What is Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world. People with schizophrenia often have an altered perception of reality. Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
Causes of schizophrenia
The condition has an inherited element, but it is also significantly influenced by environmental triggers.
Below is a list of the factors that are thought to contribute towards the onset of schizophrenia
- Genes: If there is no history of schizophrenia in a family, the chances of developing it are less than 1 percent. However, that risk rises to 10 percent if a parent was diagnosed.
- Chemical imbalance in the brain: Experts believe that an imbalance of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is involved in the onset of schizophrenia. Other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, may also be involved.
- Family relationships:
Although there is no evidence to prove or even indicate that family relationships might cause schizophrenia, some patients with the illness believe family tension triggers relapses.
- Environment: Stressful experiences often precede the emergence of schizophrenia. Before any acute symptoms are apparent, people with schizophrenia habitually become bad-tempered, anxious, and unfocused. This can trigger relationship problems, divorce, and unemployment.
- Some drugs: Cannabis and LSD are known to cause schizophrenia relapses. For people with a predisposition to a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, usage of cannabis may trigger the first episode.Some researchers believe that certain prescription drugs, such as steroids and stimulants, can cause psychosis.
Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia
- There are five types of symptoms characteristic of schizophrenia as below-:
- Delusions: A delusion is a firmly-held idea that a person has despite clear and obvious evidence that it isn’t true. Delusions are extremely common in schizophrenia, occurring in more than 90% of those who have the disorder.
- Hallucinations: Hallucinations are sounds or other sensations experienced as real when they exist only in the person's mind. While hallucinations can involve any of the five senses, auditory hallucinations are most common in schizophrenia. Many times, the voices are those of someone they know. Most commonly, the voices are critical, vulgar, or abusive. Hallucinations also tend to be worse when the person is alone.
- Disorganized speech: Externally, it can be observed in the way a person speaks. People with schizophrenia tend to have trouble concentrating and maintaining a train of thought.
- Common signs of disorganized speech in schizophrenia as below:
- Loose associations: Rapidly shifting from topic to topic, with no connection between one thought and the next.
- Neologisms: Made-up words or phrases that only have meaning to the patient.
- Perseveration: Repetition of words and statements; saying the same thing over and over.
- Clang: Meaningless use of rhyming words (“I said the bread and read the shed and fed Ned at the head").
- Disorganized behavior: Schizophrenia disrupts goal-directed activity, causing impairments in a person’s ability to take care of him or herself, work, and interact with others. Disorganized behavior appears as:
- A decline in overall daily functioning
- Unpredictable or inappropriate emotional responses
- Behaviors that appear bizarre and have no purpose
- Lack of inhibition and impulse control
- Negative symptoms(Absence of normal behaviors):
The so-called “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia refer to the absence of normal behaviors found in healthy individuals.
- negative symptoms of schizophrenia include as below
- Lack of emotional expression: Inexpressive face, including a flat voice, lack of eye contact, and blank or restricted facial expressions.
- Lack of interest or enthusiasm: Problems with motivation; lack of self-care.
- Seeming lack of interest in the world: Apparent unawareness of the environment; social withdrawal.
- Speech difficulties and abnormalities: Inability to carry a conversation; short and sometimes disconnected replies to questions; speaking in monotone.
Home Remedies for Schizophrenia
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- Panax Ginseng: Panax ginseng is considered good for improving memory, thinking and concentration.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba is being studied by the scientific communities as an adjunctive treatment for schizophrenia as it may help enhance the effectiveness of antipsychotics.
- Fish Oil: People suffering from schizophrenia tend to have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood as it is associated with a depletion of certain fatty acids. Thus, fish oil supplements high in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can help reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Brahmi: Brahmi, also called bacopa, is popularly used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive ability. Animal studies indicate that it can also help improve schizophrenia.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C and E are considered helpful in reducing the severity of schizophrenia. Vitamin C is also an anti-stress vitamin. Research indicates that there could be a possible role for oxidative stress in the development of this brain disorder.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is good for maintaining physical as well as mental well-being for schizophrenics. It helps improve your mood and alleviate anxiety and depression.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is another calming herb useful for depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders due to its anxiolytic and antidepressant effect.
Chamomile Chamomile has soothing and calming properties. It also promotes restful sleep and thus is useful for those suffering from schizophrenia.
- Basil: Basil leaves have excellent antioxidant properties and also promote brain functionality to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Green Cardamom: The seeds of green cardamom can also be used to help deal with schizophrenia as they are good for the nervous system