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Despite the advancements in the medical profession and greater mental health awareness, disorders such as Schizophrenia are still very much misrepresented in popular culture and film leading to myriad misunderstandings.
The lack of accurate information and knowledge about the subject matter makes it easier for everyone to speculate and eventually leads to the social ostracization of Schizophrenia patients. In this article we explore Schizophrenia, it’s types, symptoms and the challenges that patients face.
Types of Schizophrenia
Based on the symptoms you showcase; schizophrenia is classified into five types:
- Paranoid Schizophrenia
- Disorganized Schizophrenia
- Catatonic Schizophrenia
- Undifferentiated Schizophrenia
- Residual Schizophrenia
Here’s a quick overview of all the five types and the symptoms they showcase.
If you’re suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, you may experience unwanted delusions and auditory hallucinations. You constantly feel that someone is watching or harassing you. Common symptoms include anger, anxiety, and being hostile towards others for no apparent reason.
Individuals with bizarre speech or disorganized behaviour are said to suffer from disorganized schizophrenia. At times, their emotions are completely unrelated to their environment. The lack of awareness hinders and creeps into their daily activities like walking, eating, working, hygiene, etc. Symptoms include abrupt shifting between thoughts, being forgetful, slow movement, and failing to make logical decisions, etc.
If you suffer from this type, you may either remain static at one place or move compulsively without any self-control. They may either remain silent for hours or may speak gibberish making no sense. This behavior makes it hard for these individuals to take care of themselves and makes them dependent on family and caregivers.
People with undifferentiated schizophrenia showcase mixed symptoms observed in other forms schizophrenias too like hallucinations, speech disorder, delusions. They may also show signs of anxiety, depression and unorganized movements.
People who fall in this category have no visible symptoms of the disorder but have suffered schizophrenic episodes in the past. Despite the shift, the chances of individual relapsing back can’t be overruled and hence necessary precautions must be taken.
Signs and Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Depression and hostility leading to social isolation
- Unable to view criticism objectively
- Not taking proper care of your hygiene
- Poor memory retention, and insomnia
- Bizarre speech without relevance
- Delusions, hallucinations, lack of interest towards everything
Paranoid Schizophrenia Diagnosis
If you’re suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, your diagnosis will depend on your psychiatric evaluation, your past medical history, physical examination, and other laboratory examinations.
In most cases, if you’re showing two or more signs of schizophrenia for more than a month, you need to get yourself diagnosed. Additional factors include – continuously showing schizophrenia symptoms for nearly half a year, minimal interest in academics, daily tasks, social isolation, etc.
The actual diagnosis is then carried out through blood tests, MRI or CT Scan, EEG (Electroencephalogram) which can help your doctor better understand your mental state.
Challenges of Living with Paranoid Schizophrenia: A Patient Case Study
It’s been 30 years since I have been suffering from Schizophrenia. It has been particularly challenging for me to deal with the illness due to the lack of awareness around it and the misconceptions surrounding it. This may be because no one I knew personally or even as an acquaintance had any personal experience and understanding of Paranoid Schizophrenia. I grew up in a small town where people were completely unaware of mental health disorders.
Sometimes people are reluctant to ask me questions as they are afraid of getting personal or hurting me, but now I welcome such questions because such discussions provide insight and understanding. For me sharing my story enables me to help society understand the dreadful experience of living with the condition, which will help clear up some of the stigma associated with the disease in the society and make it easier for sufferers like me.
The misinformation and stigma circulated on Paranoid Schizophrenia have an invisible effect on the people suffering from it. It must be eradicated and destroyed. My hope is for society to remove such stigma and contribute my bit to society on spreading the truth.
This can help people make life easier for those living with Paranoid Schizophrenia, and an individual like me can live a fulfilling life by managing the symptoms of the condition. Most often it becomes difficult for the person to lead a normal life as people grow weary and maintain their distance due to fear of violence, anger which leads to a lot of loneliness.
When you get diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia it affects your daily life and takes over everything completely. I was about to lose my job but my company and team had a strong understanding of mental health issues and helped and supported me at that time. The most encouraging sign was that they never showed any change in behavior towards me and treated me just like any other employee. They stood by me for seven long years through the struggle.
Of course, there is a stigma associated with this disease. I was fortunate to have many supportive friends and family members around which helped a lot. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to come so far in life.
When you put yourself in the right environment and people, it won’t be tough for you to get over the disease. A strong social circle of support and adherence to medication and therapy can help you lead a normal life and get back on your feet. I found the strength due to support and care by loved ones and well-wishers.
Get help for Schizophrenia
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from Schizophrenia, do not be disheartened. With therapy and treatment, they can lead a normal life free from their symptoms. It is a disease that affects millions around the world, although there are challenges and stigma surrounding the disease, there is hope through timely treatment.
To learn more about Schizophrenia treatment, call us @ 9611194949
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