Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and debilitating brain disorder that affects people. People with the disorder may hear voices, they may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can scare the person with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.

At times it is difficult to know that patient has schizophrenia till he begins to talk.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

They fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms

Positive Symptoms

Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors often characterized by lose touch with reality. These symptoms can come and go and vary in intensity. They include the following:

Hallucinations are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. "Voices" are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. These voices may talk to the person about behavior, order the person, or warn him or her of danger. Sometimes the voices talk to each other.

Other types of hallucinations include seeing people or objects that are not there, smelling odors that no one else detects, and feeling things like invisible fingers touching their bodies when no one is near.

Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person's culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical. People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing that neighbors can control their behavior with magnetic waves. They may also believe that people on television are directing special messages to them, or that radio stations are broadcasting their thoughts aloud to others.

Thought disorders are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called disorganized thinking. This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically. Second form is called "thought blocking." This is when a person stops speaking abruptly in the middle of a thought.

Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over again .Person may become catatonic, it is a state in which a person does not move and does not respond to others.

Negative Symptoms

  • flat effect, expressionless
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
  • Speaking little, even when forced to interact.

People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks. They often neglect basic personal hygiene.

Cognitive symptoms

Cognitive symptoms often go unnoticed and are detected only when other tests are performed.

Cognitive symptoms include the following:
  • Poor functioning ability to process information and to make decisions
  • Trouble concentrating or paying attention
  • Memory problems.

Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living


Antipsychotic medications

  • Chlorpromazine
  • Haloperidol
  • Perphenazine
  • Fluphenazine
  • clozapine
  • Risperidone
  • Olanzapine
  • Quetiapine
  • Ziprasidone
  • Aripiprazole
  • Paliperidone

Psychosocial treatments

psychosocial treatments can help patients who are already stabilized on antipsychotic medication. Psychosocial treatments help these patients deal with the everyday s life, help overcome difficulty in communication, self-care, work, and forming and keeping relationships.

Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation emphasizes social and vocational training to help people with schizophrenia function better in their communities. The rehab program focuses on job counseling, money management, help in day to day living, and opportunities to practice communication skills. it also addresses issues of cognitive thinking and memory.

Family education - With the help of a therapist, family members can learn coping skills, In this way the family can help make sure their loved one sticks with treatment and stays on his or her medication. Families should learn where to find outpatient and family services .

Self-help groups - Self-help groups for people with schizophrenia and their families are becoming more common. People in self-help groups know that others are facing the same problem hence encourage each other.

Dr Gorav Gupta is a senior psychiatrist in Delhi,experienced in dealing with schizophrenia patients For best schizophrenia treatment in Delhi ,call to get an appointment.