Tuesday, 18 June 2024
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Schizophrenia Is Not Jest

An old man passes in front of our house every day, talking loudly to himself, sometimes making fun of the artificial characters in his mind and sometimes fighting with them and swearing loudly. One day, after doing some research about the old man's condition, it was found that the old man was suffering from schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is the name of a disabling mental condition. It becomes difficult for the patient to distinguish between the real and the imaginary world. A person with schizophrenia may see things that aren't there, hear voices that don't speak to them. Schizophrenia is characterised by delusions, hallucinations and lack of insight. Acute schizophrenia may also present with disturbed behaviour, disordered thinking, or with insidious social withdrawal and other so called negative symptoms and less obvious delusions and hallucinations.

Schizophrenia occurs worldwide in all ethnic groups with a prevalence of about 0.5% it is a more common in men (1.4 to 1). Children of an affected parent have an approximate 10% risk of developing the illness but this rises to 50% if an identical twin is affected. The usual age of onset is the mid twenties but can be older, particularly in women. Schizophrenia is a chronic condition, requiring lifelong treatment.

Schizophrenia symptoms in teenagers are similar to those in adults, but the condition may be more difficult to recognize in this age group. This may be in part because some of the early symptoms of schizophrenia in teenagers are common for typical development during teen years, such as:

Withdrawal from friends and family, A drop in performance at school, Trouble sleeping, Irritability or depressed mood, Lack of motivation.

Experts only know that schizophrenia is a serious mental condition, whose symptoms include hallucinations, psychological distress and detachment from reality. According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia affects only one in 300 people worldwide. But we don't really know who can be affected by it and how can it be treated? "Our knowledge of schizophrenia is close to zero" says Stefan Ripke, a researcher at the Scherte University Hospital in Berlin. Has made a historic discovery.

ln families where some members are already diagnosed with schizophrenia, the risk for other members is increased. Sometimes this disorder is also transmitted from parents to children through the genetic system but is inactive and then the surrounding environment activates this inactive disorder. People who have experienced childhood trauma, physical, mental and emotional abuse, stress and uncertainty also play a role in triggering this disorder. Also, if an infection or virus attacks in childhood and it is not properly treated, or if the amount of a certain chemical in the brain increases, the risk of schizophrenia also increases.

Schizophrenia is still a mysterious disease and its causes are known to a great extent, but even an expert doctor cannot say with certainty about its causes. According to research so far, schizophrenia is called a disease that appears due to neural disconnection caused by genetic and various environmental factors. On brain scan and histology studies, defects can often be identified in the brain spaces (ventricule) and other places.

Schizophrenia should not be considered as a single disease, but like cancer includes different types of diseases. Schizophrenia is also a combination of many types of mental conditions. Most of the affected people have chronic and episodic forms of schizophrenia. Today, most doctors and psychologists agree that this mental illness is actually caused by a variety of factors, including various brain weaknesses (which may be hereditary or acquired) and a restless lifestyle. Play your own role.

Schizophrenia symptoms are of two types, positive symptoms and negative symptoms.

Positive symptoms These symptoms are called positive symptoms because they were not present in the state of health and become visible in the state of disease. They include the following symptoms.


If you start seeing things or people in the absence of a person or in solitude when no one is around, then this process is called hallucination. The experience is to hear voices alone. These voices are as real to the patient as each other's voices are to us. They feel that these sounds are coming from outside and are heard in the ears, even if no one else is hearing them.

These voices may be talking to you or talking to each other. Some patients also have hallucinations of seeing things, smelling smells or feeling as if someone is touching them, but these are relatively rare.


Delusions refer to the ideas that the patient fully believes but have no reality. Sometimes these thoughts arise due to not understanding the situations and events properly or being misunderstood. The patient is 100% sure of his idea but everyone else thinks that his idea is wrong or strange.

There are many types of delusions. Sometimes people feel that other people have become their enemies, they want to harm them. Some patients feel that special messages are being broadcast to them on TV or radio. Some patients feel that someone has taken thoughts out of their mind, or that the thoughts they have are not their own but have been put into their mind by someone else. Or unseen forces are controlling them, making them do things against their will.

Muddled thinking or Thought Disorder Patients find it difficult to concentrate on things or talk. Patients are unable to concentrate on reading newspaper or watching TV, cannot continue their studies or do their work with full attention. There is no connection. After a minute or two they don't even remember what they were thinking moments ago. Some patients feel like there is a fog over their brain.

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms refer to things that were present in the state of health but are no longer present in the state of disease. Although the negative symptoms are not as prominent as the positive symptoms, they have a profound effect on the patient's life. Patients feel that; Their interest in life, energy, feelings are all gone. Patients are neither very happy nor motivated to do anything. It is very difficult for them to focus on something or work. They also lose the desire to get out of bed or go out of the house. It becomes very difficult for patients to bathe, clean, or change clothes. Patients start shying away from meeting people, it becomes difficult for them to even talk to anyone.

Two well-known methods for treating schizophrenia include therapy and medication. Different patients are given different doses, some less and some more. Schizophrenia medications usually begin to take effect after 4 to 6 weeks. These drugs also have side effects but they can be controlled. It can also be treated through therapy in which the patient is given small and gradually larger goals. Such as changing clothes, bathing, brushing teeth and then encouraging them to find a job or start their own work.

Any psychiatrist can help diagnose and treat schizophrenia. There are psychologists in all major cities of Pakistan. Government hospitals also have psychiatry wards where psychiatrists are posted and they also run their own private clinics.

Try to find out what symptoms you have early in the illness, such as loss of sleep or appetite, feeling nervous, stopping to bathe or change clothes, feeling a little suspicious or fearful, and sometimes feeling lonely. Starting to hear voices. If these symptoms are recognized in the beginning and the treatment is started, the condition usually improves quickly and the dose of medicine has to be reduced.

Avoid situations that may lead to deterioration of health, such as situations that increase mental stress, such as social gatherings, drug or alcohol use, quarrels with family, friends or neighbors.

Try to find ways to reduce your voices, such as socializing, keeping busy, reminding yourself that the voices can't hurt you, and doing things you don't want to do. Can't force you to do it.

Have someone you trust in mind who you can tell when you start feeling sick.

Take care of your physical health. Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Do not smoke, it damages your lungs, your heart, circulatory system and stomach.

Get some exercise every day, even if it's just a twenty-minute walk every day. A person's mood also improves with regular vigorous exercise.

If one person in the household develops schizophrenia, it is difficult for the rest of the household to understand what is happening to their child, their spouse, or their sibling. They may start saying things that the rest of the family find strange or do not understand. Their behavior may become strange and they stop talking to everyone. Family members may start blaming themselves for the symptoms or the illness and think it is my fault. You may be worried that someone else in the family might get the disease or you may not understand how to treat the patient.

Do not quarrel with the patient and do not engage in arguments with him, this will worsen his illness. Stay calm. If you want to learn more about schizophrenia, be sure to see your patient's psychiatrist.