What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which people with schizophrenia have difficulty differentiating between the real and the unreal, thinking clearly and therefore having normal responses or attitudes. Schizophrenia occurs equally in men and women.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

The symptomatology of schizophrenia develops differently depending on the patient, and these symptoms slowly develop and become more pronounced over months or years. The main symptoms that occur at the onset of the disease are:

  • Concentration problems
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable or tense personality

As schizophrenia progresses, more symptoms usually develop, such as:

  • Hallucinations and delusions: the patient hears or sees and believes things that do not exist.
  • Loss of emotions in facial expression
  • Isolation
  • Difficulty in understanding reality
  • Impossibility to make decisions
  • Disconnected associations and theme changes

Causes of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a very complex illness that can be caused by several factors, but there is no definite cause. The factors that influence schizophrenia are:

  • Genetic component: there is a certain genetic predisposition to the onset of the disease.
  • Alterations during pregnancy or birth such as lack of oxygen in the fetus during pregnancy, viral infections or trauma.
  • Alterations in the brain: the consumption or habitual exposure to toxic substances and brain accidents that affect communication between neurons, influence the onset of schizophrenia.

Prevention of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia cannot be prevented; the only way to prevent the progression of its symptoms is to undergo the necessary treatment.

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Treatment of schizophrenia

When schizophrenia is diagnosed, it is necessary to undergo treatment, and in some cases may even require hospitalization for their safety.

Pharmacological treatment: antipsychotics are the most commonly used in this disease, although they can cause a series of side effects in the patient, such as vertigo, drowsiness, weight gain, tremors or a feeling of restlessness.

Psychological therapy: supportive therapy and behavioral therapy are very useful in the treatment of schizophrenia. It is also important to work with the patient on social relationships in order to adapt to society and work life.