Schizophrenia is a complicated mental disorder that cannot be cured. Many sufferers of schizophrenia seem to have lost touch with reality and exhibit signs of extreme confusion or paranoia. This chronic and severe mental disorder impacts thinking, feeling and behavior. While relatively uncommon, the symptoms can be disabling and alarming to those who do not fully understand this disorder. Onset usually occurs between 16 and 30 years of age. Although rare, children can have schizophrenia and must deal with symptoms that will last the rest of their life.
Symptoms are broken down into positive, negative and cognitive. As an important note.
Positive symptoms refer to the ability to feel. Positive symptoms are characterized by the departure from reality that includes hallucinations, delusions, and thought and movement disorders.
Negative symptoms are focused upon a specific numbness. Negative symptoms include disassociation from normal emotions, producing a flat affect that reduces feelings of enjoyment, speaking and sustaining activities.
Cognitive symptoms can be subtle or severe, depending on the patient. Symptoms include decreased thinking and memory retention. Many have trouble understanding information and using it upon learning something new. Making decisions and focusing are a challenge. Many sufferers benefit from being in group homes where caregivers can ensure safety and relative good health.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, making its treatment somewhat of a challenge. Eliminating and reducing symptoms is the general focus of treatments. Antipsychotics can be given as pills, liquids or injections. After the patient and doctor have found a suitable medication and dose, they may explore psychosocial treatments. These treatments focus on learning coping skills so patients may work or go to school. They also prevent relapses and hospitalization. Coordinated specialty care blends medication, psychosocial therapies and family involvement.