If any of your dear ones at home suffers from schizophrenia, your tribulation can be comprehended. You remain in constant fear and apprehension. Incidences of abrupt violence by the patient become a common occurrence and hence you tend to be speculative.
Do not let myopic views cloud your vision. Equip yourself with the right facts about schizophrenia so that you can take strides towards the right direction.
Schizophrenia: What Exactly it is?
To put it in the layman terms, schizophrenia is a mental disorder that occurs due to certain neurological imbalances. Basically, youth between the age group (16-25 years) suffers from this mental disease. In this disease, patient gets detached from the real world and enters a strange world where he feels to be governed by someone. As the cognitive abilities are impaired and the senses are distorted, the patients are unable to think rationally. They remain bewildered as they cannot distinguish between the real life and fantasy.
The worst thing about the disease is that the patients turn violent because they hear constant voices beside their ears which prompt them to become aggressive. They are completely controlled by these strange voices and their thoughts which prompt them to be extremely violent at times, which put themselves and their families at risk. This delusional figure beside their ears is the cause of their trauma and responsible for the violent episodes.
What Causes the Disease? Scientific Reason Behind it:
As mentioned earlier too, this disease is caused largely by the neurological imbalances. Serotonin, Norepenehrine and Dopamine are the brain chemicals and the imbalance in these chemicals triggers the disease. Normally, the frontal lobe of the human brain increases its blood flow and the section responsible for listening reduces. On the other hand, PET scans of a schizophrenic brain reveal that the frontal lobe of the brain remains as active as the normal brain but the listening part is equally active.
The patient experiences hallucinations because of the sensory overload. In certain instances where the patients are born with the disease, the brain cells have crooked patterns. Alcohol, drugs and constant stress cannot be the root cause of the disease, but they aggravate the disease. Family members often get agitated by the behavior of the sufferers and react accordingly, which make the matters worse.
How to Detect Early Signs of Schizophrenia?
If you see any of these below enumerated signs, you should consult a psychiatrist immediately. These symptoms may appear all of sudden or they may take some time to develop. Also, you should bear in mind that the patient suffering from this paranoid disorder resist the treatment as they experience delusions and hallucinations. So, you need to be very patient. Check the list of the early symptoms.
- Decrease in the appetite.
- Constant depression.
- Insomnia or sleeping disorder
- A total change in personality (irrational talks)
- Prefer to be isolated
- Constant stares without blinking
- Anti-social behavior.
- Become hyperactive or completely inactive
- Self harm or mutilation
- Loss of the sense of touch
- Shaving of body or head hair
- Extreme Obstinacy.
Treatment of Schizophrenia:
The treatment of this acute mental disorder is symptom based. Patients with the bipolar kind can be recovered the best with the help of antipsychotic drug and mood-stabilizers. There are certain people who suffer from depressive schizophrenia and respond best to the antipsychotic medication and anti-depressants. Psycho-education of the closed ones proved to be helpful in certain instances. People believe that the treatment of this disease is not possible. This is not true. However, it takes a long time. In most of the cases where people do not show any improvement to the multiple trials of psychotic drugs, electroconvulsive therapy is given. But, antipsychotic drugs are the best bet in treating the acute cases and alleviating the symptoms gradually.
Basically, the treatment of this disease has two main phases. Acute phase wherein patients are treated with high dose of medication which can alleviate the severe mood swings. This phase is followed by another lifelong face that is called the maintenance phase. In this phase, the dosages are reduced gradually to the minimum. If symptoms of the disease relapse, the dosages are increased transiently.
In a majority of cases, disease relapses. Therefore, discontinuation of anti-psychotic drugs is not advisable. A long term follow up is necessary because different patients respond to different treatments. Also, a constant follow up will let you know the right treatment for your patient. It is also true that the more patient learns about this illness, the better equipped he becomes to prevent the symptoms. One thing is for sure that consuming anti-psychotic drugs can lead to a better recovery.
If you have learnt and recognized the symptoms of this acute mental disorder, it is better for you to keep a peaceful ambience for the patient. Share small tasks with the patients, prompt them to do little household chores, talk to them more and keep them engaged. Encourage them to take new hobbies and start taking them in social gatherings.
Myth About Schizophrenia Debunked:
Several myths about the disease are prevalent. One of such myth is that it is same as Multiple Personality Disorder. MPD is a different mental disorder where the victim thinks of himself as the personality he is totally engrossed with mentally. He switches from one personality to another and when he does so, he tends to dress up and exhibits the mannerisms of the personality he is in.
Contrary to this, schizophrenics exhibit a different set of behavior patterns. They basically suffer from delusions and hallucinations. They lose the basic sense of the real world and feel that they are controlled by some strange thoughts. They tend to become violent by the constant voices occurring beside their ear.