schizophrenia treatment in chennai
Schizophrenia is a group of severe brain disorders which interfere with a persons interpretation of reality (happenings around him) resulting in combinations of hallucinations, delusions and thinking and behavior.
Schizophrenia is an illness which yields best results when treated early. If not treated early it may become refractory to treatment and may not respond to treatment. If untreated the ability of people with schizophrenia to function normally and to care for themselves tends to deteriorate over time.
Contrary to some popular belief, schizophrenia isn’t split personality or multiple personality. The word “schizophrenia” does mean “split mind,” but it refers to a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thinking.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder. It is important to understand that the person is not deliberately behaving abnormally – it is not within his control.
Schizophrenia is caused by biological factors leading to disturbances in chemicals in the brain. Sometimes the problem may disappear on its own, but most often it occurs with no apparent reason. The episode may start at the time of great stress and then the illness runs its course.
A combination of genetics and environment contributes to development of the disease. In a person with a genetic predilection, an environmental trigger causes an imbalance in certain naturally occurring brain chemicals, including the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, thereby causing the symptoms of schizophrenia. Neuroimaging studies support evidence that schizophrenia is a brain disease.
Certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering schizophrenia, including:
Having a family history of schizophrenia
Exposure to viruses, toxins or malnutrition while in the womb, particularly in the first and second trimesters
Stressful life circumstances
Taking psychoactive drugs during adolescence and young adulthood
Left untreated, schizophrenia can result in severe emotional, behavioral and health problems, as well as legal and financial problems that affect every area of life. Complications that schizophrenia may cause or be associated with include:
Self-destructive behavior, such as self-injury
Abuse of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications
Inability to work or attend school
Health problems from antipsychotic medications
Being a victim or perpetrator of violent crime
Heart disease, often related to heavy smoking
Treatment Schizophrenia is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment, even when symptoms have subsided. Treatment with medications and psychosocial therapy can help manage the condition. During crisis periods or times of severe symptoms, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety, proper nutrition, adequate sleep and basic hygiene.
Medications are the cornerstone of schizophrenia treatment. Today we have a wide range of medication with little or no side effects that can help a person with schizophrenia to lead a “normal” productive life. We have a large number of patients with schizophrenia who are leading productive lives as software engineers, top level managers, financial consultants etc.
Antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia. They’re thought to control symptoms by affecting the brain neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. A person’s willingness to cooperate with treatment may affect medication choice. Someone who is uncooperative may need to be given injections instead of taking a pill.
Although medications are the cornerstone of schizophrenia treatment, once psychosis recedes, psychosocial treatments also are important. These may include:
Social skills training. This focuses on improving communication and social interactions.
Family therapy. This provides support and education to families dealing with schizophrenia.
Vocational rehabilitation and supported employment. This focuses on helping people with schizophrenia find and keep jobs.
Individual therapy. Learning to cope with stress and identify early warning signs of relapse can help people with schizophrenia manage their illness.
Schizophrenia and work.
laughing or talking to oneself
getting angry or crying without any apparent reason
complaints by the person of hearing voices when alone!
complaints or ideas that someone is after the person
not carrying out one’s own usual daily routine
sudden lack of care about personal grooming and hygiene
serious disturbances in sleep or lack of appetite
person reporting that he or she is seeing things others don’t
unexplained violent behavior
withdrawal from social activities and people
strange ideas and beliefs, such as, that everything on the radio or TV is referring to the person himself, or that everyone knows what the person is thinking, that he knows about other’s thoughts and ideas being transmitted to him
lack of organization of thoughts leading to mixture of ideas while talking or talk not making sense
Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia generally are divided into three categories — positive, negative and cognitive.
These reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions. These active, abnormal symptoms may include:
Delusions. These beliefs are not based in reality and usually involve misinterpretation of perception or experience. They are the most common of schizophrenic symptoms.
Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don’t exist, although hallucinations can be in any of the senses. Hearing voices is the most common hallucination among people with schizophrenia.
Thought disorder. Difficulty speaking and organizing thoughts may result in stopping speech midsentence or putting together meaningless words, sometimes known as “word salad.”
Disorganized behavior. This may show in a number of ways, ranging from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation.
Negative symptoms refer to a diminishment or absence of characteristics of normal function. They may appear months or years before positive symptoms. They include:
Loss of interest in everyday activities
Appearing to lack emotion
Reduced ability to plan or carry out activities
Neglect of personal hygiene
Loss of motivation
Cognitive symptoms involve problems with thought processes. These symptoms may be the most disabling in schizophrenia, because they interfere with the ability to perform routine daily tasks. A person with schizophrenia may be born with these symptoms, but they may worsen when the disorder starts. They include:
Problems with making sense of information
Difficulty paying attention
Schizophrenia also can affect mood, causing depression or mood swings. In addition, people with schizophrenia often seem inappropriate and odd, causing others to avoid them, which leads to social isolation.
Hospitalization is at times necessary when the person’s behavior is harmful to himself or others, or when the person is not looking after his own basic needs any more. Also, it may be necessary to make sure the person is getting his medication regularly. Schizophrenic patients can sometimes refuse to accept medicines from relatives because they imagine they are being poisoned.