Schizophrenia Expert in Perumbakkam

Your Trusted Partner in Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia involves a disconnection from reality, including hallucinations and delusions. We are here to provide you with top-notch care and guidance to tackle your problems.

Schizophrenia Hospital in Perumbakkam, Chennai

Understanding Schizophrenia

What are the types of schizophrenia?

Psychiatrists once referred to different types of schizophrenia, like paranoid schizophrenia and catatonic schizophrenia. But the types weren’t very useful in diagnosing or treating schizophrenia. Instead, experts now view schizophrenia as a spectrum of conditions, including:

  • schizotypal personality disorder (which also falls under the category of personality disorder).
  • Delusional Disorder.
  • Brief psychotic disorder.
    • Schizophreniform Disorder
  • Schizoaffective Disorder.
  • Other schizophrenia spectrum disorders (specified or unspecified). This diagnosis allows healthcare providers to diagnose unusual variations of schizophrenia.

Who does it affect?

Schizophrenia starts between ages 15 and 25 for men and people assigned male at birth(AMAB) and between 25 and 35 for women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB). It also tends to affect men and women in equal numbers. About 20% of new schizophrenia cases occur in people over age 45. These cases tend to happen more in men and people AMAB.

Schizophrenia in children is rare but possible. When schizophrenia does start in childhood, it’s usually more severe and harder to treat.

What are the five symptoms of schizophrenia?

Many people with schizophrenia can’t recognize that they have symptoms of schizophrenia. But those around you might. These are the five main symptoms of schizophrenia

  1. Delusions: These are false beliefs that you hold even when there’s plenty of evidence that those beliefs are wrong. For example, you might think that someone is controlling what you think, say or do.
  2. Hallucinations: You still think you can see, hear, smell, touch or taste things that don’t exist, like hearing voices.
  3. Disorganized or incoherent speaking: You may have trouble organizing your thoughts while speaking. This might look like trouble staying on topic, or your thoughts might be so jumbled that people can’t understand you.
  4. Disorganized or unusual movements: You might move differently than people around you expect. For example, you may turn around a lot for no clear reason, or you might not move much at all.
  5. Negative symptoms: These refer to a reduction or loss of your ability to do things as expected. For example, you might stop making facial expressions, or speak with a flat, emotionless voice. Negative symptoms also include a lack of motivation, especially when you don’t want to socialize or do things you ordinarily enjoy.

What are the risk factors of schizophrenia?

While there aren’t any confirmed causes of schizophrenia, there are risk factors for developing the condition:

  • Environment: Many factors in the world around you can increase your risk of developing schizophrenia. Being born during the winter increases your risk slightly. Certain illnesses that affect your brain, including infections and autoimmune diseases (where your immune system attacks part of your body), can also increase your risk. Extreme stress for long periods can also play a role in developing it.
  • Development and birth circumstances: How you developed before you were born plays a role in schizophrenia. The risk of having schizophrenia goes up if your birthing parent had gestational diabetics, preeclampsia, malnutrition or a vitamin D Deficiency while pregnant with you. The risk also increases if you were underweight at birth or if there were complications during your birth (like if you were born via an emergency cesarean Section).
  • Recreational drug use: Schizophrenia is linked with the use of certain recreational drugs, especially in larger amounts and earlier in life. The connection between heavy marijuana (cannabis) use as a teenager is one of the best-studied of these links. But experts aren’t sure if marijuana use is a direct cause of schizophrenia or if it’s just a contributing factor.

How is schizophrenia diagnosed?

Your (or your loved one’s) healthcare provider can diagnose schizophrenia or its related disorders based on a combination of questions they ask, the symptoms you describe or by observing your actions. They’ll also ask questions to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. They then compare what they find to the criteria required for a schizophrenia diagnosis.

According to the DSM-5, a schizophrenia diagnosis requires the following:

  • At least two of the five main symptoms.
  • You’ve had symptoms for at least one month.
  • Your symptoms impact your ability to work or your relationships (friendly, romantic, professional or otherwise).

What tests will be done to diagnose this condition?

There aren’t any diagnostic tests for schizophrenia. But healthcare providers may run tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing schizophrenia. The most likely types of tests include:

  • Imaging tests: Healthcare providers will often use computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) and other imaging tests to rule out problems like stroke, brain injuries, tumors and other changes to your brain structure.
  • Blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid (spinal tap) tests: These tests look for chemical changes in bodily fluids that might explain changes in your behavior. They can rule out heavy metal toxicity or other causes of poisoning, infections and more.
  • Brain activity testing: An electroencephalograph detects and records the electrical activity in your brain. This test can help rule out conditions like epilepsy.

Can schizophrenia be cured?

Schizophrenia isn’t curable, but it’s often treatable. In a small percentage of cases, people can recover from schizophrenia entirely. But this isn’t a cure because there’s no way of knowing who will relapse and who won’t. Because of that, experts consider those who recover from this condition “in remission.”

How is schizophrenia treated?

Treating schizophrenia usually involves a combination of medication, therapy and self-management techniques. These include:

  • Antipsychotics: These medications block how your brain uses certain chemicals for cell-to-cell communication.
  • Other medications: Your healthcare provider might also prescribe other medications to symptoms that happen alongside or because of your schizophrenia symptoms. They might also prescribe medications to help reduce side effects of antipsychotic medications such as tremors.
  • Psychotherapy: Talk therapy methods like cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you cope with and manage your condition. Long-term therapy can also help with secondary problems alongside schizophrenia, such as anxiety, depression or substance use issues.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy: If other treatments don’t work, your provider may recommend ECT. This treatment involves using an electrical current applied to your scalp, which then stimulates certain parts of your brain. The stimulation causes a brief seizure, which can help improve brain function if you have severe depression, agitation and other problems. If you have ECT, you receive anesthesia. You’ll be asleep for this procedure and won’t feel any pain.
Frequently Asked Question on Schizophrenia
What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a complex mental health disorder characterized by disturbances in thought processes, perception, emotions, and behavior.

Is schizophrenia hereditary?

There is a genetic component to schizophrenia, and individuals with a family history of the disorder may be at a higher risk. However, not everyone with a family history will develop schizophrenia.

Can schizophrenia be treated?

Yes, schizophrenia is treatable. Treatment usually involves a combination of antipsychotic medications, psychotherapy, and support services.

Is psychotherapy effective for schizophrenia?

Yes, psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and supportive therapy, can be beneficial in managing symptoms, improving coping skills, and enhancing functioning.

Is hospitalization necessary for schizophrenia?

In some cases, especially during acute episodes, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety and provide intensive treatment. Outpatient care is also common.

Do all people with schizophrenia experience the same symptoms?

Symptoms can vary widely among individuals with schizophrenia. Some may primarily experience positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), while others may exhibit more negative symptoms (lack of motivation, reduced emotional expression).

Is there a cure for schizophrenia?

While there is no cure, many individuals with schizophrenia can lead fulfilling lives with ongoing treatment and support. The goal is typically symptom management and improved functioning.