Saturday, October 27, 2018

Symptoms,Causes and Treatment of Schizophrenia

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What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that usually appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. Characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and other cognitive difficulties, schizophrenia can often be a lifelong struggle.

Schizophrenia most commonly strikes between the ages of 16 and 30, and males tend to show symptoms at a slightly younger age than females. In many cases, the disorder develops so slowly that the individual does not know that they have had it for many years. However, in other cases, it can strike suddenly and develop quickly.

Schizophrenia affects approximately 1 percent of all adults, globally. Experts say schizophrenia is probably many illnesses masquerading as one.

In this article, we will cover the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia.

Symptoms of schizophrenia
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The symptoms are classified into four categories:

Positive symptoms - also known as psychotic symptoms. For example, delusions and hallucinations.

Negative symptoms - these refer to elements that are taken away from the individual. For example, absence of facial expressions or lack of motivation.

Cognitive symptoms - these affect the person's thought processes. They may be positive or negative symptoms, for example, poor concentration is a negative symptom.

Emotional symptoms - these are usually negative symptoms, such as blunted emotions.

Below is a list of the major symptoms:

Delusions - the patient displays false beliefs, which can take many forms, such as delusions of persecution, or delusions of grandeur. They may feel others are attempting to control them remotely. Or, they may think they have extraordinary powers and abilities.
Hallucinations - hearing voices is much more common than seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things which are not there, however, people with schizophrenia may experience a wide range of hallucinations.
Thought disorder - the person may jump from one subject to another for no logical reason. The speaker may be hard to follow or erratic.

Other symptoms may include:

Lack of motivation (avolition) - the patient loses their drive. Everyday actions, such as washing and cooking, are neglected.

Poor expression of emotions - responses to happy or sad occasions may be lacking, or inappropriate.

Social withdrawal - when a patient with schizophrenia withdraws socially, it is often because they believe somebody is going to harm them.

Unawareness of illness - as the hallucinations and delusions seem so real for patients, many of them may not believe they are ill. They may refuse to take medication for fear of side effects, or for fear that the medication may be poison, for example.

Cognitive difficulties - the patient's ability to concentrate, recall things, plan ahead, and to organize their life are affected. Communication becomes more difficult.

A sizable proportion of people with schizophrenia have to rely on others because they are unable to hold a job or care for themselves.

Many may also resist treatment, arguing that there is nothing wrong with them.

Some patients may present clear symptoms, but on other occasions, they may seem fine until they start explaining what they are truly thinking.

The effects of schizophrenia reach far beyond the patient - families, friends, and society are affected too.

Symptoms and signs of schizophrenia will vary, depending on the individual.

What are the causes schizophrenia?
Experts believe several factors are generally involved in contributing to the onset of schizophrenia.

Evidence suggests that genetic and environmental factors act together to bring about schizophrenia. The condition has an inherited element, but environmental triggers also significantly influence it.

Below is a list of the factors that are thought to contribute towards the onset of schizophrenia:

Genetic inheritance
If there is no history of schizophrenia in a family, the chances of developing it are less than 1 percent. However, that risk rises to 10 percent if a parent was diagnosed.

Chemical imbalance in the brain
Experts believe that an imbalance of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is involved in the onset of schizophrenia. Other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, may also be involved.

Family relationships
There is no evidence to prove or even indicate that family relationships might cause schizophrenia, however, some patients with the illness believe family tension triggers relapses.

Environmental factors
Although there is no definite proof, many suspect trauma before birth and viral infections may contribute to the development of the disease.

Stressful experiences often precede the emergence of schizophrenia. Before any acute symptoms are apparent, people with schizophrenia habitually become bad-tempered, anxious, and unfocused. This can trigger relationship problems, divorce, and unemployment.

These factors are often blamed for the onset of the disease, when really it was the other way round - the disease caused the crisis. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to know whether schizophrenia caused certain stresses or occurred as a result of them.

Drug induced schizophrenia
Marijuana and LSD are known to cause schizophrenia relapses. Additionally, for people with a predisposition to a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, usage of cannabis may trigger the first episode.

Some researchers believe that certain prescription drugs, such as steroids and stimulants, can cause psychosis.

Treatments for schizophrenia
Counselor having counseling, psychotherapy, or therapy session with patient.
Psychological counseling can help treat the symptoms of schizophrenia.
With proper treatment, patients can lead productive lives.

Treatment can help relieve many of the symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the majority of patients with the disorder have to cope with the symptoms for life.

Psychiatrists say the most effective treatment for schizophrenia patients is usually a combination of:
medication psychological counseling self-help resources

Anti-psychosis drugs have transformed schizophrenia treatment. Thanks to them, the majority of patients are able to live in the community, rather than stay in a hospital.

The most common schizophrenia medications are:

CAUTION :These medicines are to be prescribed only by the Doctor who treats the patients affected by Schizophrenia

Risperidone (Risperdal) - less sedating than other atypical antipsychotics. Weight gain and diabetes are possible side effects, but are less likely to happen, compared with Clozapine or Olanzapine.
Olanzapine (Zyprexa) - may also improve negative symptoms. However, the risks of serious weight gain and the development of diabetes are significant.
Quetiapine (Seroquel) - risk of weight gain and diabetes, however, the risk is lower than Clozapine or Olanzapine.
Ziprasidone (Geodon) - the risk of weight gain and diabetes is lower than other atypical antipsychotics. However, it might contribute to cardiac arrhythmia.
Clozapine (Clozaril) - effective for patients who have been resistant to treatment. It is known to lower suicidal behaviors in patients with schizophrenia. The risk of weight gain and diabetes is significant.
Haloperidol - an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia. It has a long-lasting effect (weeks).

The primary schizophrenia treatment is medication. Sadly, compliance (following the medication regimen) is a major problem. People with schizophrenia often come off their medication for long periods during their lives, at huge personal costs to themselves and often to those around them.

The patient must continue taking medication even when symptoms are gone. Otherwise they will come back.

Psychosocial Treatments
These treatments are helpful after patients and their doctor find a medication that works. Learning and using coping skills to address the everyday challenges of schizophrenia helps people to pursue their life goals, such as attending school or work. Individuals who participate in regular psychosocial treatment are less likely to have relapses or be hospitalized. 

The first time a person experiences schizophrenia symptoms, it can be very unpleasant. They may take a long time to recover, and that recovery can be a lonely experience. It is crucial that a person living with schizophrenia receives the full support of their family, friends, and community services when onset appears for the first time.

Here are some things you can do to help your loved one:
  • Get them treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment
  • Remember that their beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to them
  • Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things their own way
  • Be respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior
  • Check to see if there are any support groups in your area

Pictures courtesy: Google Images

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Painful Truths We Forget Everyday

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Received the following article from a friend by email. Found it very interesting to read with useful tips for living a worthy and useful life. Sharing the same for the benefit of others who want to live a meaningful and worthy life.

Sometimes the truth can hurt, so will these painful truths today.

The main reason we read this is because we need to appreciate things more now than ever. Things are changing every minute, and we might not be able to adapt if we don't know couple of generally painful truths.

1. Time is limited
Before you say "I know it" you might take a look over your life again. However old you are, looking back on your life experiences you'll notice that it has no 'time' in the formula. Everything seems like it happened yesterday.

So appreciate every minute you spend. Most cancer survivors and people who were tiny step away from losing their life begin to know how important is to live well and appreciate things we already have around us.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs

2. You live the life you create
When you go out and see all the vibrant things, cars, people, animals, birds around you, endorse that they have massive impact over our life. That's why we are together in one world.

 And the paradox is, that neither of those things can affect you, as long as you don't react upon it.

The point is, that every person creates a world on his own derived by his/hers decisions and actions.

When we think that everything happens to us, it's what really happens. It's our reaction that gives life to bad things that happen to us. 

Every mistake and happiness is made by your choice. Sometimes our ignorance causes trouble, but we need everything we can acknowledge to get peace of mind and live the best life we create.

Watch more on things you do, and give credit to. Those things dictate your future, and sometimes they are the most destructive, or the best things for you. Choose wisely.

3. Busy and productive are two different things

This guy makes hell of a fortune by being busy for 160 hours a month. Being busy doesn't necessarily makes you productive.

 Success doesn't come from busyness. It comes from productivity + best use of time. Sometimes it can be 3-4 hours a day.

Over-busy people are scattered everywhere. They have no aim, nor balance in their life. We should never forget that life is not about work, money and burdening ourselves with baloney things and forget that this is actual life.

Allow yourself to have balance in all things you do. When the scale goes to one thing, we loose from another. Of course everything takes sacrifice, but not for so long to make us forget how to live.

So get productive, not busy. Do not join the top 5 regrets people had on their deathbed.

4. Thinking and doing are two separate worlds
They are two different worlds because it's the disparity between success and failure, and living and dying. They are so close, and yet so far. This may be the number one painful truth we forget.

 Imagine how many things would be done if you just started doing things, instead of wondering and thinking. The first thing we should do to keep on the thorny road is action. Without action you will create a state where you’ll be mind-shackled.

Without applying the thoughts in the physical words, we create a state of self-prison. We create a person inside our head that doesn’t allow any thoughts to go through the hands and legs.

If you want to do things, you must apply your thoughts in the physical world. It’s not the stupid people are not full of doubts, as Charles Bukowski says; it is the ones that don’t do.

People are genius. Just think of how many successful ideas you have through the day. And you won’t believe that 99% of them with action can become real. As soon as you chose to switch your mind to the next one, without taking action for the previous one, you create a chain reaction of successful ideas gone forever.

5. Failure is part of success
 "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas Edison

I've learned that it seems like life is playing with us sometimes. It gets you to the ground, with your head, in the mud and tells you:

"This is the bottom, it's the worst it can happen. This is how people feel sometimes, and even worse than this. You can be here your whole life, complaining how life happens to you, or you can go wash your face, and start taking things in your hands."

How do we know what's success, when we don't know what is failure? Almost in everything we have to grasp both sides to understand the whole.

Dare to make mistakes, and fail hundreds of times, until there's no gap in your actions that will give you another fail on the road.

6. Self-love has big role in your life
Every day should begin with waking up, going to the bathroom, and looking in the mirror. That masterpiece you see every day, is what is going to change the world!

We are piece of art, everyone of us. Art has no rules, or how it should be. Every negation of it, can only harm the way we think. No one can love you if you don't love yourself. Even if they do for a given time, they will raise a white flag.

We do need support to love ourselves, but once we start doing it ourselves.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ― C. JoyBell C.

7. Some people should be removed and nothing else
People around us, especially the ones we contact with, play crucial role in how we live our life. They can be the biggest blessing or the biggest mistakes we have. Jim Rohn says that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." It looks pretty true to me.

Toxic environment is invisible cage. Even a whole society and circle of people can be toxic.

If you belong to a toxic environment you will spend your life being unproductive, switching from failure to failure. Then you may think “you’re an introvert.” No, you are person who is in the wrong environment. You are individual who still haven’t found his/hers soul mates.

This can be a hardest task. You’ve spent years with people with whom you’ll have to cut the cord in a day. It’s never easy to let go of habits, even if you’re aware they are not bringing any growth.

Step aside and let it pass through. Then you will be obsessed with the person you really are. You will activate your gut feeling and you will attract every tiny positive achievement. The right people will come, financials will flow, and happiness will surround you. Everything changed because you let go of people polluting your life. I encourage you to think about it.

8. Forgive before you get an apology
Holding grudges rents a place in your head and keeps you busy with something that shouldn't last a second in your life.

Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. Life is all about experiences, positive or negative. They are all part of the life lessons. When you forgive someone you promise yourself not to hold the irreversible past against your present self.

You deserve peace of mind because of you and no one else.

9. Every second changes everything
It's one of the beautiful facts that motivates us to take risks. If we don't take risks, things still change, every second. And risking might benefit us every way possible.

Everything rushes in our lives, and yet life is so short.

The most interesting part is that it is one second that changes life. One second can be the reason we succeed, start accumulate happiness, or fell in love. It's just a tiny fraction of time that gives so much meaning to an average span of 80 years.

 When we learn to appreciate one second in our day, we'll learn to appreciate everything we say, do, and think. We will appreciate our whole life.

10. Your possessions is not who you are
As the world circles, it has made us think that we need a lot more than we actually need. It has became a massive materialistic competition.

 An average person watches TV, read papers,watch the bull crap news, while everything an average human does is to think like most people. When you are like the rest, your uniqueness is assassinated.

Our regular pattern of life is what makes us think that possessions should be put before everything. People kill, screw best friends, ramshackle businesses because of money.

When people realize how powerful is the spirit, the inner self, thoughts, emotions, and the brain itself, is when we realize that stuff is really a funny thing.

If you put your mindset on the money, not putting it in the process of making them, I guarantee you'll never have them. Money is a tool. Don't let them possess your spirit.

What do you think you can add to the list? Is there any painful truth in your life you often forget?

Author of the article:  

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Most Misused Words in the English Language

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Modern English is an interesting language and is always changing and evolving. Words are altered and definitions are updated accordingly. We can’t all be linguists, but we should know how to correctly use the words we choose.

1. Compelled

What they think it means: To do something voluntarily by choice.

What it actually means: To be forced or obligated to doing something.

To be compelled is to be forced to do something, regardless of whether you actually want to do it or not.

2. Bemused

What they think it means: Amused.

What it actually means: Confused.

While it sounds similar to Amused, its meaning is completely different. It originally comes from the middle-English words Be, which is an intensifier, and Muse, which is to contemplate.

3. Irony

What they think it means: Something that is funny.

What it actually means: Contrary to what you are expecting.

From the Greek word “eirōneia” - meaning “to simulate ignorance”. There are different kinds of irony but they generally are the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite.

4. Redundant

What they think it means: Repetitive.

What it actually means: Unnecessarily excessive.

Not all repetition is redundant. Only when there’s too much of something – it becomes redundant.

5. Effect

What you may think it means: To cause something to change.

What it actually means: An event that causes a change.

If an individual wants to change another’s opinion, the individual will need to affect it somehow. The action taken was the effect that caused the change of opinion.

6. Travesty

What they think it means: A tragedy or something unfortunate.

What it actually means: A mockery or parody.

The death of Robin Williams was a tragedy.When some individuals made jokes about it – it was a travesty.

7. i.e..

What they think it means: For example.

What it actually means: In other words.

From the Latin “Id Est” (meaning: in that), i.e. is used when you want repeat something in a different manner – i.e. to say something again in another way.

8. Plethora

What they think it means: A lot of something.

What it actually means: More than is needed.

From the Greek “plēthōrē”, meaning “Be full”. 10,000 people in a stadium are not a plethora of people, but put them in a small house and they suddenly become a plethora.

9. Disinterested

What they think it means: Bored.

What it actually means: Neutral.

If you are bored – you are uninterested (it doesn’t interest you). But if you are disinterested – you simply don’t care either way.

10. Obsolete

What they think it means: Old, out of date.

What it actually means: Not produced, used, or needed.

You might think that your old cellphone is obsolete, but cellphones are still produced, used and needed. A good example of something that is obsolete will be a steam engine – they’re so inefficient compared to today’s combustion & electric engines, that no one produces it, uses it or needs it.

11. Chronic

What they think it means: Severe.

What it actually means: Over the course of a long time..

A person with chronic pain is not necessarily in severe pain, but have been experiencing the pain for a long time. 

12. Nauseous

What they think it means: To feel ill.

What it actually means: To cause feelings of illness.

If you say that you are nauseous – you’re actually saying that you cause nausea in others. Instead, the word you should be using is nauseated.

13. Peruse

What they think it means: To skim or browse.

What it actually means: To observe in depth.

From the 15th century English “Per” – meaning thoroughly, and Use. If you peruse a book, you read it through and through, possibly several times.

14. Defective

What they think it means: That something is broken or missing pieces.

What it actually means: Simply that it’s broken.

Imagine you buy two new smartphones. One cannot be turned on, and the other’s screen is in pieces. The first is not defective, but rather deficient. The latter is indeed defective, as it’s literally broken.

15. Enormity

What they think it means: Huge, enormous.

What it actually means: Profoundly immoral or evil.

From the Latin “enormitas”, meaning ‘deviation from legal or moral rectitude’, enormity can only be used to describe size or quantity in regards to something that is perceived as bad (or worse).

16. Fortuitous

What they think it means: Lucky.

What it actually means: By chance.

A fortuitous event differs from an event of luck by being neutral. If you find winning lottery ticket on the street – that is lucky. If you then slip and fall, losing the ticket – that is fortuitous.

17. Can

What they think it means: What is permissible.

What it actually means: What is possible.

If you were to ask me: “Can I have a drink?” – You’re not asking me if you are allowed to have a drink, but rather, if you are actually capable of drinking. 

18. Literally

What they think it means: Figuratively.

What it actually means: Actually.

What you use “Literally”, you’re saying that something happened in the literal sense of the word and not as a figure of speech. If you were to say “There were literally a million cars on the road” then it means that the number of cars on the road was exactly one million, no more, no less.

19. Total

Total means exactly what people think it means but it is used unnecessarily on a frequent basis. When there is a total of 50 people, the total is 50 whether or not you use the word “total”. You might hear someone say that they were totally surprised. Surprise is not a conditional emotion - You were either surprised or not. The use of total didn’t add anything of value to the sentence. 

20. Conversate

What they think it means: To have a conversation.

What it actually means: Nothing.

It comes from a mix of “Converse” and “Conversation”, but simply not a real word and has no meaning.

21. Irregardless

What they think it means: Without regard.

What it actually means: Nothing.

Like conversate above, irregardless isn’t actually a word. When people say irregardless, they actually mean to say regardless.