Rabu, 15 Desember 2010

Schizophrenia Versus Multiple Personality Disorder

Difference Between Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder

Schizophrenia has been often mistaken as similar to another form of brain disorder, which is multiple personality disorder (also known as split personality). However, there is a huge difference between these two, which is why it is important to establish that difference to gain an understanding of what make each one different.

Aside from the difference in characteristics, each one have a varying set of symptoms and require a unique treatment approach. It is not advised to interchange one another since it does not guarantee effective results.

First off, schizophrenia is a form of chronic brain disorder that results in a distortion of one's view of reality. The patient could also manifest various symptoms including hallucinations, delusional thoughts, illogical thinking, and disorganized behavior or speech. There are several frightening thoughts that an individual develops as a result of schizophrenia, which causes them to suffer from severe agitation, social withdrawal, or fearfulness.

Three Categories of Schizophrenia Symptoms

Another method of distinguishing schizophrenia from multiple personality disorder is to identify the various symptoms that an individual experiences. These three categories of symptoms are as follows:

• Positive – These symptoms include delusions, disordered thoughts, and unusual perceptions.

• Negative – These symptoms include inability or loss of the capacity to express themselves, exhibit emotions, or function normally.

• Cognitive – These symptoms affect basic brain function such as memory, sustaining attention, or logic.

What is Multiple Personality Disorder?

This mental disorder is also referred to as Dissociative Identify Disorder (DID), which is a form of psychogenic amnesia. An individual suffering from this condition has the ability to repress memories of a tragic event for a given period of time. This results in fragmentation of the self and experiences until it alters a person's core personality.

Multiple personality disorder typically develops early on at the childhood years, especially for children suffering from severe abuse or trauma. This disorder comes as a result of an elaborate coping mechanism causing that split behavior.

Common Characteristics and Symptoms of MPD Patients

There are two basic characteristics for individuals suffering from multiple personality disorder: derealization and depersonalization. When a patient suffers from derealization, their perception of others become distorted and it is difficult to identify what is real in their world and what is not. On the other hand, depersonalization is the distortion of one's actual view of reality until s/he becomes detached from the self.

There are several common symptoms for multiple personality disorder that includes any of the following: phobias, depression, amnesia, panic attacks, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, flashbacks, suicide attempts, and physical symptoms such as body pains or severe headaches, etc.

Treatment for Multiple Personality Disorder

Multiple personality disorder is treated using various techniques or treatment approach that distinguish it from schizophrenia, although there are some similarities to some of the approaches. For example, psychotherapy is also used to treat multiple personality disorder wherein it aims to encourage proper communication with the patient to recognize and provide deeper insight into the source of problem.

Meanwhile, a patient also undergoes cognitive therapy that aims to correct dysfunctional behaviors and enable a patient to cope with the stress of their condition more effectively. In terms of medication, patients with MPD can intake the same medications as patients of schizophrenia do such as anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.

Selasa, 14 Desember 2010

Reviewing The Various Types And Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis that shifts sufferers from reality to an often terrifying world of delusions, confusion, danger and hallucination. Often the symptoms of schizophrenia are described as "positive" or "negative." Positive symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders and involuntary movements may come and go.

Negative symptoms refer to reductions in normal behavior, such as a monotonous voice, emotionless facial expression, a lack of pleasure, infrequent speech, poor hygiene and the inability to execute a plan. Sometimes, symptoms occur constantly, while at other times patients suffer from schizophreniform disorder.

There are five different types of schizophrenia, according to schizophrenia research, and the symptoms vary. The first type and the most common is paranoid schizophrenia. The paranoid schizophrenic suffers bizarre delusions and sometimes auditory hallucinations.

For instance, the patient may believe that the government is spying on them, that people on television or animals are talking to them, or that someone is trying to deliberately hurt them. Often, paranoid schizophrenics also suffer an accompanying anxiety disorder that causes heightened fear, nervous twitches and displeasure. Other patients have delusions of grandeur, and believe they are a great inventor or a celebrity.

Strange emotional responses characterize the second type, which is called disorganized schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia for this type may include emotionless facial display, a monotone voice, or the inability to laugh, cry and show any emotion. Sufferers may exhibit signs of "psychomotor poverty," disrupted speech patterns, a lack of spontaneous movement or motivation, derailment, thought disturbances and reality distortion.

The third type is called catatonic schizophrenia, which is the stereotypical view of a person rocking back and forth in a strait jacket, staring vapidly -- sometimes rambling incessantly, or at other times being completely mute. The symptoms of this type may include making jerky, bizarre movements, with arms and legs flailing about for no reason. The catatonic schizophrenic is incapable of caring for him or herself and is characterized as having a very severe mental illness.

The fourth type is referred to as undifferentiated schizophrenia, meaning that the symptoms cannot definitively classify the disorder as one type or another. Some patients show all the different symptoms or a few from each category. These patients sometimes lack catatonia, paranoia and disorganized speech, but may instead exhibit symptoms of a neurological disorder.

Lastly, the residual schizophrenic is someone who may have a past history, but currently exhibits no positive symptoms -- like delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or bizarre behavior. Sometimes residual schizophrenia occurs during a transition from diagnosed schizophrenia to remission, and other times no psychotic episodes occur for years.

Roughly, one out of every one thousand people develops a schizophreniform disorder - meaning that they exhibit a short term form of schizophrenia. Two thirds of the people with the disorder go on to develop a life-long mental illness.

These symptoms of schizophrenia can be caused by genetics, brain chemistry or environmental factors. Some people are literally pushed to the brink of insanity due to stress from social interactions. Others have an imbalance of neurotransmitters that may lead to disorganization in the brain.

To treat schizophrenia of any type, the good news is that taking an anti-psychotic schizophrenia drug is usually very effective in treating the symptoms, and allows most sufferers to live a relatively normal life.

Senin, 13 Desember 2010

A Guide for the Care and Treatment of Patients with Schizophrenia

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a biologic brain disorder that seriously impairs a person's ability to think clearly and relate to others. People with schizophrenia have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary and may become withdrawn or have difficulty in everyday situations.

Schizophrenia typically develops in adolescence or early adulthood, although it may occur later in life. Schizophrenia usually progresses slowly and varies among patients in its severity.

What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

Symptoms of schizophrenia generally are categorized as 1 of 3 types:

Positive symptoms: abnormal or exaggerated behaviors or patterns of thought that are "added" to an individual's way of interacting with the world. These include visual, auditory, and/or tactile hallucinations (seeing, hearing, and feeling things that don't exist), persistent delusions (false beliefs that aren't changed by reason or evidence), paranoid delusions, and disorganized or unusual thought processes and speech. Side effects or symptoms of medications also include movement disorders, including clumsiness, uncoordinated or involuntary movements, and rarely, catatonia.

Negative symptoms: the absence, loss, or reduction of normal behaviors, emotions, and patterns of thought. Examples include blunted emotions, inability to begin and follow through with activities, social withdrawal, negligent hygiene, and displeasure or disinterest in life.

Cognitive symptoms: difficulties with attention, memory, and executive functioning that interfere with normal daily activities.

As the illness progresses, these symptoms often become more intense. Schizophrenia often works in cycles, meaning the disease may get better and then reoccur at a later date.

What is the History of Schizophrenia?

While the word "schizophrenia" is less than 100 years old, the illness itself is generally believed to have been present in humans since the beginning of mankind. It was not until 1887, however, that it was first recognized as a discrete mental disorder by German physician Emile Kraepelin. He used the term "dementia praecox" (meaning "early dementia") for patients who had symptoms that are now associated with schizophrenia. In 1911, Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, coined the term "schizophrenia," (derived from the Greek words "schizo," meaning "split," and phrene, meaning "mind").

He was also the first to characterize the symptoms as either "positive" or "negative." Bleuler thought dementia praecox was misleading because the illness was not a form of dementia and could occur late as well as early in life. He therefore believed that schizophrenia was a more appropriate name and conveyed the fragmented thought processes of people who suffer from the disease.

How Many People Have Schizophrenia?

Worldwide, it is estimated that 1 person in every 100 develops schizophrenia. There are currently more than 2 million Americans who have schizophrenia, with men and women affected equally. Because of the typically early age of onset and the lifelong burden of the disease on patients' emotional and physical well-being, schizophrenia can be considered one of the most debilitating medical conditions.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, patients with schizophrenia occupy more hospital beds than do patients with almost any other illness. Federal costs of the disease total between $30 billion and $48 billion per year, when direct medical costs, lost productivity, and Social Security payments are considered.vi It is estimated that 50% to 80% of patients with schizophrenia live with or have routine contact with family members who are their caregivers. There is a corresponding huge burden placed on caregivers. Schizophrenia imposes significant personal, financial, social, and emotional demands on caregivers. Other estimates therefore place the overall cost of schizophrenia at nearly $63 billion, when direct healthcare, societal, and family and caregiver costs are totaled.

How Is Schizophrenia Treated?

Although the cause of schizophrenia remains unknown, antipsychotic medications can help people with this illness function better and more appropriately. In conjunction with counseling programs designed to help people manage and cope with their behavioral symptoms, these medications have been proven to significantly alleviate psychotic symptoms and reduce the chances that symptoms will return. Two classes of antipsychotic medications--conventional (or typical) and atypical--are used to treat schizophrenia.

Conventional, or typical, antipsychotic medications, such as haloperidol, chlorpromazine, and fluphenazine, are effective in treating the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. These older medications, while effective in treating the symptoms of schizophrenia, have been in existence since the 1950s.  Newer atypical antipsychotic medications, such as paliperidone ER, risperidone, aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine, and ziprasidone, are the most commonly prescribed treatments for schizophrenia. Available in both oral and long and short-acting injectable forms, atypical antipsychotics relieve the positive symptoms and improve the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

What Is the Role of Continuity of Therapy in People With Schizophrenia?

For the millions of Americans who experience schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses and their family members, one of the most critical periods in an individual's recovery is the transition from intense inpatient (hospital) care settings to community-based services. This "continuity of therapy" is a process involving the orderly, uninterrupted movement of patients among the diverse elements of the service delivery system. Specifically:

When taking into account the complex nature of mental illnesses and the multiplicity of treatments and services that are needed by people in search of recovery, continuity of care and the coordination of treatment and services are important factors in assuring quality mental healthcare.

Given the important role that medications play in allowing for symptom reduction or alleviation, continuity of medication therapy must receive highest priority.

A Vision to Address Continuity of Care and Treatment
In certain environments, systems designed to serve mental health patients and their caregivers experience serious shortcomings when it comes to the level and depth of communication, cooperation, and coordination of treatment and services necessary to avoid service fragmentation and discontinuity.
To address this, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare released recommended new approaches to provide seamless continuity of treatment for people with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness. The National Council consensus statement was prepared by a 24-member panel composed of leading accrediting organizations, hospital and community treatment organizations, patients, family members, researchers, state authorities, and psychiatric leaders. The findings, presented at the 37th Annual National Conference of the organization, focus on breaking down barriers between systems of care. The expert panel developed recommendations that address administrative, professional, and human elements required to ensure complete continuity of care.

Specific recommendations are as follows:

- Encourage collaboration between hospitals and community-based organizations

- Use a quality improvement approach to enhance continuity of therapy by benchmarking a performance and outcomes standards at the organizational level

- Ensure that all patients have a level of care management for the transition from inpatient to community, including reimbursable care management services by all payers

- Focus on the "Pull Model" of transition from inpatient to outpatient care by involving community providers in the transition before patients get discharged

- Align accreditation standards that address and improve continuity of therapy

- Educate patients and their families on the importance of maintaining a personal healthcare history

- Promote more thoughtful use of inpatient services to reduce emergency room use and an eventually decrease the number of hospitalizations

- Share data about mental health services with appropriate organizations in usable and timely ways

- Involve patients and their advocates in all levels of system delivery and evaluation

Minggu, 12 Desember 2010

Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents

According to an expert in the psychosocial human development theory, children are aged 13 and below, while adolescents are aged between 13 and 19. From the Schizophrenia prospective, it is rare for children and adolescents to suffer from this mental disorder. Having said that, children who display Schizophrenia symptoms are very hard to bring up as the disorder affect their ability to think and function like normal kids.

Symptoms of Children with Schizophrenia

Children and adolescents with Schizophrenia suffer from hallucinations, delusions and distorted thinking, similar symptoms to an adult Schizophrenic patient, except few small variations. There can be a gradual shift in the behavior pattern of a child or adolescent with Schizophrenia. From having predictable behaviors, the children can display unpredictably bad behaviors. Children with Schizophrenia tend to stick with their parents all the time, they do not enjoy playing and chatting with other kids, they lose interest in most of the activities, face difficulty in concentrating on studies and their school performance degrades. School teachers are often first to notice their aberrant behavior first.


To treat children and adolescents with Schizophrenia, group therapy, family therapy and atypical antipsychotic drugs are commonly used. The common practice is for parents to bring their child to a pediatrician and ask him to refer a psychiatrist who is good in diagnosing, assessing and treating children with Schizophrenia. Parents should also encourage the child to take part in different school activities which aim to treat the mental disorder.

Understanding Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents

For aptly understanding of childhood and adolescent Schizophrenia, parents must consult psychiatrist who has experience in dealing with children and adolescents. There are few instances when one might get confused whether a child has Schizophrenia or not:

1. Having imaginary friends and talking to unreal things - It is common for children to have imaginary friends that they play or talk with when they are around three years old; this is a fairly normal characteristic of children at this age. However, if such a characteristic is found in a 12 years old child or in a 15 years old adolescent, then parents need to be concerned, they must talk to the child and understand what he is feeling and must consult a pediatrician or a psychologist.

2. Grievance of losing a friend or family - An adolescent can feel sad over losing family member or a close friend, among other things. He might try to avoid going out and talk to anyone. At this time, it is common for people around the child to be unsure if he is suffering from Schizophrenia, especially if the family has history of the mental disorder. At this point of time, it is recommended to talk to the adolescent and bring him in to a psychiatrist for counseling. The symptoms displayed can be either due to temporary depression or early onset of Schizophrenia.

It is not an easy task to tell the difference between Schizophrenia symptoms or behaviors of a normal playful child by yourself. If you suspect your child displays Schizophrenia symptoms, always seek help from a professional or a psychologist to help in the diagnosis.

Sabtu, 11 Desember 2010

Good Things to Know About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia, witch in Greek mean split mind, is a brain illness that affects 1% people all over the world. The persons can be young or older, women or men, it doesn't matter. It's diagnosis can be more difficult than it might seem because the symptoms of schizophrenia can be similar at times to other major brain disorders such as bipolar disorder or even major depression.

Schizophrenia is characterized like a disruption in cognition and emotion, affecting the most fundamental human attributes: language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self. If this human attributes are affected, can you imagine how it is like to be a schizophrenic person? Even not, it is sure that is not very pleasant.

Schizophrenia symptoms are divided into three categories, witch are: positive symptoms, disorganized symptoms, and negative symptoms.

Most commons symptoms are delusions - patients are thinking that are somebody but in fact they aren't, and hallucinations - hear voices, see something that isn't there, think that they are being watched, etc.

Disorganized thinking and disorganized speech are also present to the patients with schizophrenia. It is what we call "thought disorder" or " word salads". Other disorganized symptoms are: difficulty understanding, poor concentration, poor memory, difficulty expressing thoughts, difficulty integrating thoughts, feelings and behavior .

Catatonic behavior is a characterized by stupor/inactivity - patient can stand still for a long period of time, staring at something, and nothing can not disturb him.

From negative symptoms we remember: lack of emotion – the inability to enjoy activities as much as before, low energy – the person sits around and sleeps much more than normal, and lack of interest in life and low motivation.

And all this signs of schizophrenia appear because the brain doesn't work properly, dopamine and glutamate neurotransmitters are probably the cause.

In present, the scientists try to find a proper treatment regarded to dopamine and glutamate neurotransmitters, and it might work.