Schizophrenia: symptoms, types, causes, treatment

Filed in: Diseases & Conditions.

What is schizophrenia?

A panoramic concept shows the face of a man with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, serious and debilitating mental illness characterized by disordered thoughts, abnormal behaviors and antisocial behaviors. It is a psychotic disorder, which means that the person with schizophrenia sometimes does not identify with reality.

Who is affected?

Schizophrenia affects more than 2 million people in the US UU "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s3-people-from-overhead-view.jpg Schizophrenia affects approximately 1.1% of the world's population. 3.5 million Americans have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 16 to 25 years. Schizophrenia can be hereditary (runs in families) It affects men 1.5 times more commonly than women Schizophrenia and its treatment have a huge effect on the economy, which costs between $ 32.5 and $ 65 billion each year.

How common is schizophrenia in children?

Children can also be affected by schizophrenia. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s4-girl-with-schizophrenia.jpg

Schizophrenia in young children is rare. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that only 1 in 40,000 children experience the onset of schizophrenia symptoms before age 13.

Types of schizophrenia

Health care checklist for schizophrenia. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s5-health-care-checklist.jpg

There are five types of schizophrenia (discussed in the following slides). They are classified according to the types of symptoms that the person presents when they are evaluated:

Paranoid schizophrenia Disorganized schizophrenia Catatonic schizophrenia Undifferentiated schizophrenia Residual schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia

A woman suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is distressed. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s6-woman-distressed.jpg

Paranoid-type schizophrenia is distinguished by paranoid behavior, which includes delusions and auditory hallucinations. Paranoid behavior is manifested through feelings of persecution, of being observed, or sometimes this behavior is associated with a famous or notable person, a celebrity or a politician, or an entity such as a corporation. People with paranoid-type schizophrenia may show anger, anxiety and hostility. The person usually has a relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of affection.

Disorganized schizophrenia

A young woman pours a pot of spaghetti on her head. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s7-woman-with-spaghetti-on-head.jpg

A person with disorganized type schizophrenia will exhibit disorganized behaviors or speech that may be strange or difficult to understand. They may show inappropriate emotions or reactions that are not related to the situation in question. Daily activities, such as hygiene, food and work, can be disrupted or neglected by disorganized thinking patterns.

Catatonic schizophrenia

A man is in a catatonic state. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s8-man-in-catatonic-state.jpg

The alterations of the movement mark schizophrenia of catatonic type. People with this type of schizophrenia can vary between extremes: they can remain immobile or move around the place. They can say nothing for hours, or they can repeat everything you say or do. These behaviors put these people with catatonic-type schizophrenia at high risk because they often can not take care of themselves or complete daily activities.

Undifferentiated schizophrenia

A young man with undifferentiated schizophrenia wears an aluminum foil hat while staring at a television set. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s9-man-with-foil-hat.jpg

Undifferentiated type schizophrenia is a classification used when a person shows behaviors that adapt to two or more of the other types of schizophrenia, including symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, language or disorganized behavior, catatonic behavior.

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Residual schizophrenia

The reflection of a schizophrenic girl shows internal confusion. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s10-schizophrenic-girl.jpg

When a person has a history of at least one episode of schizophrenia, but currently has no symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior), they are considered to have residual schizophrenia. The person may be in complete remission, or may at some time resume symptoms.

What are the causes of schizophrenia?

Gray matter loss rate: the composite MRI data show areas of gray matter loss over 5 years, comparing 12 normal adolescents (left) and 12 adolescents with childhood onset schizophrenia. Red and yellow denotes areas of greater loss. The front of the brain is on the left. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s11-a-neuroimaging-photo.jpg

Schizophrenia has multiple intermixed causes that can differ from person to person, including:

Genetics (works in families) Environment Brain chemistry History of abuse or neglect

Is it hereditary schizophrenia?

The twin sisters look at each other. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s12-twin-sisters.jpg

Schizophrenia has a genetic component. While schizophrenia occurs in only 1% of the general population, it occurs in 10% of people with a first-degree relative (parents, siblings) with the disorder. The risk is greater if an identical twin has schizophrenia. It is also more common in people with a second-degree relative (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) with the disorder.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

Intense anxiety is a symptom of schizophrenia. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s13-symptoms-checklist.jpg

Many people with schizophrenia do not seem sick. However, many changes in behavior will make the person appear "off" as the disease progresses. Symptoms include:

Social withdrawal Anxiety Delusions Hallucinations Paranoid feelings or persecution Loss of appetite or negligence in eating Loss of hygiene

The symptoms can also be grouped into categories, which are discussed in the following slides.

Positive symptoms (more psychotic)

A person with schizophrenia may experience psychotic symptoms. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s14-psychotic-symptoms.jpg

"Positive" or overtly psychotic symptoms are symptoms that are not seen in healthy people, and include:

Delusions Hallucinations Speech or disorganized behavior Dysfunctional thinking Catatonia or other movement disorders

Negative symptoms (deficit)

A man sits alone "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s15-man-sitting.jpg

"Negative" symptoms interrupt normal emotions and behaviors and include:

Social withdrawal "flat affect", dull or monotonous language and lack of facial expression Difficulty expressing emotions Lack of personal care Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)

Cognitive symptoms

A schizophrenic may have difficulty remembering simple tasks. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s16-confused-man.jpg

Cognitive symptoms may be more difficult to detect and include:

Inability to process information and make decisions. Difficulty concentrating or paying attention. Problems with memory or learning new tasks.

Affective symptoms (or mood)

A depressed woman "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s17-depressed-woman.jpg

Affective symptoms refer to those that affect mood. Patients with schizophrenia often have overlapping depression and may have thoughts or suicidal behaviors.

How is schizophrenia diagnosed?

Doctor with stethoscope. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s18-doctor-with-a-stethoscope.jpg

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is made by ruling out other medical disorders that can cause behavioral symptoms (exclusion) and observing the presence of symptoms characteristic of the disorder. The physician will look for the presence of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized language or behavior and / or negative symptoms, along with social isolation and / or dysfunction at work or in daily activities for at least six months.

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The doctor can use the physical examination, psychological evaluation, blood laboratory tests and imaging to obtain a complete picture of the patient's condition.

How is schizophrenia diagnosed? (Continued)

A mental health professional diagnoses a patient. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s19-mental-health-professional-diagnoses-patient.jpg

The assessment and evaluation of mental health is an important part of the diagnosis process of schizophrenia. Many other mental illnesses such as Bipolar disorderSchizoaffective disorder, anxiety disorders, severe depression and substance abuse can mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia. A doctor will perform an evaluation to rule out these other conditions.

Treatment of schizophrenia – Medications

Zyprexa 10 mg vial, Abilify Discmelt 15 mg tablet, Risperdal M-Tab 1 mg ODT, Geodon 20 mg vial "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s20-treatment-medications.jpg

Antipsychotic medications are the first-line treatment for many patients with schizophrenia. Medications are often used in combination with other types of medications to decrease or control the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Some antipsychotic medications include:

olanzapine (Zyprexa) risperidone (Risperdal) quetiapine (Seroquel) ziprasidone (Geodon) aripiprazole (Abilify) paliperidone (Invega)

Treatment of schizophrenia – Medications (continued)

Lamictal XR 25 mg tablet, Depakote 125 mg sprinkle capsule, Zoloft 100 mg tablet, Cymbalta 20 mg capsule "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s21-treatment-medications.jpg

Mood swings and depression are common in patients with schizophrenia. In addition to antipsychotics, other types of medications are used.

Mood stabilizers include:

Litival (Lithobid) divalproex (Depakote) carbamazepine (Tegretol) lamotrigine (Lamictal)

Antidepressants include:

fluoxetine (Prozac) sertraline (Zoloft) paroxetine (Paxil) citalopram (Celexa) escitalopram (Lexapro) venlafaxine (Effexor) desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) duloxetine (Cymbalta) bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Treatment of schizophrenia – Psychosocial interventions

Family psychoeducation teaches family members to solve problems. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s22-psychosocial-intervention.jpg

Family psychoeducation: it is important to include psychosocial interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia. Including family members to support patients decreases the relapse rate of psychotic episodes and improves the person's outcomes. Family relationships improve when everyone knows how to help their loved one cope with schizophrenia.

Treatment of schizophrenia: psychosocial interventions (continued)

A psychiatrist, a nurse, a case manager, an employment counselor and a substance abuse counselor often form an ACT team. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia- s23-psychosocial-intervention.jpg

Assertive community treatment (ACT): another form of psychosocial intervention includes the use of ambulatory support groups. Support teams, which include psychiatrists, nurses, case managers and other counselors, meet regularly with the schizophrenic patient to help reduce the need for hospitalization or a decrease in mental status.

Treatment of schizophrenia: psychosocial interventions (continued)

About 50% of people with schizophrenia suffer from some type of substance abuse or dependence. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s24-substance-abuse.jpg

Treatment for substance abuse: many people with schizophrenia (up to 50%) also have substance abuse problems. These substance abuse problems worsen the behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia and should be addressed for better results.

Treatment of schizophrenia: psychosocial interventions (continued)

A group socializes around a laptop. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/schizophrenia-s25-group-socializing-around-laptop.jpg

Training in social skills: patients with schizophrenia may need to relearn how to interact properly in social situations. This type of psychosocial intervention consists in rehearsing or representing real life roles.

Reference: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/schizophrenia_treatment

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