Schizophrenia

May 2017


Definition


Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder that evolves in a chronic manner. It results in the association of disorders of mental functioning collectively called dissociative syndrome, and a permanent delirium of the patient, that is to say, false ideas and thoughts that are in complete disagreement with the facts. Schizophrenia begins predominantly in adolescents and young adults under the age of 35. An estimated one out of a hundred people is schizophrenic. Schizophrenia cannot be cured, but its treatment allows the patient to have a quality of life that is as close to normal as possible. The causes of this disease are not known precisely.

Symptoms


The symptoms of schizophrenia are very diverse. Overall, however, they are based on several common points:
  • The existence of a dissociative syndrome, i.e.:
    • disorders of brain function, or intellectual dissociation, which may take the form of problems with logic, disorganized thinking manifested by cock-and-bull stories, or language disorders with the use of words that do not exist;
    • behavioral disorders, a schizophrenic person is often considered to be odd or original;
    • emotional disorders, with a certain indifference or rather an exaggeration of conditions.
  • The association with delirium, for example:
    • a sense of persecution;
    • absurd beliefs of certain abilities, such as being able to influence others in thought or external things that relate specifically to oneself.
  • the disease progresses towards a classically "autistic withdrawal", i.e. a withdrawal with a total loss of relationships with others.

Diagnosis


The diagnosis of schizophrenia is not easy to establish. To be considered, the symptoms must persist for more than six months, and some impact must occur on the person. Specific criteria are defined for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. A blood test, to show the absence of intoxication, and brain imaging are needed to eliminate any organic cause.

Treatment


To treat schizophrenia, doctors recommend treatment with a multidisciplinary care by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker and a nurse. The family often plays a major role in this support. Medication is also required. It consists of:
  • antipsychotics;
  • neuroleptics;
  • the association of an antidepressant or anxiolytic treatment as needed.

Treatments of schizophrenia are particularly harsh and are taken for life.

Related

Published by Jeff. Latest update on November 5, 2013 at 09:24 AM by Jeff.
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