Friday, 23 September 2011
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that makes it difficult to: Tell the difference between real and unreal experiences Think logically Have normal emotional responses, Behave normally in social situation Causes, incidence, and risk factors Schizophrenia is a complex illness. Mental health experts are not sure what causes it. However, genetic factors appear to play a role. Certain environmental events may trigger schizophrenia in people who are genetically at risk for it. You are more likely to develop schizophrenia if you have a family member with the disease. Schizophrenia affects both men and women equally. In children begins in age 5. Symptoms Initially, Irritable or tense feeling Difficulty sleeping Difficulty concentrating problems with thinking, emotions and behavior develop Lack of emotion (flat affect) Strongly held beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions) Hearing or seeing things that are not there (hallucinations) Problems paying attention Thoughts "jump" between unrelated topics ( “loose associations”) Bizarre behaviors Social isolation Tests How long the symptoms have lasted How the person's ability to function has changed Developmental background Genetic and family history How well medications have worked Treatment Antipsychotic medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. They change the balance of chemicals in the brain and can help control symptoms. Sleepiness (sedation) Dizziness Weight gain Increased chance of diabetes and high cholesterol Feelings of restlessness or "jitters" Slowed movements Tremor References Leucht S, Corves C, Arbter D, Engel RR, Li C, Davis JM. Second-generation versus first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2009;373:31-41. Epub 2008 Dec 6. [PubMed] Freudenreich O, Weiss AP, Goff DC. Psychosis and schizophrenia. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 28.