Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.
Schizophrenia can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women. .
Research suggests that schizophrenia may have several possible causes:
It’s important to realise that schizophrenia affects everyone differently. Some people have many symptoms, while others have only a few. Symptoms may develop slowly over months or years, or may appear very abruptly. Schizophrenia appears to come and go in cycles, worsening in periods known as relapse or a psychotic episode, but improving or disappearing completely during recovery.
A medical or mental health professional may use the following terms when discussing the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Positive symptoms are disturbances that are “added” to the person’s personality.
Negative symptoms are capabilities that are “lost” from the person’s personality.
Treatment involves ALL of these: medication, psychological treatment (talking therapies), psychosocial treatment, and community support. The sooner help is provided for schizophrenia, the better the chances for treatment to be effective.
Your mental health team will work with you to create your treatment plan. This looks at ways for you to work towards personal goals – things to look forward to when you feel better, such as seeing friends and family, returning to work, going back to study, or exercising regularly. Forming a good relationship with your mental health team will help you learn about your illness, develop skills to minimise stress and other triggers, and learn to manage your symptoms.
The main types of medicines are called antipsychotics and they target the imbalance of brain chemicals. Medication will restore normal brain function, not alter it. If you have any questions, ask your psychiatrist, GP or pharmacist. Medication can be given in daily pill or syrup form, as dissolving wafers, or as a fortnightly or monthly injection. A once-monthly injection is useful because it’s one less thing for you to remember to do daily. You may experience side effects when taking antipsychotics. It’s very important to mention any unusual or worrying side effects you experience to your doctor. Side effects may include: muscle spasms, muscle tremors, slowness in movement, dizziness, tiredness or weight gain. These can be treated.
There are many misconceptions and stigmas surrounding schizophrenia.
People with schizophrenia are violent.
People receiving treatment for schizophrenia are no more violent than the rest of the population. They are more likely to be victims of violence due to the misconceptions surrounding the condition.
Schizophrenia is a split personality disorder.
People with schizophrenia have only one personality. Schizophrenia is an illness that affects the normal functioning of the brain, interfering with a person’s ability to think, feel and act.
"ഞാനും എന്റെ മോനും കുറേകാലം ഭർത്താവിനൊപ്പം വിദേശത്തായിരുന്നു. ഇപ്പോൾ ചില കുടുംബപ്രശ്നങ്ങൾ കാരണം നാട്ടിലെത്തിയ ഞാൻ മകനെ ഇവിടുത്തെ സ്കൂളിൽ ചേർത്തു. തുടക്കം തൊട്ട് വിദേശത്ത് പഠിച്ചുവളർന്ന അവന് ഇവിടുത്തെ സ്കൂളുമായി ഒട്ടും പൊരുത്തപ്പെടാൻ സാധിക്കുന്നില്ല. എട്ടിൽ പഠിക്കുന്ന അവന് എല്ലാ കാര്യത്തിലും പരാതിയാണ്. പഠനത്തിൽ ഒട്ടും ശ്രദ്ധിക്കുന്നില്ല."ഇങ്ങനെ സംഭവിക്കാനുണ്ടായ കാരണങ്ങളെ കുറിച്ചാണ് ആദ്യം ആലോചിക്കേണ്ടത്.…read more
Dr Somanath is a leading and eminent psychiatrist based in Kochi. He did his MBBS at Medical College Kottayam and post graduation in psychiatry from NIMHANS Bangalore. He has 20 years of experience in the field of psychiatry and worked as faculty in NIMHANS, SH Hospital Painkulam, Thodupuzha, Child Care Centre Gandhinagar and Lakeshore hospital Kochi. His current research interests are Genetics of Psychiatric disorders, Developmental disorders in children, psychosomatic medicine, Health education & Public awareness programme.read more