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What is Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic mental disorder that affects approximately 20 million people worldwide. It is a complex illness that can impact a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and can cause hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, and abnormal behaviors. In this SEO optimized article, we will delve deeper into the symptoms, causes, and treatment of schizophrenia.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia symptoms can be divided into two categories: positive and negative.
The refer to when normal mental functions become exaggerated or distorted. This can include hallucinations, which can be auditory, visual, tactile, or gustatory, and delusions, which are beliefs that are unlikely to be true. Disorganized thought and speech, or incoherence, is also a common symptom.
Negative symptoms, on the other hand, refer to the absence of normal mental functions. This can include diminished emotional expression, total lack of motivation to do anything at all, and withdrawal from social interaction. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a person's ability to function in daily life.
Causes of Schizophrenia
The exact cause of schizophrenia is not known, but research suggests that it is due to the interaction between genetic and environmental stresses. This mental disorder usually begins during adolescence or young adulthood, affecting both genders equally.
Based on brain imaging scans, people with schizophrenia have lesser gray matter in areas required for thinking and judgment. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thought and speech, and negative symptoms such as diminished emotional expression and lack of motivation. Additionally, the volume of gray matter in the brain continues to fall over time, and there can be altered or damaged white matter affecting the signaling of activities in the body.
Treatment of Schizophrenia
Treatment for schizophrenia usually involves medication, which works on brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin to reduce and prevent symptoms. In addition to medication, occupational therapy can help clients return to work or studies, and life skills training can help clients gain independent living skills.
Social skills training can also be useful in helping clients develop meaningful relationships. Psychotherapy can also be beneficial in helping clients understand their diagnosis and how it affects their mental health, interpersonal relationships, and work. Early intervention is key to a more successful recovery and the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.
People with schizophrenia may face many challenges, but with the right treatment and support, they can manage their symptoms and live fulfilling lives. It is important to reach out for help as soon as possible if you suspect that you or your loved ones may have symptoms of schizophrenia. The earlier the intervention, the better the outcome.
In conclusion, schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that can impact a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but research suggests that a combination of genetic, environmental, and brain chemistry factors may play a role. Treatment for schizophrenia usually involves medication, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, life skills training, and social skills training. If you suspect that you or your loved ones may have symptoms of schizophrenia, it is important to reach out for help as soon as possible. With proper treatment and support, people with schizophrenia can manage their symptoms and live a fulfilling life.
By : Dr Shawn Ee
BSc. BPsych. DPsych.(Clinical), Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist