Schizophrenia is among the most severe mental health disorders. The alarming part of the story is that schizophrenia is rapidly spreading. According to the World Health Organization, more than 20 million people from around the world have schizophrenia. It is further said that people with schizophrenia are twice or thrice more likely to die earlier compared to a healthy individual.
It is mainly the reason mental health awareness is mandatory. The more you know about the issue, the safer you’ll be. In this article today, I am going to shed light on schizophrenia, its symptoms, treatment options, and risk factors. Have a look:
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Knowing the symptoms is the first thing. There are various symptoms that schizophrenia brings along, including both mood and psychotic symptoms. A few of them are as follows:
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Bizarre delusions and disorganized speech
- Racing thoughts and distractibility
- Trouble concentrating and movement disorders
- An absence of insight
- Withdrawal from friends and family
Treatment Options of Schizophrenia
Sadly, there is no permanent cure for schizophrenia. It’s an ailment like diabetes and hypertension that requires lifelong treatment to manage the symptoms. Let me list down a few treatment methods so that you know what options you have in your court:
- Antipsychotics are imperative for people with schizophrenia. For schizophrenia, both first and second-generation antipsychotics are prescribed. They manage the symptoms of psychosis in schizophrenia, such as delusions and hallucinations.
- Mood stabilizers are typically given in combination with antipsychotics. They control mood symptoms like the catatonic behavior people with schizophrenia experience. Mood stabilizers can prevent further depressive episodes in schizophrenia.
- Antidepressants are also prescribed to people with schizophrenia owing to the mood symptoms the disorder comes with. They alter the chemicals in your brain, eliminating stress on an organic level.
- Herbs and plants are a great alternative to allopathic antidepressants and mood stabilizers as they work in a similar manner with no side effects. Passionflower, ashwagandha, and cannabis are a few wonderful herbs and plants for stress relief. I’ve tried doob dasher myself, so I know it works.
- Exercise is another must for people with schizophrenia. The reason is that exercise can increase the number of happy chemicals in the body, which naturally helps in managing mood symptoms in schizophrenia.
- Psychotherapy is also essential, including both individual and family therapy. Life with schizophrenia can be daunting not for the one who’s going through it but also for the family. Thus, therapy for both is a must.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is usually prescribed to those who are recovering from schizophrenia. It will change the way you perceive things and provide you with a positive outlook on life.
Risk Factors of Schizophrenia
Although schizophrenia has organic roots, certain things can increase your odds of getting the disorder. They include:
- Genetics is the first thing for schizophrenia as the disorder tends to run in the families.
- Structural changes in the brain can also cause schizophrenia.
- An increase or decrease in dopamine levels can trigger schizophrenia, too.
- Many women experience symptoms of schizophrenia in pregnancy or post-childbirth.
- Substance-abuse schizophrenia is also common.
However, regardless of all these things, disease comes and goes with luck. Still, it’s good to stay on the safer side and take all the preventive measures. I wish you well, pals!