Always good to know.
Mental illnesses are not well understood or talked about enough in society. In some places in the world, someone with a mental illness can be thought of as cursed as opposed to in need of treatment. Schizophrenia is one of those mental disorders surrounded by a lot of misinformation.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects a person’s ability to think clearly, control their emotions, socialise with others, or even make decisions. In the spirit of enlightening people, this article is going to provide information on some subtleties you didn’t know about schizophrenia.
1. People with schizophrenia are creative
In history, some of the greatest minds were known to have schizophrenia. From Nobel laureates like John Nash to great artists like Louis Wain, most schizophrenics are known to be creative. The illness affects their way of expressing the creative side. Louis Wain was known for painting cute, cuddly kittens. His artistic expression changed after being diagnosed with schizophrenia to psychedelic and colourful cats.
Schizophrenia may affect their perspective but doesn’t make them any less creative. Contrary to expectations, research shows that there are ways in which the most creative people are similar to people with schizophrenia. Just think about it.
2. Schizophrenia is treatable
Most people think that having schizophrenia means you are crazy, and it stays that way for life. Schizophrenia is episodic. There is no cure for the disorder, but treatment is available. Antipsychotic drugs are administered to treat psychotic symptoms.
Currently, second-generation antipsychotic drugs are used to treat psychotic symptoms. It’s worth noting that this medication (also known as atypical drugs) cause unwanted side effects such as extrapyramidal symptoms (are involuntary tremors in different body parts).
Development of drugs that have little to no extrapyramidal side effects is underway. Unlike the first-generation and second-generation drugs, the mechanism of action of the new medication is through dopamine receptor agonism. This difference in mechanism of action is what causes little to no extrapyramidal side effects.
3. People with schizophrenia can perform their daily task just as well
Initially, the medication used for the treatment of schizophrenia can cause symptoms called neurolepsis. Neurolepsis is characterised by calm, reduced motor activity, and indifference to the environmental surroundings.
Due to the severity of the symptoms, it’s believed that people with schizophrenia cannot perform their daily tasks. They are expected to stay in the psychiatric ward for continuous observation. All this is a misconception, and such notions should be eradicated from society by all means. When under treatment, a person with schizophrenia can do tasks just as well or even outperform other people.
4. There are no medical tests to diagnose schizophrenia
If you have no prior knowledge of the illness, it may not be easy to identify the signs and symptoms of this disorder. There is also no particular test to determine if it’s schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a group of disorders that are characterised by delusion, hallucination, emotional instability, and skewed perception. Therefore, schizophrenia diagnosis is made by a qualified professional through observation and elimination of other mental disorders. The doctor identifies whether the symptoms shown are due to substance abuse, medicine, or another mental illness. The process of elimination can be done using other diagnostic tests such as MRI and CT scans.
5. People with schizophrenia can be violent to themselves
A psychotic episode for people with schizophrenia is characterised by a heightened sense of emotion, delusion, and hallucinations. In this state, the person may be a danger to themselves or those around them. People with schizophrenia may imagine someone is trying to cause harm, which may result in violence against the person.
More often than not, people with schizophrenia may cause harm to themselves than those around them. They may hurl things around the house during the psychotic episodes, and you should be ready for that. When in this state, it’s essential to provide care by calming them down. A soothing and calm presence of a loved one will help them come out of the episode faster.