WTF IS SCHIZOPHRENIA? – 5 Signs Of Living With A Schizophrenic
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Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric mental illness that can make someone lose touch with reality.
That term has now been changed to Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder, on account of the many variations.
If you are living with a schizophrenic, it is important to educated.
It is an illness that affects how the brain works and how someone functions day to day.
It can cause hallucinations and delusional behaviour.
They may hear voices that can can get worse over time.
They may hear annoying, repetitive noises like screeching sounds that no one else can hear.
This can be scary for the person with schizophrenia and for anyone living with a schizophrenic too.
How Do You Know If You Are Living With A Schizophrenic?
If you are living with a schizophrenic, you might notice some strange behaviour.
Some symptoms you won’t be able to see as they are symptoms of the mind.
For example: delusions and hallucinations.
There could be symptoms that you might see or even smell..
There is usually a decrease in their normal daily functioning (sign 1).
This could be in more than one area too, such as work and relationships.
You might notice that they just don’t want to do anything (sign 2).
Sometimes schizophrenics just quit all basic hygiene (sign 3).
Not good for you, if you’re living with a schizophrenic.
They could even withdraw completely – what I mean is they literally stop doing EVERYTHING.
This is known as a catatonic state (sign 4).
You have probably seen it in the movies where a patient sits in a mental facility and just stares.
They might start to display their emotions in a weird way (sign 5).
Did you know that Schizophrenia can also affect kids too. E.g. they might start to do badly in school.
You can read the full criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
The CANCELLED Sub-Types Of Schizophrenia
The sub-types of Schizophrenia have now been removed from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as it wasn’t as simple as categorizing people into groups anymore.
Prior to the publication of the fifth edition, there were five main sub-types associated with illness.
As these sub-types are no longer in use in the professional field, I won’t be discussing them in great detail.
In brief, the sub-types were as follows:
- Paranoid Schizophrenia – this was the most common sub-type and one you have probably heard of. It is associated with hallucinations or delusions, unreasonable suspicions and sometimes strange behaviours.
- Residual Schizophrenia – this sub-type meant that they had a history of the illness in the past but no longer have any symptoms
- Catatonic Schizophrenia – this sub-type meant that the patient is disengaged from reality, often not responding to anything, and sometimes even not speaking.
- Disorganised Schizophrenia (also known as Hebephrenia) – this sub-type meant the patient may have disorganised behaviours and speech patterns, difficulty concentrating, and show little or no emotions.
- Undifferentiated Schizophrenia – this sub-type meant that the patient shows behaviour that fits into two or more of the other types.
Please note: the sub-types are no longer being used in diagnosis.
The movie A Beautiful Mind is a movie portraying the life of John Nash, a famous mathematician who suffered from Schizophrenia.
There is also another condition called Schizoaffective Disorder.
This means that the patient has a combination of Schizophrenia and a mood disorder such as Bipolar Disorder.
The patient must also be assessed on their cognitive function and their depression levels.
An elimination of other disorders is also performed before a diagnosis is made.
DID YOU KNOW?Marilyn Monroe was rumoured to have suffered from Schizophrenia.
What About Treatment For Schizophrenia
Anti-psychotic medication can be used in the treatment for Schizophrenia to help with symptoms of psychosis.
It is a life-long illness and there is currently no cure.
Therapy can be used to help manage the symptoms.
Some Schizophrenics have been known to just simply refuse any treatment.
If medication is not successful, a procedure called electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be tried.
The recommended therapies are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET).
Depending on the severity, the patient may need daily help with normal everyday tasks.
Some patients may require hospitalisation for treatment.
What Is Electroconvulsive Therapy?
ECT is a procedure where an electrical current is passed through the brain to try to help relieve symptoms.
It used to be known as electroshock therapy.
You have probably seen the way they used to do this in movies where the patient bites down on a stick.
ECT is essentially having your brain “reset” to hopefully help reduce the severity of the mental illness.
That is the OLD way! They put you to sleep to get it done now.
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