Schizophrenia is characterized by the thoughts and experiences without reality. It is a severe mental health disorder that affects the way a person feels, thinks and behaves. The delusions, hallucinations and multiple cognitive difficulties can leave a person struggling lifelong to behave normally. It often strikes between the 16 and 30 years ages.
According to WHO, more over 21 million people worldwide suffer with Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia, a severe disability, affects educational & occupational performance.
Schizophrenia patients are 2-3 times more likely to die earlier than general population.
Schizophrenia is treatable with medication and psychotherapy.
Schizophrenia symptoms can be categorized into four groups:
Positive symptoms – hallucinations and delusions
Negative symptoms – lack of motivation and absence of expressions
Cognitive symptoms – poor concentration
Emotional symptoms – blunted emotions
Schizophrenia patient hear, see or feel the things that doesn’t exist. Having self induced false beliefs, conceptions or suspicions is also a very common Schizophrenia symptom. Irrelevant & incoherent speech, strange appearance, laughing on self, wandering aimlessly, disorganized behavior and self-neglect etc are the other commonly found Schizophrenia symptoms.
Causes of Schizophrenia:
Several factors contribute to schizophrenia onset.
Genetic and environmental factors are mainly responsiblefor schizophrenia development.
The imbalance of dopamine and serotonin like neurotransmitters contribute to schizophrenia onset.
Continuous family tensions also trigger Schizophrenia relapses.
Viral infections may also contribute to schizophrenia onset.
Stressful experiences precede the schizophrenia development.
Use of Marijuana and LSD also causes schizophrenia relapses.
How to Deal With Schizophrenia- The Roadmap:
OK, now you know the Schizophrenia symptoms. The next target is to treat it permanently at ease without disturbing your current personal and professional life. Like in case of any other treatment, here too, diagnose comes first before the treatment.
Observing the patient’s actions is the best diagnosis. If the experts suspect Schizophrenia, they move ahead the analyze patient’s psychiatric and medical history. Certain tests including blood tests, imaging studies and psychological evaluation are conducted to find out any other illnesses triggering schizophrenia-like symptoms. The patient must have at least two symptoms for the Schizophrenia confirmation.
Schizophrenia Treatment – The Approach:
Antipsychotics- Antipsychotic injections are commonly administered once or twice a month. Some mild side effects are reported at the start but most of the side effects go away within few days. The safe medicines are chosen according to the patient’s medical history.
Psychotherapy Treatment: It is widely used in parallel to medication.Learning and using the coping skills help the patients to address everyday Schizophrenia challenges and to pursue their life goals behaving normal with positive thoughts and healthy mindset.
Coordinated specialty care (CSC): This Schizophrenia treatment model integrates psychotherapy, case management, medication, family involvement, employment services and supported education etc.
Out the above three, psychotherapy is found the most sought after and liked course of Schizophrenia treatment because most of the patients feel comfortable with the trained Psychotherapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Supportive psychotherapy and Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) work well to reduce the Schizophrenia symptoms. Although it is a long-term treatment course but it is safe, convenient and manageable remotely.
Five DIY Tips to Deal with Schizophrenia- Self Help:
Coping with schizophrenia is long-term process. During the psychotherapy treatment, you learn many skills to manage disturbing symptoms, developing a support that you need the most and leading a purpose-driven satisfying life. Your cooperation and commitment fuel up the treatment outcome; so, you too need to invest your best efforts. Here are five tips to help you improve the outcome of Schizophrenia treatment:
1. Be confident: Believe – “Schizophrenia is treatable; you will enjoy a meaningful and happy life. You don’t need to be hospitalized for Schizophrenia treatment. Most of the Schizophrenia patients become symptom-free. There is always a hope.
2. Accept the diagnosis: Taking proactive role and self-help is must for fast recovery. Accept the diagnosis and treatment as the verdict. Incorporate wellness changes, take prescribed medications without fail and attend therapy sessions with attention.
3. Don’t live with Schizophrenia stigma: Schizophrenia fears are baseless. Don’t believe the myths that dishearten you or may take you away from the professionally guided roadmap. Associate with encouraging and helping people.
4. Be honest with doctor and Psychotherapist: Communicate with medical practitioner and Psychotherapist with transparency. Share all your concerns.
5. Set doable life goals: Schizophrenia doesn’t disable you from taking challenges. Set meaningful short-term goals; hit the one and set the other.
Recovery rate from the Schizophrenia is very high. The success rate depends upon your contribution also in addition to get the best treatment. Using face-to-face support, being active, managing day–to-day stresses, taking care of self, practicing medication are the time tested strategies that need you to incorporate changes in your thought process and life style.