What is Schizophrenia? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

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Living with schizophrenia or supporting someone who has it can be a difficult experience. As a complex mental illness, it can be hard to understand. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects how a person may think, feel, and behave in relation to the world around them. But with as many as one out of every one hundred people experiencing schizophrenia, there is a huge network of support to help you both understand and treat schizophrenia.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

People will schizophrenia will experience schizophrenic episodes. These episodes will greatly vary by person, so people will experience different symptoms of schizophrenia. In fact, some people may only have one schizophrenic episode in their entire lives. Although there are differences case-by-case, there are common characteristics of schizophrenic episodes.

At the beginning of an episode, people will start to feel different from themselves. They may have trouble concentrating, thinking, or communicating, which impacts their daily routines. This will then accumulate where people may experience breaks from reality. This is called psychosis. Common experiences include hallucinations, where people may hear voices and see things, and delusions, where people may suddenly develop strong and irrational beliefs.

What causes schizophrenia?

There is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that may cause schizophrenia. One of the larger factors that causes schizophrenia is a family history. The greatest single factor for developing the illness is to have a first-degree relative with schizophrenia, with a 6.5% risk. Therefore, if you have anyone in your family with schizophrenia, you are at a greater risk and should be aware of this.

Environmental factors are also a factor that can cause schizophrenia. The three most common environmental factors are the living environment, drug use, and prenatal stressors. The living environment includes factors such as living in an urban area. People who live in an urban environment have higher odds of developing the illness. Furthermore, poor living conditions and stress are also causes. Drug use has also been linked to schizophrenia in some studies. Although it is widely debated, some people claim that cannabis use can cause schizophrenia. Finally, prenatal stressors such as maternal stress and maternal hunger have also been linked to schizophrenia.

How can I treat schizophrenia to survive in today’s society?

While there is no confirmed cure for schizophrenia, many people living with schizophrenia have recovered from the illness. Medication is available to treat schizophrenia. For example, antipsychotics will help reduce the severity of hallucinations and delusions. They may even remove these symptoms altogether. There are many types of medication available to treat schizophrenia, so you should consult a doctor for a discussion. Counselling is also available for schizophrenia. Therapies are available where you will be able to learn strategies to dealing with your schizophrenia, using problem solving skills and setting goals. The key to managing schizophrenia is preventing a relapse. Whether it be through medication, therapy, or identifying the trigger, you will find the method. There are hundreds of resources out there for the entire schizophrenic community to take advantage of.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Is it a Childhood Disorder?

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Are you having a difficult time concentrating on the task at hand? Or are you always restless and you are starting to be involved in physical exercises or are becoming a more outgoing person? If yes you might be dealing with a problem commonly referred to as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is common in children under seven years. The good news is that there is a rise in awareness of the disorder to help us understand it better.

Children are the most affected compared to adults. Studies have shown that this is a condition that is affecting many children especially those of famous people such as celebrities. The symptoms of the disorder are very similar to those found in normal children. They have a hard time sticking with a particular task. They might also experience a hard time coping with schooling. It is crucial to learn and understand more regarding ADHD to know the symptoms better.

A scientific report on ADHD explained that it was a neurological syndrome and a mental syndrome as well. The report explains that ADHD is a condition of the brain that does not allow the affected person to focus properly. This makes it hard for an individual having the disorder to focus. They might also have a problem with concentration which might go on to become a severe problem.

In the United States, it is estimated that 2-5% of children at school age are showing signs of ADHD. In adults, the percentage though is 2-4% though the disorder is rare in adults. However, there is no specific known cause of ADHD. Research indicates that the majority of the factors causing ADHD are prenatal, genetic and neurological factors. Causes such as intake of food high in sugar, hormonal imbalance, excessive viewing of television, and parenting have all been disputed to cause ADHD.

A major challenge in diagnosing the symptoms of ADHD in adults is that they have been going through these symptoms and dealing with this condition since their childhood. Though they probably showed manifestations of the disorder when they were kids, they have become more physically and mentally mature over time. When they mature, they learn new skills and acquire more knowledge allowing them to deal better with ADHD in their lives. This makes it hard to be diagnosed in adults than children.

In conclusion, it is essential to ask yourself whether you have any or all the symptoms of ADHD described above. If you think you have them, it is advisable to seek medical advice. You should keep in mind that factors like age, your current stress level as well as general living conditions might be affecting you before concluding that you have ADHD. In case you have ADHD as an adult, it might make your life difficult to deal with and thus you have to seek treatment. Even though you might have developed coping methods with the disorder, you will still need professional assistance considering that your coping methods might fail at times.

Bipolar Disorder

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Mood swings or changes in mood are a common phenomenal among human beings and at any given time, a person may generally perceive to have either a good mood or a bad mood. While many people may think that this is a normal phenomenal, which would require less attention, extreme cases or rapid and consistent changes in mood may actually result from a mental disorder.

Bipolar disorder as the name suggests, is a mental condition in which a person undergoes extreme and abnormal changes in moods, which can be manifests into two “bi”

manic episodes or depressive episodes. During each of these states, a person experiences an outburst of emotions and the energy levels become lower than normal or higher, and this affects their ability to do normal activities of the day. In Manic episode, also known as “high” the person experiences an increase in energy and they all of a sudden become extremely happy than usual. In Depressive state, “low state” a person has prolonged period of sadness and less energy to do certain things such as going to work or school. In extreme cases, individuals begin to have suicidal thoughts which they cannot control.


There are generally two main causes of Bipolar disorder:

  • Genetic Factors- Bipolar has been associated with a defective gene in the human genome, which can be passed on from one family member to another.
  • Biological traits- Bipolar may result from alteration in the levels of certain biological substances in the brain or in the body. These include; brain chemicals and neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
  • Environmental factors: Certain occurrences in life such as loss of a loved one, stress, physical and emotional abuse or other traumatic events may be a cause of bipolar disorder.


Diagnosis of bipolar disorder does not involve specific classical procedures or assays, but rather it involves a number of behavioral and mood assessment techniques aimed at predicting the mood cycle in an individual.

Physical examinations are done by a physician on the individual, to rule out any underlying cause of the symptoms.

Psychiatric assessment involves asking questions to individuals or telling them to fill up questionnaires, in an attempt to understand their feelings, thoughts, and behaviour.

Mood Assessment, also known as mood charting involves the use of a chart, whereby the individual records their moods and their sleeping behaviour on a daily basis. All these procedures are compared with a standard for bipolar detection recorded in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).


Treatment of bipolar disorders involves the use of medications and other techniques that normalize the mood cycle and prevents the patient from developing suicidal thoughts.

Medications- Mood Stabilizers like Lithium (Lithobid) are useful in maintaining a conducive mood for the individuals.

Antipsychotics- Used to treat the Maniac phase of bipolar. Includes

olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal)

Antidepressants– Used for the depressive state in the individual with bipolar.

Antianxiety drugs

Other therapies- Electroconvulsive therapy and Transcranial magnetic stimulation


The following behaviour change and remedies can be used to prevent bipolar episodes:

  1. Avoid excessive alcohol and other substances of abuse
  2. Maintain regular sleep patterns
  3. Avoid medication whose side effects may lead to maniac or depressive states.
  4. Take part in recreational activities that may reduce stress
  5. Eat a well-balanced diet and increase intake of Omega 3 and Vitamin D
  6. Avoid eating of processed foods

All You Need to Know About Meditation and Relaxation If You Have Mental Stress

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Meditation is in most cases defined as the state where your body and mind are focused all while at the same time staying relaxed. Experts define it as an art of increasing focus, awareness and concentration. Meditation is said to provide a more positive outlook to life.
However, some think that meditation is for monks and mystics only. That is not true. Anyone can meditate and enjoy its benefits. There is no requirement for a special place or a special room to practice it. You can do it on your own on your bedroom and even your living room!
There are many approaches to meditation. All these approaches follow a common fundamental principle. The most important principle is the fact that you need to get rid of all obstructive, negative as well as wandering thoughts. The point is to calm the mind to a deep sense of focus. This is a way of clearing and focusing the mind away from all distractions allowing you to attain a higher sense of activity.

Removing negative thoughts and distractions that pollute the mind cleanses the mind of distractions which allows you to focus on the task being done with more meaningful and deeper thoughts. Those who have mastered meditation often resort in shutting out all sensory input detaching themselves from the material world. This way they are depriving themselves of all visual, auditory as well as touch senses. This makes them to deeply focus on their ultimate goal.

The practice of meditation might seem absurd but can work wonders. Those who practice meditation claim that they are more aware of the surroundings than ever before. Those trying to learn meditation from the television are highly ill-advised as most of these positions on the television do not target physically unable people. For newcomers, the inability to contort them into the perfect position can feel discouraged and could eventually lose interest in meditation techniques. The best position of meditation for newcomers would be comfortable sitting and then comfortably cross-legging on the floor or the mat. To meditate properly one does not need a particular position but instead the ability to control his or her mind.

The external environment for meditation is crucial for achieving your target. The environment for meditation should be calm and peaceful without any distractions whatsoever. Silence is the best and most preferred way to relax and start meditating. A place for meditation should be quiet, isolated and shut off from any disturbances.

In conclusion, meditation can be considered as a very-low-risk technique to calm the mind and the body for those having mental problems. Studies have shown that meditation can be important in our day to day stressful lives. Daily stress can cause physiological disorders and diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes. There are many benefits associated with meditation to boast off. It can reduce digestive stress, mental stress and can control your blood pressure as well as your blood sugar levels.

So, what are you waiting for? Start out meditation and live a happy and a fulfilling life!