Mental Illness/ Psychological Disorders


It is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and
behaves. People with Schizophrenia may hear voices that do not exist or they may think that other people are trying to harm them. Doctors often describe it as a type of psychosis, which means that a person may not always be able to distinguish between their own thoughts and what actually happens.

Causes:The exact cause of schizophrenia is not known, but most experts believe that the condition is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Certain situations (such as stressful life events or medication abuse) can also trigger the condition.

Most vulnerable groups:
Research has shown that schizophrenia affects men and women more or less equally, but it may have an earlier onset in males.

Symptoms of schizophrenia are usually classified into:
Positive symptoms: any change in behavior or thoughts (eg hallucinations or delusions).
Negative symptoms: People seem to withdraw from the world around them at the time, are not interested in daily social interactions, and often appear emotionless.

Positive symptoms:
  • Hallucinations: where he sees, hears, smells, tastes, or feels things that do not exist out-side his mind. Hearing voices is the most common. Hallucinations are very real to the person experiencing them, even though the people around them cannot hear the voices or experience them. sensations.
  • Delusions: A belief that the patient holds with complete conviction, even if it is based on a false, bizarre, or unrealistic point of view (such as being teased or persecuted), that may affect the way a person behaves. Delusions can begin suddenly or may develop over time. over weeks or months.
  • Confused thoughts (thought disorder): Difficulty concentrating and moving from one thought to another.
  • Changes in behavior and thoughts: A person's behavior may become more chaotic and unpredictable. Some people describe their thoughts as being controlled by another per-son or as not their own, or as having been implanted in their minds by someone else.
Negative symptoms:
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia can often appear several years before a person expe-riences their first acute schizophrenia episode:
  • The person becomes socially withdrawn and is increasingly unconcerned with one's ap-pearance and personal hygiene.
  • Loss of interest and motivation in life and activities.
  • Lack of concentration, unwillingness to leave the house, and changes in sleep patterns.
  • Feeling uncomfortable with people or feeling like there is nothing to say
  • The negative symptoms of schizophrenia can often lead to relationship problems with friends and family.
When to see a doctor:
When you notice symptoms of schizophrenia, see a GP as soon as possible.

Left untreated, it can lead to serious problems affecting every area of life:
  • Inability to work independently.
  • Abuse of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Medication side effects: tardive dyskinesia
  • Suicide, suicide attempts, and thoughts about suicide.
  • Violent behaviour.
There is no single test for schizophrenia and the condition is usually diagnosed after evaluation by a mental health professional, asking about symptoms and checking that they are not due to other causes (eg substance abuse).

It can usually be diagnosed if:
  • The patient had one or more of the following symptoms most of the time for a month (eg: delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices, incoherent speech, or previous negative symptoms).
  • The symptoms have had a significant impact on the ability to work, study, or perform daily tasks.
  • All other possible causes, such as substance abuse or bipolar disorder, were excluded.
There is no cure for schizophrenia, but it can be treated and managed in several ways:
  • Medicines.
  • Psychotherapy (eg: cognitive behavioral therapy, assertive community therapy, and sup-portive therapy).
  • Self-management strategies and education.

Last Update : 31 August 2023 12:43 PM
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