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Schizophrenia and its 5 Early Symptoms

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Schizophrenia and its 5 Early Symptoms:

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which a person interprets reality abnormally. It may include hallucinations, distorted speech, fear of impending doom, and anxiety attacks. Symptoms of schizophrenia are explained in this article.

Patients with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment, and it is never wholly cured. However, symptoms can be controlled by medications. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of recovery. The rate of schizophrenia is rising among people in the USA and UK.

What is Schizophrenia?

First of all, you might be asking yourself, what is schizophrenia? Am I prone to it? So “schizo” means “split” and “phrenia” means “mind”. To put it simply, schizophrenia is a mental condition in the person who hears voices and has delusions, intense fear of impending doom, paranoia, and disassociation of ideas.

The person might feel that he can see what other people can’t see or hear noises that are just audible to them, and no one else believes them. They might feel like their life is in danger, but that’s not the case. It’s a syndrome which is why different symptoms can be associated with it.

Am I Going Crazy?

No, experiencing these signs and symptoms of schizophrenia does not mean you are going crazy, or you have lost it.

If you experience hallucinations, you have to reach out for help. You are not crazy. You are just going through a mental illness that can be controlled once you reach out to your doctor for help. You can continue your daily life, and there is nothing wrong with being sick.

A lot of people get sick with some disease at some point in their life. So don’t give up on yourself and reach out for help. You have got this.

What is the Pathophysiology Behind Schizophrenia?

The main three possibilities believed among the doctors are:

  • Multiple areas in the cerebral cortex prefrontal lobes in which neural signal has become blocked or where the processing of the signals becomes dysfunctional because many synapses customarily excited by the neurotransmitter glutamate lose their responsiveness to this transmitter.
  • Excessive excitement of a group of neurons that secrete dopamine in the behavioural centres of the brain, including frontal lobes
  • Abnormal functions of a crucial part of the brain’s limbic behavioural control system cantered around the hippocampus.

Is Dopamine the Main Cause of Schizophrenia?

Yes, it is believed among doctors and researchers that excessive dopamine activity causes the symptoms of schizophrenia.

The excess dopamine is secreted by a group of dopamine-secreting neurons. Its cell bodies lie in the ventral tegmentum of the mesencephalon, medial and superior to the substantia nigra.

These neurons give rise to the so-called mesolimbic dopaminergic system. Further, it projects nerve fibres and dopamine secretion into all the powerful behavioural control centres.

Drug Reaction:

Another reason to believe that dopamine is the reason behind schizophrenia is that all the drugs prescribed for the patient either decrease dopamine secretion or decrease the effect of dopamine on subsequent neurons.

Can the L-Dopa Medicine for Parkinsonism Cause Schizophrenia Symptoms?

Yes, the medicine L-dopa elevates the symptoms of schizophrenia. It is because the drug releases an immense amount of dopamine in the brain.

Are There Any Anatomical Changes in the Brain of A Schizophrenia Patient?

Yes, this is how the involvement of the hippocampus was found in schizophrenia. It was noted that the hippocampus is often reduced in size, especially in the dominant hemisphere.

changes in the brain in schizophrenia

Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Children:

few symptoms in children

Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Adults:

The main symptom is hallucination. There are three types of symptoms:

Positive Symptoms:

  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Delusions either of control or reference
  • Hallucination
  • Disorganised speech
  • Disorganised behaviour

Negative Symptoms:

  • Decrease in emotions
  • Removal of the normal process
  • Not finding interest in activities they once found interesting
  • Flat Affect is an inappropriate response to situations
  • Alogia is the poverty of speech

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • It affects memory, learning, and understanding
  • Subtle, challenging to notice

Schizophrenia and its 5 Early Symptoms:

Schizophrenia cycles through three phases, which are:

Prodromal Phase:

  • Feeling withdrawn
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of communication with friends and family
  • Expression of fear
  • Fear of impending doom

Getting help at this early stage will save you from trouble. The next phase is not helpful in early prevention as the disease would have progressed.

Active Phase:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganised speech
  • Unusual behaviour
  • Catatonic behaviour

Residual Phase:

  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Cognitive symptoms

Will I Ever Be Normal Again?

Although the disease is not fully curable, drugs such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, and thiothixene can reduce the symptoms. However, psychotherapy helps in relieving stress which leads to better health. Therefore, do not give up on yourself. With help and patience, you can overcome the disease (Hall 2020).

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Hi, i am Maiza Rafique. I am a medical student and been writing for hubdaily in the meantime. hope you enjoy my articles.

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