Schizophrenia is a complex mental disease that is often misjudged. It is a long-lasting illness that can be incapacitating since people with schizophrenia often cannot differentiate between reality and their illusions and misbeliefs.
This can result in poor obedience with treatment including poor willingness with taking serious and real medications as prescribed. Schizophrenia often first appears in men in their late teens or early twenties. Arrival in women is typically twenties or early thirties. Schizophrenia has a strong hereditary factor and may run in families, but can be effectively treated with medication and therapy.
SCHIZOPHRENIA SPECTRUM & OTHER PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS
People with schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic illnesses lose contact with truth and experience a range of extreme symptoms that may include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking (speech), and/or wholly disorganized or irregular behavior (including catatonia). Psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, shared psychotic disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder, and paraphrenia.
THERE ARE 3 SCHIZOPHRENIA SPECTRUM DISORDERS:
- Schizoaffective Disorder
Similar to Schizophrenia with major mood swings (major miserable disorder or bipolar disorder)
- Schizophreniform Disorder
Indistinguishable to schizophrenia, but the duration of symptoms is longer than a month but less than six months.
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Similar to schizophrenia, but episodes are not as regular, extended or strong. Individuals can usually be made conscious of the difference between their inaccurate ideas and practices, and reality.
THERE ARE 5 OTHER PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS:
· Brief Psychotic Disorder
Sorting used when psychotic symptoms come on suddenly and only last less than a month.
· Delusional Disorder
An individual displays one or more misbeliefs for at least a month. This is different from schizophrenia, as working is generally not weakened and behavior (other than the delusion) doesn’t appear “odd”. There are several different types of delusional disorder, including: magnificent, jealous, persecutory, bodily, erotomaniac, and mixed. If an individual’s delusions do not fall into one of these categories, or cannot be clearly defined, the disorder is classified as unspecified delusional disorder.
· Shared Psychotic Disorder
One person in a relationship has a delusion, and the other person adopts the same false, fixed trust.
· Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder
Characterized by illusions and/or misbeliefs due to the direct effects of a substance, or withdrawal from a substance.
Similar to schizophrenia, but starts later in elderly life.
Below mentioned are some conditions that commonly occur alongside schizophrenia and/or share symptoms that can make diagnosis more difficult.
- Major depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder with psychotic or catatonic features
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Substance use disorder
- Brain tumors
- Thyroid disorder
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
Some revisions have proved that people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders have higher autistic features than those without schizophrenia spectrum disorders, but lower autistic features than individuals with autism.
MANAGING SCHIZOPHRENIA SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Schizophrenia is naturally treated as a team effort among the individual, their friends and family, medical professionals, mental health experts, and community groups.
In addition to proper treatment involving medication and remedies, there are ways to make living with schizophrenia more controllable.
Routine practices a person with schizophrenia can accept include:9
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet.
- Getting regular exercise.
- Getting plenty of sleep, with a healthy sleep routine.
- Stopping or quitting smoking, drinking alcohol, and other substance use.
- Spending time with family and friends.
- Doing mindfulness and relaxation exercises and techniques.
- Engaging in healthy activities they enjoy that helps reduce daily stress.
Friends and family can help a loved one with schizophrenia by:
- Helping them to find and start treatment.
- Encouraging them to stay in treatment.
- Being respectful, supportive, and kind while setting and enforcing boundaries, including not tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior.
- Looking for local or online support groups that can be helpful for the individual and their loved ones.
There are many misunderstandings about schizophrenia. Some common, long-held ones include:10
Schizophrenia means someone has multiple personalities/a split personality.
A “split personality” is an element of a rare condition called dissociative self-disorder, which is a condition entirely distinct from schizophrenia.
People with schizophrenia are violent and dangerous.
While some people with schizophrenia can show anger, it is not always the case, and it is actually rare for a person with schizophrenia to be violent. They are more likely to be the target of violence than to be dangerous to others.
People with schizophrenia must be hospitalized/can’t function independently/can’t hold down a job.
Schizophrenia is usually treated on an outpatient basis, unless there is a need for an acute hospital stay.
With treatment, many people with schizophrenia can lead equally normal lives, including being employed.
In some cases, people with schizophrenia need to use infirmity services in addition to or instead of working.