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THE MOST DEVASTATING DISORDER : SCHIZOPHRENIA

SCHIZOPHRENIA

The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight – Joseph Campbell

INTRODUCTION

Schizophrenia is a disorder with a lot of complexities and also it is characterized by delusions and hallucinations, disturbances in speech and several other symptoms.

It is also known as a cluster of disorders which is also characterized by fragmentation of some really basic psychological functions including perception, attention, thoughts, emotion and behavior.  People who suffer from schizophrenia have some serious problems in accepting the reality.

They often misperceive the things happening around them. They live in a delusional world of their own. Their thinking is clouded. They often show really bizarre behavior and they are also disorganized that makes them not able to properly communicate with others.

Their emotion is inappropriate according to the given situations. People who undergo the treatment of schizophrenia must be removed from society, for a temporary period of time, for their protection while they are undergoing treatment.

NATURE OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

Major symptoms of schizophrenia are often divided into positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms involve imprudent and strange behavior, hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that do not even exist). Negative symptoms involve absence or depletion of basic functions. People who show positive symptoms come under Type 1 schizophrenia, while those who show negative symptoms come under Type 2 schizophrenia.

POSITIVE SYMPTOMS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

Positive symptoms include disordered behaviors, odd thoughts, delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are those beliefs that have no relation with reality. They are basically misinterpretations of normal events which lead the schizophrenic people to hold beliefs with very little basis in reality. Delusions can be of many forms.

DELUSIONS OF PERSECUTION:- the belief that one is being plotted or spied on, threatened or mistreated. People actually believe that someone is trying to kill them.

DELUSION OF GRANDEUR:- the belief that one is extremely famous among the masses, important, or powerful. Persons who suffer from such delusions often claim that they are a famous movie star or a cricketer.

DELUSIONS OF CONTROL:- the belief that people from other cosmic world or universe are controlling one’s thoughts and behavior.

Delusions which come under the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, have a phase which means they come and go. Delusions can be present at various degrees.

About 70% of people who have schizophrenia experience hallucinations. These hallucinations often turn into voices often telling them what to do. Disturbed movements and postures are also some symptoms of schizophrenia. People are not able to talk like normal people.

Their words often come out in a disorganized manner. This also involves loosening of associations. Idea lacks logic, they seem totally unconnected. They often create their words which do not exist in reality. Words are totally in a jumbled form which is also termed as a verbal salad.

NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

As discussed above, negative symptoms involve absence of some basic functions or reactions that normal people show. These symptoms involve:-

FLAT EFFECT schizophrenic people do not show any emotion at all. Their faces hardly have any emotion on them, they are like expression less. They often stare into walls with a glazing look. Schizophrenic do feel emotional reactions, but they do not show any sign of them. Their reactions are really inappropriate. They can often smile while describing a painful story or cry after hearing a joke.

MAJOR TYPES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

CATATONIC:- person experience some unusual motor activities such as some rigid postures. They also experience speech disturbances such as repetition while chattering.

DISORGANIZED PARANOID:- undeveloped delusions, verbal coherence, absence of affect. Preoccupied more than one sets of delusion.

UNDIFFERENTIATED RESIDUAL:- symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, incoherence withdrawal, minimal affect, and also absence of motivation.

CAUSES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

GENETIC FACTORS:- schizophrenia like any other psychological disorder, tends to run in families. The closer the family tie between two people more the chance of other person developing schizophrenia in the same family. Genes and also some environmental factors work in association to produce this disorder.

BRAIN DYSFUNCTION:- research shows that people suffering from schizophrenia also develop brain dysfunction. Findings reveal that some ventricles are larger in size in schizophrenic people than in other person. Also, decreased volume of brain which is due to enlarged ventricles has also been found. Increased size of ventricles also  results in producing abnormalities in the cerebral cortex. All of this results in increased hallucinations and a reduction in emotions. These findings suggest a simple thing in the end that schizophrenia is somehow related to cognitive deficits and also some several type of abnormalities in the brain functioning.

BIOCHEMICAL FACTORS:- disturbances occurred in the functioning of neurotransmitters can also play a role in schizophrenia. Increase in dopamine activity due to drugs can also result in intensifying the symptoms of schizophrenia. All those drugs that block the action of dopamine in body helps in reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS:- families that create such type of environment place their children at a higher risk for this type of disorder. Families who often adapt a certain pattern of behavior while expressing emotion results in relapses among schizophrenic patients. Parents engaging in harsh criticism, expressing hostile behavior, and also when they show too much concern with their problems results in patients suffering relapses. Harsh criticism results in emotional turmoil. And all of this can result into stress that pushes the vulnerable person into another world which they do not want to come out of.

COPING STRATEGIES

It is really necessary to move ahead. People suffering from schizophrenia have to rely on other people for constant regarding their behavior and all the changes in it.

It is really important to educate people on how to live with those people who are suffering from schizophrenia. Temporary changes in the medication can bring a lot of change and it can also prevent a relapse.

Joining a support group can help a schizophrenic person as it gives them a new opportunity to meet those people who suffer from the same illness. Participating in training classes for social skills, this has somewhat a similar benefit. People feel less isolated and they also get to meet new people.

  • THERAPY
  • JOURNALING THOUGHTS
  • TREATMENTS AND MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS
  • SELF CARE

All of this can be really troubling at times but with proper medication and treatment this disorder can be treated. Local support groups can also help in sharing experience and finding love and care.

What do you think?

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Written by Prarna koul

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