Schizophrenia - Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it impossible to differentiate between what is imagined and what is real. Just as other mental disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Multiple Sclerosis. Schizophrenia appears to be a failure of the brain's chemical or electrical systems to function properly, resulting in a variety of unusual neural twists, such as disjointed ideas, confused or disconnected thoughts, and sounds or other sensations experienced as real when they exist only in the person's mind.
What are the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia?
The characteristic symptoms include disordered thinking, speech, and perception; a lack of curiosity; diminishing emotional contact with others; lethargy; emotional changes such as tension and/ or depression; and more dramatic behavioral disturbances, ranging from catatonia to violent outbursts and delusions. People with schizophrenia lose, to some degree, their hold on reality, and many seem to withdraw into their own worlds. Hallucinations are not uncommon.
There are four basic types of schizophrenia:
What causes schizophrenia?
While the onset of the disorder is often related to a stressful life event, the underlying cause or causes of schizophrenia are not known. There are many theories, however. Some researchers believe that schizophrenia is hereditary, and there is evidence that some cases of schizophrenia are the result of an inherited defect in body chemistry in which brain chemicals called neurotransmitters function abnormally. Others theorize that schizophrenia results from external factors, such as complications during birth, head injury, a reaction to a virus, including the influenza virus, or environmental poisons that reach and damage the brain. There is a high incidence of childhood head injuries and birth complications among people with schizophrenia. A wide range of drugs also can cause schizophrenic type symptoms.
Yet another theory focuses on nutritional factors. There is some indication that schizophrenia may be associated with high copper levels in body tissues. When copper levels are too high, the levels of vitamin C and zinc in the body drop. A zinc deficiency may result in damage to the pineal area of the brain, which normally contains high levels of zinc, which in turn may make an individual vulnerable to schizophrenia or other psychoses. Evidence indicates that male babies are particularly susceptible to gestational zinc deficiencies. Other clues come from the seasonality of the disorder. The incidence of schizophrenic episodes tends to peak in cold-weather months, when zinc intake tends to be lower. As many as 2 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia. In general, men appear to become more disabled by this condition than women, which has given rise to a hypothesis that the hormone estrogen may protect the brain. When women reach the age of diminishing estrogens in their late forties, the incidence and severity of schizophrenic episodes appears to increase.
Magnesium deficiency may also be a factor. Some research has shown that magnesium levels in the blood of people with active schizophrenia are lower than normal and that the levels are higher in persons whose schizophrenia is in remission. It has been hypothesized that a type of vicious cycle may be at work here; the high level of stress experienced by those with severe psychiatric disorders may lead to magnesium deficiency, which in turn would exacerbate symptoms such as anxiety, fear, hallucinations, weakness, and physical complaints
Childhood-onset schizophrenia begins after the age of 5 and, in most cases, after relatively normal development. Childhood schizophrenia is rare and can be difficult to differentiate from other pervasive developmental disorders of childhood, such as autism .
Information on the home medication for the treatment of schizophrenia
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