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Schizophrenia - Symptom, Treatment And Causes


What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disease that generally appears in a person in early childhood or late adolescence. This mental disorder is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and several other cognitive impairments. Schizophrenia can be a lifelong struggle for people affected with this disease.People suffering from this mental disorder may hear sounds and voices that are not there in reality.

Some patients suffering from schizophrenia can feel and even convince themselves that others are reading their minds, plotting against them or controlling how they are thinking. Schizophrenic patients often remain withdrawn and feel distressed or even act fanatically at times.

People living with schizophrenic patients often find hard to understand what the patient is talking about. In certain instances schizophrenic patient’s remains completely still, without taking for days.On other occasions, schizophrenic patients, when they seem to feel fine, may start explaining what they are truly thinking about.It is a very true fact that the effects of this mental disease reach far beyond the patients themselves.


It also affects their friends, families and the society. A sizable proportion of schizophrenic patients have to rely on others for their daily sustenance, since they often become unable to hold any job or take care of themselves.Many schizophrenia patients also resist their treatments as they feel that they are normal, and there is nothing wrong with them.

What are the stages of schizophrenia?

There are three stages of schizophrenia such as the Prodromal stage, psychotic or acute /active stage, and residual or chronic stage. The characteristics of the prodromal stage are a decline in functioning, socially withdrawn irritable, physical complaints, newfound interest in religion, whereas positive symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, illusions), perceptual disturbances, disordered thought process, neurocognitive impairments are for the active stage.

In the final stage, means residual stage; there is an episode of psychosis, odd thinking, and behavior, affective blunting or flattening like negative symptoms are observed. During the acute stage of schizophrenia, a shorter duration of psychosis interfering with one’s life is treated with the use of medication. This is a better prognosis for the patient within the first three to five years of this disease.

What are the early signs of schizophrenia?

The brain disorder that is creating problems such as misunderstanding between real and unreal, handling emotions, functioning normally, etc, is known as schizophrenia. When a person is in a period of change in emotional, physical, social and behavioral levels, he or she is more susceptible to get affected with schizophrenia.

Social withdrawal, abnormal thinking, inappropriate emotions, hallucinations, delusion and old communications, lack of motivation, with poor eye contact, inability to cry or express joy and to sleep at night, blunted feelings, staying in bed to avoid people, and deterioration and abandonment of personal hygiene are considered as early signs of schizophrenia.

Other signs that also act as indicators for this disease are depression, forgetfulness, irrational statements, sensitivity and irritability when touched by others, dropping out of activities, a sudden shift in basic personality, etc.

How to diagnose schizophrenia?

A few strategies are utilized to decide the emotional health issue and separate it from the side effects happening because of substance misuse, drug or an ailment. A person first went to medical practitioner then he will conduct MRI or CT scan to diagnose any seizure disorder, metabolic disorder, thyroid dysfunction, brain tumor, etc. and if nothing found related to these all condition then he will refer patients to the specialist like psychiatrists.

The psychological evaluation and complete medical examination are the two common things performed by any psychiatrist to identify schizophrenia. In mental assessment, perception and questions are performed about the thoughts, moods, delusions, hallucinations, substance abuse, and appearance. An individual who is suffering from schizophrenia can be only confirmed when a person has two or more symptoms such as delusion, hallucinations, disorganized speech for at least one month.

How to diagnose negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

The negative symptoms of schizophrenia generally appear before the confirming symptoms and it may be confused with behaviors of adolescences. A person shows the dull and flat tone of communication, impaired learning, trouble in understanding information, lack of interest in daily life, the appearance of depressed, sadness, tearfulness, etc. are described as negative signs of schizophrenia.

With the observation of these all negative signs, it is easy to differentiate that person is having a problem with his brain workings. Social isolation, lack of motivation and concentration, difficulties with expressing emotions, inability to enjoy pleasure, extreme tiredness, difficulty with abstract thinking, poverty in conversation especially speech (short a disconnected speech replies to questions, the monotone of speaking) are also negative signs that are absent in patients of schizophrenia. Affective Flattening, Alogia, Avolition, Anhendonia are chronic symptoms of schizophrenia.

What foods are good for schizophrenia?

Food as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids (Salmon) and glycine (amino acid) are representing the boosting effect of antipsychotic drugs used in schizophrenia. It is advised to maintain blood sugar levels, availability of antioxidants, vitamin levels in the body in brain disorders like schizophrenia.

Fruits like raspberries, apples, pears, help control bad cholesterols that cause this disease, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, lima beans are rich in potassium and packed with fiber and important vitamins required for people with schizophrenia. On the other side, Chicken is considered a good source of niacin and oysters, crab, and lobsters as essential for maintaining zinc levels. Spinach (Folic acid) and Clams (Vitamin B12) are also suggested to fight against this disease.

What vitamins are good for schizophrenia?

The intake of certain vitamins can help in reducing the effect of schizophrenia. Many researchers had found the effectiveness of several forms of vitamin B in the treatment of schizophrenia as well as how the deficiency of vitamin C, E, and D affects this condition.

For example, Vitamin B6 –pyridoxine helps decrease extreme restlessness (akathisia) and involuntary movements in patients of this disease whereas vitamin B3 or niacin had shown a potential action in the management of schizophrenia symptoms. Folic acids or vitamin B9 play an important role in controlling metabolic syndrome along with the reduction of apathy, withdrawal, and inability to display emotions.

What are the home remedies for schizophrenia?

Nature is providing all types of remedies for every disease but the correct one needs to be directed properly. Green cardamom, Holy basil leaves, ginseng, ginko biloba, fish oil, Brahmi, ashwagandha, Chamomile, Indian Gooseberry Licorice powder, carrot, spinach, and kava kava are available natural ingredients that are useful in the treatment of schizophrenia without any side effect.

Other home remedies can include prior notes of when a person experience schizophrenic episodes, developing a routine for comforting mental health, having enough sleep without any stress, eating healthy food and balanced diet, meeting new people, making involvement in surrounding environment, limiting or avoiding drugs and alcohol use performing daily physical activities, etc.

What Doctors say about Schizophenria :

However, with proper treatments schizophrenic patients can also lead a productive life. But they are very few, since most of the schizophrenic patients have to cope with their symptoms throughout their lives.In many cases this mental disorder develops so slowly that the patient doesn’t even get the chance to know it, that they are schizophrenic for many years. Nevertheless, there are also many sufferers of this illness where they have schizophrenic all of a sudden.This disease affects approximately 1% of the global population. Experts on this disease say that this mental malady is probably several illnesses masquerading as one. Many others also say that schizophrenia may be the result of impaired neuronal development in the fetus’ brain, which later on in their lives emerges as full blown illness.

There are several evidences that suggests that environmental factors and genetic factors both acts together in bringing about this tragic and interminable disease. Which means, that the condition has and congenital inherited element, but it is also significantly triggered by environmental factors upon the patient.People who have no history of schizophrenia in their family, have less than 1% chance of getting affected by this illness, compared to people with a history of schizophrenia among their patients, where the risk is as high as 10%.

Some of the experts on this disease suggest that imbalance of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, is involved in the onset of this mental disease. However, other neurotransmitters such as serotonin can also be involved in heralding this disease.


Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rabeya Afroz Shomi

- Written by the Priyojon Editorial Team

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