Usually appearing in late adolescence or early adulthood, Schizophrenia is a mental disorder. It is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and other cognitive difficulties. In several cases, the disorder develops slowly, due to which individual doesn’t realize that they have been affected by it. While in other cases, the disorder can strike unexpectedly and develop fast.
Studies show that most commonly schizophrenia is found between the ages of 16 and 30. Moreover, males tend to reflect the symptoms slightly at a younger age than females. Experts say that it can often be a lifelong struggle.
Some patients of schizophrenia may show clear symptoms. Although, some patients might seem normal until they start sharing their thoughts. Doctors say signs of schizophrenia vary from individual to individual. However, they have classified the symptoms into four categories. These are:
- POSITIVE: This is also known as psychotic symptoms and includes delusions and hallucinations.
- NEGATIVE: These symptoms involves the elements that an individual loses. These can include lack of motivation, staying lost or losing facial expressions.
- COGNITIVE: Cognitive symptoms are those that affect the thought processes of a person. This can include both positive and negative symptoms. For Example: Poor concentration is a negative cognitive symptom.
- EMOTIONAL: Usuallythese are negative symptoms, for example blunted emotion.
Other signs of schizophrenia may social withdrawal, unawareness of illness, difficulty in communication, among others.
A proper treatment can lead the patient to a productive life. Although majority of the patients have to deal with the disorder for life, many of the symptoms can be relieved through the treatment. The most effective treatment of schizophrenia is a generally a combination of medication, psychological counseling and self-help resources.
Yet, medication remains the primary treatment. Most common medications include Risperidone (Risperdal), Risperidone (Risperdal), Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Clozapine (Clozaril), Haloperidol and Ziprasidone (Geodon).
Patients of schizophrenia can take a long time to recover. Recovery can also be a lonely experience for some. Therefore, psychologists suggests that family and friends of such patients give full support to the individuals facing the problem.