Experience 36 year
A mental disorder, an endogenous disease of the schizophrenic spectrum, a severe chronic illness leading to mental disorder - schizophrenia has been known to mankind throughout history. Despite this, diagnosis remains a complex task. Not every therapist is able to recognise this disorder. This illness is characterised by considerable clinical polymorphism. Schizophrenia changes a person's behaviour - that's a fact. Worldwide, 1% of people are diagnosed with it, regardless of gender, race or continent. This rate may be higher because of a true incidence of mild or stigmatised forms of the disease that are not officially recorded in statistics.
Schizophrenia has three types of symptoms and signs: positive, negative and cognitive. They occur equally in both women and men. Some symptoms are difficult to recognise as a sign of mental illness. They resemble laziness, depression and psychosis. If we take a closer look, a state of psychosis is really inherent in people with this illness. Schizophrenia in women or men manifests itself at different ages. Schizophrenia in men is between the ages of 15 and 35, and in women between the ages of 27 and 37.
Description of positive symptoms
In this stage abnormal judgments and obsessions are noted. Schizophrenia causes this type of disorder against the will of a sick person. He/she can get overly wise and have pointless arguments on topics of immense and global nature. The topic of conversation is often not only meaningless, but also chaotic in terms of narrative style, there is constant shifting from topic to topic. Positive signs of schizophrenia in women and men are accompanied by delusions, motor and thinking disorders and hallucinations.
Description of negative symptoms
This group includes signs of schizophrenia with deeper emotional disorders. A person loses the ability to enjoy his or her life. He or she becomes depressed or simply tries to isolate himself or herself from society. People with emotional disorders are not interested in the feelings of others. Spending time alone is much more comfortable for them. Symptoms and signs of the negative type of schizophrenia manifests in the aspect of reduced sexual desire, ignoring the rules of hygiene, as well as the use of alcohol.
Description of cognitive symptoms
Cognitive signs are characterised by disturbances in concentration and certain types of memory. A person cannot adequately plan, organise his or her own life, or make decisions. Schizophrenia has the same symptoms and signs in women and men, but they are not always recognised as a history of the illness. It is possible to understand that they are disorders only with the help of neuropsychological tests. Schizophrenia knows how to mask symptoms under the guise of depression, psychosis.
Causes of development
Schizophrenia does not occur because of a single factor. It can be said unequivocally that the disorder is hereditary. If any close family member has had this diagnosis, it is very likely to be passed on to the children as well. And the gender of the carriers is irrelevant to this. Having second-line relatives (uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents) also increases the risk of getting this diagnosis. Identical twins are also observed in medical practice where one of the twins has a mental disorder. The second one has a 65% risk. In addition to the fact that schizophrenia is inherited by close relatives, other factors must be considered. They can provoke a trigger in the body for the development of psychiatric pathology:
- viral infections;
- stressful situations;
- social factors;
- prenatal infections;
- vitamin deficiencies.
Risk factors and complications
Signs of schizophrenia in men and women at different stages may not appear or may disappear periodically. This is especially possible if treatment is followed. There are patients who lead a normal professional and social life, although it is common for this diagnosis to want to cut yourself off from society. Risk factors include the following conditions:
- suicide attempts (5-6% of patients commit suicide);
- alcohol abuse;
- outbursts of aggression;
- drug abuse.
Main types of illness
In the medical classification, the main types of schizophrenia have nine types. Some of them have subtypes. Specialists distinguish several of them, which are the most common. Paranoid schizophrenia manifests itself in a heightened suspicion of others. A person is haunted by the feeling that he/she is constantly being watched, has delusions and hallucinations. In the catatonic type, there are movement disorders. And it can be either complete immobilisation or chaotic disorderly agitation. Simple schizophrenia has no history of acute psychosis, but the negative symptoms increase over time. The hebephrenic type manifests itself as dementia and stupidity.
When should you see a doctor?
It is necessary to go to the doctor when the first symptoms appear. The only difficulty is in identifying them. Note what symptoms schizophrenia in men and women shows in the early stages. These may include: speech and sleep disturbances, strange episodes of laughter or crying, disregard of his or her appearance, preference of loneliness, aggressiveness to criticism.
Preparation for a psychiatric visit
No special preparation is needed. If you have any documentation of seeing another doctor or of being registered at a hospital, it is advisable to take all records, medical notes and results of tests with you. This will help to get an objective picture of the person's initial mental state.
At different stages, schizophrenia symptoms range in emotion from babbling and delusional hallucinations to suicidal attempts. A medical examination should be carried out to determine the exact clinical picture. The anamnesis is collected by asking detailed questions about the patient and his/her relatives. The doctor will test for schizophrenia to determine the diagnosis. We are talking about the neurotest, which shows immune indicators in the blood. On their basis, the doctor decides on the final diagnosis and its severity. If necessary, an MRI scan of the brain may be prescribed. The right treatment for schizophrenia has good results. In 50% of patients it is possible to achieve remission, and 25% of patients completely get rid of the diagnosis, if the forms of schizophrenia were correctable.
The first signs of schizophrenia are the perfect time to start therapy. In most cases this is not the way it works, as symptoms are ignored or mistaken for other pathological conditions. If the schizophrenia test confirms the diagnosis, a doctor will prescribe suitable treatment. If acute symptoms occur, medication is recommended. This mainly concerns conditions such as: depression, anxiety, sleep problems, severe apathy and thought disorders. Schizophrenia in men and women has a positive prognosis if a treatment plan is followed. Psychotherapy and social rehabilitation are also used for this purpose. In the future, it is important to maintain the condition to avoid relapses.
People with schizophrenia cannot be treated with home remedies. In some sources you can read about taking herbal decoctions or changing the diet, but a person with mental problems and behavioural and environmental perception disorders cannot do that. Only a psychiatrist's professional supervision of the treatment process can lead to positive results.
Myths and misconceptions
Behaviour openly shows signs of schizophrenia if one understands the characteristics of the manifestation of this illness. People with this diagnosis are believed to be non-violent and safe for society. This is not a myth, but we must take into account possible outbursts of rage and aggression, unpredictable actions.
Incompetence of personality and stupidity of behaviour - that's what people often say. Yes, certain stages of schizophrenia lead to this condition. The person may even behave like a child. There are forms of schizophrenia that are not very obvious. People in such cases are no sillier than anyone else in society.
Ways of preventing
Schizophrenia provokes a disorder of normal life, not only in people diagnosed, but also in their family and loved ones. The disease is inherited, so prevention is aimed at eliminating this aspect. It is necessary to reduce the risk of stress, maintain hormonal balance, do not drink alcohol and do not take drugs. It is advisable to do things that help stabilise the psyche: physical work, drawing and other handicrafts. It is better to understand the risks and do some prevention than to undergo treatment for schizophrenia afterwards.
How to make an appointment with a psychiatrist at JSC "Medicina" (Academician Roytberg Clinic)?
Anyone who is faced with a diagnosis of schizophrenia needs psychological help. It is a normal human need trying to get back to a normal life. Our clinic is sensitive to patients' delicate problems. At the appointment, a psychiatrist will help you understand what schizophrenia is, find a way out and support you on the way to recovery.
You can schedule a consultation with your doctor online using a special form or by calling +7 (495) 775-73-60. The clinic is located within walking distance of the "Mayakovskaya'' underground station in the centre of Moscow: 2nd Tverskoy-Yamskoy Lane, 10.