Schizophrenia

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Elizabeth Sorto By

Schizophrenia :

Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to: Tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Think clearly. Have normal emotional responses. Act normally in social situations. It is not split personality!!!

Who has schizophrenia?:

Who has schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental illnesses. About 1 of every 100 people (1% of the population) is affected by schizophrenia. Childhood schizophrenia is rare, affecting 1 in 40,000. This disorder is found throughout the world and in all races and cultures. Schizophrenia affects men and women in equal numbers, although men appear to develop schizophrenia earlier than women.

What are the causes?:

What are the causes? Schizophrenia is a complex illness. Scientists still do not know the specific causes of schizophrenia, but research has shown that the brains of people with schizophrenia are different from the brains of people without the illness. Schizophrenia seems to be caused by a combination of problems including genetic vulnerability and environmental factors that occur during a person’s development.

What are the symptoms?:

What are the symptoms? The behavior of people with schizophrenia is very strange and shocking. This change in behavior, when people cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is not, is called “psychosis” or a “psychotic episode”. The APA (American Psychiatric Association) has published guidelines that are used to classify people with mental disorders. The most recent guidelines are contained in a book known as the DSM-IV. The DSM-IV describes several symptoms that a person MUST have before s/he is classified as having schizophrenia.

Types of:

Schizophrenic symptoms Types of

. Positive symptoms refers to having overt symptoms that should not be there These symptoms may include: :

. Positive symptoms refers to having overt symptoms that should not be there These symptoms may include: Delusions. These beliefs are not based in reality and usually involve misinterpretation of perception or experience. They are the most common in schizophrenic symptoms. Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don’t exist, although hallucinations can be in any of the senses. Hearing voices is the most common hallucination among people with schizophrenia. Thought Disorder. Difficulty speaking and organizing thoughts may result in stopping speech midsentence or putting together meaningless words, sometimes known as “word salad”. Disorganized Behavior. This may show in a number of ways, ranging from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation.

negative symptoms does not refer to a person’s attitude, but to a lack of certain characteristics that should be there They include::

negative symptoms does not refer to a person’s attitude, but to a lack of certain characteristics that should be there They include: Loss of interest in everyday activities. Appearing to lack emotion. Reduced ability to plan or carry out activities. Neglect of personal hygiene. Social withdrawal. Loss of motivation. Catatonia. Where people become fixed in a single position for a long period of time.

Cognitive symptoms involve problems with thinking processes . They include: :

Cognitive symptoms involve problems with thinking processes . They include: Problems with making sense of information. Difficulty paying attention. Memory problems. A common problem associated with schizophrenia is the lack of insight into the condition itself. This is not willful denial but rather a part of the illness itself. Such a lack of understanding poses many challenges for loved ones.

What occurs in the brain?:

What occurs in the brain? A common finding in the brains of people with schizophrenia is larger than normal lateral ventricles .

Mri of one twin without schizophrenia and one with:

Mri of one twin without schizophrenia and one with Notice the ventricles (red arrows) are larger in the twin with schizophrenia Without With

Signs and tests:

Signs and tests There are no medical tests to diagnose schizophrenia. A psychiatrist should examine the person and make the diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on an interview of the person and family members. The psychiatrist will ask about: - How long the symptoms have lasted - How ability to function has changed - Developmental background - Genetic and family history - Substance abuse - Medical conditions Brain scans and blood tests may help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

Treatment:

Treatment While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is a treatable and manageable illness. However, people sometimes stop treatment because of the side effects, lack of insight, disorganized thinking, or because they feel the medication is no longer needed/working. People with schizophrenia who stop taking prescribed medication are at risk for relapse into an acute psychotic episode.

counseling:

counseling Antipsychotic medications often do not reduce all of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Also, because people with schizophrenia may have become ill during the time when they should have developed technical skills and a career, they may not have the ability to become useful members of society.

COMPLICATIONS:

COMPLICATIONS Having schizophrenia increases the risks of: - Developing a problem with alcohol or drugs. Using alcohol or drugs increases the chance that symptoms will return. Physical illness, due to an inactive lifestyle and side effects of medication. - Suicide

Prevention:

Prevention Schizophrenia cannot be prevented. Symptoms may be prevented by taking medication exactly as instructed by the doctor. Changing or stopping medications should only be done by the doctor who prescribed them.

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