Mental diseases can be extremely challenging for not just the patient, but not the family of the patient as well. Much like any other disorder, catching the disease timely can help both the patient and the family cope with the disease better.
One such disorder is schizophrenia.
What is Schizophrenia?
This mental disorder is marked by lack of comprehension between what is real and what is not. It not only affects patient’s perception of reality, but also their thought process as well. It also wreaks havoc on the emotions on the patient as well.
Patients also experience hallucinations and are delusional as well. Hence, there are turn of events that is simply in their heads but for them, it is the absolute truth. Not only does it make it difficult for them to function, but the family also suffers greatly.
Schizophrenia is very hard of the patient’s family. It is very hard to reconcile their loved one with the patient’s persona. They might have to take the extreme outbursts of the patient and make peace with the allegations made by the patient. Daunting it might be, however, with treatment, patient gets better. Hence, visiting the best psychiatrist in Islamabad, timely, is imperative if you feel suspect this condition.
Not just thinking per se is affected in the patient, but other cognitive functions are impaired as well. Many patients experience speech problems as well. Hence, this disorder is life altering.
What are the causes of Schizophrenia?
Mental diseases have by far, remained a conundrum for the scientists. It is very hard to ascertain what precisely causes schizophrenia, but it certainly is influenced by a lot of factors, most of which cannot be moderated by the patient.
Having a family history of schizophrenia greatly increase the likelihood of getting the disease. It is not a matter of a faulty gene, but rather, the entire genetic makeup is responsible for the condition.
However, genetics is not the sole reason for this disorder and a lot still is probabilistic.
Research has shown that the brain development is slightly different in the patients suffering from this mental disorder, which is why it has also been termed as the brain disease. However, the contribution of these changes in the onset of the disorder has yet to be established.
Nervous system is very sensitive to changes. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that shuttle signal to-and-fro the brain cells. However, when their levels run askew, problems occur.
Similar is the case with schizophrenia. It occurs when the levels of two neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, are disturbed. Many drugs that help with the disorder are aimed at fixing these.
Many big and stressful events in life can lead to this condition as well. Birth complications like premature labor, low birth weight etc. can lead to changes in the brain development.
Similarly, stress otherwise can also lead to schizophrenia. Abuse, life change like divorce, loss etc. can increase the propensity towards developing this disorder.
Moreover, many people turn to mind-altering drugs as coping mechanism. However, abuse of the drugs like cannabis can eventually lead to this mental disorder.
Age is another important factor –although not a cause per se. Schizophrenia is more common from late teens to early 30s. Hence, people from this age group are more susceptible to developing this condition.
What are the signs of Schizophrenia?
If timely treatment is given, symptoms of the disease can be better managed. They are divided into two categories, positive and negative symptoms, each with its characteristic set.
These refer to any behavioral changes in the patient and their altered thinking. Salient features include:
Schizophrenics tend to experience visual and verbal hallucinations.
Overwhelming majority of the patients experience delusions, whereby they firmly believe in a thing that is not true. It has different forms; in delusions of persecution, patients assume people are on the hunt for them. In delusions of reference, patients think that an event or banal thing holds a special value for them, whereas in delusions of grandeur, patients presume themselves to be an important person. In delusions of control, patients believe to be controlled by outside forces.
Confused thoughts and behavior:
Due to lack of coherence in the thoughts of the patients, speech of the patients is affected as well. Their conversations are all over the place, and thus comprehension for their caretakers is difficult.
Patients too, might not be able to understand the information given to them.
Moreover, patients also present with inconsistent behavior, and with emotions that keep oscillating. They also have problems doing the task, following instructions etc. They have a lack of impulse control and exhibit erratic behavior as well.
Negative symptoms are lack of normal functionality in the patient. It not only alters their thinking, but also affect their behavior as well. Patients experience lack of motivation, emotionlessness, speech problems.
Negative symptoms also cause the patient to become socially withdrawn and awkward. They thus lose interest in going out, meeting people or taking part in conversations.
Moreover, patients also cannot follow through with their daily activities as well. These symptoms also get worse with time. Hence, the importance of timely intervention by the top psychiatrist in Lahore cannot be stressed enough