Experts in mental health science consider Schizophrenia as a very serious mental health disorder. It is an illness of the mind because it changes the way a person thinks, feels and behaves which are not within the normal range. The person with schizophrenia can’t think rationally at most times and he or she is not “sane” enough to make a sound decision. People with this disorder can’t process their emotions well and they may also appear inappropriate or awkward when socializing with others. It is NOT multiple personality disorder.
It is believed that 1% of the people in the United States are suffering from this disorder and men are more likely to have this illness compared to women. In average, Schizophrenia manifests itself by the time men reach their late teens or early 20’s. As for women, the disorder “comes out” by the time they reach their late 20’s up to early 30’s. A person is less likely to be diagnosed for schizophrenia below the age of 12 and past the age of 40, but there are circumstances when it can happen.
People with schizophrenia usually display signs like withdrawal from friends or changing peers, lack of interest in school, problems with sleeping, and agitation. These behaviors are “normal” for teens which is why it is difficult to diagnose schizophrenia early on. But when outrageous thoughts or suspicions, coupled with weirdness and isolation behavior occurs, there is a possibility that the person has schizophrenia. It will be more expressed when there is a family history of neurosis or obsessive behavior.
Accordingly, there are 4 symptoms in schizophrenia that must be present for more than six months for the psychiatrist to evaluate and diagnose.
The person suffering from schizophrenia will often hear “voices” talking to him or her. He or she will also “see” things, “hear” things, and “smell” things that other people cannot sense. Actually, it’s not really there. The person with the disorder is the only one who feels it and is truly threatened by what he thinks he observes.
People with schizophrenia are very confused individuals. They can’t concentrate or focus well and they “feel” that they’re mind is being “blocked”. Their false thoughts are real for them even when other people suggest facts and truths.
This is a symptom of schizophrenia that renders the person in a “disconnect” mode. It means that the person is unable to show emotions or is being dull and empty. They cannot initiate or follow through with daily plans and these people are just lost – they see no value in life.
Their thoughts are in disarray and they are also forgetful of things. Their memory is a bit short and their cognitive thinking is impaired in a way that they are not organized anymore.
There is a combination of factors when it comes to the causes of Schizophrenia. As already mentioned, genetics play a very big role in suffering from the disorder as it can be passed on from mother to child. The environment that a person lives in can also contribute to this disorder. When a mother is pregnant with her child and she is exposed to various autoimmune illnesses, it can make the baby susceptible to mental health disorders. An imbalance in brain chemicals, which is purely biological, can also be a cause of this disorder. Studies also revealed that smoking marijuana and use of illegal substances may trigger psychotic episodes and can mature to schizophrenia.
Sadly, this mental disorder has no cure. But it can be managed and people with the disorder can cope with it. After diagnosis, those with schizophrenia may be prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, group and support therapy, and learn about coping strategies. It is not an easy life, but there is no undo button once you have schizophrenia. This is the only way to manage the disorder.