What is schizophrenia?

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  • "It's like a dream, but it's not a dream, because you do not sleep.
    And because you do not sleep, you just can not wake up ... "


    What is schizophrenia?What do we know about schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a severe andcommon mental illness. Currently, only the United States schizophrenia affects about 2 million people. But despite the severity of the disease, doctors are able to significantly or at least partially alleviate the suffering of the patient and his family.

    Recently, new effectivedrugs which can significantly ease the life of both the patients and their relatives. With the help of new drugs can minimize the need for hospitalization of patients with schizophrenia and to ensure that their life will become more independent and productive.

    In the absence of treatment, schizophrenia may destroythe life of the patient, his family and even society. Because schizophrenia is characterized by peculiar changes in personality and behavior, which may take the unpleasant and even dangerous forms, society often rejects such patients. And then they are suffering from poverty and often do not have a permanent residence. In the absence of proper treatment, people with schizophrenia may die as a result of suicide.


    What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

    There any one symptom,which would be typical for only schizophrenia. All the symptoms of the disease can be observed in patients with other mental illnesses. Some symptoms of schizophrenia may change over time. Many symptoms in women occur easily.

    Disturbances of perception. The most common sounds, objects or experienceseveryday life can cause patients with schizophrenia inappropriate response. The world can frighten them. They may be overly sensitive to certain subjects shape or color, either to noise. The patients sometimes lose a sense of clear boundaries between the self and the people around them or objects.

    Hallucinations, delusions, illusions and confusion of thought processes. Typically, patients with schizophrenia experiencing auditory andvisual hallucinations and delusions. The content of delusions can be very different. The patient may be convinced that he is God, or that he can control the thoughts of others. Patients with schizophrenia often a fragmented and confusion and incoherent speech.

    Changed or deleted emotions. schizophrenic reaction to environmentalthe reality is often inadequate. The patient may laugh, learning about the death of a loved one, or to complain about winning football team, for which he was ill before. Sometimes schizophrenia is indifferent to everything that is happening around. Therefore, it is clear that contact with such patients is often very difficult or impossible, so they are often held incommunicado

    Other changes in behavior. Schizophrenia may manifest retardationrepetitive movements or repetitive actions and gestures (ritual behavior), for example, walking in a circle. Some patients experience loss of initiative, and hesitation in decision making. In severe cases, the patient loses all contact with others. It can completely stop talking and move to be in a fixed position for a long time.

    When the diagnosis of "schizophrenia", the doctor shouldrule out other possible diseases associated with organic brain lesions, which may present with similar symptoms. schizophrenia diagnosis is provided, if the patient for at least 6 months observed psychotic conditions, loss of sense of reality, disturbances of social contact and thinking, as well as other psychiatric disorders.


    Who suffers from schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia may develop any person of anyage, even children. However, approximately 75% of patients the first symptoms appear between the ages of 16 to 25 years. People older than 40 years fall ill with schizophrenia is much less, and men are affected slightly more often than women.

    Although schizophrenia is clearly associated with hereditarypredisposition, likely to develop still very small for the great majority of people. If one of your close relatives ever suffered from schizophrenia, in 99 cases out of 100 you too do not get sick. If one is sick of your parents, sister or brother, then chances are that you yourself stay mentally healthy, equal to 90%. Even if both parents are ill with schizophrenia, then with probability 60% of children do not get sick. If the sick twin, the probability that the other twin will be ill, is 30%.


    What causes schizophrenia?

    Scientists still do not know the exact reasons for thisdisease, but it is known that the brain of a patient with schizophrenia different from the brain of mentally healthy person. According to the latest scientific data, schizophrenia is associated with impairment of biochemical reactions and certain brain structures. Schizophrenia - GTR is the same organic brain damage, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. There are theories that explain schizophrenia as a result of a viral infection, transferred at an early age, or a minor brain injury tribal, but they can not be regarded as proven.

    Although hereditary factor undoubtedly playsa role in schizophrenia, it is not decisive. Many researchers believe that, as in the case of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases can be inherited from a parent increased susceptibility to schizophrenia disease, which can be realized only under certain circumstances.


    Treatment of schizophrenia

    Symptoms of schizophrenia amenable to medicaltreatment. However, as in the case of diabetes, has not yet found a medicine, enabling completely cure the disease. At the same time there are psychiatric medications that reduce symptoms allow the vast majority of patients with schizophrenia.

    Medications used to treat schizophreniaCalled antipsychotic orneuroleptics (of these drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia used haloperidol triftazin, Zyprexa, rispolept, tsiklodol). They suppress the hallucinations, delusions, thought processes is reduced. Apparently, antipsychotics correcting violations of biochemical reactions in the cells of the brain caused by the disease.

    Psychosocial rehabilitation. Psychotherapy itself is unable to healsymptoms of schizophrenia, but individual and group sessions can provide important moral support and create a friendly atmosphere, which is very important both for the patients and for their families. Special studies have shown that those patients who, in addition to conventional medical therapy group attended psychosocial rehabilitation, disease transmission easier.

    Hospitalization. It is necessary to hospitalize those patientswhere there is an acute form of schizophrenia, especially in the initial period of illness. After a course of effective drug therapy, most of these patients can continue treatment in support groups, rehabilitation centers or outpatient. Most often repeated relapses and exacerbations occur in patients who stop taking medication on their own against the advice of a doctor.


    What is the efficacy of the treatment?

    Treatment with modern medical drugsIt is quite effective in the vast majority of patients with schizophrenia, and prospects for the future is quite promising. Recent experimental studies in neurophysiology of the brain and psychopharmacology field allow us to hope that the drug therapy of schizophrenia will be more efficient and will help a greater number of patients.

    According to statistics, about 25% of patientsschizophrenia taking antipsychotic drugs regularly for 10 years, became almost healthy. State another 25% of patients improved significantly, and even 25% - moderately. About 15% of patients do not respond to treatment, and 10% die within a specified period, mainly as a result of suicide or accident.


    What is schizophrenia?How to help people with schizophrenia?

    First of all schizophrenic needsaccurate diagnosis, timely and early treatment. In addition, the patient must sympathy, understanding and respect. Like any other serious chronic disease patient, a person suffering from schizophrenia, need help and support to overcome the fear and isolation caused by not only the disease itself, but also the many prejudices associated with it.

    Since schizophrenia affects many functionsthe body, the patient often needs physical assistance - ranging from personal hygiene and ending with the choice of the most suitable diet and control over the regular intake of medicines. Although correct and consistent treatment of the majority of schizophrenic patients can return to normal life, even in this case, they need help in finding a job, housing, clothing, financial assistance, etc.

    How can you help? If you know that a loved one is illschizophrenia, the most important of what you can do for it - this is to help find effective treatment and insist that he adhered to this treatment.

    How to deal with the symptoms? When you are faced with symptoms of schizophreniaperson close to you, then you will be much easier to cope if you learn about the disease as much as possible. Try to understand, at least approximately, that it is necessary to feel sick, and why schizophrenia causes unusual or conflicting behavior.

    For example, it is very important to understand that delusions andhallucinations are perceived by the patient as a real voice, images or events. Do not argue with the patient, laugh at him, or seem very worried. Try to understand what the patient feels, staying calm yourself, and try to calm the patient.

    How to cope with the crisis? In some cases, patient behaviorschizophrenia can be very strange and even dangerous. If you are faced with the strange behavior of the patient, try to remain calm. When communicating with the patient tone of your statements should not be judgmental, and statements themselves must be extremely clear and convincing.

    Strange behavior is not always dangerous. Even if the patient's behavior becomesthreatening, you need to stay calm and be clear about the limits of permissible deviations in behavior. In those cases, when you see that you are not able to prevent dangerous behavior on the part of the patient, you should seek specialist medical attention or call the telephone brigade emergency psychiatric care and as a last resort to call the police. Your safety, the safety of others and the patient should always be placed at the forefront.


    What if someone in your family is sick with schizophrenia?

    The diagnosis of schizophrenia - is not only a heavy blowfor the patient, but also a serious challenge for his family. Many families try to hide the fact that some of their relatives suffers from schizophrenia and are trying to cope with the disease themselves. As a result, these families are left alone with a number of problems. If someone in your family suffers from schizophrenia, then you are especially in need of understanding, love and support from others. You need to understand that, like cancer, diabetes or other chronic diseases, schizophrenia is caused by internal processes in the brain of the patient, rather than your mistakes in handling it. You can not blame in causing the disease. Remember that you are not alone.

    Schizophrenia should not destroy your family. It is impossible to fully immerse themselves in the experience and care of illness of a loved one. Do not forget to consume you entirely about their business and about the holidays and do not let the disease. Scientists believe that new discoveries and new treatments will bring hope for the healing of many patients. However, try to make the patient's life was already acceptable today, and try to make acceptable your own life.

    Because patients with schizophrenia often do not understand,that they are sick, they are difficult or even impossible to convince of the need for treatment. If the patient's condition is getting worse, and you can not either convince or force it to be treated, then you might have to put him in a psychiatric hospital without his consent.

    The main objective, as a forced hospitalization,and the laws governing it, is to ensure the safety of the patient is in an acute stage, and the people around him. In addition, the hospital also aims to ensure the patient's treatment, even against his will. In Russia, the necessary information can be obtained from a medical or public organizations appropriate profile.

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