Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects a surprising amount of people. It can alter lives--not just for schizophrenics, but for those around them, too.
Schizophrenia usually first presents in the early 20’s for men and the late 20’s to early 30’s for women. Although subtle symptoms may show up before then, diagnoses are unlikely reached until later ages. Symptoms of the chronic brain disorder include hearing voices, having paranoid thoughts, displaying paranoid behaviors, and demonstrating a decrease in performance ability for tasks like planning, showing emotion, speaking, or even finding enjoyment. Those with schizophrenia can also have trouble with logical thought, behavior, attention, concentration, academic performance, and memory. Additionally, some schizophrenics suffer from uncontrollable jerky movements.
Doctors suspect that few factors trigger or cause schizophrenia, but they do not know the illness’ direct cause. Specifically, medical researchers believe some genetic and environmental issues stress may induce schizophrenia. There is an obvious variation between cases because this illness is really a collection of many different disorders.
Though there is no known cure for schizophrenia, sufferers can try different types of treatment. Because each case is different, doctors commonly suggest a few different approaches: psychological treatments--such as cognitive behavioral therapy or supportive psychotherapy--and various medications.
Medications used to treat schizophrenia include antipsychotics, which reduce symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, distorted perceptions, and false beliefs. These medicines can also help reduce the risk of having recurrent schizophrenia episodes.
One of the many challenges people with schizophrenia face is substance abuse. Research shows that schizophrenics are more likely to confront this issue than the general population is mainly because the drug required to treat the illness can quickly lead to dependence and addiction.
Schizophrenia is a life-changing illness. It reveals the true extent of how much the inner-workings of the mind can change or affect a person.