Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30. In rare cases, children have schizophrenia too. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.
Positive symptoms: “Positive” symptoms are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality. Symptoms include:
Thought disorders (unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking)
Movement disorders (agitated body movements)
Negative symptoms: “Negative” symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. Symptoms include: “Flat affect” (reduced expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone)
Reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life
Difficulty beginning and sustaining activities
Cognitive symptoms: For some patients, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle, but for others, they are more severe and patients may notice changes in their memory or other aspects of thinking. Symptoms include: Poor “executive functioning” (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
Trouble focusing or paying attention. Problems with “working memory” (the ability to use the information immediately after learning it
There are several factors that contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia. Genes and environment: Scientists have long known that schizophrenia sometimes runs in families. However, there are many people who have schizophrenia who don’t have a family member with the disorder and conversely, many people with one or more family members with the disorder who do not develop it themselves.
Scientists believe that many different genes may increase the risk of schizophrenia, but that no single gene causes the disorder by itself. It is not yet possible to use genetic information to predict who will develop schizophrenia.
Scientists also think that interactions between genes and aspects of the individual’s environment are necessary for schizophrenia to develop. Environmental factors may involve:
Exposure to viruses
Malnutrition before birth
Problems during birth
Different brain chemistry and structure: Scientists think that an imbalance in the complex, interrelated chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters (substances that brain cells use to communicate with each other) dopamine and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia.
Some experts also think problems during brain development before birth may lead to faulty connections. The brain also undergoes major changes during puberty, and these changes could trigger psychotic symptoms in people who are vulnerable due to genetics or brain differences
Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. Treatments include:
Caring for and supporting a loved one with schizophrenia can be hard. It can be difficult to know how to respond to someone who makes strange or clearly false statements. It is important to understand that schizophrenia is a biological illness.
Here are some things you can do to help your loved one:
Get them treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment
Remember that their beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to them
Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things their own way
Be respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior
Check to see if there are any support groups in your area
Autism or ASD and Schizophrenia are two different medical conditions that are linked to a human brain which have from years back been considered to be one and the same thing. However, there has been some rising disputes and concern about the diagnosis of these medical conditions in a bid to offer better treatment.
Some doctors and researchers argue that both Autism and Schizophrenia are different onsets of the same medical condition and have different symptoms due to the different stages a patient undergoes through. Other researchers have found some ground to challenge this long standing fact which will be very beneficial in how both conditions are handled.
Autism is conspired as a wide spectrum disorder hence the name Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
This is a development disability which can occur in any human being caused by brain abnormality.
A typical definition of an individual suffering from autism is that he or she is suffering from social and communication skills development.
However, Autism Spectrum Disorder occurs differently in all patients and although there are similar characteristics in all patients, they all have different and unique characteristics at some stage in their life as well as their portrayal of strength and challenges.
This creates three categories based on the strengths and challenges under ASD. Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
Statistically all these disorders occur in about 1 child in every 59 in America and tends to occur more in boys than girls.
This is medical disorder caused by a brain disorder affecting the thoughts, feelings and how this individual acts.
This disorder is chronic and statistics indicate that is currently affects about 1 percent of the global adult population.
There has been a general though in the world attributing violence to schizophrenia but this has over the past few years been disputed as symptoms vary from one individual to the other.
However, in distinguishing between these two, it has been stated that both have different ages in a human being where a doctor or any other individual can notice or diagnose the possibility of these two disorders.
Autism occurs very early in an individual and this can happen as early as 6 months after the birth of a child.
Clear indications or signs of this disorder occur or can be visible within the first three years of a child’s life.
Some will develop normally within the first few years of this bracket only to have a full blown effect at the last few months the three years while others will have a gradual occurrence of the symptoms.
On the other hand, Schizophrenia occurs later in a young individual’s life starting at around 16 to 30 years.
This aspect makes Schizophrenia very disabling in an individual’s life as they have already established a system in their life which they are unable to continue when diagnosed with this disability.
More males tend to develop the symptoms of Schizophrenia at an earlier age as compared to females.
This disorder has the ability to mask itself in a person’s life for many years but come on to undo his or her life at a later stage.
Autistic and Schizophrenic patients all suffer from social impairment as they lose the ability to show emotions as well as judgement of other people’s feelings and emotions.
This is due to the fact that researchers have discovered that some brain cells in these patients that process social information become less active with every passing day of the disorders.
However, Schizophrenic patients have been attributed to ill will in the society as they tend to be more reactive to peoples actions in the efforts of helping them.
This is also linked to the high hallucination rate suffered by any person suffering from Schizophrenia.
Autistic patients on the other hand have portrayed a more mild reaction and suffer from very few hallucinations as compared to Schizophrenia.
They are also more socially cynical based on their past experiences with people trying to handle or understand their behaviour.
Although these two disorders are increasingly becoming more prevalent in the global population, it is evident that separating them from their early stages and diagnosing one against the other has made it easier to treat and handle Autism and Schizophrenia which is the ultimate goal by the researchers and doctors in the medical world