All You Need To Know About Schizophrenia [Tips to Deal with This]
Our brain plays a crucial role in controlling all our voluntary and involuntary functions, from the working of the organs to limb movements. But the cerebrum controls all the psychological functions, like mental intelligence, learning, memory, and more. The cerebrum occupies a major portion of the brain and is divided into two halves joined together by a fibrous tissue called the corpus callosum.
Several types of psychological diseases are there that affect the cerebrum, from depression to hallucinations and more.
However, schizophrenia is way more dangerous when compared to other psychiatric diseases. This is because people affected tend to interpret everything in a new and abnormal manner. From hallucinations to impaired thinking, there are several issues that people suffer from.
Therefore, knowing more about schizophrenia, its symptoms, causes, and treatment methods are way more crucial. Until and unless everyone is aware of this mental disorder, getting the right treatment and consulting with a psychiatrist cannot be done on time.
In this following article, we have provided more information on schizophrenia so that you can easily know more about this psychological disease and ensure you can get the treatment at the right time.
Schizophrenia: Definition, Causes, Symptoms & How to Deal With This Disorder
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking and behavior. It can also cause a person to feel detached from reality, have difficulty functioning in daily life, and experience a lack of motivation. Schizophrenia can be very distressing for the person experiencing it and for their loved ones, and it often requires lifelong treatment.
Causes of Schizophrenia
The first thing one needs to know is the list of causes of schizophrenia. Although the disease is common and many people suffer from the same, the causes might vary from one victim to another period apart from this, if you know about the causative factors or stimuli that lead to schizophrenia, you might protect yourself from suffering from this psychiatric problem. So, the following section will define some of the primary causes that lead to schizophrenia with ease.
The first and foremost cause of schizophrenia is genetics. Suppose you already have someone in your family with a history of suffering from schizophrenia or any mental disorder that resembles this particular disease.
In that case, you will be at a higher risk of developing this particular psychiatric problem. Several studies have shown that the genes of schizophrenia usually remain suppressed for several generations, thereby making genetic tracking difficult. This is why psychiatrists usually rule out all other causes to conclude that the person has genetic schizophrenia.
- Brain Development Disorder:
As already discussed, the cerebrum controls most mental functions, from intelligence to memory and learning.
As a result, if the cerebrum fails to function appropriately, it might lead to schizophrenia. This is because there won’t be any proper connection between the neurons, especially the axons, due to developmental disorders.
So, if these neurons do not grow properly, the brain won’t be able to relay electrical stimuli properly, which is why resulting in schizophrenia.
- Change in the Concentration of Neurotransmitters:
Dopamine and serotonin are the two most important neurotransmitters that control the stress levels in the body, allow proper functioning of adrenaline and nor-epinephrine, and regulate several other physiological functions.
Therefore, if the concentration of these two neurotransmitters falls below the appropriate level, the chances of suffering from schizophrenia are way more. Usually, doctors run a blood check and extract more information about the lifestyle to conclude if the person is suffering from any deficiency in the total concentration of serotonin and dopamine or not.
- Birth and Pregnancy Complications:
Another major prospective cause of schizophrenia is complications arising during pregnancy or childbirth. For instance, if a woman goes into preterm labor, the baby is likely to develop schizophrenia from an early age.
Similarly, if the pregnant woman suffers from a drug allergy or consumes inappropriate drugs, she might give birth to a schizophrenic baby. Lack of appropriate nutrients in the mother’s body can also lead to schizophrenia.
Therefore, doctors usually monitor the health conditions of every pregnant woman to ensure that complications during pregnancy can be reduced significantly.
- Stress and Depression:
Last but not least, another prospective cause of schizophrenia is stress and depression. Usually, in these two diseases, serotonin and dopamine levels are not appropriate.
Due to a significant reduction in the total concentration of these two neurotransmitters, the brain starts malfunctioning, owing to which the person can develop schizophrenia.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia:
Identifying schizophrenia is difficult because there are mixed symptoms, so knowing more about each symptom is crucial. If you do not know about the symptoms, visiting the doctor at the right time is impossible. So, to help you out, we have developed the three sets of symptoms patients suffering from schizophrenia show.
- One of the primary positive symptoms schizophrenia patients usually suffer from is hallucinations. From seeing people or shadows to imagining unrealistic setups and thoughts, there are several ways in which a person can hallucinate. For instance, if schizophrenia is directly related to any stimulus, the person might hallucinate about that particular situation only, and the psychiatric condition worsens.
- Delusion is also a positive symptom of schizophrenia, where the patient believes in unrealistic conditions and false thoughts. Often people confuse delusion and hallucination. Being delusional means trusting something that won’t happen or overthinking too much about the future. On the other hand, hallucination is about imagining and seeing things without real existence.
- Another symptom is thought disorder, where the person usually suffers from disorientation and cannot differentiate between thoughts and ideas. For example, a schizophrenia patient often struggles to jump smoothly from one thought to another.
- Any behavioral change in the patient determines the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Whether it is any action that doesn’t have any base or reason or sudden changes in mood, anger, and emotions, a schizophrenic patient can suffer from different behavioral changes that aren’t appropriate for any normal person.
- Social withdrawal, sudden development of introverted nature, and staying away from any social crowd are also negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Negative symptoms usually appear much before this first severe disease episode, which is why they get enough time to develop and intensify.
- Losing interest and purpose in life, having no passion for relationships, decreased sexual interest and libido, and so on are also considered negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Here, the person cannot find anything motivational and inspiring that would help them move ahead without suffering from psychological problems like stress and depression.
- Another common negative symptom of schizophrenia is being uncomfortable in the presence of others, even if those people are related to family and friends circle. Usually, people suffering from psychological diseases start withdrawing and showing aloof behavior.
- Change in the sleep pattern also leads to schizophrenia as the person doesn’t get appropriate sleep for six to 8 hours, and the brain stops functioning appropriately. Apart from this, changes in sleep patterns can also lead to insomnia, forcing the person to take sedative drugs that further interfere with the neurotransmitters and operations of the axons.
- Changes in processing speed are one of the major cognitive symptoms of any person suffering. Processing speed is the rate at which the person can perceive a stimulus and assess the action appropriately. If the speed is lowered, the person won’t be able to multitask or perceive every stimulus expectedly.
- From remembering several facts to doing mental Mathematics, schizophrenic patients can suffer from reduced working memory. In this case, the person cannot use the intelligence or memory power to remember anything or utilize the cerebrum for studying, learning, and so on.
- Loss of attention and concentration is another cognitive symptom of schizophrenia. The person fails to concentrate on anything, even if the matter is simple and managed. From writing statements appropriately to focusing on cooking or any other activity, there are several ways in which lots of attention can affect a patient, leading to frustration, irritability, and stress.
- Often schizophrenic patients cannot differentiate between words, voices, syllables, etc. In other words, they cannot learn verbally or speak appropriately and present their thoughts through words.
- Social cognition is a negative symptom where the person starts withdrawing from social circles, becomes aloof from others, and deals with introverted nature.
How To Deal With Schizophrenia?
Dealing with schizophrenia might not be easy, especially as the symptoms start appearing much earlier, and people often mistake it as a regular psychological problem. This is why knowing more about dealing with this disease is crucial. If not, you might face a lot of problems later on.
- Educate Yourself
The first thing to be done is to educate yourself more about schizophrenia. From learning about three different symptoms to understanding treatment processes, you should learn everything possible about schizophrenia. As you will know, you can easily contact the doctor on time and get the treatments done without any further problems. Apart from this, you also need to know more about ways to reduce the overall symptoms and periodic recurrence of schizophrenia through natural processes, like leading a healthy lifestyle, getting appropriate stress, and so on.
- Reduce Stress
Another way to fight schizophrenia is by reducing stress. When stressed out, the levels of two major neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, will not be appropriate. Therefore, the chances of suffering from irregular sleep patterns, depression, insomnia, and more will also increase. Over time, this will automatically lead to schizophrenia. So, it would help if you worked on reducing stress appropriately. If you cannot work on reducing the stress levels, you might not be able to respond appropriately to the long-term treatments as per your doctor’s suggestions. One of the best ways to reduce stress is reading a healthy lifestyle, getting appropriate sleep for at least six hours, and eating healthy. Apart from this, it would help if you also learned more about various physical activities through which stress can be reduced significantly.
- Set Realistic Expectations
It is very important that you always set realistic expectations for your life and others. This is because when you try to set more expectations that sound quite unrealistic, your emotions will be in turmoil. As a result, stress levels and depression will automatically increase, leading to more severe episodes of schizophrenia. Therefore, you should always set realistic expectations, like reducing your body weight by 2 kg per month, making your breakfast healthy, leaving or reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke, and so on. As you achieve these small expectations, you will feel more confident, and your brain will become highly active. As a result, dealing with schizophrenia will become much easier for you.
- Psychological Treatments
Last but not least, you should always go to your doctor and get appropriate psychological treatments to deal with schizophrenic episodes easily. Usually, psychiatrists administer a range of medicines that can calm the nerves, restore the appropriate balance between serotonin and dopamine, and increase the activity of the neurons in the cerebrum. Apart from this, the doctor can also suggest going for psychological settings where you can converse with the doctor and know more about changing your lifestyle, reducing stress, getting into a proper diet habit, and so on.
Schizophrenia has a lot of causes, but they are not the same for everyone. Therefore, knowing more about dealing with this particular disease is very crucial. Apart from this, when you identify the symptoms from the beginning, you should immediately consult your doctor because these symptoms will lead to severe schizophrenic episodes. You can visit Dr. Sanjay Jain to know more about how schizophrenia can impact life and the best ways for treatment. His de-addiction therapy has worked wonders in many patients who have schizophrenia. Not only he understands the conditions people go through leading to schizophrenia, but he also ensures to suggest appropriate medicines and procedures through which the severity of these episodes can be reduced significantly.
Dr. Sanjay Jain is a highly qualified and one of the best psychiatrist in Jaipur, India, with over 13 years of experience. He earned his medical degrees from SMS Medical College and Hospital. Dr. Jain is known for his global research work on mental health. He believes in not just using medicine but also educating and working with patients to find the best treatment plan. He was recognized as one of Jaipur’s top psychiatrists in 2020 by threebestrated.com, a trusted US-based ranking company.