Schizophrenia is a progressive mental disorder, a serious illness amid disturbing thoughts, unnatural feelings and actions. Socially, a schizophrenic person slowly becomes withdrawn and less expressive. They lack of motivation and rely on their false beliefs, develop imaginary characters in a world woven out of confused certainty, whom they find more trustworthy and isolate themselves from rest of the real world. In addition, schizophrenia leads to associated mental problems like anxiety, depression and substance abuse. The results are unemployment and destitution due to declining mental state; eventually reducing life expectancy.
The exact cause of the illness is not clear. There are multiple risk factors contributing to the development of the illness, some of the factors leading up to schizophrenia are:
- Malnourished foetus
- Family history
- Problems during child birth
- Psychological and social stimulus, transitory psychosis
- Neurotransmitter reactions, brain and behavioural vulnerability in adolescence
Symptomatically schizophrenia varies and is mostly dependent on the extent of severity and the person’s nature, the onset being earlier in men. The symptoms are classified as positive, negative and cognitive dysfunction:
- Positive are those of hallucinations and delusional episodes in an otherwise healthy person
- Negative manifestation is often on emotions wherein the person stays aloof from social interactions, lacks emotions in expression and fails to experience pain or pleasure.
- Cognitive signs in a schizophrenic individual are poor understanding and decision-making, lack of attention and face difficulty with working memory.
The prevention of the illness is nearly impossible since there are no consistent and reliable markers for early prognosis. The effectual way to restrict the mental disorder is via an early identification and treatment at pre-onset stage; if identified and diagnosed can be treated from developing a person into a complete schizophrenic. The primary procedure to treat the symptoms is using anti-psychotic drugs and through psycho-social intervention seeking help from family and community. In case of severity of condition, people are hospitalized for rehabilitation.