Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which has no cure, but there are effective treatments available to control the signs and symptoms of the disease. Schizophrenia is a rare mental illness, and is something very destructive and harmful unless it is treated properly. It is believed that under one-percent of the global population will develop this problem, and even though symptoms usually arise in the adolescent or early adulthood years, it can strike at any age. Schizophrenia in severe forms can be harmful, not just to the person struggling with the issue but to the people around them.
There are several kinds of schizophrenia, and the signs and symptoms will depend on the type of disorder, which may include:
- Adult onset: The condition is not observed until the adult years.
- Childhood onset: Schizophrenia which is observed in early childhood, before adolescence
- Undifferentiated: This diagnosis can be given when the individual shows signs and symptoms from several different kinds of the disorder.
- Catatonic: People with this type of schizophrenia may appear unresponsive, or completely distant. Sometimes they will copy spoken words or actions, or may not have any reaction at all.
- Disorganized: This kind of schizophrenia involves disorganization in speech and behavior, such as inappropriate behavior or comments.
- Paranoid: This kind of schizophrenia involves hallucinations or hearing voices, as well as grandiose delusions, violence and suicidal actions.
- Residual: This kind of schizophrenia is identified by a minimum of one episode, however, the signs and symptoms of the illness are no longer present.
The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia may include delusions, hearing voices, hallucinations, disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, catatonic behavior and the possible lack of certain important abilities or capabilities. The seriousness of these symptoms range from mild to severe, and sometimes a person with schizophrenia might need to be put hospitalized. This is especially true when substance abuse or addiction is present.
If this mental disorder is coupled with substance abuse, the delusions and other symptoms may become much worse. This kind of dual diagnosis requires special therapy, where treatment targets both the schizophrenia and the addiction. Without this critical factor, the mental illness signs and symptoms will not disappear.
Treatment for schizophrenia may include anti-psychotic medicines, however, this illness requires a duration of treatment. A large problem with schizophrenia is that the individual stops the medications when they feel good only to relapse later. Some of the medicines prescribed to schizophrenia have been authorized by the FDA to use on certain age groups, and daily medication is often the only treatment which will work.