Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Psychiatrist Dr Tonmoy Sharma and Philip Harvey edited the information in the book, “Cognition in Schizophrenia: Impairments, Importance, and Treatment Strategies.” The book was published on December 15th, 2000 and is the First Edition. A journal that reviews and studies this disease says, “This is a book for anyone with a serious interest in the study or treatment of schizophrenia. The writing is clear and several authors manage to treat this often-arid material in a lively and engaging way.

What is Schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a serious mental disability define by a collapse of the process of thinking and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction. Onset of symptoms typically appear in young adulthood, with around 1.5 percent lifetime prevalence of the population affected. Diagnosis is based on the patient’s self-reported experiences and observed behavior.

No laboratory test for schizophrenia currently exists. Studies suggest that genetics, early environment, neurobiology, psychological and social processes are important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. Contemporary psychiatric research is focused on the role of neurobiology, but no single organic cause has been found. As a result of the many possible combinations of symptoms, there is debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of discrete syndromes.

Despite the etymology of the term from the Greek roots skhizein (”to split”) and phr?N (”mind”), schizophrenia does not imply a “split mind” and it is not the same as dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder or split personality), a condition with which it is often confused in public perception. Increased dopamine activity in the mesolimbic pathway of the brain is commonly found in people with schizophrenia.The mainstay of treatment is anti-psychotic medication; this type of drug primarily works by suppressing dopamine activity.

Dosages of anti-psychotics are generally lower than in the early decades of their use. Psychotherapy, and vocational and social rehabilitation are also important. In more serious cases, where there is risk to self and others, involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are less frequent and for shorter periods than they were in previous times. The disorder is thought to mainly affect cognition, but it also usually contributes to chronic complications with behavior and emotion.

People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional conditions, including major depression, and anxiety disorders; the lifetime condition of substance malfeasance is around 40 percent. Social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty and homelessness, are common. Furthermore, the average life expectancy of people with the disorder is 10 to 12 years less than those without, due to increased physical health problems and a higher suicide rate of about 5 percent.

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