Schizophrenia

Below you will find more information about Schizophrenia from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Schizophrenia it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Schizophrenia and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Schizophrenia comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric term used in reference to a mental disorder characterized by an impaired perception of reality.

Diagnosis

A psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia is usually based on the self-described experiences of the patient, as well as his/her behavior as observed by others. Currently, there is no laboratory test that will confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

A cure for schizophrenia remains a controversial concept, particularly because there is no consensus regarding the definition of the disease itself. Symptom management seems to be a more realistic treatment mode rather than curing the disease itself. A common medication used in symptom relief today is chlorpromazine. Severe episodes of schizophrenia may require hospitalization of the affected individual. Hospitalization may either be voluntary or involuntary. Currently, long-tern inpatient stays are becoming a common supportive treatment option for schizophrenics.

Symptoms and Signs

Schizophrenic patients suffer from an impaired sense of reality, which may take the form of paranoia, auditory hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, and confusion or muddled thinking. Patients with schizophrenia usually have severe social or occupational dysfunction. Initial symptoms typically manifest in young adulthood and frequently persist throughout the patient's lifetime.

Causes

No specific cause of schizophrenia has been identified. However, psychiatric research correlates the disease to genetics, early environmental triggers, neurobiological and psychological factors, as well as a number of social processes. Although current research efforts are focused on the role of neurobiology, no single organic cause of schizophrenia has been identified.

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