- Schizophrenia disrupts the social and functional ability of a person
- Paranoid schizophrenia is characterised with hallucinations and delusions
- Schizophrenics may becomes socially withdrawns
Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder are mental disorders which have no exact cause known to medical history. Scientists observe that these psychological disorders are more influenced by genetics rather than neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The studies indicate that the psychological disorders are similar at a molecular level which cannot be diagnosed currently. The studies also show an overlap between psychological conditions like attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. There is also an overlap observed between obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anorexia nervosa. The scientists found that the genetic factors of psychological diseases in adults were negatively linked with the genetic factors affected by early cognitive measures. Schizophrenia is a mental health condition associated with unusual perceptions of reality. It disrupts the social and functional ability of a person. Schizophrenia can lead a person towards delusions and hallucinations. Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a multiple personality disorder or a split personality disorder. Not all patients with schizophrenia show the same symptoms.
A person with schizophrenia may experience a variety of emotions or no emotions at all
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Also read: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Schizophrenia
There are three main types of schizophrenia:
1. Paranoid Schizophrenia: Paranoid schizophrenia is one of the most common types of schizophrenia. In this, a person becomes paranoid about his or her surroundings. This illness usually starts in childhood or early adulthood. The patients lose trust in people around them. They are continuously suspicious of others. This form of schizophrenia is characterized by delusions and hallucinations.
2. Disorganised Schizophrenia: Disorganised Schizophrenia is characterized by disorganisation of behaviour and speech. A person with disorganised schizophrenia becomes disruptive. The patients have difficulty in maintaining speech or concentrating on a particular thought. Hallucinations and delusions are not common with this condition but the symptoms prevail.
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3. Catatonic Schizophrenia: The main disorder that comes with catatonic schizophrenia is difficulty in movement. A patient may lose movement completely or become hyperactive. Actions performed may become repetitive. In a state of rigidity, the patient may lose complete touch with reality and not even move a muscle.
The exact causes of schizophrenia remain unknown. But researchers believe that schizophrenia is affected by brain impulses, genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms of schizophrenia may range from thought impairment to behavioural impairment. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be positive and negative.
Positive symptoms refer to behaviours that are added to a person's personality due to schizophrenia.
The positive symptoms of schizophrenia include:
During hallucinations a person suffering from schizophrenia may hear, see, feel and smell things that don't exist. They hear voices in their head. They constantly feel that people around them are conspiring against them. They feel suspicious of everyone and lose trust in their family and friends. The voices in their head might encourage them to cause threat and danger to people around them.
Delusions include making up one's own fantasy world. Schizophrenics suffering with delusions may start thinking that either they are too important or too insignificant. They start to feel as if they are being stalked, photographed or harassed. Some schizophrenics start posing as a celebrity or an alien. They start having false ideas and tend to lose a complete touch with the reality.
3. Disordered speech and thinking
People with schizophrenia have a hard time in maintaining a certain train of thought. They use jumbled words together in a sentence that do not make sense. This condition is called a word salad. They have difficulty concentrating on one topic. They jump from one topic to another without realising. They cannot answer questions asked to them correctly.
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Schizophrenia may disrupt the functioning capability of a person. They may become over agitated and irritated suddenly. Such behaviour makes a person disruptive and disorganised. It becomes difficult for them to perform certain tasks or follow patterns and rules. Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenics are not dangerous or violent.
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia refer to the elements that are lost from a person's personality.
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia include:
1. Social withdrawal
A person with schizophrenia may eventually become socially withdrawn. This happens because they lose trust in the people around them. They are suspicious and think that everyone around them wishes to harm them. This makes them want to stay alone and avoid contact with anyone around them.
2. Lack of motivation
Schizophrenics lack motivation to do daily chores. They forget to take care of themselves. Their disorder makes them avoid hygiene or makes them forget to feed themselves.
3. Poor expression of emotions
Lack of emotions for others is a major symptom with schizophrenics. They may show less or no feelings and speak in a monotone. They lack any response to happy or sad situations or they may jumble up their emotions.
For some patients suffering with schizophrenia, the hallucinations and delusions become so real that they forget they have a mental condition. They refuse to take any medication as they feel that the doctors and their family members wish to poison them.
5. Cognitive abilities
Cognitive abilities refer to how well your brain acts towards decisions and information. Schizophrenics have difficulty in remembering things. They have trouble concentrating and making decisions.
If you have someone near you suffering from schizophrenia, help them with their disorder. Accept the difficulties that come with their condition and remain hopeful towards them and yourselves.
Schizophrenia may not have a cure yet but proper treatment can help in reducing the symptoms
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