What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which results in disturbance of thinking, behaviour and altered experiences. These changes can affect the health and functioning of the person tremendously. People with schizophrenia may see or hear things that do not exist and may have fixed beliefs about untrue events.
It has been found that there are alterations in the chemicals in the brain in people suffering from schizophrenia. The most common being the dopamine which is higher in certain areas of the brain than others. Some of the Top psychiatrist in Chennai says, Certain brain scans in people suffering from schizophrenia also show that there is a loss of brain volume in many areas of the brain and that the cavities in the brain known as ventricles are seen to be enlarged.
What are the common symptoms of schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness with a constellation of symptoms. Symptoms must be present persistently for at least a month to qualify for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. There are 2 types of symptoms that people with schizophrenia may suffer from – POSITIVE SYMPTOMS and NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS.
POSITIVE SYMPTOMS are symptoms which affect the thoughts and behaviours. Common symptoms are delusions (fixed false beliefs), hallucinations (hearing voices that do not exist), confused thought process and speech, movement problems etc.
NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS are symptoms when a person starts losing interest in self-care, becoming slowed, isolated, less motivation to do tasks, speaking less and so forth.
How do you know a person is suffering from schizophrenia?
If a person is behaving differently to his usual pattern such as getting more isolated, angrier, preoccupied with his thoughts, seeming to respond to voices, feeling scared, thinking people are plotting about him/her, talking bizzare things then it is wise to get a specialist psychiatrist opinion about the problem. There are many Best psychiatrist in Chennai, to deal with such problems.
What should we do if we think someone we know is suffering from possible schizophrenia?
The first step is to get a detailed assessment from a psychiatrist who will ask relevant detailed questions about the symptoms etc and may order for brain scans and blood tests.
If the person is diagnosed with schizophrenia, it is imperative to follow the instructions of the psychiatrist meticulously including taking regular medications.
What age does schizophrenia start?
Schizophrenia usually starts in early adulthood. Around 18 to 25 years. It is extremely uncommon in childhood. Sometimes other disorders in childhood may look like (mimic) schizophrenia and a detailed assessment will be required. Sometimes schizophrenia occurs later in life. After the age of 45 it is known as late onset schizophrenia.
How common is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia occurs in 1 in a 100 people in the general population.
How do people with schizophrenia behave?
People with schizophrenia present with altered behaviour sometimes. They may appear scared and concerned due to the beliefs (such as paranoid delusions). When they believe the voices are real, they may start acting according to the instruction of the voices or may respond to them. They may appear confused, agitated or just isolated. Their self-care may decline and they may start spending less time at their work.
Why do people with schizophrenia talk to themselves?
People with schizophrenia may appear to talk to themselves as they could be responding to the auditory hallucinations (voices) which they may believe is real.
Why are people with schizophrenia so angry?
People with schizophrenia may be confused due to their experiences and this may present as agitation or anger.
Is violence common in schizophrenia?
Even though violence in schizophrenia is misrepresented in the media and films, people with schizophrenia are more scared than violent. No, According to the Best psychiatrist doctor in Chennai, two people are entirely similar and most times any aggression in people with schizophrenia occurs impulsively and also when associated with substance misuse ( such as alcohol ).