What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic Psychotic Disorder which is characterized by Hallucinations, Delusions, some Disorganized speech and behavior.

What are hallucinations?

Hallucinations are false or distorted perceptions. A person might see, hear, smell or feel something that does not exist.

What are delusions?

Delusions are false beliefs about something. The person might become very skeptical about everything around him and might feel that someone will try to do something wrong to him.

What is disorganized speech?

Disorganized speech means incoherent or derailed speech.

What are the symptoms of Schizophrenia?

There might be negative or positive symptoms of Schizophrenia

What are the positive symptoms?

Positive symptoms are symptoms that are very visible. Hallucinations, delusions and disorganized speech come under positive symptoms.

What are the negative symptoms?

Negative symptoms are not really noticeable until you start to observe the person closely. The negative symptoms would be lack of emotional responsiveness, apathy or lack of motivation, catatonic behaviors, lack of speech and neglecting themselves completely.

For how long can the symptoms of Schizophrenia last?

The symptoms can last for a month or more.

How long do the symptoms need to persist for it to be labeled as Schizophrenia?

A client needs to have any two symptoms at least for a month to be diagnosed as having schizophrenia.

Are other mental health diagnoses associated with schizophrenia?

Other disorders that can be comorbid with schizophrenia are depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol induced disorders, impulse control disorders.

What are the causes of Schizophrenia?

It is the result of a complex group of genetic and other biological vulnerabilities, as well as psychological and environmental risk factors.

Can Biological defects cause Schizophrenia?

Biologically, it is thought that people who have abnormalities in the brain neurochemical dopamine and lower brain matter in some areas of the brain are at higher risk for developing the condition.

Is Schizophrenia hereditary?

According to the research, if there has been a blood relative diagnosed with schizophrenia, there is a high possibility of the disorder being passed to the other generations.

What professionals diagnose and treat schizophrenia?

Psychiatrists and Psychologists can help the patient with the medications and therapy respectively.

What are the medications for Schizophrenia?

Medications that have been found to be particularly effective in treating the positive symptoms of schizophrenia include orally taken medications like risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine. Medications that may be taken by injection or by mouth include chlorpromazine, haloperidol, fluphenazine, risperidone, olanzapine (Zyprexa Relprevv), aripiprazole, and paliperidone. These are a newer group of drugs and called the second generation antipsychotics.

What are the side effects of these drugs?

The side effects that occur most often include fatigue, sleepiness, dizziness, and increased appetite, weight gain. If serious side effects like  muscle stiffness, impaired motor coordination, shakiness, muscle twitches, decreased libido occur, it is important to seek immediate consultation from the doctor.

Can I consume Alcohol while on medications?

It is advised not to be on medications as it might react with the medicines that you are consuming and can be hazardous to health.

What are the therapies that are used to treat Schizophrenia?

Not much therapy can be done with people who are in their active phase.However, when they are in their remission,therapies like CBT, REBT can be used to make the person aware of his irrational thought processes and how they can try and change them.  Social skills treatment is given to the patient so that he can manage his routine life and its chores effectively. Family therapy is also very helpful for the family members as it gives them an insight to the problems of their family member and also helps them to cope up with their stressors.

When does a patient needs to be hospitalized?

If the symptoms become very chronic and can get dangerous for the patient and the people around, it is advised that the patient should be hospitalized and the follow up needs to be done very frequently.

Is Schizophrenia curable?

Schizophrenia cannot be cured completely but with medications and therapy, it can definitely be controlled.

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