Schizophrenia Treatment in Vashi, Navi Mumbai

Schizophrenia Treatment

After a complete evaluation that includes a detailed history from a reliable family member and a mental state examination of the patient, the diagnosis is made by the chief psychiatrist Dr. VIkas Deshhmukh. In case of diagnostic confusion, more details from other family members or more visits are sought to come to a definite diagnosis. Sometimes, psychological tests are employed. Patient is started on medication, low dose to begin with. The dose is then increased as per patient’s response to the medication. The patient is kept on the minimum effective dose. After symptoms subside, psychotherapy can also be started to aid compliance to therapy and increasing insight into illness, as also counselling family members. Usually treatment for Schizophrenia is long-term.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is derived from “Schizo” – split and “phrene”- mind. It is a mental illness which belongs to the group of “Psychotic” disorders. Essentially, these disorders are characterised by difficulty in understanding reality, which leads to abnormal social behaviour. It usually affects young adults. It occurs in 1 percent of the population and affects persons irrespective of their socio-economic class. It is often times confused with “Split personality”; but this illness is very different from Schizophrenia.

Causes of Schizophrenia

The causes of Schizophrenia are multifold. Certain brain areas seem to be involved in its pathology. Of the many neurotransmitters (chemicals involved in transmitting signals in brain) studied, Dopamine seems to be a major neurotransmitter involved in its pathology. Many genetic studies also suggest a genetic component as a cause. First degree relatives of a patient suffering from Schizophrenia are more prone to developing the illness; the closer the person is genetically, the greater is the chance of developing the illness. Some research has also suggested the use of Cannabis as a probable cause. Other than biological, psycho-social factors also play an important role in the causation.

 

Symptoms of schizophrenia

The symptoms of Schizophrenia may vary widely from patient to patient. Some patients may have suspiciousness (delusions) against family members or even strangers; they may hear voices inaudible to others (hallucinations) that may converse with them or make comments on them; they may see images not visible to others; they may become aggressive or have sudden anger outbursts in response to these suspicions and voices/images. Some patients become very withdrawn and may not converse with anyone for days, may not take good self-care, may have staring spells for hours. Some may talk irrelevantly or incomprehensibly, muttering or talking to themselves.

 

Diagnosis of schizophrenia

For a complete diagnosis, it is important for us to take a complete history from close family members. Other than this, the mental state examination of the patient also is very important. In some cases, where there is confusion regarding diagnosis, multiple visits with the patient and relatives help. In some cases, psychological testing may be done to clear diagnostic confusion. In young adults especially, the presentation of this illness may vary and patient may have depressive or or obsessive-compulsive features to start with. As the illness evolves, the diagnosis may become clearer.