It’s one of the most dreaded disorders that have inflicted mankind. One of the oldest mind-body disorders, it proves the connection of brain and body. It’s associated with the improper functioning of the brain that leads to manifestations at emotional, behavioral and psychological levels. The taboo revolving around it, due to its origin in the mind, has been used to create a lot of social confusion.
It’s commonly the underlining cause in 90% of black magic/bhoot bhada/possesion cases in the world. Since the knowledge about the disorder is very less it gives an upper hand to anti-social elements to make money from those suffering.
Labeled as the disease of the intelligent and a sign of an evolving brain, it’s prominently seen in some very intelligent people. Because of this reason, normal people cannot believe that such intelligent people can suffer such a disorder henceforth the taboo of the same increases in magnitude.
A point-wise description of schizophrenia is as following:
1. it’s NOT multiple personality disorder. It’s completely different from MPD. Unfortunately it’s been wrongly advertised with the same, by ignorant medicos who just run away from doing proper research.
2. it’s a disorder. - means it’s caused by lack of a specific number of chemicals in the body. Like in the case of hypertension or diabetes, but these chemicals are deficient in the brain.
It’s not transmitted from one person to another by touching, water, or air.
3. What is schizophrenia?
A problem with the proper functioning of several parts of the brain, that lead to decreased production of Neuro-chemicals (brain chemicals) like dopamine, GABA, glutamate, serotonin.
4. What are the symptoms?
The disorder normally starts with the symptoms:
a. slowness in doing work
b. decreased social interaction
c. decreased emotional responses
it’s very difficult to detect at this stage, and normally a patient is loaded with counseling from well-wishers.
It progresses to the next level, where emotional and psychological manifestations start in the form of:
d. delusions- these are strong and false beliefs that a person keeps which are against the social and cultural views. Even thou there is enough proof to prove them wrong a person will still are fixated to his belief.
For example- the patient might feel one or more of the following:
i. someone/family members want to kill him
ii. Someone/family member want to harm him/against him.
iii. Someone is following him
iv. Someone powerful is in love with him and sends him secret messages thru newspaper and television.
v. feels he can enter into someone's mind and change the thought process.
vi. Feels someone can read his mind, etc and many more of such.
e. hallucinations- the brain triggers one of the basic senses without any stimuli being present. Any one of the senses is usually affected
i. hearing of voices of people or self, conversing with those voices
ii. Seeing people/visions and talking to them
iii.feeling someone touching you, crawling sensations over the skin
iv. Having unusual tastes of food- calling fried potato as strawberry taste.
v. having unusual smells when they are not present- like smelling of roses in a toilet.
These hallucinations are misunderstood by the patient and his relatives as some kind of "bhoot bada", black magic, or 4th dimension possession. Because of which they first go to consult many baba's, swamis, etc.
since 90% of the so-called swamis cannot differentiate between true black magic and a medical condition, the patient is left to suffer without treatment. This leads to a further deteoration of his condition.
Once either hallucination or delusions have started it means the brain is producing less neurochemicals and a person needs immediate treatment. Unfortunately due to popular belief a patient is left psychiatrically unattended and this leads to rapid deterioration in his over-all condition. This leads to the next level of symptoms.
f. lack of self care- patient starts to lose himself in this imaginary world. Because of which he stops eating, taking care (stops bathing, stops brushing his teeth, starts doing his basic needs like urination and defecation in his clothes, and may start becoming naked in public places.)
If he/she is disturbed in this period they become extremely aggressive. And might even kill someone in their fit of anger
g. if left unattended, the patient further deteorates to become completely asocial, withdrawn within his own self, lack of attention and extremely difficult to control.
Just like in cases of hypertension, when left unattended for long term changes in the shape and size of heart is observed. If a schizophrenic is left unattended for long terms, changes in size and shape of the brain are observed.
5. Why does schizophrenia happen?
a. Genetic causes- the most common reason is hereditary. a gene that triggers schizophrenia is passed on from one generation to another. In some cases it might miss a few generations and then manifest itself.
b. Substance induced- the second most common cause is the use alcohol, drugs, body building steroids for long term. They induce change in the structure of the brain, leading to onset of schizophrenia.
The most best known example for the same is actress pravin babi who died of schizophrenia.
c. Psychological trauma- if someone has a sensitive personality, and is suddenly exposed to large emotional trauma (relationship failure, sexual abuse, death of near one) it might lead to the onset of schizophrenia.
d. Clinical Anxiety- uncontrolled anxiety for long periods of time, leads to development of psychotic features.
e. Clinical Depression- long standing depression that becomes severe leads to onset of schizophrenic symptoms
f. Personality Disorders- the presence of schizoid, paranoid,schizotypal or borderline personality types facilitates the onset of schizophrenia in cases of emotional pain.
6. What is the cure?
a. Medications are the only cure. Allopathic medications is the only modality that offers higher success rate in this disorder. Ayurvedic and homeopathic have long term success rates once the attack has been subsided and patient has been brought to certain normalcy.
b. Counseling and all don’t help once the attack is precipitated. The more one tends to counsel, the more time is wasted.
c. Counseling only helps in educating a patient and his family once the attack is calmed. It’s only then that counseling helps to motivate a person to live a normal life.
7. How do these medications work?
They increase the amount of deficient chemical in the brain.
Some of the are biologically inactive forms of the Neuro-chemical which go and get triggered in the brain.
8. Can’t these chemicals be given thru natural sources?
They can be. But the amount which is required is so huge that a patient would require 10litres of milk, oil in a meal to achieve what a single tablet does give him.
9. Medications and side-effects?
a. Unfortunately many of the cases consult a doctor in really bad state. Basically that happens when the baba, swami and maulana have given up. At this stage the brain is already showing permanent changes in size and shape. And the psychiatrist works more towards controlling the behavior of the patient. The remedies are limited at this stage, as complete cure to normalcy isn’t possible.
It’s similar to later stages of diabetes when it destroys the blood circulation of the legs, which leads to an obligatory amputation.
In such a case the doctor cannot help beyond a point.
This stage requires high dosage of medications to be given to control the patient.
b. The social taboo or lack of a good psychiatrist drives many patients to be taken to MD medicine or Neurologist. Their expertise in such cases is not too much and they are focus on calming the patient, this might lead to over or under medication of the patient, leading to further complications on the longer run.
c. 20yrs ago the field of psychiatry was equipped with only 3-4medications, which had severe side effects. in the last 20yr the development has been such that we are now having many new drugs, some of them are non-sedative and non-addictive and can be given for long period of time without major side-effects.
10. Rights of patient and his relatives?
a. A patient and his relatives have the right to question their psychiatrist on the type of schizophrenia, the medications, and the side effects.
The psychiatrist should properly evaluate the patient and give his relatives ample time to express their concerns and questions.
b. It’s also a patient’s right to demand medications that suit his requirements. The medications should be formulated to provide the patient with least problems, and maximum productivity.
c. unfortunately many psychiatrists, especially in smaller towns, in their elevated self-esteem and busy schedules, tend to over medicate and give no time to examine the patient properly. Because of which many patients land up with many unwanted side-effects.
11. How long should one take the medications?
As I said, it’s a disorder. It’s like hypertension or diabetes, where one chemical production is reduced.
Some patients who are detected early might require it for a short period, while others might require for long periods of time.
Always take the medication in consultation with a professional psychiatrist.
Don’t stop on your own, as it leads to problems
12. Can a schizophrenic live a normal life?
YES. But the following is essential for a schizophrenic patient to life a normal life:
a. Early detection
b. Medications taken as per directed
c. Medications prescribed as per the patients requirements
d. Open dialogue with his/her psychiatrist
SCHIZOPHRENIA is a disorder... ITS NOT EVIL...
DONT DISCRIMINATE...HELP THEM...
FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA-
schizophrenia is labeled as the disorder of the intelligent because of some famous examples.-
a) Bobby Fischer- greatest chess player in history
b) Dr.John Nash- Nobel prize winner. (discovered his Nobel prize theories while suffering from this disorder)
c) Syd Barret- famous musician from the band PINK FLOYD
d) The sons of Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi both had schizophrenia