Schizophrenia is a chronic disease and attacks the brain of a person suffering from it. It is a type of a mental disorder. It is believed to affect the thought process and actions of a person. Such a person might not be able to express their emotions. Schizophrenia also makes it difficult for the person to comprehend reality. Hallucinations and delusions are also believed to be caused by Schizophrenia. It typically affects the adult population. Typically, people between age 16 to 30 are more prone to Schizophrenia. Male population tends to acquire this disease at a younger age as compared to the female population. This condition can last for the whole life of a person till death. A person suffering from Schizophrenia may find it difficult to relate to others. Such a person finds it difficult to work in groups at almost all the places they visit. They may face difficulty in their relationship and their job among other things. It is a deadly disease and in certain cases makes a person introvert and frightened. As mentioned earlier, it stays with a person up until their death. However, certain treatments are available to control this deadly disease.
Some people confuse Schizophrenia with multiple personality or split personality disorder. In a multiple personality disorder, a person tends to become someone else in certain circumstances. But, they do have a sense of reality. They can tell what is real and what is not. On the other hand, a person having Schizophrenia is lost while distinguishing the reality from imaginations. Across the globe, an estimated 1% population suffers from Schizophrenia, i.e. is one in a hundred. If you think for a moment that turns out to be a large chunk of the population. The total population of the world is approx. 7 billion give or take. One percent of this comes out to be 70 million. This number is enough to tell the magnitude to which Schizophrenia is affecting the world population. Schizophrenia is only considered as a plausible cause of illness only after ruling out other diseases.
A large chunk of patients suffering from schizophrenia find it very difficult to take care of themselves and it becomes necessary that someone looks after them at all times. A few do not even want to go for treatment. They believe that they are perfectly fine and nothing wrong is going on with them. In a few cases, clear signs and symptoms are visible, but in other cases, the condition only becomes known after the person explains their position. This disease not only affects the person suffering from it but also affects their close one including friends and family.
Classification of Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The symptoms of Schizophrenia are generally classified into four different categories namely positive symptoms, negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms, and emotional symptoms. Positive symptoms include the conditions which are not found in a normal person like hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms include the conditions which are found in a normal person but are absent from the person suffering like lack of facial expressions and motivation. Cognitive symptoms are those which affects the persons thinking ability and may be included in either one of the previously mentioned two types. Emotional symptoms as the name suggests are linked to changes in emotions.
Major Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The major symptoms are delusions, hallucinations and thinking disorder. A person in a state of delusion may start to believe that they have some kind of superpower. They may feel delusions of grandeur. They may feel that they are sent by God himself to rule over the world. Some opposite cases might also be recorded. The patient may start to believe that they are being remote controlled by an unknown person or that he/she are living inside of a giant computer matrix which by the way is a popular belief among certain groups. Apart from delusions, hallucinations is also one of the major symptoms of Schizophrenia. People having Schizophrenia starts to hearing voices with are not real and are only in their head but owing to their condition they cannot tell the difference and deduce them to be real. Such voices can be intimidating in nature and might leave the person frightened. They may start to see unreal images, which are in their head only but they nonetheless think them to be real. This can create confusion in the head of the person. He may see something that will lead him to monstrous results. They may start disbelieving their partner as a result. They may start robbing other people believing that they are taking what is rightfully theirs. They may start to feel the things that are not there. They may start to hate some person out of nowhere. They might smell something which is not even there and reach at a wrong conclusion. Thirdly, thought disorder is among the major symptoms of Schizophrenia. Imagine you are talking to a person and they start changing the subject of the conversation without any reason. One minute you are talking about one thing; the next minute the subject is changed entirely. You will find it impossible to talk to such a person. This is exactly the point of the previous example.
Causes of Schizophrenia
It is believed that there is not a single factor but multiple contributing factors that lead to Schizophrenia. There is evidence to support the deduction that environmental factors along with genetic factors result in a person being subjected to Schizophrenia. Factors that contribute include genetic inheritance, Chemical imbalance in the brain, Family relationships, Environmental factors, and Drug-induced schizophrenia. If any of the family members was diagnosed with Schizophrenia the risk of developing it rises from 1 percent to 10 percent. Imbalance of dopamine and serotonin can start schizophrenia. Family tensions can also initiate conditions of Schizophrenia. Trauma before birth is also considered one contributing factor. Stress is also one of the plausible reason. Consumption of illegal drugs mainly LSD is known to cause hallucinations. It is also believed that steroids and some prescription drugs can cause psychosis.