Some important facts:
Research has shown that people with schizophrenia who attend structured psychosocial rehabilitation programs and continue with their medical treatment manage their illnesses the best. Richmond Fellowship Society (India) in all its branches follows a structured programme of psychosocial rehabilitation with the clients. Various professionally evaluated systems are adopted to provide proper care and services to the residents. Regular therapy sessions are conducted by trained counselors. Care givers meetings are held regularly. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals are invited to address such meetings.
The outlook for those suffering from this once dreaded disorder is better today than ever, and is actually better than for many other medical diseases.
What are the symptoms of Schizophrenia?
The onset of schizophrenia is generally but can be sudden . There are several key symptoms through which schizophrenia can be diagnosed. Deterioration is usually observed in:
Delusions are false belief which is not in hormony with in socio cultural background. They may believe that they are being persecuted, that people are conspiring against them; they may suspect their spouse of infidelity and may take to watching them constantly; they may believe that their thoughts are being controlled by some external force, e.g. that a radio receiver is planted in their head. These belief will not be shaken by attempts to reason with them.
Hallucinations are perception many sense modality without a stimulus. The Patients may hear voices when nobody is speaking they may smell thing when there is odoured .Auditory Hallucination are very common in Schizophrenia. They are seen apparently talking to themselves in a disjointed way, often laughing, gesticulating or smiling. These voices can be distressing and can sometimes control the patients. Often, the patients see frightening figures and their fear may make it difficult for others to control them. They could even be driven to suicide.
Schizophrenia is often characterized by disturbances in thinking – this may be reflected in incoherent and irrelevant speech. The patients may also report that their thoughts are muddled, are withdrawn by somebody else or that other people get to know what they are thinking.
The patients may also believe that thoughts are inserted into their mind.
Most common signs:-
It is well known that schizophrenia can lead to shortcomings in intellectual functioning, such as lapses in attention, concentration, concept formation, reasoning and problem-solving. These shortcomings not only interfere with daily activities, but can also affect the patient’s performance at the workplace.
Treatment of schizophrenia:
Though the real cause or causes of schizophrenia remain unclear this has not prevented the development of safe and effective therapeutic interventions and treatments. The discovery of phenothiazines in 1951 revolutionized treatment and outcomes, especially when drug therapy was instituted early in the disease. This breakthrough led to the closure of many large custodial mental hospitals in the western world. Treatment within the community became the norm and led to the development of general hospital psychiatry on a large scale. In the half century since, psychopharmacology has made rapid strides especially with the advent of Second Generation Anti-psychotics (SGAs) like Clozapine, Risperidone, Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Ziprasidone, Aripiprazole and Amisulpiride. Relatively much safer and more patient-friendly with regard to their side-effect profile, most of these newer medications are taken once a day (usually at bedtime) and do not interfere with vocational or other activities. Cost wise also they are generally affordable.
What causes schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia has a biological basis in the form of disturbances in the brain structure and chemicals and functioning, but its manifestations are largely behavioral. With enormous social ramifications. Various hypotheses have been advanced to explain the causes of schizophrenia and a number of risk factors have been implicated, but the real cause or causes still remain unclear.
Genetic Predisposition :
There is a strong evidence to suggest a genetic basis, though the exact location of the gene/genes and mode of transmission has not yet been determined. Schizophrenia does appear more regularly in some families. Then again, many people with schizophrenia have no family history of the illness.
Stress does not cause schizophrenia. However, it has been shown that stress makes symptoms worse when the illness is already present.
Drugs (including alcohol, tobacco and street drugs) do not cause schizophrenia. However, certain drugs can make symptoms worse or trigger a psychotic episode if a person already has schizophrenia. Drugs can also create schizophrenia-like symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals.