By Shawn Clark
You may have heard something regarding this severe disease; you probably saw movies, series, and plays where this condition is an important part of the story. And so it is in life, we are talking about a far-reaching condition that impacts individuals as well as their families.
Therefore, it is important for us to be well informed and educated about schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic mental disorder that affects person’s ability to think and act clearly, manage emotions, or interact with other individuals. People with schizophrenia may seem lost and out of touch with reality. It is a complex and long-term condition that requires special care and consideration. People with schizophrenia can have difficulty with getting and holding a job, or even taking care of themselves, so they have to rely on help.
As always, before any specific diagnoses, we should all try to do everything possible for our wellbeing. In addition to exercising regularly, we need to pay attention to what we eat and how much we sleep, in order keep a good lifestyle fitness.
It is not easy to diagnose schizophrenia. Sometimes a person who uses drugs such as methamphetamine or LSD can have symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. Also, people who do have this disease don’t believe they have it.
There is no lab test that can confirm the diagnosis, but healthcare providers can evaluate the symptoms over the period of six months, and give a more accurate diagnosis. Also, he has to rule out other diseases such as brain tumor and psychiatric conditions; bipolar disorder for example.
Every patient with schizophrenia, a serious chronic condition, should be well informed about his or hers condition, and educated about every treatment possible. There are some things that he/she can do for themselves and improve their focus and concentration. A dietary supplement containing Ginkgo biloba, B vitamins, and Rhodiola roseroot extract, such as BioTrust Brain Bright can help with improving short-term memory.
Signs and symptoms
Even children can be affected by this disease, but more often the symptoms begin between ages of 16 and 30. Men tend to experience symptoms little earlier than women. The symptoms can be divided into three categories: positive, negative and cognitive.
· Disorganized speech
· Disorganized or catatonic behavior
· Thought disorders (unusual way of thinking)
· Movement disorders
· “Flat effect” (reduced ability to show emotions with facial expressions or voice)
· Feelings of pleasure are reduced (they are having difficult time in enjoying everyday life)
· Speaking, in general, is reduced
· Poor concentration with beginning and sustaining any activity
These symptoms can be subtle or severe, and some patients may notice that they are having troubles with memory and other aspects of thinking. Symptoms include:
· Hard time making decisions
· Trouble with focusing or paying attention
· Working memory is affected (patients are having difficulties with remembering facts, or using them right after learning)
People with schizophrenia may hear internal voices; think that other persons can read their mind and control their thoughts or plotting against them. They can be perceived as frightening and incomprehensible because of their disorganized behavior.
Causes and risk factors
Studies have shown that schizophrenia can have several causes.
Genetics and environment
Scientists have noticed a long time ago that schizophrenia sometimes runs in the family. Having a history of a family member with the psychosis greatly increases the risk, but we should remember that schizophrenia occurs in 1% of the general population. Scientists have also discovered that combination of environmental factors and genes are the cause for the development of the disorder. Environmental factors include:
· Malnutrition before birth
· Inflammation and autoimmune diseases
· Problems during birth
Different brain chemistry and structure
Problems with certain brain chemicals, including neurotransmitters called dopamine and glutamate, may contribute to schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters allow brain cells to communicate with each other.
Treatment and Therapies
The treatments are only able to manage the symptoms, and they include:
· Antipsychotic medications
· Psychotherapy, such as behavioral therapy, assertive community treatment, and supportive therapy. Treatment like these can be helpful after patient and doctor find a medication that works. Individuals who participate in such treatments are better equipped in dealing with everyday challenges and pursuing important life goals.
· Self-management strategies and education
Video to watch: How to Keep Your Brain Healthy As You Grow Old?
Many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. More effective medications are developing every day. It is important for us to understand that schizophrenia is biological illness and that we can support someone with this disease and help them lead productive independent lives.
Author Bio: Shawn Clark is a Health and Fitness Advisor. For the past 5 years, he is providing nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice all over Phoenix, Arizona. Specializes on beauty, male sexual health, female sexual health, weight loss, detox & dietary supplements. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter , Linkedin and on Google+.