Schizophrenia is a psychotic mental disorder that affects the manner in which a person thinks, express emotions, act, relate to others, and perceives reality. Schizophrenia patients have difficulties in distinguishing between what is real and imaginary. As a result, these individuals tend to be withdrawn, unresponsive, and may have challenges in articulating ideas or expressing emotions (Andreasen, 2011). Though the causes of the ailment are unclear, scientific theories have associated the malady with genetics, abnormalities in the brain structure and chemistry, viral infections, and immune disorders.
The symptoms associated with Schizophrenia tend to vary between individuals, and they may develop slowly over months, years or in some situations appear abruptly (Chemerinski & Siever, 2011). Majorly, the disease manifests itself in cycles of remission and relapse. Signs and symptoms of Schizophrenia includes;
Delusions. Individuals tend to develop false illusions about themselves or others
Hallucinations. Schizophrenia patients tend to see, hear, taste, or smell things that do not exist (Melinda & Segal, 2017).
Disordered speech, communication and thinking (Melinda & Segal, 2017). The patients tend to hover from one topic to another in a nonsensical manner that mostly does not make sense.
Social withdrawal and extreme apathy
Disorganized behavior which may include neglect of vital routine activities such as maintaining body hygiene
Schizophrenia affects the patients emotions and the cognitive processing ability because it alters the chemical reactions that occur in the brain. Moreover, unregulated chemical responses that involve glutamate, dopamine and other neurotransmitters have been associated with degraded cognitive thinking and emotions (Abi-Dargham & Grace, 2011). Remarkably, the brains of these patients tend to have less gray matter, and some parts tend to have diminished mental activity. These factors have been associated with reduced psychological and emotional ability among the Schizophrenia patients.
The treatment of Schizophrenia focuses on elimination of the symptoms associated with the disease (Chemerinski & Siever, 2011). This is achieved through administration of antipsychotic drug and scheduling of routine psychotherapies. During the acute phase of the sickness, hospitalization is recommended since the sick individuals may pose a danger not only to society but also to themselves. Finally, rehabilitation and other non-medical interventions such as yoga and meditation have proved to be effective means of helping patients overcome the sickness.
Abi-Dargham, A., & Grace, A. A. (2011). Dopamine and Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia, 413-432. doi:10.1002/9781444327298.ch20
Andreasen, N. C. (2011). Concept of Schizophrenia: Past, Present, and Future. Schizophrenia, 1-8. doi:10.1002/9781444327298.ch1
Chemerinski, E., & Siever, L. J. (2011). The Schizophrenia Spectrum Personality Disorders. Schizophrenia, 62-90. doi:10.1002/9781444327298.ch5
Melinda, S., & Segal, J. (2017). Schizophrenia Symptoms, Signs, and Coping Tips. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/schizophrenia-signs-and-symptoms.htm
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