Have you heard about Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects the person’s ability to think and behave. People who suffer from schizophrenia typically experiences changes in their behavior and thinking ability. It is a terrifying experience on its own. It is a chronic and serious mental illness that causes people to lose a touch with reality and makes it difficult for them to think and speak in an organized way. Although this mental illness can occur anytime in the life but the symptoms of this disease usually occurs between the age of 15 and 25.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The onset of symptoms in the patients having schizophrenia scan be rapid or it can take time. The symptoms are broadly categorized into three types - positive symptoms, negative symptoms and cognitive symptoms.
1. Positive Symptoms
Positive symptoms are defined as a psychotic behavior that is generally not seen in the healthy people and people with positive symptoms loses touch with some aspects of reality. Some symptoms that come under the category of positive symptom include:
- Hallucinations - Hallucinations are the criterion for psychotic behavior and it is characterized by experiencing sensory perceptions in the absence of real external stimulation and it occurs in the wake state. These hallucinations can occur in any of the five senses- vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch but in schizophrenia voice or auditory hallucinations are the most common type of hallucination. In the case of a auditory hallucinations, patient with this disorder experience voices inside or outside the head. Other type of hallucinations include seeing people or things that are not physically present, smelling odors that are not detectable by others or feeling invisible things.
- Delusions - A delusion is a neurological disorder which is characterized by the belief that is false and indicates an abnormality in the thought process of an infected individual. A person with delusion is fully convinced that the belief is true and will hold the belief regardless of an evidence. People with delusion may think that they have no control on their body movement, instead their actions are controlled by others. They may think that the world will soon going to end or they all are dead. They may also experience paranoid delusion, feeling that someone is trying to harm them or is cheating of them.
- Thought disorders - Thought disorders are the disorders which occur due to dysfunctional ways of thinking and an affected person experience serious problems with thinking. Thought disorder is defined as a disturbance of conceptual thinking. The symptoms that occur in people with thought disorders may include false belief about self or others, extremely disconnected speech or thinking, and negative thoughts. Thought disorder is often accompanied by depression, anxiety, and anger. Thought blocking is one of the forms of thought disorder and it occurs when a person suddenly stops speaking in the middle of the thought and give meaningless reasons for its action.
- Movement disorder - Movement disorders are characterized by different conditions which include alterations in normal motility, posture and tone and these changes can be the result of motor paralysis and severe sensory loss. A person with movement disorder repeats their certain actions over and over to such an extent that sometimes they become catatonic, a state in which a person does not respond to others.
2. Negative Symptoms
Negative symptoms are generally defined as an absence of normal functions and it is characterized as disruption to normal emotions and behaviors. The negative symptoms of schizophrenia affect a person to such an extent that he/she needs a person to do everyday task. This condition is often mistaken as severe depression. The symptoms that occur may include, reduced expression of emotions, reduced speaking and reduced feeling of pleasure.
3. Cognitive Symptoms
The effects of the cognitive symptoms in the people may vary as for some patients, the effects may be subtle, but for others, the effects may be severe. Cognition is the way the brain adapts to an environment and help people understand and fulfill their needs. Patients with cognitive symptoms notice changes in their memory and their aspects of thinking. The cognitive symptoms include the ability to understand information and using it to take any decision, and problems with coordination.
Causes of Schizophrenia
The occurrence of schizophrenia is more common in females as compared to the males. Numerous studies have suggested that are various risk factors that contribute to the development of this mental disorder.
- Genes - Scientist believes that Schizophrenia sometimes runs in a family and the risk of developing this disease highly increases if any family member has this disorder.
- Environment - Some environmental factors such as an exposure to infection can lead to the occurrence of this disorder.
- Different brain chemistry and function - Imbalance in the complex and interrelated chemical reaction of the brain play a role in Schizophrenia.
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