
Schizophrenia is often seen in families that have been involved with this condition before. However, this issue should not be interpreted in the sense that if a member of the family suffers from this disease, the rest of the members will also find this experience without exception. As it was said before, there is only the possibility of genetic transmission of the disease.
By examining the patients' files, it can be concluded that social factors play a significant role in causing the disease. they do. For example, people who live in poverty and poverty, or people who continuously experience a level of anxiety and stress are more likely to develop schizophrenia. On the other hand, it has been shown that the daily use of drugs is related to contracting this disease.
Other psychological abnormalities
Other environmental possibilities can also be considered to be involved in contracting other diseases. . For example, if a person is struggling with depression, he may also suffer from schizophrenia. However, psychological diseases endanger a person's health and it is possible for a person to suffer from several types of mental illness.
Many researchers believe that the brain structure of schizophrenia patients It is somewhat different from the brain structure of healthy people. This means that communication by nerve cells in the brain of patients is not the way that normal people use. The size of the brain structures as well as the physio-chemical changes of this tissue can be the key to better understand the molecular mechanism of this disease. Currently, it has only been discovered that the level of a substance called dopamine in the brain tissue of patients is different from that of healthy people. Dopamine changes can cause various diseases such as schizophrenia.
How is schizophrenia diagnosed?
There are different methods to definitively diagnose schizophrenia. The simplest method is summarized in the fact that the doctor takes the history of the patient; It means writing the symptoms and experiences that the patient reports. However, this method is not very precise and accurate.
Since we considered one of the environmental factors in the structure of the brain, MRI imaging or CT scan is also taken from the patient's brain. Usually, the signs of brain damage can be clearly seen in this type of imaging. From other diagnostic methods, it is recommended to refer to a skilled psychiatrist; Because they try to find the symptoms of schizophrenia by conducting various psychological tests.
Schizophrenia can be treated
If the patient insists on refusing the treatment process, definitely Many problems are faced in terms of quality of life. Signs and symptoms can be controlled with a proper treatment process. Like other psychological conditions, the treatment of schizophrenia requires both medication and the process of speech therapy. However, it is not possible to prescribe the same prescription model for all patients.
This issue is extremely important so that patients immediately seek help as soon as they understand the symptoms of the disease; Because if help is not obtained to treat and control the disease, the possibility of committing suicide by the patient will gradually increase dramatically. It is an antipsychotic that is prescribed by the treating doctor to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Apart from preventing the severity of the symptoms, these drugs also show side effects. The negative side effects of the drugs include dry mouth, weight loss, and sleepiness.
Side effects often decrease over time, although the persistence of the side effects is completely related to the patient's condition. Sometimes the patient refuses to take his medicines and stops the process of taking them all at once. Avoiding consumption can worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia. Therefore, this should be prevented in any way possible.
Speech therapy sessions for the treatment of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia patients often want others to take them over and start talking. open with them. For this reason, speech therapy sessions can be extremely fruitful; because if If the psychologist can identify the negative symptoms of the person's disease, these symptoms can be greatly reduced with speech therapy. For example, lack of concentration, decreased motivation, as well as reasons for isolation from society are among the negative symptoms of this disease, which can only be solved by talking.
Speech therapy should not necessarily be with a doctor or a psychologist, but also with the family. He can talk to the patient and calm him down. Schizophrenic patients understand stressful experiences. For this reason, speech therapy can help them. On the other hand, with this method, it is possible to work on the collective skills of patients so that they are not completely excluded from society. In any case, this group of patients should be helped to stand on their feet and live in society.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) process
As it was said before, for each The patient cannot be prescribed a fixed instruction. However, one of the treatment methods is the use of electric shock in the ECT method. The goal of this treatment is to stimulate a part of the brain to reduce the symptoms associated with depression and schizophrenia. Since the body is involved in a strong electric shock, skilled people should be able to do this in this way. In any case, the use of ECT method is not the first step in the treatment of schizophrenia, and it is usually done when the severity and deterioration of the disease has reached a critical stage.
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