Recognizing the Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is among the most serious mental illnesses. Although a person may not display any symptoms of having schizophrenia as a child, it typically starts to manifest in adulthood. Their gradual change in behavior often takes family and friends by surprise.
What is Schizophrenia?
Like so many other mental illnesses, schizophrenia impacts an individual’s sense of well-being. When the disorder begins to take full effect, sufferers will experience a noticeable detachment from reality. Hallucinations and delusions may become a common occurrence.
Research shows that more than three million people in America have schizophrenia. Even worse, about 40 percent of these people are not receiving regular treatment. If care isn’t given in a timely manner, expect a turn for the worse. The risk of suicide increases dramatically.
Unfortunately, scientists have yet to pinpoint the actual cause of schizophrenia. With more than $155 million spent on treating schizophrenia each year, this disorder certainly puts a big dent in the economy. While there’s no cure for schizophrenia, it can be managed.
Symptoms and Causes
Schizophrenia sufferers tend to have a difficult time concentrating on one specific task. Simple activities, such as watching television or enjoying a sporting event, will become hard to do since the person can easily lose track of what’s going on.
Unsurprisingly, keeping a steady job is often a struggle for schizophrenia patients. To maintain an income, some people are forced to seek disability benefits.
Hallucinations may be the scariest aspect of schizophrenia. While relaxing on a normal afternoon, the person could suddenly start to hear voices in their head. In most instances, these voices create a great deal of fear and panic. While the voices are obviously not real, schizophrenia makes them seem genuine.
Loved ones are naturally caught off guard. Convincing a schizophrenic person that their hallucinations aren’t real will be extremely frustrating.
When experiencing schizophrenia, people will be delusional. Delusions of grandeur may cause the person to feel bigger than life. Some schizophrenia sufferers even begin to believe they have magical superpowers. On the other hand, delusions of persecution will cause the person to believe they’re being targeted by others. As such, family members and neighbors are often falsely accused of things.
Conversing with others can be a big challenge for schizophrenia patients. Confused thoughts prevent them from effectively communicating. Their speech is often jumbled and unclear. During a face-to-face interaction, they may seem a bit zoned out. This leads some people to fear drug abuse. These confused thoughts certainly impact their ability to make logical decisions.
Schizophrenia is known for causing people to become a bit jumpy. The nervousness in their body language will be obvious. Meanwhile, others can stay still for hours at a time. This zombie-like state can be especially alarming to loved ones.
There’s no overlooking the difficulty in diagnosing schizophrenia. One of the reasons is that schizophrenia sufferers exhibit some of the same symptoms as drug abusers. Furthermore, schizophrenia can’t be diagnosed by simply taking a blood test.
A physiatrist will likely need to evaluate the person’s mental state for at least a few months. A physician will also need to rule out any underlying medical issues. In order to identify schizophrenia, the individual must be open to the idea of getting help. Some of the people who have schizophrenia are unaware of their mental issues.
After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, most patients are prescribed antipsychotics. By targeting the brain neurotransmitter dopamine, this medication can minimize the number of troubling symptoms. While pills typically must be taken on an everyday basis, injections are needed once or twice a month. Although antipsychotics can be effective, the person will probably need to take the medication for a lifetime.
You must consider the potential side effects. Some of the prescribed drugs for schizophrenia may have a negative influence on your sex drive and mood. Past medications have also been linked to ailments like pancreatitis. If you have a health condition such as diabetes, doctors must be especially cautious.
Schizophrenia and narcotics are a dangerous mixture. In order for a person with schizophrenia to enjoy a somewhat normal life, they must refrain from abusing drugs and alcohol. Even marijuana use can complicate the symptoms of schizophrenia. Beginning a drug-free lifestyle is one of the first steps to overcoming this mental disorder. Some people will ultimately benefit from enrolling in a rehab program.
Overcoming schizophrenia involves more than just taking medication. Patients will need individual therapy. Under the guidance of a professional, they can learn to cope with their illness. Having a strong support system can make a big difference.
At times, schizophrenia symptoms can become impossible for a person to manage at home. During a panic situation, a trip to the hospital may be necessary. Not only will a hospital stay help the person to stay safe, but it will also enable them to get properly treated.