Schizophrenia: Some Myths and Facts
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that disorients a person’s ability to do things rationally. Their interpretation of reality will be abnormal and combined with hallucinations.
A person with schizophrenia will be disoriented from the real world. Their speech, behavior, and activities would not be aligned with the regular world. Their uninterest in daily activities, memory loss are some other symptoms.
Schizophrenia treatment is lifelong as there is no known cure for this disorder. The treatment methods include medications, physiotherapy, and similar combinations. The exact cause of the disorder is also not known.
Doctors assume that alteration in the chemistry of the brain and its structure along with genetics is one major reason. This article will give a detailed idea of some myths and facts about schizophrenia.
Myths of schizophrenic
Some common misconceptions about a schizophrenic are:
- A person becomes a schizophrenic because of bad parenting– It is a mental illness caused due to genetic problems, sudden shock, or drug abuse.
- Schizophrenia patients need to be tied in chains and hospitalized for the rest of their lives– They can be on meditation which can help lighten the symptoms.
- It is dangerous to be near a person suffering from schizophrenia– They are often estimated to be violent. However, even though they are unpredictable at times, violence on their part is unusual.
- A schizophrenic has no hope of leading a normal life, let alone have a job– Even though they don’t have a very good memory or attention, they can be intelligent. A lot of eminent scholars had schizophrenia during their time.
- A Schizophrenic is a victim to multiple personalities – A Schizophrenic will only have disorientation from reality.
Facts of schizophrenic
1. Symptoms: Some common symptoms include:
- Positive Symptoms
- Hallucinations- They are certain visualizations that are created in the minds of the schizophrenic which are not real. They see and hear things just like normal life events. Hallucination appears in all five senses but the most common is hearing voices.
- Confusing thoughts and Speech – Hallucination automatically leads to disorganized thoughts in the heads of schizophrenia. This also leads to talking without actually making sense.
- Delusions- There will be a conflict between the reality and the perceived thoughts of a schizophrenic. At some level, it can also lead to paranoia.
B. Negative Symptoms
- Selective or limited or lack of emotions
- Withdrawal from society
- Poor communication
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of motivation and tired all the time
Types of Schizophrenia
There are different types of Schizophrenia based on a person’s symptoms. They are:
- Paranoid Schizophrenia: It is the most common form which is usually shown in movies.
- Catatonic Schizophrenia: In this category, the physical movement of a person will be very restricted. They would stay in strange body positions and won’t be very responsive to stimuli.
- Hebephrenic or Disorganized Schizophrenia: In this category, the speech and behavior of a person will be disoriented. Their emotional responses can be confusing.
- Undifferentiated Schizophrenia: They showed positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. There is no structured treatment method for this type but have various combinations of medicine and physiotherapy.
- Residual Schizophrenia: These people might have had schizophrenia earlier in life and at present the symptoms are negative. They include a tendency to withdraw emotionally, lack of attention, and a disorganized mind.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
The usual medications prescribed for schizophrenia treatment are known as antipsychotics. They are given for lifelong usage and work on the dopamine and serotonin in the brain cells. Other than this there are various psychotherapies sessions used to tame schizophrenia. Some of them are
- Individual psychotherapy: A psychiatrist teaches a schizophrenic to deal with their emotions and thoughts. They will be given a detailed idea of their disease and ways to manage everyday life.
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT): A therapist helps a person to deal with their mind voices and hallucinations. They include a combination of CBT sessions and also medications.
- Cognitive enhancement therapy: They are also known as cognitive remediation. It helps a person to be more aware of the surroundings and improve their concentration, memory, and organizational skills. It consists of computer-based training methods and also group sessions.
There is a common notion that schizophrenic means, end of a normal life. Reshma Valliappan’s “Fallen Angels: My Life as a Schizophrenic” takes a completely different perspective on the issue. Valliappan has been diagnosed with schizophrenia at a very young age and all she did was not lose hope.
According to Reshma Valliappan, more than medications, it is one’s courage and strength that helps in the conquering of this disorder. It is also important to accept the fact and love yourself to have a mature attitude in life.