==== ====For Great Schizophrenia Relief Tips Check This Outhttp://schizophrenia-blog.newrealitybegins.com==== ====If you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may find coping with schizophrenia to bechallenging. But first it is helpful to have a general understanding of what schizophrenia actually is.It is always easier to cope with something once you understand it better.Schizophrenia is a very serious psychiatric illness which afflicts approximately 1% of thepopulation. It is a very disabling disorder, and is both chronic and severe. While schizophrenia canstrike at any age, it typically first appears in a persons life in late adolescence to his or her latetwenties or early thirties. Symptoms of schizophrenia generally appear at an earlier age in malesthan in females.Symptoms of SchizophreniaSchizophrenia is a type of psychotic disorder, which means that the person often has a difficulttime distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. A person with schizophrenia oftenexperiences psychotic symptoms in the form of delusions or hallucinations. Delusions are beliefsthat are not based in reality, whereas hallucinations consist of imagined perceptual experiences,such as hearing imaginary voices or seeing things that are not real.For example, a schizophrenic person may have the delusion that his thoughts are being controlledby aliens, or that his every movement is being tracked by a microchip which has been implanted inhis brain. He may also experience auditory hallucinations in the form of voices telling him to dosomething or commenting on his actions. These psychotic symptoms can often make theschizophrenic individual feel very scared or paranoid.Individuals with schizophrenia may also exhibit a variety of other symptoms. These may include aflattened affect, which means the person shows little or no emotional expression. Other symptomsmay include withdrawing from people, engaging in bizarre behaviors, having difficulty organizingones thoughts, or speaking in a way which makes no sense to others. They may also have adifficult time with attention and initiating plans.Types of Schizophrenia and Related DisordersAccording to the DSM-IV-R, there are currently five different types of schizophrenia. These aredetermined by the particular symptoms which are the most prominent at a given time. The fivetypes are:ParanoidDisorganized
CatatonicUndifferentiatedResidualThere are also two disorders that are closely related to schizophrenia: Schizophreniform disorderand schizoaffective disorder. Diagnosis can vary over time due to the current symptoms and otherfactors, making it confusing to the individual and to family members.What Causes Schizophrenia?While the cause of schizophrenia is still unknown, what research has shown us is that there arecertain structural differences in the brain of an individual with schizophrenia, as well as ahereditary component. It has long been known that a person with a schizophrenic parent or otherimmediate family member is much more likely to develop the disorder than someone with nofamily history of the disorder. A recent study by the NIMH suggests that faulty wiring in the braincaused by missing genes may play a role in the development of schizophrenia.Treatment of SchizophreniaThe treatment for schizophrenia generally includes a combination of the following:MedicationInpatient treatmentEducation (for the individual and his or her family, significant other, or support system)Therapy (including individual, family, and/or group therapy)Residential or day treatment programsVocational trainingMost individuals with schizophrenia require ongoing medication to manage their symptoms andminimize the occurrence and severity of psychotic episodes.Because of the severity of the symptoms experienced by a person with schizophrenia, it can oftenbe very difficult for the individual to function well in society or to do well in an occupation. Manyindividuals with schizophrenia are in and out of treatment facilities throughout their lives. Currentlythere is no known cure for schizophrenia. However, our understanding and treatment ofschizophrenia is constantly improving, and research is ongoing. While the diagnosis ofschizophrenia can be heartbreaking, there is always hope that in time medical researchers mayfind more and more ways to better treat the illness, and perhaps eventually determine if and how itcan be prevented or cured.Dr. Cheryl Lane has a doctorate in clinical psychology and 15 years experience working in themental health field. Over the course of her career she has evaluated and treated many patientsdiagnosed with schizophrenia.
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