Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that usually appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. Characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and other cognitive difficulties, schizophrenia can often be a lifelong struggle.
Symptoms are classified in four categories
- Negative symptoms – these refer to elements that are taken away from the individual. For instance; absence of facial expressions or lack of motivation.
- Positive symptoms – also known as psychotic symptoms. For example, delusions and hallucinations.
- Cognitive symptoms – these affect the person’s thought processes. May be positive or negative symptoms like, poor concentration is a negative symptom
- Emotional symptoms – these are usually negative symptoms, such as blunted emotions.
Major Symptoms Include
Delusions – displaying false beliefs, which can take many forms, such as delusions of persecution, or delusions of grandeur. Feeling like others are attempting to control them remotely or may think they have extraordinary powers or abilities.
Thought Disorder – may jump from one object to another for no logical reason. The speaker may be hard to follow or erratic.
Hallucinations – hearing voices is much more common than seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things which are not there, however, people with schizophrenia may experience a wide range of hallucinations.
Other Symptoms May Include
Lack of Motivation – patient loses their drive. Everyday actions, such as washing and cooking, are neglected.
Poor Expression of Emotions – responses to happy or sad occasions may be lacking, or inappropriate.
Social withdrawal – when a patient with schizophrenia withdraws socially, it is often because they believe somebody is going to harm them.
Unawareness of illness – as the hallucinations and delusions seem so real for patients, many of them may not believe they are ill. They may refuse to take medication for fear of side effects, or for fear that the medication may be poison, for example.
Cognitive difficulties – the patient’s ability to concentrate, recall things, plan ahead, and to organize their life are affected. Communication becomes more difficult.
Schizophrenia is usually treated with an individually tailored combination of talking therapy and medicine.
Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) – provides day-to-day support and treatment while ensuring you have as much independence as possible.
Care Programme Approach (CPA) – is essentially a way of ensuring they receive the right treatment for their needs
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