Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition, most usually diagnosed between the ages of 13 - 40. It is believed to affect just over 1% of the population and there is no cure.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia symptoms are different for every individual. Some people are able to describe their symptoms very easily. Others struggle to explain what is happening for them.
Paranoid schizophrenia: paranoid schizophrenia is possibly the sub type that most people think of when discussing schizophrenia. Symptoms can include suspicious, grandiose behaviours or feelings of persecution. Unusual displays of emotion and connection.
Disorganised schizophrenia: difficult to follow, incoherent although not necessarily hallucinating.
Catatonic schizophrenia: withdrawn, isolating, selective silence, negative and may assume an unusual way of being or posturing.
Residual schizophrenia: no longer delusional nor hallucinating; however, there is a marked loss of interest and motivation for life.
Schizoaffective Disorder: symptoms are usually those of schizophrenia together with a mood disorder; often major depressive disorder or bi-polar disorder.
There is no single cause of schizophrenia.
In susceptible individuals using drugs may trigger symptoms of schizophrenia.
Cannabis, LSD, cocaine and amphetamines may cause significant symptoms in users.
Suggestions indicate that Teenagers who use cannabis regularly, especially a variant know as ‘skunk’ and other potent strains are four times more likely than their non-using peers to develop schizophrenia by age 26
Nearly all patients with schizophrenia will need lifelong medication, therapy and support in order to relieve the symptoms and regain some stability in life.
Antipsychotic medication is very useful in reviving symptoms and can be given orally or by injection. Sometimes extended injections can last for up to three months.
Coordinated specialist care is the term used to describe, Intensive Psychotherapy, social skills awareness, emotional stability and routine are great ways to improve functioning. Coaching in treatment compliance and medication management can also prove beneficial.
Isolation can be reduced by gently building confidence and reality, helping those with symptoms to read situations more effectively.
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