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Schizophrenia Facts and Myths
  1. #1
    aminems is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up Schizophrenia Facts and Myths



    Schizophrenia is one of the least culturally understood mental disorders. For example, a common belief is that schizophrenia means split personality; which it doesn't. The term was originated by Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, in 1911. It actually means "split mind" from the Greek "schizo" meaning split and "phrene" meaning mind. It was created to describe the type of thinking that someone suffering from schizophrenia exhibited, not multiple personalities. The original term for schizophrenia was "dementia praecox" which means "early dementia." This comes from Dr. Emile Kraepelin who was one of the first to recognize the disorder. The name was to distinguish the disorder from late in life mental disorders such as Alzheimer's. The reason for the many technical names for different disorders is that scientists often do not have a full understanding of the causes of mental diseases and can only classify them by symptoms.

    The cause of schizophrenia is still unknown, but its affects on the brain are clear in numerous tests, including MRI. So, schizophrenia can be easily diagnosed with the proper equipment. While the cause is still a mystery, there are indications that both genetics and brain chemistry play a role. Another important factor is drug abuse. Drugs like nicotine, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol all have an effect and the abuse of such substances can greatly impede treatment. So, it's important to ensure that schizophrenic patients are kept strictly away from recreational drugs.

    Although those with a family history of schizophrenia are more likely to develop it, depression, chronic stress, anxiety and traumatic life events can also trigger the onset of the disorder.

    Visual and auditory hallucinations are a feature of schizophrenia, although not in every case. Other significant symptoms are the inability to rationally assess the environment or to rationally understand interactions with other people, which may result in extreme paranoia and lack of trust.

    Other symptoms include apathy, poor concentration, withdrawal, difficulty in speaking or movement disorders or a poor ability to express emotions. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that other disorders, even very mild ones, can cause some of these symptoms. And so, the symptoms alone do not necessarily signify schizophrenia. People should avoid self-diagnosis. And it should be remembered that one of the hallmarks of schizophrenia is the inability to notice the disorder in oneself. So, if you think that you have schizophrenia, you probably don't. When in doubt, consult a professional.

    There are five subtypes of schizophrenia. These are the Paranoid subtype which is typified by delusions of persecution and conspiracy along with auditory hallucinations. Those who suffer from this subtype can often appear normal, or at least what is accepted as normal.

    There is Disorganized Schizophrenia which exhibits disorganized thinking and difficulty in performing normal tasks such as bathing and dressing. While symptoms of delusion and hallucination may exist in this subtype, they are not as severe. The other three types are Catatonic, Residual and Undifferentiated.

    Disorganized, Catatonic and Residual were all categories originally proposed by Kraepelin.

    Diagnosis of schizophrenia usually involves a psychological evaluation including collecting information on the individuals mental health, information on his or her family, understanding the patients medical situation, such as what prescription drugs they might be taking, as well as social and cultural influences. Lab tests are also performed including a complete blood count (CBC), imaging of the brain through MRI and CTs and screening for drugs and alcohol.

    Anti-psychotics are presently the best form of treatment, as they help balance neurotransmissions within the brain. But they do have side effects, including weight gain and tremors.

    The person diagnosed with schizophrenia will also need the attendance, guidance and understanding of family members if he or she is to get better.



  2. #2
    Doyce is offline Member
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    Educating the family of the schizophrenic patients is very important to know and understand the mental disorder of the patient. Schizophrenia patients need love,concern and care, therefore knowledge about the disease is very important. The family members need to be vigilant all the time. Myths should be avoided and knowing the fact can give the patient better care.

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