Emotional and Mental Health

Schizophrenia - a mental disorder

Written by Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 

What Is Schizophrenia ?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard for individual to differentiate between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. It affects about 1% of general population. But this does not indicate that there is no hope for person with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed.

Person with schizophrenia may see or hear things that don’t exist for others, speak in absurd or strange ways, believe that others are conspiring against him, or feel like that others are spying or trying to kill him. With such a faint line between the real and the unreal, schizophrenia makes it difficult or even frightening—to manage the activities of daily life. In response to such perception, individuals with schizophrenia may isolate from the outside world or may behave in confusion and fear.

Majority of patients of schizophrenia appear in the late 2nd or early third decade of life. Although, schizophrenia can appear for the first time in middle age or even during old age. In very rare case, schizophrenia can present in very young age even before the child attains puberty, although the symptoms are slightly different. It has been said the early the onset of this disease, the more severe it is. Schizophrenia also appears to be more disabling in men than in women.

Although schizophrenia said to be a lifelong disorder, there is much help available currently. With advancement of medical services, in form of development of newer medications, sophisticated support and therapy, most individuals with this disease are able to function independently and live satisfying lives. However, the outcome is best only when schizophrenia is diagnosed early and treated properly in consistent manner. If any one of reader spots the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia in themselves or their loved ones, they are suggested to seek help without delay. You or your loved one can take benefit of the many safe and effective treatments available and improve the chances of recovery.

In this paragraph I am going to mention few of warning signs that indicate impending danger or risk of developing schizophrenia in near future.

  • Social withdrawal of individual,
  • Aggression or suspiciousness,
  • Decline of personal care,
  • Flat, expressionless face,
  • Inability to experience emotions such as cry or happiness,
  • Laughing or crying without reason,
  • Remaining sad and alone,
  • Increased or decreased sleep,
  • Odd or irrational talk,
  • Forgetful, difficulty in concentrating,
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism,
  • Peculiar use of words or way of talking.

For some people, schizophrenia comes suddenly and without any warning. But for majority, it appears slowly, with minimal warning signs and a slow decline in functioning long before the first severe episode. Many friends and family members of people with schizophrenia acknowledge that if they knew it earlier about schizophrenia, they would have brought their dear ones much earlier to psychiatrist.

I hope this article helps the readers and their needy family members to spread awareness about this debilitating illness.

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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