Everything to know about schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a distorted interpretation of reality, resulting in a combination of auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking. In fact, the symptoms are often severe enough to impact daily functioning, and impair normal activities. Patients of schizophrenia need professional help of Psychiatrist in Islamabad and lifelong therapy. Treatment outlook can improve if timely help is sought from the mental healthcare provider.

What are the risk factors of schizophrenia?

While the exact cause of schizophrenia is not known, there are certain factors that predispose an individual to the disorder. These include: positive family history of schizophrenia, complications at birth including exposure to certain viruses or toxins that interfere with brain development, and mind-altering drugs.

If left untreated, the complications of schizophrenia are many. The highest risk is that of suicide; schizophrenics often have suicidal thoughtsand many patients even make attempts on their lives. This is why early treatment should be sought for such patients. Other complications include depression, development of phobias, substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

The symptoms of schizophrenia are centered around delusions, hallucinations and disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia can impair the ability to function and many patients are unable to perform activities of daily living without treatment. With treatment, however, the prospects improve and there are less chances of relapse.

In teenagers, the symptoms of schizophrenia are similar to those in adults but they are more difficult to recognize. Commonly, there is withdrawal from peers and family, trouble sleeping, lack of motivation, a dip in performance at school and depressed mood. Visual hallucinations are less likely in teenagers as compared to adults, as are delusions.

For diagnosis, the symptoms of schizophrenia must persist for a period of six months at least. In women, the symptoms first appear in 20s or early 30s, while in men they appear earlier. Healthcare providers rule out other possible causes, such as substance abuse, before making a diagnosis.

What are the treatment options?

The treatmentregimen of schizophrenia isa culmination of lifestyle changes, social support, medication and therapy. Management of schizophrenia is long-term and medication needs to be continued even after being symptom-free to prevent relapses.

To reduce psychotic symptoms like paranoia, delusions and hallucinations, medicinal therapy is needed. Your healthcare provider will have to try and find the right dose and drug for you through a process of elimination and hit and trial. Needless to say, these medications are associated with their own set of side-effect profiles which should be discussed with the doctor.

There are certain self-help options you can do yourself to prevent relapse. Seek the support of your friends and family and learn to cope with stress so there are no triggers.

What is the prognosis of schizophrenia? The better the compliance of the patient, the better the prognosis of schizophrenia. For every individual, the prognosis is dependent on their symptoms severity, age, overall health and treatment plan. Professional help by best Psychiatrist in Lahore can help you there.

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