Mild Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can affect anyone. Men and women are equally likely to experience a diagnosis of mild schizophrenia as anyone else in the general population. Even children as young as five can develop this mental illness, although schizophrenia most commonly appears between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Men seem to start experiencing symptoms earlier than women, but neither gender rarely develops schizophrenia after the age of forty-five.
No one really knows what causes mild schizophrenia. Certain events may trigger the onset, but it also seems to run in families hinting at genetic factors. Studies have shown that people with schizophrenia have different brain structures or brain chemistry than those who never receive a diagnosis or experience an episode. Those who do experience problems with relationships, maintaining a job, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and depression.
Schizophrenia is a complex illness with many symptoms. Some of the secondary symptoms associated are problems with relationships, maintaining a job, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and depression. However, it takes a long time to develop the primary symptoms that can vary from time to time. Initially, symptoms include irritability, tension, trouble concentrating and trouble sleeping.
As the disease progresses, people may exhibit bizarre behavior, hallucinations, lack of emotion, isolation, and delusions. Other people may falsely believe that people are trying to harm them, behave like a child, have trouble expressing ideas or have odd facial expressions. A more detailed look at the symptoms reveals that when person experiences hallucinations, he or she hears, sees, smells or feels things that others cannot. Those afflicted with mild schizophrenia may even hear voices.
A delusion means that people believe things that are simply not true. A common example is when people believe that a celebrity is speaking directly to them from the television or movie screen. People with mild schizophrenia believe the famous person is trying to communicate with them and that they have a special bond.
Another symptom that can interfere with life is the disruption of normal cognition. This difficulty in concentration causes problems with even the simplest of tasks such as shopping, making decisions or remembering instructions.
No one test to diagnose mild schizophrenia exists. If a doctor suspects someone has schizophrenia, he or she should refer that patient to a psychiatrist for further evaluation. The psychiatrist will talk with the patient to determine how long the symptoms have been in place, how the symptoms have affected the patient’s day to day functions, and their family history regarding mental illness. If the patient has been on medication for any other mental illness the doctor will ask if that medicine has been effective. Sometimes other conditions cause symptoms that mimic mild schizophrenia. In an effort to rule out those conditions, some tests may be run.
The main treatment of mild schizophrenia is anti-psychotic medications. Such medications balance chemicals in the brain and that helps control the symptoms of schizophrenia. Unfortunately, there are side effects that come with the use of anti-psychotics. Common side effects include sleepiness, dizziness, tremors, weight gain or jitters.
Other effective treatments are support programs and therapies. Behavioral training can help improve social skills and increase positive functioning on the job. Sometimes people with mild schizophrenia need help with basic functions such as taking medication, managing money, taking care of oneself or one’s home. People with schizophrenia may need to live in group homes if they have problems with these basic functions. This type of living situation is a good idea for those with schizophrenia who also struggle with drug and alcohol problems. Drugs and alcohol interfere with the effectiveness of the medications and abstinence must be maintained.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent schizophrenia. The best way to treat mild schizophrenia is to manage the symptoms by taking medication as directed. Stopping medication will cause the symptoms to become worse or result in a complete relapse in acuity. If the medications do not seem to be working, speak with your doctor about adjusting your medicine.
Jared shares his knowledge and experiences surrounding schizophrenia at Schiz Life. If you suspect that you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of mild schizophrenia, take our test for schizophrenia to gain some insight before consulting a medical professional.
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