Schizophrenia – The Types and Treatment

schizophreniaAmong the different brain diseases, schizophrenia is one of the most devastating.

The mental disorder will be present in 1 in every 100 person. Millions of people are diagnosed with the mental condition. Even young children ages 5 to 10 years old can start to show symptoms. Schizophrenia is also categorized into five unique types depending on the manifestations of the patients. The symptoms will differ and the causes too. Diagnosing the problem early will be helpful in the treatment and coping interventions.

Schizophrenia Overview

Schizophrenia is a common brain disease that is described as a mental or psychotic condition wherein affected individuals show abnormalities in social behavior and thought processes.

A person’s thoughts can become disorganized and he can have problems differentiating between reality and fantasy. People with the condition will also most likely be described as insane because they no longer can perform normal activities, maintain good and healthy relationships as well as properly interact with society. Patients will present a variety of symptoms such as changes in the way they communicate, disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, rigid behavior, hallucinations, delusions and other abnormal sensations. They will also display different thoughts and emotions.

Brain Diseases: Schizophrenia Causes

Many experts through the years cannot truly point out the true causes of schizophrenia although some say that environmental factors play a huge role in the development of the condition. The condition also has no known cure so patients will have to deal with the problem by minimizing the effects through medication and therapies.

Doctors discover that patients diagnosed with the disorder will show changes in the way they produce neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brain responsible for mood. The neurons or signals that are responsible for communication and thought processes also show differences which explain why patients have a problem performing a variety of actions and cannot properly move, speak, walk or do activities of daily living.

To picture how schizophrenia affects a person and his or her loved ones, Hollywood has made several films about the condition, as with A Beautiful Mind, Secret Window, Shutter Island, Benny & Joon and The Snake Pit. These films have wonderfully captured how it is living with this brain disorder and the lengths the loved ones of those who are suffering from the condition are going through to deal with it.

The Types of Schizophrenia

Among the psychotic brain diseases, schizophrenia is one of the most devastating. Psychiatrists categorize the problem according to the presenting symptoms. There are five kinds in all namely paranoid, catatonic, disorganized, residual and undifferentiated. Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common wherein patients experience auditory hallucinations and delusions.

They usually exhibit intense fear and believe that other people or imaginary agencies are plotting to harm them or society in general. The catatonic type is described as having symptoms such as difficulty or absence of movement, abnormal movement, excessive actions and repetitive actions. The disorganized type will present symptoms like flat affect, absence of emotions, problems in communicating, speech difficulty, disorganized behavior and inappropriate emotions.

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The catatonic type is distinct from the paranoid type while the disorganized type is distinct from undifferentiated type. Undifferentiated schizophrenia is described as having symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, disorganized behavior, negative symptoms and communication problems. This is also described differently from the first three types mentioned. Finally, the residual type is one of the brain diseases wherein the full extent of the positive symptoms is not noticeable. Patients will show lack of interest, absence of speech and withdrawal.

Treatment for Brain Diseases Like Schizophrenia

There are several medications available to relieve the patient of the many symptoms of schizophrenia depending on the type. The positive symptoms can be treated by these pharmaceutical agents namely haloperidol, ziprasidone, olanzapine, risperidone and quetiapine. These are known as antipsychotic medications that will improve the way brain chemicals are produced and work in the body.

There are also a number of expected side effects like dizziness, weight gain and changes in the blood lipid levels. The new drugs generally work just the same as classic drugs like molindone and perphenazine although the potential side effects may be fewer. Doctors will consider a lot of factors before recommending these medications such as the age of the patient, the presenting symptoms and tolerance to the drug.

Patients with schizophrenia brain diseases will also be provided with a number of therapies to encourage independence and give them more time to cope with the demands of the debilitating disease. The person can try visualization techniques, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and other approaches to improve speech, movement and actions that are conducive for independence. It’s important for patients to cope with reality so providing family support will be good to let him interact with society as much as he can.