There are varied forms of mental illness, and schizophrenia is one of them. It is considered a psychotic disorder, and symptoms may vary from one patient to another. Symptoms of schizophrenia typically emerge in late teens and early 30s. There is treatment for psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, and in this post, we are discussing some of the basic aspects.

What are the common symptoms?

Like other types of mental illnesses, schizophrenia can have different symptoms in different patients. Common symptoms include lack of expression and motivation, difficulty in focus and concentration, delusions, and hallucinations. Patients with schizophrenia often have delusions that are completely impractical and often make no sense. For instance, someone may believe they have unusual powers, or they are the most important people around. Hallucinations are also common, where a person may smell or see things that don’t exist. Patients often have a hard time managing daily activities and communicating with others.

How is schizophrenia treated?

Patients with schizophrenia often manage symptoms well with medication, therapy and counseling. Doctors may rely on what is called Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), and patients are often encouraged to improve social skills, and therapists will work closely to offer assistance and support. Schizophrenia requires use of medications, which will be recommended according to symptoms and progression of the disease.

Diagnosis

For mental illnesses like schizophrenia, there is no specific diagnostic test. However, a doctor may ask the patient about his medical history and note his overall behavior and symptoms, to make a comment on the condition. Sometimes, the symptoms of schizophrenia may seem similar to other illnesses, like bipolar disorder or depression, but in case of schizophrenia, the symptoms are more severe. Patients often have a hard time with doing a reality check, or understanding the practical aspects, beyond what they imagine or hallucinate.

Things to know

It is important to understand schizophrenia may relapse, and it is considered to be a long-term condition. Patients often need to rely on drugs for a considerable time of their life, and the disease may impact their everyday life and personal equations. Schizophrenia patients need support from family members and those around them, and with help of mental health experts, it is possible to have a pretty normal life. You can check online to find more on mental health clinics near you, and if someone you know is dealing with behavioral issues, ask them to seek help, even if it is not a case of schizophrenia.