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Schizophrenia

UBC PATHS Blog Post: Nov 9, 2022


What is it?

  • Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric brain disorder. Those suffering from schizophrenia experience the world differently from people around them.

Causes

  • One of the most important causes is genes. Schizophrenia tends to run in families.

  • Structural changes in the brain can play a role in this psychiatric disorder.

  • Individuals who suffered from trauma such as separation from parents, or child abuse, are more likely to experience schizophrenia.

Effects

  • The stigma surrounding schizophrenia and the portrayals of individuals affected by this clinical syndrome can significantly impact the affected individual, along with their close loved ones.

  • Mental aspects and effects of schizophrenia can manifest as hallucinations, anxiety and constant fear, suicidal thoughts, neglecting oneself and others, and debilitating paranoia.

  • Damaging relationships and isolation can also take a toll and jumpstart these harmful thoughts and behaviours.

Treatments

  • Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that has no known treatment or scientific methods for early prevention.

  • Despite the absence of a cure, the treatments listed below are some ways to address this mental illness.

  • Supportive counseling

  • Personal therapy

  • Social skills therapy

  • Typical Antipsychotics (First-Generation Antipsychotics)

  • Atypical Antipsychotics (Second-Generation Antipsychotics)

Did you know?

  • 10% of the individuals affected by schizophrenia are likely to abuse substances, such as drugs or alcohol.

  • The violent aspect of schizophrenia that is widely shown in media and movies is often not the case, and most people with schizophrenia tend to not be violent.

Connection to Alzheimers

  • Schizophrenia and dementia, including Alzheimer’s, have long been linked together since some individuals with schizophrenia experience neurodegeneration and decline similar to Alzheimer's.

  • Risk of individuals with schizophrenia developing Alzheimer’s is 2-4 times higher than normal.


Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4159061/

https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/47/1/197/5873334

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-schizophrenia

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/schizophrenia

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354443#:~:text=Schizophrenia%20is%20a%20serious%20mental,functioning%2C%20and%20can%20be%20disabling.




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