Schizophrenia is a complicated brain and mood disorder that medical professionals are only beginning to understand. The reasons for this disorder are still largely unknown, and there is no cure; schizophrenia can only be managed. If you have recently noticed that you have trouble concentrating at work or school, and that your thought processes are frequently confused and jumbled, you might need to seek professional help.
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Little is truly known about schizophrenia, although recent advances have been made. Schizophrenia is a complicated brain disorder that affects the biochemical and structural composition of the brain as well as the sufferer's personality. An individual with schizophrenia will often have trouble differentiating between what's real and what's not; they will suffer from delusions, perceptions and hallucinations. Often, because of these perceptions, the sufferer will become withdrawn and have disturbed thoughts. People with schizophrenia may exhibit disorganized speech patterns or a lack of energy. Schizophrenia has multiple sub-types, including disorganized, catatonic, and paranoid. Despite popular conception, most people with schizophrenia are not prone to violence. Schizophrenia only leads to violent behaviour in people with the paranoid sub-type, and only when the patient suffers command hallucinations (hallucinations in which a mysterious voice tells the patient to commit violent acts).
Medical professionals believe that there is a genetic component to schizophrenia; individuals with a family history of schizophrenia are more likely to suffer from the condition. However, even with MRI imaging and other modern-day techniques, the reason for this disorder (and how to treat it), are largely unknown.
Schizophrenia is known as being a disorder that largely young people are diagnosed with. Most commonly, 16 to 30 year olds are diagnosed with schizophrenia. When treatment is working well, most schizophrenics are able to function in society; however, there is a life-long risk of relapse.
Treatment Of Schizophrenia
Friends or family members who suspect that they know someone suffering from schizophrenia will first need to take their loved one to a medical practitioner for a diagnosis. In order to treat this condition, a doctor will take a thorough medical history and do a physical exam. While schizophrenia won't show up in blood tests or X-rays, doing these physical tests will rule out other possible reasons for delusions and hallucinations.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a patient will either require inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment will only be required if the schizophrenic is hurting himself, if there is a risk that he will hurt himself, or if there is a chance he will harm others. Patients needing stabilization will also require inpatient treatment. However, most schizophrenics can be treated on an outpatient basis.
Schizophrenics will likely require medication. Antipsychotics will treat delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking. If mood is a problem, antidepressants or mood stabilizers such as lithium might be prescribed. It usually takes 7 to 14 days for these drugs to reduce symptoms.
Patients will also require psychotherapy. During psychotherapy, schizophrenics will learn about their disorder and how to manage their illness.
Post Rehabilitation Of Schizophrenia
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for schizophrenia. This means that medication, psychotherapy and counselling will be needed, on and off, for a patient's lifetime. Close observation is recommended for at least 2 years after hospital or outpatient dismissal. Family therapy, counselling and education will help support the patient and reduce the chances of relapse. Behavioural therapy, skills training, learning how to manage money and appearance, and supported employment are all integral components of post-rehabilitation.
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