Schizophrenia- is a mental disorder characterized by a worsening perception of the surrounding reality and the gradual “death” of a person as a member of society.
The origin and mechanisms of the development of the pathological process in schizophrenia are still unclear, but the latest achievements of genetics and immunology give us some suggestions of the emergence of this disorder, such as heredity, pathological pregnancy and childbirth, incorrect formation of personality in the early years of life, but most experts tend to the fact that schizophrenia arises from the wrong metabolism in the brain. The disorder can begin at any age, but most often starts at 15-25 years.
Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into positive (additional signs that are absent in a normal person) and negative (decrease or absence of signs that are normal).
Positive symptoms include:
– delirium (reasoning thoughts and conclusions are not appropriate reality),
– Hallucinations (the emergence of images in the minds of not existing in reality, voice in the head).
-Deorganization of thinking (Patients perceive this state as “failure or break of thoughts”)
– Depersonalization (the patient’s own actions are perceived as if from the outside and are accompanied by a sense of impossibility to control them)
– Derealization (altered perception of the surrounding reality: colors or sounds may seem brighter or qualitatively changed. The surrounding world can be perceived as something artificial, similar to a film where people play their roles.)
Negative symptoms include:
-Eltimation of the emotional sphere (weakening of love for relatives and relatives, loss of interest in a hobby or previously loved work, decreased sexual desire, etc.)
– scarcity or complete cessation of speech
– Weakening of volitional activity, characterized by weakness of motivation.
– Atactic thinking (the presence in the patient’s speech of uncoordinated, normally incompatible concepts) to atactic thinking include the reasoning (constant barren reasoning) and schizophasia (speech is a set of rambling words)
Schizophrenia often occurs in the form of attacks. Attacks are characterized by intense positive symptoms, and the intervals between them are mostly negative (positive symptoms may be weak or present only in an erased form). If there are negative symptoms, and positive – weak or nonexistent, they talk about residual schizophrenia.
After diagnosing schizophrenia, 30% of patients will be fully cured, the remaining 70% will achieve remission (temporary fading of the symptoms of the disease).The life expectancy of a patient depends only on how timely the diagnosis is made and treatment is started. In addition, the later the onset of schizophrenia, the more easily the disease progresses: schizophrenia, which began in childhood or adolescence, usually proceeds very hard, and in middle age it is easy.
Schizophrenia is not contagious and not fatal, although schizophrenics live on average 10 years less than mentally normal people. One of the reasons is that schizophrenics often commit suicide (30% of all schizophrenics attempt suicide, 10% commit suicide, schizophrenic men commit suicide 3 times more often than women). Another reason is that schizophrenics smoke much more often than mentally normal ones. There is also evidence that immunological changes in schizophrenia can be responsible for diseases of other organs. Childhood schizophrenia caused by birth trauma, sometimes passes itself in adolescence. For such a variety of schizophrenia is also characterized by an improvement in the course of the disease with the appointment of general stimulant drugs. By the degree of disability, schizophrenia is one of the most serious diseases. According to a recent study of schizophrenia in 14 countries, she is recognized as the third most severely affected disease after quadriplegia (paralysis of the hands and legs) and senile dementia, and before paraplegia (paralysis or lower or upper extremities) and blindness.