Schizophrenia - a severe mental illness that leads to a disruption of the patient's ability to think, act, express emotions, perceive the surrounding reality and communicate with people.
In patients with schizophrenia, the most difficult and chronic manifestation of the disease is the problem of interaction with other people at work or in school, in relationships with relatives.
Patients experience constant fear, loneliness, isolation. Schizophrenia is not fully cured, but its development can be restrained by proper treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia has nothing to do with the split personality. It is a kind of mental illness in which a person can not distinguish the real from the imaginary one. Patients with mental disorders sometimes lose contact with the reality. The world around them presents them as a chaos of thoughts, images and sounds.
The behavior of patients with schizophrenia may seem strange and even shocking. Abrupt change in personality and human behavior when lost contact with reality is called psychotic episode.
The severity of the disease varies depending on the individual. Some are worried for all one psychotic episode, while others are constantly inclined to relapse, in the intervals between which they lead an ordinary way of life.
Schizophrenia usually occurs cyclically, spike periods of the disease (relapses) are replaced by periods of recession (remission).
What Causes Schizophrenia
The exact cause of the disease is unknown. However, it has been established that schizophrenia has a biological basis, as well as cancer or diabetes. Schizophrenia is not the result of the ill-treatment of parents with the child or the weakness of the nervous system. The development of schizophrenia is affected by a number of factors.
Genetic predisposition (heredity): schizophrenia tends to develop within the family, suggesting that it can be passed on from inheritance from parents to children.
Biochemical processes in the brain: patients with schizophrenia may suffer from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. They may have acute deficiency or excess dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a substance used to transmit nerve impulses between brain cells. Disturbance in the balance of dopamine affects the ability of the brain to respond to stimuli, such as sounds, smells, visual impairments and may lead to hallucinations and delusions.
Structural disorders and functional disorders of the brain: in recent studies in patients with schizophrenia, structural disorders and functional disorders of the brain have been identified. However, this pathology is not observed in all schizophrenics and can develop in the absence of schizophrenia.
Environmental factors such as viral infections, lack of social interaction, stressful situations. Schizophrenia often develops during hormonal and physiological changes in the body, for example, in adolescence and early adolescence (from 18 to 21 years of age).
Who is prone to schizophrenia?
The risk of developing schizophrenia can be exposed by any person. This disease is diagnosed around the world, from representatives of all nations and cultures.
Despite the possibility of development at any age, schizophrenia is usually first manifested in adolescence and adolescence (after 20 years). The disease is equally subject to both men and women, although the symptoms are manifest in men a bit earlier (up to 20 years or earlier) than women (20-30 years old).
Schizophrenia may be susceptible to children over the age of five, but cases of childhood are extremely rare.
Schizophrenia is a widespread mental illness. It occurs in about 1% of people aged 18 years and older.
How is schizophrenia diagnosed?
In the presence of symptoms of schizophrenia, the doctor makes a complete history of the disease and conducts a physical examination. Although there are no special laboratory tests for the diagnosis of schizophrenia, the doctor may use different methods of research, such as blood tests or X-rays, to exclude the effects of physical illness on mental symptoms.
If, as a result of the examination, the physician has not found a physical cause for these symptoms, he directs the patient to a psychiatrist or psychologist for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists use a specially designed interview and assessment system to detect mental disorders. The diagnosis of the therapist is based on the patient's complaints and the results of the medical observation. A person is recognized as a schizophrenic patient in the presence of characteristic symptoms for six months or more.
Are dangerous people who are suffering from schizophrenia?
Most patients do not show aggression. Most often they seek isolation and loneliness. However, in some cases, schizophrenics suffering from alcohol or drug dependence may be dangerous.
On the other hand, they can be dangerous not for others but for themselves. Suicide is the most common cause of premature death of schizophrenics.
Forecast and prevention
With proper treatment, most people with schizophrenia can continue to lead an active, active life. Living in a family is better suited to schizophrenics than content in a psychiatric clinic.
Modern brain research and its diseases allow you to create more effective therapeutic drugs with fewer side effects.
So far, there is no specific way of preventing schizophrenia. However, early diagnosis and proper treatment help to avoid or reduce the risk of relapse and the need for hospitalization, as well as problems with close people.