SCHIZOPHRENIA

Most of the time people with schizophrenia have a real feeling that their autopilot is run by somebody else- imagined creatures and unbearable voices in their head. They act like the nightmare bosses giving them directions and commands, usually abnormal ones, to follow.

 “Silence is consent “type of listening to these internal distractions leads to abnormal behavior. In some cases they can smash the TV in the others they can kill themselves. Because they were told to do so. So it's not their guilt. Elimination of the shame to admit having a disorder is a high priority since more than 50 % of the exposed commit suicide.

And that's why stigmatizing needs to stop.

What's still encouraging is that more and more people with SC are even enthusiastic about talking about their condition. They want to encourage others suffering from the same illness by blogging about their experiences and how they successfully overcome it,  making youtube videos, tutorials, and establishing non-profits.

 Many of them said that they were stigmatized by their own family members who persuade them not to see the therapist because it would be a shame to their family. “Think of the healthy children I have, your brothers and sisters. They are going to be mocked at too. Stay in your room and let healthy people live their lives. Your's already over.”  In the end, the family escaped stigma and mockery and their “sick” family member ended up in a coffin.

 So, they simply have to and enjoy socializing with their “brain -mates” which is great. They created the opportunity for themselves to be incredibly brave! More lives are saved now. The suicidal rate descended.    

The TED of science

They years of scientific research identified, found, and even proved many important issues related to schizophrenia. However, the conclusion is that there is NOT ALWAYS A RIGHT ANSWER TO EVERYTHING. So, every single rule of thumb varies when it comes to schizophrenia. Because of its complexity and lack of scientific proofs.

The most vital organ associated with schizophrenia is the brain and still, it's the least researched organ. That's why there is still no final answer to all of the questions related to schizophrenia disorder: 

  • Age onset

  • Relapse probability

  • Symptoms (positive & negative)

  • Symptoms overlap

  • Types of schizophrenia

  • Adequate therapy

  • Right diagnosis

The more scientific progress in this area, the more patients recovered.

SYMPTOMS

Most people suffering from schizophrenia are encountering the same symptoms, positive & negative, but:

  • not at the same time

  • not in the same order

  • and not all of them.

  • Abnormal perceptions of reality

  • Abnormalities of cognition

  • Hallucinations: sensory perceptions without actual stimuli (ex: auditory and visual with mild to extremely destructive and persuading voices and images of internal monsters/enemies).

  • Delusions

  • Paranoia: a person thinks that there is a conspiracy against him/her specifically. That everything they do is being watched -from going to the bathroom to going to sleep -24/7.

  • Intense tension, constant strenuousness, inability to relax

  • Disorganized Thinking

  • Depression

  • Constant anxiety over everything

  • Self- injury

  • Suicidal thoughts

TREATMENT

PSYCHOTHERAPY: Educating patients about their illness. They need to realize that they are not bad persons since it's not a personality defect. The aim is to motivate them to find a link between their pre-disorder self and their current self. To encourage them to start living at least near to healthy persons. To teach them how to develop social skills- from how to interact to people, resolve conflicts (it's the toughest one since they have to resolve conflicts with themselves first) to how to prepare for a job interview or visit to a local grocery.

  • COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT): Like with any therapy the most important aspect of CBT therapy is a therapeutic relationship between the person and the therapist. They have to trust you to the greater degree they trust their imagined voices and friends in their heads. CBT includes:

    • Motivational interviewing: It helps them move from A-Where am I at now? to B- What are my goals and how can I make the journey from where I am to where I hope to be?

    • CBT for Psychoeducation: It's a big thing to say- "Learn about your illness. " But it helps. A lot. Learning how to comprehend THE THINGS THAT TRIGGER their condition, the situations that lead to relapse, and what relapse looks like so that they can nip it in the bud is tremendously helpful.

    • CBT for Delusions or hallucinations therapy: The therapist should explore all pros and cons of that person's delusions so that the person can get the evidence together and break down some of these beliefs.

 

PSYCHIATRY AND MEDICATIONS: Working closely with your psychiatrist is crucial for finding the medicaments that work best for you and cause minimal side effects. Most of them are antipsychotics. It takes time but it's a worthwhile process.

SKILLS TRAINING: Learning to self-manage. Learning how to find support. Because they are the victims of their own brain violence.and they really need a helping hand by:

  • Self-management training: Learning to recognize what triggers their disorder and what you need to do in such situations-how to take care of yourself.

  • Family-psycho training: Family and friends must learn every single fact about the disorder in order to know how to react and support their loved ones.

 

REHABILITATION: When a person has a problem with substance use problems.

GROUP THERAPY: Can also connect them with others who are in a similar situation and gain valuable insight into how they’ve overcome challenges.

CAUSE

  • Genetics

Recent researches show that your family history of SC influencing your disorder is relative. If your parents have it your risk is about 10% which is still low. So if you have a family member who suffers from SC it doesn't mean that you will have it. Scientists still don't know which genes cause SC. The prevalent belief is that it's a multiple genes issue.

  • Environment

Pre-natal, peri-natal period, pregnancy, birth, and delivery are determining factors for brain development and consequently for disorder development later o in life. Mother's malnutrition, toxins, and viruses exposure and low birth weight are addressed as risk factors for disorder development but are not prevalent at all. A very small minority of people develop SC because of these risk factors.

  • A decreased quality of life

Less time for sleep, lack of quality sleep, excessive stress due to work, and no time for hobbies.

  • Traumatic experiences

Childhood, adolescence, and adulthood traumas, abuse, highly stressful life situations, and post-traumatic hardships also contribute to SC development. There is a case of a 21-year-old woman who was abused in her early childhood. When she finally decided to confide to her mother committed suicide. That was a final trigger for developing SC.

  • Substance use

Cannabis, alcohol, and medications combination in adolescence or early adulthood.

  • Head injury

It's still an assumption. It's treated as a risk factor for SC since head injuries damage the brain.