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Schizophrenia meaning, symptoms, types, cause, treatment

Schizophrenia meaning, symptoms, types, cause, treatment

A brief discussion about schizophrenia


Schizophrenia meaning a condition characterized by delusions, hallucinations
and lack of insight. 

Schizophrenia is a nightmare for a person and his/her family. It totally destroys one's life without having treatment. Schizophrenia occurs worldwide in all ethnic groups with about 0.5%It is more common in men. Children of an affected parent have an approximate 10% risk of developing the illness, but this rises to 50% if an identical twin is affected. The usual age of onset is the mid-twenties but can be older, particularly in women.

Schizophrenia type 

Acute schizophrenia
Chronic schizophrenia

Acute schizophrenia may also present with disturbed behaviour, disordered thinking, or with insidious social withdrawal and other so-called negative symptoms and less obvious delusions and hallucinations. 

 chronic schizophrenia (negative symptoms) Flattened (blunted) affect  Apathy and loss of drive (avolition)  Social isolation/withdrawal (autism)  Poverty of speech (alogia) Poor self-care

Schizophrenia cause


There is a strong genetic contribution. Environmental risk factors include a history of obstetric complications at the time of the patient’s birth and urban upbringing. Consequently, schizophrenia is now viewed as a neurodevelopmental disorder, caused by abnormalities of brain development associated with a genetic predisposition and early environmental influences, but precipitated by later triggers.

Schizophrenia symptoms

Acute schizophrenia should be suspected in any individual with bizarre behaviour accompanied by delusions and hallucinations that are not due to organic brain disease or substance misuse.

Hallucinations are typically auditory but can occur in any sensory modality. They commonly involve voices from outside the head that talk to or about the person. Sometimes the voices repeat the person’s thoughts. Patients may also describe ‘passivity of

thought’, experienced as disturbances in the normal privacy of thinking, such as the delusional belief that their thoughts are being ‘withdrawn’ from them and perhaps ‘broadcast’ to others,

and/or that alien thoughts are being ‘inserted’ into their mind. Other characteristic symptoms are delusions of control: believing that one’s emotions, impulses or acts are controlled by others.

Another phenomenon is delusional perception, a delusion that arises suddenly alongside a normal perception, such as ‘I saw the moon and I immediately knew he was evil.’ Other, less common, symptoms may occur, including thought disorder, as manifest by incomprehensible speech, and abnormalities of movement, such as those in which the patient can become immobile or adopt awkward postures for prolonged periods (catatonia).

Schizophrenia treatment

First-episode schizophrenia usually requires admission to the hospital because patients lack the insight that they are ill and are unwilling to accept treatment. In some cases, they may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Subsequent acute relapses and chronic schizophrenia are now usually managed in the community.

Drug treatment

Antipsychotic agents are effective against the positive symptoms of schizophrenia in the majority of cases. They take 2–4 weeks to be maximally effective but have some beneficial effects shortly after administration. Treatment is then ideally continued to prevent relapse. In a patient with the first episode of schizophrenia, this will usually, be for 1 or 2 years, but in patients with multiple episodes, treatment may be required for many years. 

A number of antipsychotic agents are available.

 (first-generation) drugs such as chlorpromazine and haloperidol.
 second-generation drugs such as olanzapine and clozapine.

 Social treatment

After an acute episode of schizophrenia has been controlled by drug therapy, social rehabilitation may be required. Recurrent illness is likely to cause disruption to patient's relationships and their ability to manage their accommodation and occupation; consequently, patients with schizophrenia often need help to obtain housing and employment. A graded return to employment and sometimes a period of supported accommodation is required. Patients with chronic schizophrenia have particular difficulties and may need long-term, supervised accommodation. 

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