Updated: Jul 22, 2021

[Shizo-splitting pherina-mind]On the most technical level schizophrenia is a disease of people where when you start speaking to them & within 2-3 sentences you realize there is something strange with their thinking. They are not thinking or communicating normally. On the most fundamental level that is what this syndrome is. Schizophrenia is a disease of thought, inappropriate emotion, and attribution of things, and what you see is not some sort of generic craziness in a way that this word [ schizophrenia ] means nothing whatsoever to it. There is a typical structure to the ways in which things are not working for the behavior of schizophrenics. Schizophrenia isn't only one disease, there are a bunch of subtypes of heterogeneous diseases for eg, subtype Paranoid Schizophrenia {thought disorder built around the sense of persecution, Catatonic Schizophrenia [ frozen state or immobile for a long time ].

It is a disease of cognitive abnormality, abnormal sequential thought and the term given for it is loose associations. It is a syndrome i.e there a lot of symptoms for the same condition and many patients vary in symptoms. The first signs or symptoms can be easy to miss like subtle personality changes, encroachment of unusual thoughts, irritability. It is first diagnosed after psychosis is seen. The first psychotic episode can include delusions, hallucinations, disorder speech, and behavior

MYTH: Schizophrenics have multiple personalities, but Schizophrenia causes disruption or changes in thought process not the birth of another personality.

This disease has the strongest genetic links of any disease. An identical twin has a 40 percent chance of showing signs of psychosis if one of the twins has schizophrenia. Multiple genes play an important role but we have no idea how many or which genes account for this syndrome.

Environmental factors like exposure to viruses during early infancy increase the chances of becoming schizophrenic. And the use of marijuana may trigger physcosis in highly susceptible individuals. For people who are less susceptible, no amount of environmental factors would lead them to develop schizophrenia. Some patients show atrophy, but we still have no idea whether it is due to schizophrenia or antiphyscotic drugs.

Treatments Available

Antipsychotic drugs used by schizophrenics block dopamine receptors which reduce symptoms that are linked to exercise dopamine in our brain pathways.

Second-generation antipsychotics

Many people prefer the second-gen antipsychotics over the first gen because of the lower side effects. Second-gen antipsychotics include:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)

  • Asenapine (Saphris)

First-generation antipsychotics

These drugs were used before the second gen came along and they have highly significant side effects like dyskinesia. First-generation antipsychotics include:

  • Chlorpromazine

  • Fluphenazine

Psychosocial interventions

Once psychosis recedes, in addition to continuing on medication, psychological and social (psychosocial) interventions are important. These may include:

  • Psychotherapy may help to normalize thought patterns. Also, learning to cope with stress and identify early warning signs of relapse can help people with schizophrenia manage their illness.

Message from the author

Schizophrenia remains one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized illnesses of today. I hope that this article spreads awareness to reduce the social stigma around schizophrenics so that they can come forward and get help. Share this article so that we can reach a larger audience and make a difference.

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