Schizophrenia: Causes, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment

Subarna Ghosal

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Schizophrenia: Causes, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment

A person suffering from schizophrenia experiences distortions in the real-life, thinking process, etc. It is a mental disorder that causes its victims to be confused about their reality. This health condition can happen to teenagers, adults, elders, men, women, etc. The symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, forgetfulness, incoherent speech, etc., and this medical condition requires life-long treatment.

Causation Of Schizophrenia

Causation Of Schizophrenia
Source: Healthline

It is difficult to comprehend what causes schizophrenia, but researchers believe that several factors might be responsible, such as genetics, brain chemistry, environment, etc.

Issues with certain naturally occurring brain chemicals or neurotransmitters called dopamine and glutamate may contribute to its formation. Certain scanning studies show differences in the structure of brain cells and the central nervous system of schizophrenic people. Researchers aren’t sure about the significance of these changes, but they indicate that schizophrenia is a type of brain disease.

Factors Responsible For Schizophrenia

Factors Responsible For Schizophrenia
Source: HealthCentral

Although the exact causation of this mental disorder is not known, a few factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering schizophrenia, including:

  • Family history of schizophrenia and genetic predisposition plays a role in developing the symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Pregnancy and birth-related complications, malnutrition, or exposure to a certain amount of toxins or even harmful viruses may impact brain development.
  • Taking psychotropic drugs during teen years and young adulthood.
  • Environmental factors may contribute to schizophrenic condition development.
  • Exposure to different types of viruses is found to be a contributing factor in its development. 
  • Constant exposure to harmful toxins is suggested to play a role in the development of schizophrenia.
  • Lead exposure during fetal development has been shown to influence the likelihood of schizophrenic development significantly.
  • Thorough research has been devoted to investigating societal issues that could potentially contribute to the onset of the disorder in some people. 
  • Childhood stress or incident or any trauma is also thought to be contributing factors in developing this condition.
  • Psychological stresses have physiological effects and are implicated in causing or contributing to psychiatric disorders.

Complications Of Schizophrenia

Complications Of Schizophrenia
Source: Best Health Magazine

Complications it may cause:

  • Abuse of alcohol or usage of other drugs 
  • Inability to work 
  • Financial problems and homelessness
  • Being victimized
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Social isolation
  • Suicide/suicide attempts
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Health/medical problems

Diagnosis Of Schizophrenia

Diagnosis Of Schizophrenia
Source: Psychiatric Advisory

Diagnosis of schizophrenia initially ruling out other mental health disorders and determining that symptoms are not due to substance abuse or medication. Determining its diagnosis –

  • A physical exam is necessary to help rule out other problems that could be causing the symptoms.
  • Tests and screenings include tests that help rule out conditions. The psychologist may also advise imaging studies, like an MRI or CT scan.
  • Psychiatric evaluation. A Psychiatrist or licensed counselor checks mental status by observing appearance and behavior and asking about different thoughts, moods, delusions, hallucinations, and potential for suicide. 
  • Always remember to keep these steps in mind as you seek help or encourage someone to find help.
  • Remember that schizophrenia is a kind of illness. Treating it is very important as treating any other diseases.
  • Find a support system you can depend upon or help your near one find one they can tap into for proper guidance. 
  • Check and look for support-related groups in your community.
  • Encourage continuing treatment like therapy and medications to help people lead a productive life. 

How Can You Treat Schizophrenia?

How Can You Treat Schizophrenia?
Source: Medical News Today

It requires lifelong treatment, and the process is long undoubtedly. But don’t lose hope as where there is a will, there is a way. However, treatments always focus on easing and eliminating symptoms, which can help manage the condition.

Typical Treatments Include

  • The physician or a psychiatrist prescribes antipsychotic medications as per the patient’s needs.
  • Proper counseling and therapy continuously by the psychologist help you manage some of the challenges.
  • Coordinated specialty care combines medication and psychosocial treatment. It also adds family integration, education, etc.
  • Finding a healthcare provider you can trust is an essential first step toward managing this condition. 
  • Prepare for your appointment. If you are seeking help for someone with schizophrenia, you may start by taking him to a recognized, licensed psychologist as well as a psychiatrist.

Is Recovery From Schizophrenia Possible?

Is Recovery From Schizophrenia Possible?
Source: Psych Central

Yes, you can get a good life. You know that getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be a frustrating and lengthy process indeed, and you might be struggling for a long time to think clearly, manage your emotions, etc. But having schizophrenia doesn’t mean that you can’t live a meaningful life. Although there is no such complete cure for it, you can treat and manage it well with proper dosage of medications, appropriate continued basis counseling, and supportive therapies.

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