Schizophrenia is a terminal psychological disorder. It cannot be cured but can be controlled. Schizophrenia affects one’s ability to think, act and express emotions. The affected person cannot clearly differentiate what is real from what is imaginary.
Scientists have not yet discovered the exact cause of schizophrenia. However, studies suggest that both genetic factors, biological factors, and environmental factors interact to cause schizophrenia. The bottom line of this disease is an imbalance in neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate.
Who is Affected?
Schizophrenia affects both genders. However, males are more affected than female in childhood (Kelly, 2000). The disease occurs at any age, more so in young adults between age 16 and 30. Psychotic episodes in patients with schizophrenia vary. Some may only have one episode in their lifetime whereas others experience several episodes.
The symptoms of schizophrenia can be discussed in three levels; firstly, positive symptoms, secondly, negative symptoms, and thirdly, cognitive symptoms (Levin, 2009).
Positive symptoms are acts that are seen in the schizophrenic patient which are absent in normal healthy people. They include hallucination, delusion, distorted thinking and uncoordinated body movements.
Negative symptoms are the normal behavior which gets lost in schizophrenic conditions. The sufferers tend to lose emotions, separate themselves from their friends and families, tend to have slurred speech and easily get demotivated.
Cognitive symptoms involve the functioning of the brain. The patients lose short term memory, have poor judgment, reduced level of understanding and decision making due to lack of attention.
Schizophrenia cannot be cured. Treatment target at controlling the manifestations since the cause of the disease is unknown. The main drugs that are used to treat schizophrenia are called antipsychotic drugs.
There are three categories of antipsychotic drugs, namely, typical antipsychotics, such as haloperidol, atypical antipsychotics, such as clozapine, and miscellaneous antipsychotics like loxapine (Lieberman, & Murray, 2012). Always seek medical advice before taking these drugs. Your doctor will help you determine the best antipsychotic drugs for you.
In addition, psychosocial rehabilitation therapy should be used to help the patients gain confidence and learn the lost skills, such as proper decision making, motivation to work, and relating well with their friends and families.
Schizophrenia is a chronic psychological disorder of unknown cause. It affects both genders and presents with positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. Psychosocial and medical intervention are used in treating schizophrenia. Always seek medical advice before using antipsychotic drugs to manage schizophrenia.
Kelly, E. B. (2000). Coping with schizophrenia. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.
Levine, J., & Levine, I. S. (2009). Schizophrenia for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub.
Lieberman, J. A., & Murray, R. M. (2012). Comprehensive care of schizophrenia: A textbook of clinical management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.