Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

Last Updated February 20th, 2019

Overview of schizophrenia

Mental illnesses may arise from multiple factors. In today’s world full of stress, mental disorders of varying magnitude and complexities have become very common. It is mainly due to the stigma attached to such illnesses that people do not go to doctors for proper diagnosis and treatment. According to the recent global statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 450 million people all over the world are suffering from mental illnesses of some form at present. One of the most severe forms of mental disorder that may affect both teens and adults is “schizophrenia”.

 

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia man Schizophrenia is a form of mental disorder that directly impacts a person’s cognitive abilities. It is basically a chronic disabling neurological disease that develops under various adverse circumstances. The essential mental abilities that the disease affects in this condition are- analysis, judgment, control over emotions and decision making. The exact etiology of the disease is very complex. But research findings have established that alterations in chemical and structural patterns of the brain, combined with environmental triggers may increase risks of schizophrenia. Aberrant behavioral patterns are exhibited by schizophrenic people. The major problem faced by these patients is a constant conflict between the real and virtual world. With time, this grows into social segregation and impacts a healthy lifestyle. Studies by Mental Health Foundation (UK) have revealed that about 20-30% of the people suffering from schizophrenia are likely to have psychotic episodes in their lifetime. For the rest, schizophrenia attains a chronic form.

 

Causes of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia may be an outcome of multiple etiological factors. The commonly studied causes of schizophrenia are listed below-

  • Biochemical factors: Neurochemical imbalance due to abnormalities in the neurotransmitter system (dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine) may cause schizophrenic symptoms.
  • Cerebral blood flow: In schizophrenic people, all the lobes of the brain remain equally active while performing a particular function. More clearly, there is a loss of “coordination” among different lobes of the brain and an overall loss of filtering.
  • Heredity: Genetic factors may predispose a person to schizophrenia in certain cases. A child with one schizophrenic parent has a 10% chance of developing the disease. Recent research has proved that multiple genes on the 6th and 22nd chromosome are responsible for triggering schizophrenia.
  • Stress: Stress does not directly contribute to schizophrenia. It may exacerbate existing schizophrenic symptoms.
  • Medications: Few over-the-counter medications like corticosteroids and diuretics can worsen existing schizophrenic conditions. They may lead to “psychotic episodes” in healthy individuals.
  • Substance abuse: Excessive intake of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, narcotics and few drugs such heroin and cocaine can worsen conditions in schizophrenic people.
  • Ethnicity: Few ethnic groups such as African-Caribbean people living in the United Kingdom are more prone to schizophrenia than the white inhabitants of the same region.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy may predispose a woman to schizophrenia. Also few women suffering from flu in the second trimester have also been found to exhibit schizophrenic symptoms.

 

What are the general symptoms of schizophrenia?

Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into two categories- positive and negative symptoms. These are described below-

Positive symptoms

A rise in dopamine levels leads to a number of positive symptoms in schizophrenic patients. They include the list below-

  • Hallucinations and illusions: The patients have perceptions that are not felt by people around them. These may include visual images, sound (voices of imaginary people), touch, taste and smell.
  • Delusions: Delusions encompass few personal thoughts and beliefs of the patient that are not based on logical reasoning or real evidence. A simple example will make this clear. A person may feel that someone wants to kill him. There is no valid evidence that supports his thoughts.

Negative symptoms

Schizophrenia paranoia This section contains a list of the main negative symptoms-

  • Flat effect: The patients speak in a continuous, flat tone. Their tones do  no vary with the seriousness of the subject.
  • Apathy: The schizophrenic patient usually shows indifference towards events or people. Their behaviours do not change with the gravity of a particular situation.
  • Avolition: The patients exhibit a complete lack of motivation to perform a mundane task.
  • Anhedonia: Schizophrenic patients normally exhibit lack of pleasure or interest in engaging or pleasant activities.
  • Alogia: Its medical definition is “poverty of speech”, wherein a person responds in one or two words. They cannot explain things in a proper manner.

More general symptoms of schizophrenia include-

  • Aberrant behavior
  • Hyperactivity or complete loss of activity
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Social segregation
  • Shift in personality
  • Forgetfulness
  • Extreme sensitivity to noise and light
  • A tendency to escape from reality
  • Self-abrasive behavior
  • Unusual gaze
  • Inability to express emotions

 

What are the different types of schizophrenia?

The classification of schizophrenia is done as follows-

  • Catatonic type: The main features are “psychomotor abnormalities”. Abnormalities may occur in postures, perceptions, and movements (hyperactivity or inactivity). It has two subtypes: Stuporous catatonia: In this state the patients show an abnormal reduction in movements and activities. The patients may exhibit sudden outbursts of tantrums. Aggressive and destructive behavior may occur along with this. Excited catatonia: In this condition, the patients exhibit agitation. They may shout continuously without external provocation. These are the outcomes of their psychomotor agitation and inner stimuli, which may manifest as aggressive and destructive behavior.
  • Disorganized type: Patients belonging to this category are usually hyperactive in a primitive, disorganized, unrestrained and non-productive. Their emotional expressions are usually incoherent.
  • Paranoid type: Paranoid type patients are typically suspicious, abnormally restrained, tensed, aggressive and hostile. This type of schizophrenia is usually marked by a false perception of grandeur.
  • Residual type: In residual type schizophrenia, minor complications like social withdrawal, irrational thoughts, and mildly eccentric behavior occur.

 

Treatment and prevention

Schizophrenia Treatment 

  • Medications – First and Second generation antipsychotic medications will be provided to those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. These medications help in reducing the symptoms of this psychotic disorder.
  • Psychological interventions – Individual and group counseling, social skill training and lifestyle adjustment tips are provided to those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. These help the patient in coping with the disorder and going ahead with their day-to-day activities with ease.

Prevention 

  • Malnutrition during pregnancy can cause schizophrenia in the offspring. This can be taken care of by taking good care of the mother during her pregnancy.
  • Childhood traumas are one of the most common causes of schizophrenia. Children need to be taken care of properly and there should not be any cases of traumatic incidents in their lives. If the child has suffered a traumatic experience, make sure that they get the appropriate counseling from a child psychologist.
  • Drug abuse is another cause of psychiatric disorders. Make sure that you or your children do not consume marijuana or any other illicit drugs.

Facts

  • The word Schizophrenia literally means “split mind.” The term “Schizophrenia” was coined in 1908.
  • It is not a split personality or multiple personality disorder. It is a mental illness that is characterized by delusions and hallucinations.

Facts

  • Substance abuse makes the symptoms of schizophrenia worse.
  • It is said that if you smoke marijuana before the age of 15, there are 4 time the chances of you developing a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia.

Facts

  • Approximately 40% of deaths among schizophrenia patients can be categorized as premature mortality (mostly due to suicide).
  • Both genders are equally likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Listen and be empathetic towards the schizophrenic patient.
  • Let them feel safe, no matter how strange their actions.
  • Try to divert their mind away from their hallucinations or delusions, to make them feel at ease

Don'ts
  • Call schizophrenic patients sick, dumb or stupid.
  • Dismiss or consider their thoughts invalid, it is important for them to understand that they are not alone.
  • Add any further information to their delusions as it could scare them.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the female clitoris to…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best way to please…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a separate organ.  Can…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
Muscle relaxers: Think twice before popping prescription drugs for muscle pain The market is brimming with OTC muscle relaxers. But these come with a host side-effects. Find out the…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes, environmental circumstances, etc.
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well. What you must…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash towards a DASH…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  It was…
Chondroitin spine health
9 amazing ways chondroitin can help you bounce back to health Chondroitin is naturally found in meat, especially in the connective tissues of animals. Chondroitin works by reducing the…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream to the affected…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Echocardiogram
Echocardiography – ECHO Echocardiography (commonly known as ECHO) is an imaging modality (similar to ultrasonography) used to visualize the interior of…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing by its amazing…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats to burn fats…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a natural diuretic that…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with essential nutrients that…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that bromelain can bring…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
ANTI-MICROSOMAL-ANTIBODY-(AMA)
Anti-Microsomal Antibody AMA Test AMA or anti-microsomal antibody test is a blood test that measures the activity of AMA in the body…
Screening_BETATHALASSEMIA
Beta-Thalassemia Screening Beta-thalassemia screening procedures involve both prenatal and post natal diagnostic methods to determine if a baby has beta-thalassemia…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey: What is it and why should you choose this over regular honey? Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar from the flowers…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual truth behind the…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in its treatment.
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How are these different…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What makes this oil…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing tips to get…
dandelion weight loss
Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing weight and boosting…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition to regulating bowels,…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It…
testosterone-blood-test
Testosterone test Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males; produced in the testes and adrenal glands. The testosterone test…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
Drinking water benefits
8 reasons why you should grab a bottle of water now! Did you know you don't have to be thirsty for hours to be dehydrated?You could be dehydrated right…
xylitol gum
Xylitol : Is this the right sugar substitute for you? Discovered during World War 2 owing to sugar shortage, xylitol has become a common name in pharamaceutical industry.…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Vagus nerve: 7 health benefits of stimulating the “gut-brain” connection As a matter of fact, there are two vagus nerves namely the left and the right but is…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling of either digust…
Endoscopy Endoscopy is a procedure where an illuminated probe with a camera attached to it is inserted inside the…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…